We were shocked that this bottle--badly stored for some time--was even drinkable. Cork, saturated, slipped out when detached from the lead seal. But color was correct, deep crimson, with no visible browning from age. Nose had good cassis and some graphite, but not terribly potent. Palate was very fine, with dark fruit and some secondary flavors, and fully integrated tannins; smooth as silk. Not big, and not a very long finish. A triumph of genes over environment, but certainly not the best example of this wine, I'd have to guess (and unlikely to experience the better example of this vintage!)
Drunk at a '59 vs '61 dinner at the Mandarin Grill. This was a pristine bottle, such beautiful clarity for a wine of this age. The wine exhibited all the leafy Lafite characteristics but as with the '61 La Mission Haut Brion it suffered from the 'poured first and drunk too fast syndrome'. It did leap out of the blocks very quickly but perhaps didn't have quite as much to unfurl as the '59 Latour or '59 Mouton.
Dave's 50th birthday celebration. What a wine. Recorked at the chateau in 1991, last bottle from my 60th birthday present. Cork came out whole using The Durand. At first a little funky nose, which blew off after half hour or so. They a gorgeous nose with all sorts of stuff going on. Color was unbelievably dark with hardly a hint of bricking. The finish was long as I have ever experienced in a wine.
This was obviously a fabulous wine with "pop," as Hugh noted. Perhaps some of the youthful liveliness was related to the fact is was recorked at the chateau in 1990. Never mind, the exquisite balance, incomparable complexity of old Bordeaux was wonderful and refused to fade over 3 hours in the glass. Both the color and even the smell, perhaps by association, reminded me of mahogany. Bordeaux rules when it comes to very old wine - if you're lucky.
This is the second time I have tried this wine. This time it was slightly more muted nose and lacked that lead pencil mid palate. However, the fruit was so well integrated. Dark bowl of mature cherry and cedar box. It was a great mellow wine that repeatedly forced me to swirl and enjoy the ride. At peak for my palate
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(Lafite Rothschild) The 1959 Lafite Rothschild was more factory fresh, as in reconditioned. Deep cigar and chocolate slowly emerged from within. The palate was full and chalky, and a big debate ensued about reconditioning or ‘topping off.’ While it was ‘lovely,’ it tasted ‘too young to be fifty years old.’ Thankfully, most producers have stopped the practice. The wine was still outstanding, but it didn’t show as many mature nuances I wanted, especially after the 1945 (95).
(Lafite Rothschild) A 1959 Lafite Rothschild was reconditioned in 1998, perhaps a bit too much so. It was sweet and gamy with lots of t ‘n a in the nose, but it came across younger more than older; it didn’t find the right balance that a great reconditioned wine should have. The palate was sweet and chocolaty, flirting with figgy, nicely dense and with flavors of leather, spice and cassis. Lawrence admired its ‘excellent finish,’ and while the wine was tasty, it was a bit hot and lacked the depth that I wanted and expect from this wine. It was still very good, but it should have been outstanding (92).
(Lafite Rothschild) had a fabulous nose with absolutely stunning fruit dominated by pure Pauillac cassis. Best supporting aroma nominations included pencil, walnut, tobacco and caramel. It was Eddie’s favorite nose of the flight, and it was, indeed, a heavenly nose. The palate was pure and classic Lafite all the way, with a touch of ‘menthol,’ as Jim noted. Meaty and rich, this ’59 was absolutely delicious and one of the best experiences I have ever had with this wine
(Lafite Rotchschild) despite the handicap of being opened about 12 hours prior, was still the class of the flight to me. It was rich and honeyed in its cassis qualities and clearly had the best acidity of any wine in the flight. It was still big and round despite its smoother and suppler overall character, and it was indubitably a great magnum
(Lafite-Rothschild) more than made up for the 1953. It had a spiny nose with lots of t 'n a and a cleaner edge. There was also nut, grape and cassis - its fruit was very young and very fresh for its age, and the wine also had lots of oomph and finish, the biggest finish of the flight. There was lots of edar, earth and mineral flavors and a great, long finish. The palate was round and long and had it all . fruit, finish and acid. It was an outstanding bottle
(Lafite Rothschild) The third wine .smelled great. Andy remarked right away, and it did have a delicious nose. The nose was deep, chunky and chocolaty and really stood out as youthful, containing a touch of malt soda. The wine was rich, creamy and smooth, long yet feminine in a skin-tight, full leather outfit kind of way. Delicious and exquisitely balanced, the wine was super smooth yet noticeably larger than the first wine of this flight, almost like a bigger, stronger brother. The wine got spicier in the glass,
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