80s Bordeaux Birthday dinner

Cotes Du Rhone Bistro(Chicago, IL)
Tasted Saturday, May 17, 2008 by KeithAkers with 998 views


Met up with some of the Chicago crew to do a bit of celebrating of both my birthday, and the birth of Ward's second son. This was also a great introduction of Jordan into the group. The main theme was originally first and second growths(with lynch, palmer, and La Mish also being allowed) or selected vintages(all of which were covered in this) but ended up turning into a great second growth+Lynch and Palmer tasting with a few other fun ones added in

Flight 1 - Kick off wine (1 Note)

Jordan brought this for some fun. This was really nice and I now want to try more La Lagunes from the 80s to get a better feel for what they bring

  • 1985 Château La Lagune 91 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc

    nose: great resolved bordeaux nose of soy sauce, herbs, mushrooms, anise, red and black currants, some barnyard tones, and a good cranberry core. Lots of secondary flavors on the nose

    taste: a good amount of cranberry with a good red fruit core along with barnyard tones with some mushrooms too

    overall: an excellent and outstanding wine with great feel and length. Great showing of a fully mature bordeaux with fully resolved tannins and accompanying secondary flavors with a nice herbal finish

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Flight 2 - Offical Lineup (7 Notes)

This was the offical part of the tasting and those middle three of the 89 Lynch, 90 Baron, and 90 LLC was just killer. I do wish that we had put the 83 Palmer last as I had some of it in a glass the entire evening and it was just amazing by the end

  • 1983 Château Palmer 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    nose: wonderfully pretty and effusive nose that shows the class of palmer with loads of floral tones, red currants, herbal spices, grilled steak meats, and later on barnyard tones(I said that it smelled like a giraffe's ass, it's my birthday celebration, don't ask) started to take hold along with more hi floral tones

    taste: wonderful soft cherry and cranberry tones that move into a beautiful floral treatment of lilacs, lavender, and geraniums accompanied with exotice spices on the mid palate and a bit of soy sauce on the back end of the palate

    overall: this wine was showing great by the end of the night. This was the first of teh offical wines, but in retrospect, showed even greater at the end. A beautiful and sexy bottle with silky length and feel that just exudes that palmer class. This wine is just genuine class

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  • 1985 Château Cos d'Estournel 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe

    nose: very velvety and layered nose with rounded edges of barnyard, herbs, various peppers, creamy red fruit and mushroom tones. This velevty nose is what I expected from an 85 with that elegance and class that you'd want from it

    taste: really velvety with a great red fruit core along with mushrooms, soy sauce, and varied pepper tones

    overall: something tells me that this is easily what the beautiful 04 can turn into. There is that great exotice quality that I have come to expect from Cos along with a great aged sexiness that this bottle brings. Nice lush attack and mid palate feel that leans into a beautiful and round finish of herbs and currants

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  • 1989 Château Lynch-Bages 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    nose: very youthful, but just starting to open up with huge classic Pauillac tones of pencil lead, lots of tobbaco leaf, cedar box, sour cranberry, and dark cherry tones. As the night went on, this even started to take on a green tea like aspect too. A fair amount of power on this nose while being very classic

    taste: insanely explosive red fruit flavors on the palate with loads of mocha, tobbaco, pencil shavings, cedar box, and cassis tones

    overall: I haven't yet had the 00 lynch, but this one is just something special. This is just starting to get into its window and this bottle was showing great. A truly amazing wine that shows the quality of the 89 vintage(and what may behold the 03 vintage in the future) with really explosive flavors and an insanely long finish. This was a very special bottle of Lynch and is well worth looking out for as this one will be rocking in 5-10 years

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  • 1990 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 97 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    nose: holy hell is this nose wide and broad but with a wonderful refinement to it. This is what Pichon Baron is about, it has shed that bullyness that it can bring in its youth and instead is a tower of a man that you just don't want to mess with. Loads of mocha flavors with black currants, anise, dark cherry, tobbaco, and sour cranberry notes. This nose just fills up your nostrils and takes hold right away and it is hard to stop smelling, but you just want to taste what it brings

    taste: okay, honestly, the first thought in my mind when tasting this was just wow. It was hard to even pick out the flavors gushing around in this great bottle of 90 PB w/o just thinking, wow. Loads of mocha, dark cherry, cranberry, anise, spice tones, and herbs just rush you and hit all points of the palate. This is just an amazing feel on the palate

    overall: a truly remarkable bottle of Pichon Baron. This just nearly took my breath away with its full but yet elegantly refined attack. Wonderful Length and feel that just encapsulates what you'd want from a wine. This wine can still get better as there is a tart youthful-ness to it. This wine is exactly why I love Pichon Baron

