Tom's House, Palo Alto, CA
Tasted Thursday, December 6, 2007 by Richard Jennings with 318 views
Introductory comments by tasting organizer Ross Bott:
The 1982 vintage was a study in contrasts in France and California. The vintage was almost perfection in France, beginning with an early flowering, and warm, dry June extending into the rest of summer, and a very large, excellent crop primed for harvest in early September. Then the weather took a sudden right turn, with three weeks of intense heat and rain-free days. This took the harvest from excellent to superb -- to quote Robert Parker "Nineteen eighty-two is one of the greatest vintages of this century".
In California, after a wet winter and a mild summer, the rains came in late September. While not nearly as disastrous as 1989, the best Cabernet Sauvignons were again produced by winemakers who kept yields low. This said, of the 1982's we've tried over the years, most have shown very well, both in terms of structure and concentration. The style of the fruit was less the sunny California ripeness and more the Bordeaux "grip".
A note about our last 1982 Bordeaux vs California Cabernet Sauvignon tasting back in 2001 -- not only did the California Cabernets finish 1-3-5, but most found the wines virtually impossible to distinguish in character from the Bordeaux!
Tonight, in the 25th anniversary year for the 1982 vintage, we will try four Bordeaux from different appellations, headed by Lynch Bages and Haut Marbuzet, against California Cabernets made by a renowned winemaker: Warren Winariski, Jerry Luper, and Al Brounstein.