My last bottle and this one perfect for dinner at home on a cold wintry evening (itself a rare pleasure in Hong Kong). Wines like this make you think that the warm perfumed mineral character makes the St Julien nose the most classic, if not the most beautiful, in all of Bordeaux. Yet another object lesson of patience and restraint in opening one's age-worthy Bordeaux, it's amazing how these wines repay the wait... Alternatively, if buying for drinking now, then focus on the 1980s where there's currently such great value -- and pleasure -- to be had!
Opened and decanted about 30 minutes before dinner. The cork broke in half but was extracted (in two pieces) without much further difficulty. First impression was of foul must and damp wood but this blew off within 20 minutes or so.
In the glass, magenta at the core fading to siena and brick red at the edges. The forward palette was of tobacco, leather and earth but the finish resonated with very deep dark berry notes. Overall an integrated, well balanced wine with ageless, omnipresent complexity. The most notable feature in the mouth was its penetrating depth.
The '86 Talbot is at the final moments of its drinking window on the pleasure spectrum although I would imagine that it would still produce academic insights for those with a mind toward such activity for a couple of decades to come.
Textbook Left Bank. Remarkably fresh, sweet blackcurrant and plum aromas you can smell across the table. Very fragrant cedar, sweet tobacco, a little leather (but not the brett often associated with Cordier--this bottle was clean as a whistle). Structure totally resolved. Hits every point on the palate, with some refreshing acidity at the back end. What Cabernet is all about.
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(Talbot) The second flight led off with the 1986 Talbot. There were lots of green beans and olives in the nose, which was a bit waxy and spiny, though also clean. Some tickling crushed red fruits rounded out the nose, which also had a little bathwater edge to it. The palate was much more classic; it had sweet, tasty and nutty fruit and a spicy palate that had mineral, earth and game flavors. Sweet cassis, nut and caramel flavors were also there. It was thick in the mouth but balanced, classic and delicious despite a bit of awkwardness to its aromatics (93).
(Chateau Talbot St Julien) Surprisingly a tawny rim - this is a relatively youthful wine. The nose has classic rich ink and liquorice. Smooth palate, good tannins, acidity good, well balanced, nice fruit. Smoky notes give some complexity. Finishes smoothly. Good length.
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