Surprisingly dark in colour, evolved nose, but a bit shy, elegant, classic. On the palate starting slowly, pure fruit, spicy, a bit lean, then opening up, showing much more intensity and power. Fresh, elegant, a bit dying. Great finish, long and lingering. 91-93
Needed 30-60mins in decanter to settle, after which plenty of bite but a disappointingly watery finish. With an extra hour of air it developed lovely tobacco and cedar aromas that I love from St Julien's, except in the mouth it doesn't have the lushness of a hot vintage (e.g. 89/90) nor velvet feel of 85, nor freshness of 96. It's got those 83-vintage drying tannins. Frankly smells better from the empty glass later than at the time of drinking. I do not like many 83's though, have felt their time has past and this case just re-affirms it. Drink up. From a perfect bottle from my cellar, so others may not show even as well at this.
Lots of initial acidity, which took 2hrs in a decanter to integrate after which the wine became rich and wonderful for a window before drying out (which I've found recently with many 83s). Lots of mushrooms, forest floor and a window of wonderful tobacco. This is mature and will not improve, but will hold for 3-5yrs at this level. I'll try a 6hr slow ox next time. Not too much sediment. Only for lovers of classic and mature bordeaux, for me the 85 is a significantly better wine (mind you, I love the 85 St Julien style) for the same price.
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(Chateau Léoville-Poyferré St Julien) Moderately deep hue. Reserved, stylish nose, a touch floral, with red fruit notes. Textured palate, a little creamy, although it doesn't quite have the desired body through the midpalate. Integrated tannins and good flavour though. A little length. Good, although this chateau has turned out much better wines in more recent vintages. Ready now.
(Chateau Léoville-Poyferré St Julien) A mature colour, but still with bright red nuances. Sweet, ripe but gamey fruit on the nose. This is followed by a lovely presence on the palate. A meaty, mouthfilling weight, with plenty of sweet fruit. A low level of ripe tannins provide some backbone, and there's correct acidity. This is a more brawny, slightly harder wine, and lacks the elegance of some other vintages. Nevertheless, there is quality here.
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