A Magnum drunk at Amuse Bouche Hong Kong together with '34 Cheval Blanc. I have owned this Magnum for 6 years. It was originally supplied by O.W. Loeb and the occasion to compare it to the '34 Cheval Blanc was the perfect opportunity to open this wine. As is often the case with magnums the wine opened slowly but soon began to show those leafy Lafite characteristics. Once it had revealed itself there was no holding this wine back. The clarity was sparkling and on the palate the wine performed like something 50 years its junior. Indeed it was mistaken for "something from the '80s" on the night. There is nothing quite like old claret when it delivers.
This bottle was sourced from a member of the wine trade with deep contacts in Bordeaux. It was a very heavy bottle and about 70% of the label had disintegrated. The capsule was corroded, oxidized, and brittle. The cork was (amazingly) only a little crumbly and showed Lafite's branding.
This wine was from the best vintage of the 30's and had dropped a lot of sediment. It had a red center and light puce rims. The nose was quite mute at first and this was an excellent sign. Usually, these old wines are rather funky when first opened. After a couple hours, it developed a medium intensity nose of cherries, roses, tea, almond paste, and some Cuban cigar. This bottle's nose was shockingly fresh! On the nose alone I might have guessed the '59.
In the mouth, this wine was round with a light, velvety presence that just flowed over your palate like silk. There were some light rounded tannins but the wine was so integrated, balanced, and long it was mind boggling.
I was hoping this wine would be good, given the sketchy condition of the label and capsule. My hopes were more that realized as this bottle was terrific! This is another example of how fill and color are the most important indicators of quality.
Not rated. Opened at Chateau Aiguefonde near Castres in the south of France at the occasion of a postponed family-trip to celebrate the 80th birthday of my mother, born in 1934. Level high shoulder. Turbid, unpleasant smell. Gone. Fortunately the 1934 Haut Brion was in somewhat better shape.
Looking like a glass of rose hip tea, picture walking into a cedar closet, smoking an Cuban cigar with rocks and rose bushes and fresh cherries on the floor and you get the idea of how this smells. Youthful, spicy and packed with cassis and cherries, there was a touch of rusticity to the tannins, but it was not at all intrusive. I know I've been blessed, as I've tasted this 3 times now. Just when you think you're never going to taste it again, out comes another bottle.
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