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1982 Pichon Lalande, 1990 Montelena Estate 1990 Léoville Las-Cases, 1994 Araujo Eisele, 2012 Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux Échezeaux, 1994 Ridge Monte Bello…

July 18, 2021

Bordeaux wines, and Bordeaux blends in general, truly need a generation of bottle maturity in order to be at their best, exemplified by this outstanding tasting of several reds aged between 27-39 years on 13 July 2021 where it was very good, once again, to see all the usual familiar faces at Imperial Treasure Great World after five weeks of nation-wide dining-in prohibition (in my opinion, totally unnecessary and ineffective). Given the outrageous pricing nowadays for Burgundy and new-release Bordeaux, it makes far better sense to spend on pristine OWCs of mature claret. Many thanks as usual, everyone, for your generosity and company. Except for the champagne, all wines were blinded.

2000 Champagne Henriot Cuvée des Enchanteleurs Brut. Deep yeasty pungency on the nose with gun smoke and nutty tones. Somewhat alarming at first as the fruit appeared to be rather backward along with bubbles that dissipated rather quickly, dominated by arid ferrous minerals that conferred a certain austerity. It re-bounded after an hour, fleshing out with a fuller and more evenly-toned palate of pomelo and bitter lemon that exuded good clarity with greater density on the nose. But I wouldn’t keep any longer.

20210713_195516.jpg2014 Kistler Trenton Roadhouse Chardonnay, courtesy of Bob. Good color. Dense bouquet of wet morning dew and summer hay, glowing with delicate citrus while white tones dominate on the open medium-full palate that showed some age, characterised initially by a laid-back chalkiness that eventually grew in sharp chiseled intensity with a lingering persistence. Very Puligny-like, only betrayed by a trace of sweetness that seems to be characteristic of Kistler. Excellent.

2017 Sandhi Sanford & Benedict Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay, courtesy of Kieron. Pale. Very fresh and lively with a great lift of cool icing and white floral bloom. Medium-bodied. Filled with white tones that exert mild intensity with good clarity and definition though slightly narrow in spectrum, opening up well with a certain teasing quality. I thought it was a Meursault. Excellent.

2016 Domaine Paul Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet La Romanée 1er, courtesy of Vic. Pale. Light tropical fruit on the nose coupled with elegant cool tones that led to a palate of gentle intensity, imbued with understated ferrous elements.

2012 Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux Échezeaux Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron. Glorious deep ruby, proffering red fruits and currants with a tinge of sweetness. Open with a fleshy suppleness that displayed glorious depth and dimension, just a tad forward, conveying superb freshness of fruit with fine subtle intensity though not revealing much inner detail. Still highly youthful. Distinctly feminine, which is the style of the exciting Charles Lachaux. Quite excellent.

1990 Château Montelena Estate, courtesy of Sir Bob. Superb deep ruby with a bare rim of crimson, exuding a lovely perfumed fragrance. Fully mature, yet the fruit is still superbly ripe with a wonderful suppleness and balance. Supremely confident, utterly Bordeaux-like in character. This is truly an outstanding wine caught at its absolute peak.

1982 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, courtesy of Sir Bob. Deep crimson. This wine opens with a whiff of wild grass, snuff and malt amid distinct notes of green capsicum, captivating the senses with a wonderful lift of velvety red fruits within a fleshy mature rounded complex. Beautifully balanced, displaying supple intensity as it stretched to a lovely glowing finish. Very classy, on par with a First Growth. Absolutely outstanding.

1994 Ridge Monte Bello, courtesy of LF. Deep ruby. Excellent presence of dark currants, violets and blueberries tinged with chocolate. Beautifully balanced. Still impressively fresh and full in spite of its obvious maturity, structured with subtle tannins that oozed with a dash of sweetness. Very Old World in character. Superb.

1994 Araujo Eisele Vineyard, courtesy of LF. Deep ruby. Intense darkish characters of black fruits, dark roses and black currants with a tarry quality. Structured with evolved tannins that still exert a slight abrasiveness amid a certain earthiness and leathery tone, enveloped by a distinct New World sweetness. Highly introspective. Still needs time.

1990 Château Léoville Las-Cases. Mature crimson. Fully developed complex of velvety red fruits, dry charcoal and green capsicum with a herbaceous trace. Beautifully balanced and fleshy. Still displaying youthful vibrancy with a gentle intensity, this wine is structured with such precision and typicity that everyone was spot-on in declaring it a Las-Cases. Excellent.

2006 Château La Fleur-Pétrus, courtesy of Vic. Deep garnet with a hint of crimson. Rather creamy on the nose, leading to a lush full palate still tinged with enamel, imbued with abundant layers of masculine dark fruit that produce buoyant verve and exuberance. Not quite ready yet.


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