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1982-2006 Chateau Leoville Poyferre

April 23, 2009

This wonderful Wednesday evening, 22 April 2009, began with a vertical tasting of Chateau Leoville Poyferre at St Regis, part of 2009 World Gourmet Summit, in the presence of M. Didier Cuvelier, co-chaired by Dr NK Yong and Ms Lisa Perotti-Brown, MW.

leoville-poyferre-tasting-2009-006 The 2006 that started the evening had a beautiful purple-ruby color, suggesting a lighter wine. True enough, it was light-medium, soft, with scents of plum and graphite. The finish was dry, lacking in weight and focus. Of course, it is young, but even then it doesn’t seem promising.

The 2004 that followed was altogether more preferable: deep purple, more open on the nose, revealing sweet aromas. Good grip on the palate, medium-bodied, very good focus, touch of tannins which did not threaten the overall balance. Tight. Classic in a very St Julien way. Moderately long. Very good.

The 2002 was deep red, with a less revealing nose compared to the 2004. Nevertheless, sweet aromas of dark fruits was evident. Medium-bodied, soft, low acidity, excellent balance with a linear finish. Quite harmonious. Somewhat hollow towards the end, but very approachable nonetheless. Drinking well. Very well, in fact, for a 2002.

The 2001 was already showing a hint of lightening at the rim. A beautiful, mellow St Julien nose of sweet fruits and plum. Classic, medium-bodied, good grip, low acidity, excellent tight balance, superb fruit quality. Lengthy. Quite complete. This is really excellent. NK commented that some wines of 2001 are actually better than the 2000. Really? M Cuvelier didn’t commit himself and, unfortunately, we didn’t have the 2000 to compare.

The 1998 that followed was already showing an evolved red with some lightening at the rim. The bouquet was noticeably bigger and more expressive, quite complex. Emerging secondary flavours engulfed the palate; the soft, medium-bodied wine had already merged into a harmonious whole. Moderate length. Excellent.

Some bottles of the 1995 were corked, but ours were alright. Nevertheless, this soft, low acid, medium-bodied wine was showing signs of fatigue. Rather short finish. The weakest wine of the night. The ’98 is definitely preferable. leoville-poyferre-tasting-2009-0021

The 1989 revealed the sort of potential that Leoville Poyferre is capable of. Mature red, highly aromatic nose of sweet cherries that is typical of aged Bordeaux. Still relatively full-bodied, excellent grip and focus. Complex. Ends with a sophisticated lifted note of liquer. Long. Excellent.

The piece de resistance, undoubtedly, was the 1982, which had a beautiful red that was even deeper than the ’89! An open, multi-dimensional bouquet of sweet red fruits leapt out from the glass. Fully mature, but still full-bodied and relatively intense. Complex, excellent grip, showing utter sophistication and harmony. Clearly has a long life ahead. Superb!

This tasting amply demonstrated how highly consistent Leoville Poyferre is from year-to-year, and that it is perfectly capable of attaining nirvana. Simply quite outstanding.

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