Comments on my notes

(234 comments on 180 notes)

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Red
1996 Château Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
4/4/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
96 points
Gorgeous right out of the bottle with an intense, saturating nose. Terrifically complex, with blueberry compote, pencil, wood smoke, sandalwood, squid ink, and a kiss of lavender. The more air this gets, the more pure the blueberry becomes and the more th lavender emerges. Big on the palate, but beautifully balanced and with a long, flavorful finish it’s hard not to be optimistic about the future. 96+
  • englishman's claret commented:

    4/5/20, 6:15 AM - Hi Mark,
    Nice to have two!! The trouble with wines in early maturity is that the next one could be closed down hard. It’s not at its apogee now and if you can wait, I would!
    Cheers

  • englishman's claret commented:

    4/5/20, 10:02 AM - Ditto. Cheers!

Red
2014 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
4/28/2019 - englishman's claret wrote:
94 points
The 2014 Ducru-Beaucaillou is an unqualified success. Decanted and followed for 4 hours, the initial cherry, redcurrant, pomegranate nose quickly transitions into an altogether darker cassis and mineral profile which is classically St Julien with Ducru-Beaucaillou’s trademark elegance. Amazing purity both on the nose and palate. Very lively on the palate with wonderful acidity. 100% new oak is always used at DB but the wines are never overly-oaky.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    6/6/19, 2:55 AM - Well I suppose it depends on what stage you want. If you like youthful wines in early maturity, 10 years. If you want to see it mature, wait 20.

  • englishman's claret commented:

    4/4/20, 8:24 AM - Sorry to miss this Dave. I think 8 years should be just fine :)

Red
2017 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
1/25/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
95 points
Don’t overlook Pauillac in 2017. The nose here is very Baron - smoke, mineral, blackberry all polished, plush, and very deep. This seems to drop off a little bit on the palate but finishes well.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    3/3/20, 12:46 PM - Ha! Dave, a man after my own heart. So long as you have basic shelter, most of the rest should go to wine.

    Re: the 17 Baron, I should think this would really start to shine at about 12 years and probably remain at its apogee for about 25 after that (plus or minus depending on your taste). The only reason I am not more bullish about its aging potential is that it seemed a bit short on the palate.

    Re: my general wellbeing - thank you for asking! Things are well and I hope they are for you, too. I've been tasting a lot of young wines to decide what I really want to lay down. In part, I'm making sure I have the 2016s I want because I do think they will show very well for 50-60+ years. One particularly good mature find was an OWC 6 pack of single owner 82 Mouton from France. You can always find 82 Mouton, but finding original wood and a supply that hasn't already been traded a dozen times is getting quite tricky...

  • englishman's claret commented:

    3/16/20, 9:26 AM - Dave, best wishes with the coronavirus situation - stay hunkered down and enjoy your wine!!
    Cheers
    Marc

  • englishman's claret commented:

    3/18/20, 8:29 AM - Hang in there, Dave - stay safe and healthy. Sounds like the reunion with your wine cellar will be something great to look forward to!

  • englishman's claret commented:

    3/18/20, 9:46 AM - Hi Dave,

    Re: the Baron's palate situation - I don't mean to suggest it's a flaw, just a result of a year which didn't produce wines with the greatest depth of fruit. As the wine ages, I would expect it to remain a little more svelte and elegant on the palate than the 2016, for example, which should remain richer and fruitier (think 1961 vs. 1962).

    Re: Wine in Florida - you might consider "Wine Watchers". I've not bought from them, but they have a good reputation.

  • englishman's claret commented:

    3/19/20, 12:25 PM - Hi Dave,

    Yes it is certainly legal to check wine in baggage. Check out the "vin garde valise" if you haven't seen it. I have one and it works well.

    Best,
    Marc

Red
2016 Château Montrose St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
3/18/2020 - Keith Levenberg Likes this wine:
99 points
I almost wasn't going to sample this, because some other high-end 2016s seem as if they're starting to retreat from their early drinking windows. I'm glad I threw caution to the wind, because this is a knockout from the very first sip and brimming with personality, not even close to putting up that closed-for-business sign. That's not to say the tannin isn't prominent, because it is - the sort of seriously sinewy tannin that seems to infuse the fruit from inside out, and a dramatic style contrast to the ultra-finessed Cos. But it doesn't get in the way of the wine because the other stuff is just as bold. The aromatics offer a big smack of pencil fillings and ashy tobacco smoke that you can smell across the room with more of the same dominating the palate. The impression is very Pauillac-like but more intensely muscular and big-boned, in other words a pretty good demo of the essence of St.-Estephe, and a future legend of a Montrose.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    3/18/20, 8:28 AM - I haven't opened any of mine, but you are making it hard not to! Thanks for the note, Keith.

