Thew new year's resolution for most California producers of cabernet sauvignon ought to be to drink more Bordeaux. A wine like this '95 Lafon-Rochet sells for under $50 a bottle and has the longevity to last 2-3 decades in the bottle. Low alcohol, moderate tannins and plenty of balance and complexity to excite the snootiest of wine drinkers. These wines are elegant and made for food and conversation. Your senses will thank you for the pleasant engagement. Wines that numb are dumb!
This particular bottle shows the faintest hint of being corked but I am speaking to a shadow rather than a noticeable flaw.
Dark garnet turning ruby at the rim, medium body, charming legs that form suddenly a few seconds after swirling. Classy nose of white pepper, herbs de Provence, and earthy wet leather. Smooth in the mouth, very mid-palate concentration of licorice, berries and nicely balanced tannins. Surprisingly, this wine has a few more years of growth in front of it. Very good value.
This is the best this wine has shown for me, and the key was decanting it 2.5 hours ahead. It's usually been thin and closed in the past, but this bottle was rich and aromatic, with plum and a hint of mint and spices. Fully saturated and developed. Incredible what a couple of hours of air did to this wine.
Fine perfume nose. Delicate and complex. On opening prunes and stewed fruits opened almost immediately. Later aromas revealed some barnyard. Chocolate and lamb. Mouth is a rich and velvety. A little thinness on the palate but generous medium length.
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(Chateau Lafon-Rochet St Estèphe) From half-bottles. The most mature colour of the four wines tasted gives some clue as to the age. The nose is classic although quite dense. It starts off with a touch of sweet fruits and some notes of oak, but opens out to reveal vegetal notes of arriving maturity. On the palate it is rounded, a touch grippy, with a little unresolved tannin, although overall it has a loose, open-knit feel to it. Low to moderate acidity. At present seems poorly integrated and awkward, muddy is a description that comes to mind, like some other 1995s I have tasted recently.
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