Riper fruit on the nose compared to the 2010 - not cooked or stewed but quite sweet and rich. Notes of tobacco and smoky oak. Good grip on the palate, fresh, lots of fruit, but a hollow and drying. 91-92(+)
Landmark Hotel Decanter Masterclass with Nicolas Glumineau. i did not enjoy this wine at all, out of balance, dilute and oaky. I tried it at the Puchon stand too, so I cannot put it down to a bad bottle. Too modern, too oaky, lacking structure and balance.
HDH Auction (Tru - Chicago, IL): Super dense and dark. You could see the PLL floral notes in there, but it'll take a lot of time for the baby fat to fall away. The palate is thick, and sweet - reminded some of us of something out of the New World than Bordeaux. I consider myself a huge fan of PLL, so it was disappointing that this is so disjointed at this point. Will be interesting to revisit in time.
HDH Bordeaux Auction; 10/31/2014-11/1/2014 (Chicago, IL): Cuvee de Napa? This is more new world than the Dominus we've been having. A very offensive nose of coconut and oak, as well as a bunch of overripe fruit. The palate is stripped and empty, and there's a lot of that oak character showing (and not much else). Some of us thought this might be an off bottle; I'm not convinced there was anything wrong with it -- apart from the overripe grapes.
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(Chateau Pichon-Lalande (Pauillac)) An exotic, lightly spiced nose that is redolent of the Pichon vintages of old that I loved. It has fruit freshness and perfume, but also suggests a certain spice and substance and depth. A supple start on the palate, and then the fruit is lifted by a balanced texture and gentle substance coming in underneath, showing a fine grip. And then, in the finish, the tannins finally show their face, ripe and fine-grained, with a long, spicy finish. A very restrained and elegant, dare I say feminine character here. This is a great Pichon-Lalande.
(Chateau Pichon-Lalande Pauillac) A good vibrant hue here, with a bluish tinge at the rim. Dark, concentrated, spicy fruit with a nice, gritty style. There is both purity and depth here, but also fruit complexity. The composition on entry is quite fine, and underneath there is a velvety coat of tannins, big and ripe. Quite harmonious though, elegantly composed, with a good spark of acidity too. Pichon-Lalande is sometimes accused of missing the boat on great vintages - as with 1990 and 2005 - but on the basis of this wine - admittedly nothing more than an early barrel sample - that doesn't appear to be the case in 2009.
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