Red
2016 Azienda Agricola Montevertine Le Pergole Torte Toscana IGT Sangiovese
7/9/2019 - englishman's claret wrote:
86 points
Yikes - really overblown stuff; blackberry, licorice, cocoa. Hot and aggressive. Similar palate. Tiring to drink.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    2/25/20, 7:20 AM - My qualm is mainly with the prominence of the alcohol and extraction - I have a hard time understanding how bottle variation or a fault would explain that. Funny enough, I tasted this without knowing anything much about the wine or seeing the critic scores. Looking at the published 98-99 point tasting notes, the notes are actually quite similar to mine, reflecting a black fruit profile and "off the charts intensity" "rich dense and explosive." On that basis, I think it's likelier that this is a wine like 2003 Pavie that some will completely love and others will dislike. Totally glad that these folks are making a wine they like and that lots of people obviously want to buy and drink, but it's not my cup of tea. Have you tasted this?

  • englishman's claret commented:

    2/25/20, 9:11 AM - Well, I agreed with Galloni about "off the charts intensity" and "rich dense and explosive" - surely not elegant, irrespective of whatever redeeming or admirable features someone with taste different to mine might find!

  • englishman's claret commented:

    3/15/20, 8:23 PM - Winequant, I agree with you that it's amazing how two people can taste the same thing and certain features can be so prominent to one and not another, or appealing to one and not another. That's the value of having different palates writing about wine. All I can say in addition to the above is that I'm is glad you liked it and hope you enjoy your bottles.

Red
2009 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
9/22/2018 - englishman's claret wrote:
95 points
This was probably at its apogee about 2.5 hours in the decanter, showing a really forward, shockingly charming personality full of ripe blackcurrant, cedar, pencil, mineral, leather, and just a hint of ganache on the nose. Dash of violet on the palate. So pure and long. This may not be the longest lived Barton, but it is so terribly bewitching now. I could easily finish a bottle (or mag?) myself. It knows just where to go. I am bewitched. I will be buying more. 95+
  • englishman's claret commented:

    7/27/19, 9:57 AM - I don’t mean to imply exactly that - I do think this will continue to evolve really nicely and I have a bunch of these that I will plan on opening over the next 30 years. It’s just drinking so amazingly well now and while it will surely be great at 30, I’m not sure that it will be as strong at 60 (which sounds odd, but there are so many 59s drinking beautifully right now)

  • englishman's claret commented:

    3/3/20, 12:40 PM - Glad you enjoyed it, Tim - and don't feel badly... it's that kind of wine! Really one of the high points of 09.

Red
2016 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
This is no joke. 2nd time with this bottling. My first pour of this lovely wine, there was a small floating piece of something? Weird. Swirling around this smells so fresh and tasty, cardamom and pencil lead and cassis, true pauillac Bordeaux. This thing is bothering me. I swirl around my glass to the point it finally sticks to the side of the glass. Pull it out with my pinky. No joke, this is a piece of a pencil shaving. Wood, with a lead edge. Wtf, my glass was empty.

Great wine - even if they are stuffing it with pencil shavings !
  • englishman's claret commented:

    2/28/20, 9:25 AM - There are no pencil shavings in your wine.

Red
1996 Château Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
2/25/2020 - dream Likes this wine:
95 points
This is a beautiful Mouton that lacks the usual exotic side of this great terroir but it's very Pauillac in style with black fruits and wonderful graphite mineral notes. So silky and sleek with a firm underlying structure and just a fantastic refined complexity that builds towards a finesse-driven finish with hints of tobacco, sweet gravel and lead pencil. To me, more mature than the Margaux or Latour drunk alongside but there's still upside here as the structure softens further.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    2/25/20, 11:27 AM - How much air did you give this?

  • englishman's claret commented:

    2/28/20, 8:12 AM - Thanks for the info!

Red
1982 Château Gruaud Larose St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
9/7/2019 - sdr Likes this wine:
94 points
No doubt about it, the ‘82 Gruaud-Larose is one of the finest wines of the vintage. The color is starting to advance yet the center is a healthy ruby. The bouquet is gorgeous, that special Bordeaux blend of black currant, black licorice and cassis. Very St.-Julien. Deeply fruity, sweet and unctuous, it’s hard not to love. Sadly though, it gradually disintegrated and began to dry out after the first hour, losing a couple points on the sdr score.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    2/18/20, 9:59 AM - I just had a near-identical experience with this - amazing for the first hour, then went very dramatically downhill.