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  • 1990 Château Léoville Las Cases 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    nose: very alluring menthol and herb laced nose with smoke, graphite, kirsch, and toast complimented with roots and vegetables. Very pretty nose with serious elegance that evolved more and more over the evening and added some allspice notes too

    taste: Plush and elegant with wonderful spice notes, herbs, graphite, smoke, mocha, menthol, red fruits that evolved into more dark characteristics, and some vegetable aspects too.

    overall: a gorgeous and elegant wine with a bit of kick to it. Nice silky nose that evolved over the course the evening(and day as it had been a graphite bomb when first opened) adding some texture and silk to it also. Very plush and evolved on the palate, but you can sense that it's still young but make no mistake, this is starting to turn out into a beautiful wine. This will get better and will be a fun one to revisit in 5-10 years

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  • 1986 Château Léoville Las Cases 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    nose: very tight and first and unforgiving but starts to open up revealing a very interesting and precocious nose of anise(and lots of it), graphite, black currants, herbs, and a real nice core of dark red fruit tinged with some sweet spice tones

    taste: as precocious as the nose was, this is the opposite with a huge explosion on the attack of anise, graphite, tobbacco, cedar box, and sour cherries. Very bold and distinct flavors on the palate

    overall: tons of promise on this wine and it still needs to be layed down for another 15-20 years to really show what it has. When I was having this, I likened it to the 02 in some ways. This is an excellent wine with the hallmark 86 tannins that still very much exist with a big attack and finish. Still a very young wine, this one will be very interesting when it(if?) comes out of its shell

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  • 1982 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    nose: wonderfully alluring and feminine nose that posseses a sweet floral bouquet with bits of cedar, hints of anise, nice ripe red licorice tones, and soft cherry notes. A perfectly evolved nose that even adds in some slight hints of tar and blueberry hints. The nose posseses some nebbiolo-esque qualities while still having the bordeaux backdrop

    taste: like a southern belle that is elegant and refined, the feel is pure class with gorgeous floral notes, some green tea leaves, soft cherries, red currants, and bits of blueberries

    overall: a very pretty and elegant wine that is at full maturity, and yet still fairly young in a sense. There was very little bricking on it, but the color was a nice lighter red hue. Wonderfully silky with grace and elegance and a very pleasing blueberry and floral finish

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Flight 3 - After event cool downs (2 Notes)

This was really fun having the 03 Baron involved in this as it really provided a stark contrast to the other wines

  • 2003 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    nose: this provided a great contrast to all of the 80s bordeauxs that we had, in which right after having the ducru you smell this and BAM, hello 03. Huge and brawny with big ripe dark cherry tones, rich black currant flavors, loads of mocha, a lot of cedar box, tobbaco, and black berries. This is straight back to the gut punch style of Baron that I love

    taste: Massively huge almost pushing over the top(well, for a bordeaux that is) but holding back just a bit with balance intermingled with mocha, cedar planks, sour cranberries and sour cherries, and loads of black currant jam and black berry jam

    overall: This is a heavyweight wine that would be fun to slide into a blind california cabernet lineup. Big and brawny with massively flavors and a huge attack and finish, this one is a fun ride for sure. It toes the line of being too much, but there is something fun about the youth of this and this one will be tons of fun in the future to put up against the 00 to do a real interesting contrast. The bully was tamed a bit on the 90, but not even close here, what we have here is quintessential Pichon Baron in all of it's Heavyweight boxer glory.

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  • 1988 Château Rieussec 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    nose: wonderful aged botrytis filled nose of honey, pear, apricots, and some nectarine flavors. There is also something going on with this nose that I just can't put my finger on, but lordy do I want to keep on smelling

    taste: great honeyed apricot tones with pear and melon notes working in great balance. utterly beautiful and gorgeous feel

    overall: this turned into an "aha" moment as this was my first time with a truly aged sauternes. Just wonderful balance and length that is just so succulent and enjoyable

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A really great night and the wines were showing great. Could the Las Cases' have shown better, sure, but they still were great and the 90 Baron and the 89 Lynch were just fantastic. It's always great hanging out with this group of people, and was great adding in a new face to the fun insanity.

I also have to really give massive kudos to cotes du rhone. The food was just top notch and the chef made a really special dish just for us that was just pure heaven on a plate and really added to the fun of the night. What a great way to have a birthday dinner