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1986 Les Tourelles de Longueville & 2000 Reserve de la Comtesse

July 13, 2010

KP had a surprise for us when we popped over to his place for mahjong: a 1986 Les Tourelles de Longueville (second wine of Ch Pichon Baron)! I’ve never had a second wine that’s aged more than 20 years and this was really something quite unique, although it was a bit of a disappointment. Dull “tarnished” purplish red with quite a significant cork taint on the nose. On the palate, the wine was soft with less intensity than expected, the fruit beginning to dry out, resulting in some degree of hollowness as well as herbaceous qualty on the mid-palate, although its Pauillac character of ash, cigar box, dried leaves and cinnamon was still discernible. Not terribly impressive, I’m afraid, its deficiencies laid bare by the 2000 Reserve de la Comtesse (second wine of Ch Pichon Lalande, literally just across the D2 highway from Ch Pichon Baron) that followed. Some have scoffed at this second wine, saying that it fails to resemble its grand vin, and I certainly remembered having had a few bottles of the 2000 vntage a few years before, where it was dry and austere. However, tonight’s tasting suggests that this wine has somehow turned the corner, for a rich bouquet of sweet dark fruits and vanilla literally leapt out from the deep inky red, weighty with rich layers of dark fruits and blackcurrants engulfing the palate, revealing excellent concentration and supple tannins, ending in a savoury finish. Yet to develop secondary characteristics, although notes of cinnamon and a velvety texture began emerging with time. Excellent. Pity I’ve long finished all of mine.

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