Red
2014 Château Léoville Las Cases St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
2/11/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
92 points
Opened this 2014 Léoville Las Cases to sort out whether I should add it to the cellar. After drinking this over 2 days, I am less bullish than some of the others here on cellartracker. The nose is initially quite raspberry focused beyond the new oak, by day 2 developing a more currant-dominated profile. The main issue is that this does come across somewhat unbalanced on the palate, with acidity and tannin overpowering the body. Finishes well with a potent raspberry presence, though. A good job from a vintage which produced very mixed wines, if not on the top tier (or next to top tier) of las Cases.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    2/18/20, 9:38 AM - Hello Mr. Turtleboat,
    I surely agree that LLC generally takes a very long time to reach maturity. I certainly don't open young wines like these expecting anything approaching maturity - I taste them to see if I find the purity, balance, depth, and length requisite to justify case purchases and a place in the cellar long term.

Red
2000 Vieux Château Certan Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
2/3/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
93 points
From double mag, this shows VERY cab franc-y with lots of fruit juice and stem. But from magnum, this is a totally different wine with succulent plum, smoke, thyme, and mineral -- but make no mistake the nose is still reticent and has to be coaxed quite a bit. I never would have thought these two glasses were the same wine and from both formats, much more time is clearly needed for these to really unfurl. There's little point in opening these today.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    2/4/20, 10:28 AM - Frankly this probably would have been best from a half!! The 93-94 is for the mag; the double mag was harder to read but presumably should be as good.

Red
2016 Château Figeac St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
1/18/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
96 points
What an enticing nose you’ll find in the 2016 Figeac - big, plush, polished, very deep, beautifully ripe blue and black fruited with a savory, leathery, tobacco profile. Wonderful class and Figeac character without any of the green or hardness of older vintages. Vivacious, supple, and long on the palate. Lots of material but great balance. This finishes very well. This towers above other vintages of Figeac (I have not tasted the 2015) including the 82, 90, etc.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    1/19/20, 12:05 AM - My pleasure! These will really be special - the beginning of a new era for Figeac.

Red
1980 Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Napa Valley
What a shockingly pungent nose of prune and pepper; packed dark fruit - odd. I didn't find this that pleasant but still remarkable that it's held up to age this well - it tastes downright young.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    1/18/20, 10:36 AM - Hi TexasBull - it certainly might be. This particular bottle was still lively, but a little bit weird. Given the odd paths wines that age can travel, other bottles that are equally youthful but aromatically different could be spectacular. Good luck! let me know how it goes.

Red
2005 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
1/11/2020 - Nutty08 wrote:
flawed
Unfortunately an off bottle. Purchased in 2010 but seemed like it had seen a little heat. Fruit a little stewed and palate and nose striped of complexity. Didn’t have the profile or complexity as expected. Opened a ‘06’for comparison which smoked this. Not consistent with my experience with this producer.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    1/12/20, 10:26 AM - Sorry to hear that :/ rotten when that happens

Red
1990 Château Clerc Milon Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
1/10/2020 - englishman's claret wrote:
87 points
There are some enthusiastic notes on the 1990 Clerc Milon out there and I regret that mine cannot be one of them. Though this shows a classic redcurrant, cedar, leather, the aromatic volume is turned down and the palate is subdued and faded. Fresh, more intense versions of this could be great but this may simply reflect one data point in the evolution of this wine suggesting a trend towards decline.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    1/11/20, 6:52 AM - Thanks for your comment Aspers and for confirming my suspicion! All the right notes were there, just dry and faded. I regret that I did not taste this when it was in its prime. Perhaps worth looking for a large format?

Red
2015 Château Troplong Mondot St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend
12/31/2019 - englishman's claret wrote:
89 points
I am generally a Troplong Mondot fan and the 2015 is a good example of why wines are worth tasting young before committing to large volume purchases. Despite loads of positive attributes, the 2015 Troplong Mondot is not my cup of tea. The nose is voluminous and the plum, mineral, oak, and black truffle are poised to come together to make a great wine with a rich, supple texture - but there is a LOT of alcohol coming through on the nose and palate. I guessed 14.5-15% ABV, but it's *labeled* at 15.5% (so, 15.5-16?). It's such a shame to encounter a wine that has so many positive attributes but one glaring, irreconcilable flaw. Don't write this off as coming from a reactionary who hopes for the return of lean, hard Bordeaux - that's not me. So many have found great success in years like 2016 where remarkable depth and purity are achieved without generating Oakville-like ABVs, and I hope that Troplong is able to balance depth and ABV more successfully in the future.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    12/31/19, 9:52 AM - Thanks for letting me know Frederico. I haven't tasted the 16 yet - have you?

  • englishman's claret commented:

    1/4/20, 12:33 PM - Hi Tim, I remain hopeful (particularly with feedback from consumers) that Troplong will revisit this issue. The evolution of modern Cos is a good example - 14.5% in 2009 & 2010, 14% in 2014 -- yet in years like 2015 and 2016 where they could have done the very same thing again you see 13.4% and 13.1%, respectively. In my opinion, more than just chasing an arbitrary number this reflects a very tangible re-alignment of the balance of the wine. Cos is just one example, but many producers' 2016s are much lower in alcohol than their 2009s, 2010s, 2014, etc.

