March 14, 2020 - The fill was into the neck and the cork was sound; popped, poured and consumed over the course of two hours with dinner. For my tastes, this is a monumental and fully mature Bordeaux that is at the absolute peak of maturity, where it should remain for at least another 10 years. Deep garnet with just a hint of bricking at the rim. Notes of dried plums, briar patch, cigar box, roasted fennel and earth. Medium bodied, with a classic structure, incredible balance and depth, with a long and complex finish. I dare say this is almost elegant, particularly for an ‘86! Those with tastes for modern St Emilion fruit bombs will not enjoy this as much as I did.
February 18, 2020 - This bottle was very good if a couple notches down from the last bottle. Black fruit and raspberry, sandalwood and mineral. Some spice from the cab franc but not that exotic Cheval spice profile that I love so much and found in the last example.
January 31, 2020 - Opened 1.5 hours before dinner, no decant. The fill was into the neck and the cork was pristine. A deep garnet, with a complex and savory bouquet, offering up scents of ripe plums, black truffle, soups bois, cigar box and crushed stones. Medium bodied, with great depth and precision, layers of flavor, and a silky texture. A long and savory finish; bags of life!
January 7, 2020 - Casual Dinner with Friends (Ada St.): A really good bottle though might have been overshadowed tonight by 90 and 82 LB and 00 PLL. The fruit is still fresh and rich and the structure still has an edge to it. Don't know that this will ever be as suave as top vintages. But its darn impressive with chocolaty plum fruit and plenty of cedar/tobacco accents.
December 29, 2019 - Decanted for 1 hour, although it barely needed it. Right out of the gate the nose was powerful and expressive — knew right away this was going to be special. Classic first growth terroir; was just a real experience to drink. Exquisite.
December 29, 2019 - Tastes side by side with the 1986 Latour.
This was clearly the better wine. The nose was amazing — leather, graphite, red fruit, quite perfumed. On the palate, outstanding balance between acidity, fruit, and tannins. Great structure and depth, yet super elegant. Very long finish. This wine started out very well, but got even better with air. Outstanding!
December 16, 2019 - 30 Vintages of Cheval Blanc: All tasted blind. 1982 to 2015 (with 1949 in the mix). The wines are fragrant, perfumed, seductive and always soft and without weight. Best performing vintages: the rather hot/ripe vintages 2015, 2009 and 1982 (all complex, seductive, complete and with elevated concentration). Next best: the promising and pure 2010, the still sexy 1990 and the immortal 1949. Notable outperformer: 2011 with many other good off-vintages. Notable underperformer: 2005, 2000, 1998 which all showed rather muted and not yet ready.
TN: While this has a bit higher concentration and density than the 88 but slightly weaker than the 87/89 and not match for the 85 or 82. I found it not as balanced and round as the other wines from the 80s. At times it showed even a bit heat but overall a solid effort with lots of the sexy aromas of coffee, burnt sugar along red fruit found in so many vintages. Medium- complexity, medium+ precision, good tension, good length.
November 29, 2019 - Chateau Cheval Blanc - 30 year vertical (1949-2015) tasted blind: Nose of farmyard, raspberry, cherries also here. Medium- body, finish is on the dry side. Decent but not great. The 86/87/88 trio was really modest compared to the strong 82/85/90 showing on the next flight.
October 29, 2019 - Last Tuesday Supper Club (One Penny Red, Summer Hill): Hmm, it has leather, tobacco, sweet spice, cedar, slight umeboshi, earthy. On the palate it's beginning to fade for me a little, the fruit more red spectrum, tannins are still chamois soft. It feels like it should have been drunk a little younger - the 1989 I had a few months ago was in better nick.
I think, on a more personal note and based on my limited experience, I don't really like aged (20+ years) right bank Bordeaux. They seem to lack a bit of stuffing for me. left bank is fine (if you're shopping for a present for me ;) )
October 1, 2019 - Earthy and balanced. There is fruit, but it is not overwhelming. Bricking is evident due to age. Very unique wine to me - I like it.