Bordeaux in Bern (Bern, Switzerland): Incredibly intellectual. Mineral, mint and tobacco, a stunning Pauillac nose. Really nice spine to this, leafy and minty. It was actually a perfect counterpoint to a far more voluptuous 1990 Haut-Brion. As as always the case with Lafite, you had to "work for it" a bit, and this was showing beautifully.
Opened with a floral and leathery nose. Closed on the palate. We enjoyed some Chardonnay and a salad, then an appetizer, then another appetizer.... Long story shortened, it needed some time. Probably more than we could give it in a restaurant setting. After a good hour and a half it began to open up. Leather, coffee, dried fruit, with a hint of dark cherry and chocolate. I left the last third of the bottle with the manager (a friend of mine...obviously) and it was still opening and as bold as it could get. The next bottle will get 3 hours of aeration minimum. I think I have 2 left. These old First Growth wines are so unpredictable, but so worth it that I just lament having one less of them in my cellar. I love these things. You owe it to yourself to find one, or some and see this unique nose and taste for yourself. There is nothing like them in the world. Its sort of like flying First Class on an overseas flight. Its expensive, but once you've done it you'll talk about it forever.
Nose: Deep layered nose of truffles, cigar box, pencil shavings, cassis and baking spices. Palate: Just a suave pauillac with blackberry, cassis and a nice truffley earthy sweetness. Finish: long as can be with a nice graceful balance.
This is definitely rarefied air in Bordeaux, and handily beats the 89 in quality. Depth of flavor without weight that really is unique. Marc - cannot thank you enough for this treat.
I was just overcoming a cold, thus I leaned on my drinking mates for formal tasting and rating (good work if you can get it, eh lads?!). The nose was truly enchanting so, thankfully that attribute didn't escape me! I second EC's comment that this was stunning in how it never once faded, over all those hours. I also think my pals are tough graders - this showed really beautifully. Thanks for sharing, Marc!
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(Lafite Rothschild) What was this, 1988 Lafite Rothschild? Ok, we all know that China and Lafite are like Romeo and Juliet (or is it the other way around?), but no one attacked our table or ripped off our clothes, so the supply hasn’t dried up too significantly (just yet). The ’88 had a wonderful nose, very smoky in addition to the usual cedar, mineral and tobacco. It has nice vim, but I wouldn’t call it vigor. There was also some exotic chestnut on a secondary bed of cassis. Pencil was there, along with good spice. Long and hearty, the ’88 Lafite had good intensity without being intense. Carob, earth, tobacco and a kiss of wood flavors rounded out this excellent wine. My friend felt the wine still had another 15-20 years before it will start to plateau and/or gracefully decline, and I couldn’t argue with that. The ’88 Lafite was flirting with being outstanding with its carob flavors, light dust and slaty, minerally finish. There was still plenty of meat on dem der bones
(Lafite-Rothschild) was excellent as always, clearly having more intensity in its nose than anything prior. Nut, chocolate, cocoa, espresso bean, alcohol and the slightest hint of menthol all graced my nose. There were good tannins and balance to the palate with lots of minerals on the finish. The wine gained in the glass. It is an excellent Lafite and perhaps the wine of the vintage