White
2007 Château Pape Clément Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
April Parliament: Commanderie de Bordeaux Boston
The wine looks yellow gold colored. The legs are medium. There is no sediment in the bottle. It smells like lemon, pineapple and vanilla. It tastes like lemon, black currant (cassis) and vanilla. The body is light/medium. The wine finishes short with high acidity.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    12/22/19, 7:03 AM - Change your damn name! I thought the note was my own for a minute :)

Red
2000 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
12/1/2019 - englishman's claret wrote:
94 points
It's fascinating to watch the 2000 Pichon Comtesse over the course of 4 hours in the decanter. At first, this is strikingly herbal on the nose - lots of capsicum and thyme with the fruit very much in the background. This sort of start is concerning given how quickly some of the 2000s have evolved and how many haven't lived up to initial hopes. But... with an hour, then two, then better yet 3 and 4, the fruit unfurls and eventually becomes quite concentrated, showing lots of pure, cool cassis. The impression is similar on the palate, eventually with fresh cassis and lots of pencil with subtle capsicum and acacia accents. More pure cassis and pencil on the finish. Given the positive evolution, I should think these would benefit from another 5-10 years though ultimately I prefer the 82, 96, 15, and 16. Nice to see the classic Pichon Comtesse character here. 94-95 points
  • englishman's claret commented:

    12/2/19, 4:07 AM - My pleasure! Thanks for your comment.

Red
2003 Château Cos d'Estournel St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
11/7/2019 - englishman's claret wrote:
94 points
Tight on the nose, though ripe and supple - but this shines on the palate with ripe, crystalline, exuberant, slightly exotic fruit. Certainly one of the more flattering depictions of 2003. Not my favorite style for Cos, but an honest and informative representation of the year - and that’s worth something. 94-95
  • englishman's claret commented:

    11/8/19, 4:08 AM - I don’t like most 03s, but this pulled it off

Red
1961 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
6/20/2019 - englishman's claret wrote:
97 points
The 1961 Grand Puy Lacoste is a wonderful example of mature GPL, full of ripe, mellow, sweet blackcurrant. It's that 61 sweetness that really gives the nose such plush allure. Pencil, leather, and loam round out the nose and though there's a little bit of old oak starting to show through on the palate, this is a lovely drink. To drink now rather than to hold, unless in large format. Best with 30 minutes of air. Very high shoulder fill. With Emeline Borie.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    11/1/19, 9:43 AM - I completely agree, Geoffrey. I tasting a lot of young wines myself (as you've seen on instagram) so I can make my own buying decisions at or just after release so that I won't have to struggle with the grey market in 20 years.

Red
1982 Château Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
3/4/2019 - Burgnick wrote:
A shame that I called it a Vega Sicilia in blind. Very dark. Super concentrated and intense. Still a baby. Provenance is important. From an owc.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    10/31/19, 12:56 PM - Funny you mention this - I was tasting some young Vega Sicilia recently and thought it had a minty / eucalyptus quality that reminded me of Mouton!

  • englishman's claret commented:

    11/1/19, 9:39 AM - Thanks Nick! I will relay that to bmalt (now le_maltrachet) when I see him in a few hours.

White - Sweet/Dessert
2015 Château d'Yquem Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
6/25/2018 - englishman's claret wrote:
97 points
My goodness - what an invigorating young d'Yquem which balances an exotic, tropical personality with perfect freshness. Packed with tropical fruit, touches of classic white flower and parchment, a hint of 06-like bergamot. This is so perfectly balanced on the palate and has loads and loads of everything. It's surprisingly delicious now, but make no mistake - this is infanticide. Don't open these now. Wait a decade (or more if you can). 97+
  • englishman's claret commented:

    10/13/19, 8:56 AM - Dave, you will be happy with the 15 Yquem! Lots of botrytis, but it’s extremely well balanced. The acidity is great.

  • englishman's claret commented:

    10/14/19, 2:24 AM - My pleasure! Enjoy it when you get to it

  • englishman's claret commented:

    10/14/19, 9:15 AM - Dave, I’ve had the good luck to drink the 82 Mouton four times. I look forward to your story!

  • englishman's claret commented:

    10/31/19, 1:03 PM - Dave, I'm sorry I missed your note - thank you for posting again as I saw the notification! Wow!! That is certainly a story. Isn't it just amazing to think about how dramatically the price has changed - and the wine along with it. Have you had it again since your initial taste circa 1990?

