Tasted next to an impressive barrel sample of 2014 which could well turn out to be the better wine in the long run. Expressive and perfumed on the nose, ripe fruit, floral notes, a bit of earthy, spicy characteristics underneath. On the palate tight but opening with still rather firm tannins, bright freshness with not too much generosity. A bit linear with good length. 91-93
Tuesday Night Double Blind $60+ (Bin 75): Black core with reddish violet rim; new, tar, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, modern; fleshy, firm acid, dark fruit, chocolate, smooth tannin; soft and tasty but needs to put on some more weight with age (hopefully), seems almost prepubescent with some upside potential.
Cedar, tobacco, flowers, blackberry and wet earth on the nose, with a medium body and a lightness in the fruit, the wine lacks the concentration found in the better wines from the vintage. The finish has dusty tannins and plums in the end note.
Landmark Hotel Decanter . Masterclass with Nicolas Glumineau. Coolness of fruits on the nose, ripe red and black fruits, classic style of power and elegance. Spicy and peppery finish. This is drinking beautifully now. As were most of the left bank wines tasted at the event, my favourites including Beychevelle and Branaire-Ducru, showing sweet ripe fruits, wet stones, tobacco leaves and minerals
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(Chateau Pichon-Lalande Pauillac) A slightly sweet, toasty, marshmallow element to the nose here, with an element of cooked fruit here too. Rather leaner than expected on the palate, rather stony too. There is a nice substance, a slightly chewy-juicy feel, although it has rather a confected, sweet fruit character which is certainly less appealing. Quite firmly composed in terms of structure, and very dominated by tannins on the second taste. I find this tasting disappointing - I have previously been impressed by this wine at two years of age. What's happened here? Is this wine just having a bad day, or is it something more than that? In view of these concerns I returned to the wine later in the day, in order to taste from a fresh bottle. My opinion, however, was unchanged. I can only hope that this is an awkward moment for this wine, otherwise Bordeaux savants with cases of Pichon-Lalande in their cellar might well be disappointed. A conservative ranged score here.
(Pichon Lalande) We began with a disappointing 2005 Pichon Lalande. Its nose was lightly roasted and nutty with aromas of coffee. While elegant, the dryness of its tannins and acidity jumped out. There were lighter, nutty flavors of black tea present, but it did not have the depth I have come to expect for this reliable Chateau (91).
(Chateau Pichon-Lalande Pauillac) A beautifully pure, dense, summer fruit nose here, elegant, but showing vigour. This is a real delight on the palate; harmonious, elegant and composed, showing a lot of vigour, direction and elegance, There is a slight fleshiness to the texture, with fresh, lifting acidity and beautifully hidden tannins. This is very fine indeed and has superb potential.
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