Links Bordeaux

The Bordeaux Tasting - Notes from La Violette


Notes by Mark Masento


Ed Kay, Quentin & Georgina Lambert, Roger Jardine, Mark Masento, Steve Mills, Helga & Wolfgang Deck.

The Tasting

We had two formal tastings in our holiday chateau, one themed as "Non-Bordeaux wines" (notes not taken?-R) and this one, after some debate about having a "First Growths" tasting or a "Classed Growths" tasting, we ended up with a simple theme of "Wines from Bordeaux". 8 wines in all: 0 whites, 8 reds. (my kind of tasting!! -R)

1. Fronsac Ch de la Riviere Source de la Rieve, 1998

Perfumed nose, feminine, more merlot based (Steve). Not that sort of grip, hint of violets (anon). Soft entry (?) Little tannic on finish Definitely red (Wolfgang) Lithe elegant, voluptuous (?) 2000 Cab France / Merlot (Ed) St Emilion 1998 - 2000 (Steve) And it was . . . Fronsac Ch de la Riviere Source de la Rieve, un snip at 10

2. Chateau Pomone, 1985

Meaty, gamey cheesey (the wine not Ed).Depth, cedar, leather (?).Fishy (Helga ?) High acid, high astringency Long, dry, losing fruit (R) Cheesey aftertaste (G) Elegant supple (Q) muddled finish Ritual guesses - late 80's MM, 91 RJ, St Em SM gravied cherries (G) At this point I realise I cannot read my writing it looks like Ch Pummane, 1985, 30

3. Chateau Chasse Spleen, 1985

Musty on start, cherry juice (W) Soft fruity, dry finish, soft Not many comments. Ch Chasse Spleen,1985. Seems expensive compared with others at 60?

4. Reserve de la Comtesse de Lalande, 1999

Complex full nose, Chocolatey, heavy saucisson(?), dense, inky (Q) Big, good weight, tart on tongue, spicy Guesses 96 Medoc (E), 90 St Julien (S) It was Reserve de la Comtesse de Lalande 1999 at 30 un bargain veritable.

5. Cote Algon La Gaffeliere, 1996

little petally, high toned aromatic, bit of age, Cab based said one adventurous taster,light elegant, Stabs in the dark early 80s RJ, 83 SM So we were surprised at 1996 Cote Algon La Gaffeliere (my writing deteriorated again) at 17

6. Chateau Pipeau, 2000

Walnutty, chocolatey, Masculine, fusty, smoky, well balanced. Despite Ed's suggestion of 'German' it was in fact Chateau Pipeau - a good St Emilion and at 23, it gained in popularity as the night went on.

7. Parker Coonawarra Estate !?!?!

As the topic was specifically Bordeaux we could rely on Steve to delve deep into his cellar and pull out a star that would knock the socks off all these Aussies he had been delighting us with . . . . . .
High cab, minty, blackcurrant wine gums, a sweet monster, Salty seafood (G) (hmm),
Serious doubts arise that this is French - but it has to be because its a Bordeaux tasting..
Steve says not Bordeaux - cries of derision, Lordy, lordy its Aussie, Its actually from that unknown French enclave Parker Coonawarra Estate, 30

8. Chateau Lafite, 1967

Bit unusual, savoury like Musar, sweet figgy, elegant, pale breaks into velvety and satin, very elegant A big change from the last Fr..Australian wine Guesses were: 81 Latour - Q laughs We were honoured to partake of Ch Lafite 1967 (Q birth year) 70 wow. Fewer wines than usual but more focus


Then followed general finishing up, quaffing the rest.

Considered best at the time:

Lafite, Comtesse de Lalande.
After more quaffing the Chateau Pipeau picked up a lot of fans, and Q brought a crate load back to Blighty with him in his Z3 (how??)


Notes from Latour

Some brief extra notes from Mark of our Latour tasting. Although we had quite a few tastings, at some very prestigious Chateaux, everyone agrees that of the wines we tasted, Latour Grand Vin was in a class of it's own.

2003 Pauillac

Dark concentrated, Closed on nose but sense great weight Very big, concentrated Huge fruit for a 3rd wine

2003 Les Forts de Latour

78 CS, 22 M Big, big colour, dark intense Nose soft chocolates coated blackcurrants Closed but opulent Huge fruit on palate but very closed Needs 15 years

2003 Grand Vin

80 CS, 18 M, 2 PV Gigantic colour, depth, concentration, mystery Little medicinal on nose but positive just big blockbuster deep, deep fruit Cool on palate - harmony of fruit and tannin So much potential, a joy to savour will mortgage my house when I get home to buy a case of this

1999 Grand Vin

cepage not recorded but had CF showing colour on rim Coffee, cocoa, grilled nuts , licorice, real complexity emerging cool soft elegant but great depth silky smooth

We were all so impressed.

(Indeed we were, Latour is now my favourite wine, please buy me some -R)