bordeaux tasting

Binny's Highland Park
Tasted Friday, May 16, 2008 by KeithAkers with 447 views

Introduction

my store had its annual bordeaux tasting. A real nice lineup of wines even with the lack of a 1st growth. The biggest surprise is that none of the wines were corked or off bottles.

Flight 1 - 1996-2000 (7 Notes)

  • 1996 Château Lafon-Rochet 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe

    nose: really nice barnyardy nose with pencil lead, cranberry, and soy sauce notes

    taste: nice and resolved flavors with cranberry, pencil lead, and soy sauce tones with slight hints of tobbacco

    overall: Has the firmness of 96, but this one is ready to go right now and is peaking. Interesting flavor profile and some vegetalness to it. Not the best Lafon-Rochet ever, but a real good one that was gaining more weight and complexity as it got more air

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  • 1998 Château Grand-Puy Ducasse 88 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    nose: good standard Pauillac nose of pencil lead and anise with some tea leaves and black currant notes

    taste: very tranditional in style with pencil lead, black currants, tobbacco, and anise

    overall: a really good Pauillac with a bit of age on it. Nice traditional attack and finish but lacks a bit of complexity to take it further

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  • 2000 Château Dauzac 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    nose: great classic margaux sexiness on the nose with pencil shavings, leather, mixed berries, and dark cherry

    taste: great texture and feel with leather and spices mostly along with some cranberries and dark cherries behind and a slight bit of pencil shavings. Really elegant feel

    overall: this is a sexy wine. Very smooth and elegant with a touch of class. This is really starting to come into its own and is a lot of fun to drink with a silky attack and mid palate that leads into a smooth spice and cranberry finish

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  • 2000 Château d'Armailhac 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    nose: really nice typical pauillac nose of smoke, leather, kirsch, and tobbacco with some good red currant tones and nice red fruit notes to round things out

    taste: great feel with leather, tobbacco, smoke, red currants, dark cherry and cranberry tones and slight bits of earth notes too

    overall: the first time that I've actually really liked a d'armailhac to be honest. Really good grip with nice traditional flavors and good red fruited core. Seemless in the transitions with a nice smokey finish

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  • 2000 Château Léoville Barton 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    nose: lots of power on this even with though this wasn't giving as much as it will, you can just sense the greatness behind it with ripe cherries, pencil lead, cedar box, cranberry, smoke, and chalk tones. This will be a massively expressive nose when it breaks free

    taste: the flavors are slightly muted, but there is soooo much here to be excited about with chalk tones accompanied with dust, chalk, cherry, pencil lead, cedar box, and tobbacco tones. just real classic Barton flavor profile, but to a jacked up degree

    overall: this is a big wine with the backwardsness that you'd expect from barton with a great weighted feel. Lots of promise with this wine with a great long finish. If I owned one of these, I wouldn't touch it until 2012 at the earliest and probably not until 2015-2020 and I can imagine that this wine will be a very long lived wine

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  • 2000 Château Lagrange (St. Julien) 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    nose: great nose with a dark cherry core that is filled with barnyard tones, damp earth, leather, along with bits of spice and pepper tones

    taste: plush feel on the palate with dark cherry, damp earth, leather, pencil lead, and some barnyard

    overall: an utterly beautiful wine that will just get better. Great silky feel with a wonderful long finish

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  • 2000 Réserve de la Comtesse 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    nose: this is much more pauillac in style then LaLande is which is interesting. Really rustic nose of cedar box, green pepper, pencil shavings, tobbacco, and some dark fruit tones

    taste: you can sense the cab franc being used in this with a more vegetal taste to it of herbs, green peppers, black currant jam, tobbacco, and dark fruits

    overall: a really good wine. Still very firm on the tannins with an interesting profile and a nice clean but yet rustic finish

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Flight 2 - 2003 (5 Notes)

  • 2003 Château La Tour Carnet 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc

    nose: real good core of red fruit permeating throughout the nose with some red currants, red licorice, chalk, and pencil shaving notes. Very typical 03 nose that is very enjoyable

    taste: big and tannic, but with good fruit and flavors on top with anise, red fruit, red currants, chalk, and black currants too

    overall: this is a great buy at ~$25. Great left bank bordeaux at the price range and one that is good for mid term aging. Real good core of fruit with a good upfront attack and finish

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  • 2003 Château Fombrauge 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    nose: a good amount of cab franc must have been used in this as the nose is a bit vegetal with roots, cedar, mixed berry tones, herbs and bits of cherry

    taste: nice feel with herbs, vegetal tones, cedar, and berry notes

    overall: an excellent wine and is one that I like to drink. Good weight and feel with a nice silky finish

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  • 2003 Château Saint-Pierre 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    nose: beautiful boquet on the nose with loads of black currants and dark cherries with leather, red currants, smoke, and toast flavors right behind. A bit different then other 03 noses and there is something extremely alluring about this

    taste: very silky and suave with black currants, black licorice, dark cherries, leather, and smoke

    overall: still a bit tannic, but this is a great wine. Very luscious and elegant this will be a real beauty when it sheds the tannins and fully comes out

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  • 2003 Château d'Armailhac 88 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    nose: nice filling nose of anise, herbs, red fruit, and chocolate

    taste: very firm, this still needs a lot of time with anise, red fruit, red currants, and pencil shavings

    overall: big attack, but not much on the finish. Still very tight this will definitely need more time

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  • 2003 Château Lagrange (St. Julien) 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    nose: big nose showing off the vintage of red licorice, herbs, spice, red currants, mocha, and some bright cherries too

    taste: big and firm with spice, cherries, red licorice, red currants, and mocha notes

    overall: a really good wine and a interesting contrast to the 2000. You can really tell the 03 vintage with this one. There is still a ton of tannins on this and this one will need a good 5 more years to start its window

