TN: Many Margaux AC wines


A very nice group of winegeeks, significant others of geeks, and known associates of geeks converged on the upper room at Les Sans Culottes on 2nd Avenue last night for a look at the wines of the commune of Margaux. A lot of fun was had, and a lot of wines were tasted:
2003 Feiler-Artinger Muscat-Ottonel Spatlese I wasn't exactly sure what to expect here; what I got was a pleasant offdry wine with peach/nectarine and some Muscat muskiness. Pleasant as an apertif, but not sure what food I would serve this wine. The Muscat floral/musk notes might be hard to work into a meal. B/B+
2002 Pavillon Blanc (Bordeaux AC) 2002 seems to be a good vintage for whites from Medoc, as I liked the Arums de Lagrange and this. Rather fat, with some gentle oakiness and white fruit with a touch of grass. Still, I don't think this is a buy at $35+. B
Flight #1 1985 Ch. d'Issan (Margaux AC) My low expectations for this bottle got even lower as the cork was basically sawdust. But a rather pleasant cedary note floated up as I was straining into a carafe. Slightly tired cassis and black plum fruit, but some interesting notes of leather and damp forest floor. Shockingly, this didn't die, but was holding on fine 3 hours later when I revisited. B/B+
1978 Ch. Palmer (Margaux AC) I was the only person who thought this corked. I wasn't sure at first- had that typical Palmer high-toned nose, and a nice body of fruit underneath. But I kept getting that mildewy note, it really put me off wine. Too bad, as it seemed something nice lurked beneath.
1982 Ch. Segonnes (Margaux AC) Seemed to be a core of sweet '82 fruit there, but there's an astringency and hardness underneath. A little tired, and not my fave.C+/B-
Flight # 2 1982 Ch. du Tertre (Margaux AC) My Ch. d'Issan exceeded my expectations, the du Tertre fell slightly short. Good dark plum fruit, but after a while a less than pleasing roasted note came out. Still, ok, but drink up now. B
1982 Ch. Brane-Cantenac (Margaux AC) There's a nice earthiness here, and some sweet dark fruit, but the finish is very short for a wine from such a vintage. B
1988 Ch. Rausan-Segla (Margaux AC) This was actually a pleasant surprise, there were some hard '88 tannins on the finish, but some good dark blackcurrant fruit and secondary aromas of cigarbox and saddle leather carry it to win the flight by a nose. B/B+
Flight #3 1995 Ch. Palmer (Margaux AC) This was tight, but underneath a very nice wine seemed to lurk. So closed it was hard to judge, but I'll say B+
1997 Ch. Margaux (Margaux AC) Group liked more than I, came in at #2 in WOTN voting. Round, mature, ready with mostly red fruit- a good example of a 1997, not such a great example of a First Growth. B/B+
1999 Ch. Palmer (Margaux AC) Not as open as when tried a year or two ago, but a very fine wine. Lead pencil and smoke notes over a big balanced body of fruit. My WOTN, and winner in group voting. A-
Flight #4 1996 Ch. Brane-Cantenac (Margaux AC) Welcome to the lockerroom, horrbily corked
1995 Ch. Rausan Segla (Margaux AC) Somehow I wrote down no notes for this, as I recall it was more open than the '95 Palmer, but less impressive.
1999 Ch. Rausan-Segla (Margaux AC) Round with red fruit, pretty short on the finish. B-/C+
Flight #5 2000 Ch. du Tertre (Margaux AC) Some advance decanting really helped this (thanks Frank!), and it showed quite nicely. Young vibrant fruit, a bit of cigarbox and graphite, needs time but a beauty in waiting. A-/B+
2000 Ch. Kirwan (Margaux AC) Tighter, some nice red fruit underneath, tannins a bit formidable, but I think probably a good wine once fruit wakes up. B
1998 Ch.Giscours (Margaux AC) A bit green, with hard edges. C+/B-
Flight #6 2002 Giscours (Margaux AC) I think I liked this better on earlier try, for now it's a little low on fruit and short on the finish. B-/C+
2003 Ch. Lascombes (Margaux AC) Nice black plum fruit with a little fig, Frank finds some tobacco, and then I do (power of suggestion?). A little fat, I'd drink sooner than later, but would drink with pleasure. B+
1999 Les Quatres Vents (Margaux AC) Thin, harsh, green. C
2003 Durban Muscat de Beaumes de Venise Lush peach and apricot fruit with an overlay of honey, very nice wine. Some discussion as to whether it could- maybe, but why? Tasty now. A-/B+
Fun evening. I liked the rilletes and sausages as an opener. My main course was a bit of an issue. Having had the "beef bourguignon" (over pasta!) before, I was going to try the duck. But she said I couldn't get the cherry sauce on the side, so I decided to go for chicken cordon bleu (hadn't had that since the '70s!). When she brought out the main courses, she wanted to know who had the salmon. Once everyone else had plates, she said "oh, you got the chicken- it'll be three minutes." After she left I thought "I should have just said I'd take the salmon." Seven or eight minutes later, a plate of salmon appears in front of me. ?!?! Ok, I'll just eat. Then manager comes over and says"oh, sorry, you wanted the chicken, right? I can get it, it'll just take three minutes. The waitress fell down the stairs." I said the salmon was fine (which it was, if you like well-done farmed salmon- too bad I don't). I was hungry and got it down. The waitress showed up later, said she was ok.
Thanks to Chris for organizing. And to Arv for bringing the tasty cheese (a good cheese whose name I didn't get, except it was triple creme, but while it was really good, it resembled no triple creme I'd ever seen). I was supposed to bring some Hoch Ybrig, but a work emergency almost meant I didn't make it to dinner. In all, a very good night.
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
Reply to
DaleW

Hi Dale,
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Nice to know, thanks. I laid in 3 bottles of this without tasting. Not that I'd be tempted for a few years yet, mind you!
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Perhaps my favorite Beaumes, and the vineyard is one of those breathtaking spots on the planet, wow.
I always end up holding these for a few years. They very slowly take on a honeyed walnut character. The owners (name escapes) claim that there is little vintage variation and not much development with age.
Wish I had a better source for Durban aside from schlepping all the way down there!
-E
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Emery Davis
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Reply to
Emery Davis

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