Nose: tobacco, leather, earthy, plum, olive, spice, clove, cinnamon. Palate: tobacco, cedar, leather, earth, spice box, blackberry, plum, high tannin, sweet spice. Lots of finesse, balanced, good tertiary. By far the best of the vertical from the master class.
A Matter of Taste: London Edition (Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea): Surprisingly mature with cedar, tobacco and dark fruit on the nose. Smooth rich deep palate and a long length. Is it worth the money? - Well I would never refuse a glass from a bottle that somebody opened but I don't think I would be the one with the bottle.
To be honest this wine was much more developed than expected. In the bouquet cedar, tobacco, earth, sweet spices, licorice, still some dark berry fruits and also some celery. All comes back on the palate in a beautiful way with good acidity and soft, but firm tannin. The celery in the bouquet worries me a bit, so I would love to taste this again around 2020 to see how the wine developed. (I am an optimist and keep dreaming … ;-))
The oldest vintage in a mini-vertical of 2011, 2008 and 2006. Very dark centre, but showing a bit of evolution around the rim. Quite open on the nose, very complex and deep with some secondary notes. Earth, violets, mint, spices, tobacco, dark fruit, cedar... quite kaleidoscopic and beautiful. On the palate the by far most approachable of the four and actually surprisingly evolved at this stage. Spicy with silky but still rather firm tannins, good fruit, great balance overall. The finish is lovely and very persistent. I wish I could drink this again with a bit of more age! 96-98+
Lovely purple color, but very closed, with some tar in the bouquet and flavor, but not much more. Balance fairly good. This wine may have been too young for an accurate opinion, and only time will tell.
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(Ausone) The 2000 Ausone was likened to a ‘Tahiti beach’ with its very exotic nose. There were definite sunscreen and cocoa butter aromas, wrapped around a cedary centerpoint. While it was clearly the best of the three wines, all of the Ausones were quite similar in their personality and power, more similar than I would have expected given the diversity of style of these three consecutive vintages. Much to my surprise, three out of four in attendance preferred the Ausone to the Cheval! I was a bit surprised, as I clearly preferred the Cheval across the board.
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