Magnum. Recent bottles have been tired, but in magnum this was still pretty good. Mature colour, some lightening at rim. Mature, some vigour, needs drinking though. Good with a filet de boeuf with béarnaise, and with a runny brie de meaux. On its own, a little sharp and showing a touch of caramel. Drink up.
Decanted this just before tasting; cork was intact, soaked 2/3rds through; fill was top of shoulder. Dark red with slight browning at the edge. Initially a bit musty on the nose but this blew-off rapidly. On the palate - light to medium weight, graphite, and perhaps creosote, with a strong savory character and dusty tannins. This all integrated nicely over the next 30 minutes into a nice 27 year old Bordeaux; slowly tends towards drying out after an hour but much better than I expected.
750 ml, my last in this format. Tired, past its best. Fruit & caramel on the nose, similar palate. Echoes of what was once a better wine. We did not finish the bottle. Will try my 3 remaining magnums soon.
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(Château Léoville-Poyferré (St Julien)) The colour in the decanter is really quite vibrant, showing a deeper hue with no great maturity to its tones. Yes, there is a slight hint of oxblood to it at the rim, but overall it has plenty of deep and dark pigment suggesting freshness and depth. Aromatically there are plenty of positive notes, a real blast of liquorice and high-toned black fruits at first, as it settles in the decanter and the glass revealing more interest, although not in an entirely desirable manner. There is a mature, savoury, suggestion of sweetly braised beef on the nose, with a gamey touch which I like. There are also fleeting touches of green though, nuances of green olive, eucalyptus and sharp fruit; happily it is not domineering, and there is plenty of red-black fruit substance here as well. A good freshness on the palate, full and rich, with a really grippy structure through the middle. The vintage has a reputation for being tannic and hard, but the tannins here give a really appealing frame for the rest of the palate, and there is certainly good weight and fresh, bright acidity too. This comes through in the finish, which has a semi-sour bite and fine acids. The greener notes found on the nose do not really come through on the palate. The fruit has a bright raspberry and blackcurrant tone even after all these years. It has a really appealing supple weight through the middle, with a soft and cleanly fading finish. Overall an appealing wine with a vigorous finish. What it lacks is finesse and the multi-faceted complexity ageing wines can bring. There are some notes of black tea leaves, but little else, There is time ahead for this wine, admittedly, but I'm not convinced it will suddenly blossom. To describe it as foursquare would be a bit mean, but it is certainly a bold and substantial rather than multifaceted wine. Good with venison, though!
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