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Old Bordeaux: 1966 Ch Leoville Las-Cases, 1971 Ch Pétrus, 1989 Ch Lynch-Bages…

November 1, 2019

With prices of Burgundy, already such a scarce commodity in most instances, attaining stratospheric proportions, Bordeaux is beginning to look more and more like a distinct bargain. Hence, we hit upon the theme of mature Bordeaux at Jade Palace on 14 October 2019. Thank you, everyone, for your generous contributions.

2006 Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Rosé, courtesy of LF. Beautiful deep luminosity. Faint grapefruit with some toast and yeasty notes on the nose. The palate is characterised by very deep intense core of clear citrus and crystalline tones with some faint floral fragrance, displaying a delicate stony lift underscored by a deep minerally streak that extended all the way to its ferric finish. Quite excellent.

1978 Drappier Carte D’Or Brut, courtesy of Sir Robert. Disgorged 1999. Deep golden lustre, yielding deep attractive yeasty tones with layers of fruit that is still remarkably fresh and intense, showing excellent vigour and acidity across a broad expanse of mature chalkiness. Excellent.

1996 Ch Leoville Las-Cases, courtesy of Vic. Mature deep garnet core. Highly reticent, yielding only a light mentholic nose. Distinctly rounded with a soft feminine suppleness, fully mellowed, still imbued with very good presence and fullness though the lack of tannin structure (having melted long before) robs the wine of some character.

1982 Ch Le Bon Pasteur, courtesy of LF. Mature deep garnet red, exuding gentle aromas of deep currants with a mentholic trace. Medium-bodied. Good presence of dark fruits and raspberries laced with very subtle acidity, rather quiet at the finish, developing a firm medicinal trace just as it turned more musty on the nose over time. Hard to place.

1998 Ch Beausejour Becot. Glowing fragrance of red fruits, red currants and haw on the nose, quite beguiling, though the palate is rather more recessed, distinctly medium-bodied and soft with rounded suppleness and very fine acidity, finishing gently even as it gained further intensity on the nose over time. Drinking very well but unlikely to improve further.

1971 Ch Pétrus, courtesy of Sir Robert. Mature deep garnet core, proffering gentle tones of dark plums and currants on the nose whilst the palate still possesses very good levels of fullness and presence, structured with svelte tannins that still impart fine intensity with further notes of soy coming on late. Proves the point that there is no such thing as an “off year” for Pétrus. Excellent.

1989 Ch Lynch-Bages, courtesy of Kieron. Deep garnet red, glowing with a classic claret tone of dried tea leaves and snuff. Softly rounded with excellent concentration within a supple medium-bodied proposition, imbued with ripe dark fruits, black currants and fine acidity that is still remarkably fresh. At its best, and will probably hold for another couple of decades, at least. Outstanding.

1998 Ch Haut-Brion, courtesy of Pipin. Deep impenetrable red, exuding a youthful bouquet of Bovril, deep dark currants, enamel and varnish. Medium-full. Beautifully warm and ripe, superbly supple, caressing the palate with its cedary richness that imparted some teasing intensity. Excellent.

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