After slow oxing for a couple hours, the nose had developed what seemed to be some mild TCA underneath an otherwise aromatic nose of black fruit and earth tones. The palate, however, was in a great place, with lots of tertiary flavors of leather, pepper and herbs complementing the fairly dense fruit.
Blind Dinner at Mark's (Chicago, IL): Served blind. Really funky nose. I think there's some mild TCA going on here, though the palate doesn't seem to show it at all. Really barnyardy. Cabernet-based for sure, from the green pepper tones. Very earthy as well, I called this as a Bordeaux from the mid 80s. Very austere, with some flavours of leather and tobacco as well. Drying up, drink these sooner rather than later.
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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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