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Flight 3 - 2004+1 2005 (10 Notes)

  • 2004 Château Fombrauge 88 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    nose: soft and a bit tight with cedar box, cranberries, mixed berry tones, and earth

    taste: nice and easy with cedar box, mixed berry tones, smoke, and a bit of earth

    overall: a very nice wine with a good solid attack and easy finish. Not as deep as the 03, but a very nice wine for drinking now and medium to short term aging

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  • 2004 Château Grand-Pontet 86 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    nose: soft nose of blueberry, cranberries, and earth tones. A bit tight on the nose right now

    taste: nice tones of herbs, blueberries, and earth tones

    overall: a good and easy drinking wine with a soft attack but light finish. Not much weight on this but a good feel. Should get much better with age, this may have shut down a bit as it wasn't giving much

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  • 2004 Château Bellevue St. Émilion Grand Cru 88 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    nose: very light nose that is herbal and root based with some slight kirsch and dark fruit

    taste: nice and smooth with a good full feel on the palate with blueberries, cranberries, dark fruits, and herbs

    overall: a very good wine with nice firm tannins. A good soft attack and silky finish

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  • 2004 Château Branaire-Ducru 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    nose: very elegant nose of dark cherry, cranberry, smoke, black currants, and some cedar box tones

    taste: nice firm tannins but there is still an elegance to this with smoke, cranberry, earth, tobbacco, and some cedar box notes

    overall: a really great feel and nice length to this. Nice silky attack that leans into a good cranberry finish

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  • 2004 Château Giscours 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    nose: loads of leather with smoke, toast, dark cherry, and black currant and black berry tones

    taste: very silky with dark cherry, toast, earth, pencil lead, leather, and cranberry tones

    overall: really nice and elegant with a interesting smokey finish. I definitely want to buy some of this and see what develops as there is definitely somethnig there but it just needs time to get out

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  • 2004 Château Monbousquet 89 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    nose: huge and extracted nose(well, extracted for a bordeaux) showing the Perse influence. Loads of coffee, vanilla, toasted oak, dark cherry, with cedar and mixed berry notes

    taste: again big, and almost over the top with dark cherry, coffee tones, mixed berries and black berries

    overall: Big and gregarious. Massive attack and a good finish, but this is bordering on the obnoxious level. Will be a very interesting wine when it tones down a bit, but right now its a bit much for me

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  • 2004 Château Lascombes 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    nose: extremely elegant nose filled with dark cherry, leather, cranberry, asian spice bits, and earth tones with slight hints of tobbacco and cedar

    taste: very beautiful with cranberry, leather, earth, dark cherry, and tobbacco leaf

    overall: a very gorgeous wine that exudes class. Great feel and length with a great flavor profile. This is one that is fun to drink and will be great to revisit in the future

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  • 2004 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    nose: big and dark nose with ripe cherries(almost residual sugary), tobbacco, green pepper, earth, and black berry tones. Good classic baron with that brawny heavyweight style that they do

    taste: really brawny with black berries, dark cherry, green pepper, earth, and bits of tobbacco and leather

    overall: this is a great wine and will be even better with time. Just a pure classic Baron that is perfect if you want an introduction into Baron's style. Big and Bold this gives off a really good upfront attack and leads into a great black currant finish that is complimented with some gripping tannins.

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  • 2004 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    nose: this nose is much more in line with what I'd expect from PLL then the last time I had this. Real nice soft and feminine nose with floral tones, red and black currants, some toasted oak tones, a bit of anise, and soft cranberries and cherries with some whisps of smoke tones hiding beneath

    taste: very upfront on the attack with good cranberry and black currant notes that are complimented with some anise, toasted oak, and floral tones

    overall: this is exactly what LaLande is about. A good feminine styled wine with class and elegance. Very nice silky feel to it some nice backbone and acidity with a good black currant and toasted oak finish

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  • 2005 Château Capbern-Gasqueton 88 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe

    nose: nice dark nose with chalk tones, dark cherries, black and red licorice, and red fruit characteristics

    taste: nice and easy with dark cherry, cranberry, black currant, and chalk tones

    overall:a very good wine that is a bit simple. Nice upfront nature about it but little depth outside the obvious. Good soft attack and a solid finish that makes this a good accessible left bank wine for 05 right now

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Flight 4 - bordeaux white and sauternes (2 Notes)

  • 2005 Château Carbonnieux Blanc 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    nose: really full nose with great flavors of melon, tangerines, lemon-lime tones, a bit of vanilla and just a bit of minerality

    taste: explosive flavors with a velvety edge to them of tangerines, melon rines, lemon peels, and various citrus fruits

    overall: This had been opened for a while when I got to it, so that definitely helped it. This one has a lot of elegance, but there is also that fun youthful exuberance to it right now. It needs more time to really show what it has, but this is an outstanding wine that is just delicious

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  • 1998 Château La Tour Blanche Sauternes 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    nose: nice honeyed nose with apricots and necatarines

    taste: really great feel with honey and necatarine tones

    overall: great botrytis flavors on this and length. Excellent viscosity and feel with classic flavors. An outstanding sauternes

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Closing

Because of the email not really being sent out, this was a small crowd, but it allowed me to do a lot of tasting while pouring, but more importantly really discuss the wines with customers and get their opinions while drinking. all of the wines showed great and like I said before, it was a massive surprise that there were no off bottles for the tasting and no corked bottles, especially when there were so many bottles being poured. This was one of the more fun tastings that I've been a part of(even if I am biased towards bordeaux, :))

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