    The 82 Mouton is a wine that I have always loved. It's the first legendary wine I ever tasted and it's still one of my absolute favorite bottles. When I first tasted it in 2012, I was hooked. It was moody and tight at first, but after 6 hours in the decanter it blossomed into the most complete Bordeaux I had ever drunk. I've had it 3 more times since, most recently last December. Subsequent bottles have not been as open as the first one, interestingly. They have varied from moody and tight to showing a really, really exciting early maturity. I am always on the hunt for really well kept OWCs and have just found one (a 6 bottle OWC at least), so hopefully I will be able to keep my hands off for a few more years... at least until I find a 12 bottle OWC :)

Red
2015 Château Léoville Poyferré St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
10/5/2019 - englishman's claret wrote:
94 points
I love what Leoville Poyferre is doing nowadays and the 2015 is no exception. Assertive, oaky, blueberry and currant nose. Rich palate but balanced by the acidity. The true greatness of this wine, though, comes through on the palate and finish where there is the most beautiful, lush, potent currant and cedar profile. Excellent. 94-95+
  • englishman's claret commented:

    10/8/19, 11:18 AM - Me too, particularly the wines that are being made post-1990 (and all the more so of those from 2004 to present)

Red
2000 Château Léoville Las Cases St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
Excellent stuff - basically a pop and pour so I won't score this but I was impressed with its vigor and richness balanced by good cut and freshness. Currant, cedar, smoke, mineral; dense and tangy. I find a lot of the 2000s a little oaky and that might be the case here, but the more successful ones may eat it in time. 94+
  • englishman's claret commented:

    9/23/19, 1:19 PM - I agree. It’s interesting because I find a lot of 2000s are progressing much faster than would be expected from a top vintage - so catching one that’s clearly not yet at its apogee reassures me in a general sense

Red
2015 Château Rauzan-Ségla Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
2/10/2019 - englishman's claret wrote:
95 points
I like tasting young wines so I can decide for myself what to lay down in the cellar. There’s so much to love in the 2015 Rauzan Ségla - this is brimming with luscious plum and blueberry fruit on the nose, the tannins are very smooth on the palate, and a beautiful, intense violet note really pops in the mouth and on the finish. Accents of mineral and ganache add complexity. Nice oak treatment here. The only thing that troubles me - and it’s not an insubstantial issue - is that the alcohol is out of balance, coming off quite hot on the finish. A look at the label shows 14.5%! So much to love but with that ABV will I enjoy the wine when the fruit recedes a bit in 35 years but the alcohol doesn’t? Will this have a short but glorious life?
  • englishman's claret commented:

    2/10/19, 8:07 AM - You never know, Bordeaux can be very rejuvenating!! Thanks for your kind comments.

  • englishman's claret commented:

    7/4/19, 11:23 PM - Hi Brad; I think that’s probably about right. I think it all comes down to whether or not the alcohol becomes very prominent as the rich fruit that currently balances it mellows with age.

  • englishman's claret commented:

    9/18/19, 6:58 PM - My pleasure!

Red
2015 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
5/6/2019 - englishman's claret wrote:
96 points
Glorious; clean, deep, pure wine with loads of stony minerality and blackcurrant. Rich and full but still so very elegant and focused. There is so much sculpted, classical beauty here.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    5/10/19, 11:22 AM - Hi Tim, it was at a tasting. I think it was probably double decanted 2 hours before though.

  • englishman's claret commented:

    8/28/19, 2:15 PM - Excellent - he will like you!

  • englishman's claret commented:

    8/29/19, 7:54 AM - :)

White - Sweet/Dessert
2015 Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux 1ère Trie Le Mont Chenin Blanc
8/7/2019 - englishman's claret wrote:
93 points
I expected to like this much more than I did and perhaps it was simply shut down, an odd bottle, or me on the particular day - but I found this a good but not compelling Le Mont 1ere. Given what's written about it and my general experience with Le Mont 1eres, I'd be surprised not to love this. It's very good - deep honeyed apricot - but usually Le Mont 1ere has plenty of depth and grandeur.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    8/7/19, 6:47 PM - They usually do show quite well young - based on how highly I generally regard the sweet Le Monts and the notes that others have posted I think I might have had a weird bottle or not given it enough time (or maybe it was me!). I'd like to try this again. I would be so surprised if this doesn't turn out wonderfully - because it should.

