Chosen because easily accessible in the wine fridge when more claret was called for, this wine disappointed after the Sociando-Mallet and Haut-Brion being shorter, harder and less complex. An unfair placing probably.
Leoville Poyferre had singular aromas of lacy blue fruits, lifted menthol, plums, raspberries, flowers, gravel, leather and cedar. Its elegant, longiliniear, reserved and neat palate has some style, a traditional feel, with very good layering, and freshness. Ended pretty long and convincing with silky tannins.
I have mixed impressions of this wine. First sniff and sip were excellent with round body, fine claret fragrance, hints of wet leather and wax adding complexity, still bright acidity and firm tannins on the finish. But, first, my wife piped up and said "I smell shit, isn't that brett?" and, then, the pairing, succulent marbled fillet steak, produced that unpleasant oily note which I have sometimes found before with beef and claret, but not with the beef and Pontet-Canet a few days ago. Perhaps I shouldn't blame the wine for that but the magic was broken and was not recreated with the last sips after the beef was finished when the wine seemed harder than at first. If brett there was, it was at first for me only the faint background kind which adds to complexity but it may have developed in the open bottle. Nevertheless good but should have been better. I will chose lamb as a pairing for my second bottle.
Enjoyed a lovely evening accompanied by the 94 vintage this evening.
Bottle - impeccable condition, level about 1cm under the cork Condition - enjoyed with some low profile cheese and bread Colour - still quite dark red - smooth in the glass Nose - for me, an immediate hint of coco powder and chocolate, followed by forest fruits. Taste - even after 20 years it still hits a punch in nose, flavour and taste.
Great wine - I would say couple more years left inside, but thoroughly enjoyable now !!!
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(Chateau Léoville-Poyferré (St Julien)) This has a remarkable dense hue, with an obviously evolved, mahogany hue despite the near-opaque appearance. The nose has a fine aromatic quality, rich in balsamic tones, very evolved but also bright and forceful. It is also very clean - should the term balsamic suggest something vinegary let me be clear this is not so - there is nothing acetic here. Instead we have sweet perfumed black fruits, overlaid with dark liquorice with an angelica sweetness, moving into a richness that even suggests treacle toffee sprinkled with burnt raspberries. Aromatically, it is enticing and convincing. It is on the palate that the character of the vintage shows, the balsamic and liquorice fruit, mixed here with graphite, stone, black olive and tar, carried along within a surprisingly lean texture. For my palate it works well, and I like the precise edge of the texture in combination with that very savoury fruit profile, but many drinkers of modern Bordeaux may wonder where the flesh and sweetness is. This all flows through the palate very well, accepting this edgy texture, and towards the end it does indeed show a richer body, and there is a little length as well, although always with that crunchy, crushed, fruit-skin feel to it. The tannins show a little in the finish too, adding just a little sharpness, but otherwise this seems perfectly integrated now. Delicious. Drinking well, although it will keep for some time yet.
(Chateau Léoville-Poyferré St Julien) Lovely colour, still with depth, good intensity at the rim, and a hue that suggests youthfulness. And a classic nose, too. Stylish, very typical, mineral fruit, with some exotic soy sauce and liquorice notes. Full, structured, very dry, with grippy tannins still showing through the midpalate, good depth and texture, and more than a little extract here. Smoky, stony fruit. Short finish with some furry tannins. Just at the stage I like claret - still with fruit, but balanced, with largely integrated tannins, and showing interest and typicity. And still probably on the way up. At best over the next 5-8 years.
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