It has a healthy maroon hue with notes of smoke, tobacco, melted asphalt, scorched earth and red, black and blue fruits. It opens and persists nicely developing more smokey and some truffly notes which greatly adds to its allure. Over time the truffle and rich cherry fruit come to the fore giving this a luxurious feel. This wine has low acidity and a touch of heat, which has perhaps been attenuated with age but it doesn't really detract from the enjoyment of the wine because of the wine's other attributes, it has a decent length too. Maybe what differentiates this from Haut Brion and La Mission is the exquisite perfect equilibrium and tension they have compared to the Pape. But that is probably nitpicking and certainly wasn't 'fixed' from 1998 by making these wines more extracted. Anyhow this is a delicious and super-ripe wine that delivers a lot of pleasure.
Big Bordeaux IX (Kevin's house 4/18/15. Lower acidity than the 86 Cos d'Etournel. Sweet round, soft tannins. Lots of fruit; both red and blue. Rich body; as Joe said "chewy". Complex palate. Fine wine.
Big Bordeaux IX (Kevin's house): Slow -O for 2 hours, decanted for 60 minutes; drank 1 glass over 3 hrs and then had another small pour after that. Dense and rich, brooding. There is smoke and tobacco on the nose and palate. The palate is very rich with dark fruit and many layers. There is good complexity. Nice tannins. The wine overall seemed "chewy" at first and calmed down over time.
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