Red
1955 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
7/24/2019 - chablis28 wrote:
98 points
This was likely my Co- WOTN for me at our Capital Grill BDX tasting. When it arrived with Siggy he was kind of down on it, thinking it was still there but showing its age. Then something transforming happened. Guessing it was Lonny's karma at play as this btl really came to life magically and stood tall. Either that, or Siggy was off his game :). I may be biased since this was from my birth year but the only thing that sucked about this wine was the label had fallen off the blt. This had a huge nose full of cigar box extraordinaire and the most fine grained silky palate. The silk here would make the greatest of Musignys, cry uncle. Even the dregs near the end were unaffected by by the sediment. Great to the last drop. Still some tasty; raspberry, cherry, mushroom, cedar and other tertiary elements on the palate. A remarkable comeback apparently from the moment the cork was pulled. Even Brad B couldn't find much not to his liking here. Fabulous! Got to stay in Siggy's good graces! Yea, just another '55 BDX :).
  • englishman's claret commented:

    7/30/19, 3:05 PM - Recently opened one of my bottles of this and four of us drank it over 3 hours - just amazing that it didn't flag at all and, as you say, got even better. 55 Bordeaux is special stuff

  • englishman's claret commented:

    8/4/19, 3:16 AM - Craig,

    That’s great to hear! It’s extraordinary how long you have to wait for some chateaux to mature before it’s clear why there’s such a fuss, but on the other side of the coin they drink so well for so long. Enjoy!

    Warm regards,
    Marc

  • englishman's claret commented:

    8/4/19, 1:28 PM - Sure will; likewise if you come to Boston!

Red
2005 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
7/3/2019 - BenBlu Likes this wine:
94 points
Berry Brothers 2018 Bordeaux en primeur (plus back vintages) (Lindley Hall, London): You know I sort of had given up on this estate a little bit as I found a lack of drink-ability problematic. However I must report I had a recent good experience with 03 and very good experience with 90. So onto the 2005 - which was served alongside other chateaux 09s mainly. Clearly totally different vintage style becoming apparent. This is classic, much less fruity, some underbrush, leather. I think this will be lovely with an additional 10 years. But then that is the consensus with Barton always (and in ten years it will be in another ten years?). No really, I feel encouraged by the 03 & 90 experience... The 05 for me is better than their weak 2000.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    7/30/19, 10:04 PM - I would encourage you not to give up - the wines have been getting better and better (and better) starting with 2003ish

Red
1953 Château Talbot Demi-Millenaire Marechale Talbot St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
8/19/2013 - Papies wrote:
We found this lying lazily in the private cellar of Chateau Lanessan. In magnum as well. We are not sure if this is a special bottling or just a special label for the 1953 vintage but in any case we thought it would be interesting to add it here. Unfortunately we did not get to try it! If anyone has any info on this wine please add it here. Best Papies
  • englishman's claret commented:

    7/26/19, 9:00 PM - I believe this is the back label. Older bottles of Talbot have the regular label on the front and a label similar to this on the back.

Red
2009 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
6/20/2019 - englishman's claret wrote:
95 points
A better wine than the example last night, for this still shows a raspberry and redcurrant character but now it's inflected with cassis, pencil, and a touch of cedar. Much more classical than the prior example. Nice grip on the palate, supple in the style of 09 but not at all hot or over-worked. Finishes well. Very good indeed.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    7/1/19, 12:07 AM - O’Meara, sorry for the delay - traveling internationally at the moment. I’d give it an hour in the decanter and it should be great! You’ll find the 09 GPL to be a great introduction to Bordeaux since your background is with Napa. Riper vintage but GPL remains very classically Pauillac. Enjoy!

Red
1985 Château Palmer Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
6/12/2019 - englishman's claret wrote:
95 points
2019 Palmerathon: Gorgeous Palmer; elegant in the 85 profile. Starts out herbal though some of this blows off with time to show a delightfully pretty violet, thyme, sandalwood, cedar, cassis nose. Lithe, svelte wine. Beautiful rendition of Palmer and just about as nice an encapsulation of what's good about 1985 as you might hope to find.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    6/23/19, 7:35 AM - Typo! Thank you. 94-95 points.

Red
1995 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
5/2/2019 - englishman's claret wrote:
92 points
Pencil-driven, mineral nose but a bit sparse and lean. The palate offers some promise with a core of potent cassis but it's still reticent. Perhaps this will blossom further, as some 1995s have truly surprised me by doing. However, there's no irrefutable promise in the 1995 PCL as there are in some other 95 Medocs or other vintages of PCL.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    5/11/19, 8:59 PM - Thanks, M.Y. - I guess we should remain hopeful! But I'm not exactly filling the cellar with this one...

Red
1982 Château Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
12/9/2018 - englishman's claret wrote:
98 points
Though the 82 Mouton still isn't ready, some bottles are certainly more giving than others and they can be such fun to drink now for the utter energy of their youth. This is one such bottle and an illustration of how an immature wine can still be one of my absolute favorite wines. Half the joy is the texture, depth, and unctuous seamlessness encountered. The nose delights: cassis, lavender, mint, cedar, leather. Ah.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    5/9/19, 9:43 AM - Thanks Tim. It's a really special wine!

Red
2000 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
5/5/2019 - englishman's claret wrote:
93 points
90 years of Ducru Beaucaillou: The 2000 Ducru Beaucaillou really needs a couple hours of air to show its best, so that's what I gave this. Very typical to the 00 DB, this shows an intense mineral, truffle, oaky nose around a blackberry base. Slightly diffuse on the palate. The 2000 vintage isn't my favorite as they are evolving faster than might have originally been thought and seem to become lighter rather than more profound with age, but one does get some strange looks throwing a vertical tasting without it - so, voila.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    5/6/19, 8:50 AM - Keith, totally on the same page. I love the 95 and 96 too. Real stars!

Red
1989 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
A couple of small pours, a bit too warm, served in an odd glass, so I won’t put a number on this - but I still can’t help but thinking the best days of the 89 Pichon Comtesse are behind it. Cassis, pencil, stem - but that beautiful lavender and richness that used to totally complete this haven’t been present in the last 3 or 4 bottles.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    4/22/19, 6:52 PM - I think it’s just cracking up. It used to be beautiful

Red
2015 Château Beychevelle St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
Starts out promising, with snappy blackberry fruit on a slender frame with some toasty cedar in the background. But there's this not-so-fresh feeling on account of the edgy, drying tannins and a whiff of old used books, and that woodiness segues from fancy cedar to something more like decaying driftwood on the back end. Not corked, but I'll reserve judgment whether this is representative until I can try another bottle.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    3/23/19, 1:15 PM - I often find a slightly unclean, potato-peel-like / woody smell in Beychevelle. You reference decaying driftwood which I suspect is a different way of describing the same thing. Thoughts?

Red
2016 Château Beychevelle St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
There's such lovely ripe, cedary, blackberry fruit, but Beychevelle so often smells a bit of potatoes. Is it the oak?
  • englishman's claret commented:

    3/9/19, 5:47 AM - It’s not a nice smell unfortunately. 82, 00, 16 - they all have that same irritating, unclean note.

  • englishman's claret commented:

    3/9/19, 8:06 AM - @PurpleTooth - that would be a big improvement for french fries! I'm excited about the Talbot; I really hope that this is the beginning of a renaissance for them.

White
2016 Château Carbonnieux Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
2/11/2019 - Jeff Leve wrote:
92 points
Either I got this wrong in barrel, or the wine has really improved since then, or maybe both, but this was a beauty! The mix of fresh, green apples, lemon, grass and zesty, fresh grapefruit hit the spot.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    3/8/19, 5:44 PM - Funny enough I had a bottle last night that was very much like your tasting from barrel.

Red
2009 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
2/18/2019 - englishman's claret wrote:
95 points
2009 Blind Tasting: Showing a more cohesive whole than the last time I had this. Deep, serious, blackberry and pencil. Big, rich, robust, tannic but balanced palate. Beautiful presence on the palate. Surely the Pichon Baron? Correct.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    2/19/19, 6:59 AM - My pleasure and thank you! Yes that sounds like a good plan - though it’s fun to see where the 09 Baron is now, I wouldn’t begin opening them for another 5-10 years if you’ve got only 4 and don’t plan on buying more. You will enjoy them when you open them!

Red
2000 Château Cos d'Estournel St. Estèphe Red Bordeaux Blend
1/26/2019 - jonanator wrote:
This felt very young to me. It came off a little modern, ripe, and forward for a Cos d'Estournel - maybe just needs a little more time. There is good structure here and the fruit is not in danger of fading anytime soon. The wine is just starting to develop some tertiary notes at this point. Everything does seem to be coming together and ageing nicely, albeit slowly. This wine will definitely benefit from some more cellaring. Revisit in 3 years.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    2/10/19, 1:01 PM - How much air did you give this / how long did you follow it?

  • englishman's claret commented:

    2/10/19, 4:02 PM - Thank you, that’s helpful!

Red
1999 Château Margaux Red Bordeaux Blend
1/5/2019 - englishman's claret wrote:
92 points
Followed a glass of this over about 3.5-4 hours, poured from Coravin at Clarette in London. Nothing particularly special here; pure, elegant, deep(ish) raspberry, lots of pencil, and refined cedar but really lacking in the open charm and complexity that the rest of the 99 First Growths are showing at the moment. Is it too young? Is it the Coravin?
  • englishman's claret commented:

    1/10/19, 7:13 AM - I certainly agree; 01 seems readier (maybe coming into maturity in 5 years as opposed to the 99 which seems to need a bit longer) and probably more ultimately promising. I will try the 99 again soon sans coravin.

Red
2004 Château Léoville Barton St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
12/27/2018 - englishman's claret wrote:
93 points
I wanted to open this up because, after a dazzling bottle of mine a year ago, I had a luke-warm experience recently (the bottle was not mine). Well, I suspect the unimpressive bottle was either due to pure chance or poor provenance because this bottle from my cellar was fantastic. Evolves from a rich, pure, fruity cassis nose accented by thyme into a more overtly cedar-filled nose after a couple hours in the decanter. Its best days are ahead, though there is quite a lot of joy now. 93-94
  • englishman's claret commented:

    1/5/19, 10:42 AM - Tim, those basic and wonderful tenets you remember fondly have thankfully not changed!

White - Sweet/Dessert
1981 Château d'Yquem Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
12/27/2018 - englishman's claret wrote:
93 points
Certainly has the classic Yquem clementine and marcona almond notes, but misses a bit in terms of the complexity you'd like from mature Yquem. Perfectly good job for 1981, though.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    12/27/18, 2:05 PM - Yes actually the acidity was great and I did find it a refreshing, lighter styled Yquem. You’re right - that’s an important facet of the wine to praise and I’ll change the note to reflect that

Red
1982 Château L'Evangile Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend
12/9/2018 - englishman's claret wrote:
95 points
This didn't last long before fizzling out, but when first poured it was a triumph of mature Pomerol, full of rich blackberry fruit with a wild, game, smoke, truffle personality. A bit rakish. Would be just perfect with Perigord truffles. But ultimately this seems to be living a little dangerously, so seize the moment.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    12/11/18, 7:29 PM - It was a US import. I think a lot of 82 Right Bank is starting to fray at the edges and thought this actually showed quite well

Red
1928 Château Gruaud Larose St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
11/7/2016 - Jeff Leve wrote:
95 points
I suppose this is what to expect from the 1986, when it hits 90 years of age. The sensuous, full bodied, silky, patina of age is all over the cassis, tobacco, spice and earthy charms. The nose, with its cigar store essence and the finish that tasted as good as it felt was a real turn on. Why can't they make wines like this at Gruaud Larose any more?
  • englishman's claret commented:

    12/10/18, 6:46 AM - Jeff, just had a good laugh - I just saw your note after I posted mine, which also begins with my appreciation of the similarities between this and the 86!

Red
2000 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend
12/9/2018 - Bourgognefreak wrote:
90 points
Unisual nose with a lot of caramel. Same note in the mouth. Very Strange for a Lynch-Bages.

After one hour the wine is more focused but still disappointing.

Freak bottle??
  • englishman's claret commented:

    12/9/18, 8:21 AM - Cooked?

  • englishman's claret commented:

    12/10/18, 6:11 AM - With the caramel note I wonder if it was oxidized. Thankfully I did not have a similar experience with a 2000 Lynch recently opened.

Red
1996 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou St. Julien Red Bordeaux Blend
11/9/2018 - salil wrote:
90 points
I had thought about checking into some of my '96 left banks this winter, but this is perhaps a sign that I should have more patience. Still very primary with a lot of black fruit, green leafy/tobacco accents, and more savoury earth and cedary notes, and there is an absolute ton of tannin and acidity beneath. I love the raw materials here though - there's a sense of brightness to the fruit and a herbaceous freshness from the green notes that are right up my alley, and this is a wine I'd love to revisit in a decade or so.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    11/10/18, 2:54 PM - Completely share your experience with this - I absolutely loved the 96 DB young an when it was around 14 years old it seemed to slam shut and hasn't opened back up yet.

Red
2009 Château Sociando-Mallet Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend
11/3/2018 - englishman's claret wrote:
91 points
Understandably given the age, this requires 45 minutes in a decanter to start unfolding. 2009 is an interesting year for chateaux that are very classical in style as there's a little more fat, extract, ripeness, and polish than typical. So the typical Sociando-Mallet nose with loads and loads of pure cassis, coal, cedar, and herbes de Provence is a little more plush and plump than usual without losing the terroir. With the fat and opulence of the year some of the precision and delineation of cooler years is lost - but that's the year. Not necessarily my choice of vintage - I'll almost invariably take the 10 - but Sociando Mallet does a nice job with 09 (as do others who make classic claret like Leoville Barton). Should be ready in 5 years.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    11/6/18, 4:57 PM - Brent, thanks so much for your kind words. Personally, I think Bordeaux aids longevity so you might end up doing better than you think! On the other hand, it might give you cause to explore some of the back vintages which can be very fun with SM. I particularly like the 2000, 2002, 2004, 1996, and 1998. They're so consistent it's tough to go wrong and so reasonably priced it's tough to be disappointed.

Red
1998 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Brunate Le Coste Nebbiolo
1/28/2018 - rlove wrote:
flawed
Cooked.
  • englishman's claret commented:

    10/30/18, 7:39 PM - Did it come from Federal?

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