Anyone read the Wall Street Journal article on Bourdeaux's. Several wine
distributors did a blind tasting of 9 1-5th growth 2001 Bourdeaux's. The
results were dismal with Latour coming out dead last and the Negociants
stating it was no better than a non-crus Beujolais.
"Lawrence Leichtman" skrev i melding
Why should it be 'better'? That's a different sort of wine... The non-cru
Beaujolais should be drunk now, the Latour is possibly shut down now and not
ready to drink before 2010-2020 or something like that.
But, of course, Latour is overpriced - relative to the many very good wines
available today at a tenth, or less, of the price. I've said it before - 80
years ago, before the first-growth craze, Latour asking price was 4 or 5
times that of common plonk!
"Anders Tørneskog" wrote in
But, then, don't you think that Latour is one of those wines that really
set the level? I only had the chance to taste two vintages (1998 and 2002,
both at the Chateau tasting room), and was amazed. I can count the wines
that have really impressed me with the fingers of one hand, and Latour is
really one of them. I even like their third wine, called Pauillac.
Had I 150 euros to spend in a single bottle of wine, I would buy Latour
three out of four times.
They did discuss just that but these folks distribute Bourdeauxs and
felt that this was a poor example of Latour. Other large second and
third growths they felt had more aging potential. They didn't feel that
the Latour had any aging potential and their top pick was the much less
In article ,
"Santiago" skrev i melding
It is, or rather, used to be... :-) No, it still is, but Lawrence seems to
have a sound basis to claim that his 2001 was a disappointment. Now, it
could have been an off bottle (or bottles?) - or simply what Michael would
call "ein Korkenfehler". He is probably the one around here who could
refute or confirm that claim.
In article ,
I think it is also true that the wine might be shut down, as someone else
noted. I had the 2000 Latour last fall and I didn't really care for it.
I suspect it will be a lot better in another 5-10 years. The same is
probably true of the 2001.
Sorry, no, never tasted it. But the results clearly would point
into the direction of one (or more?) off bottle(s). And what else
than the cork should be the reason for this?
Btw: My best 2001, tasted in April 2002 from cask, not taking into
account premiers and garagistes: La Tour Carnet (94/100).
Michael Pronay wrote in
I purchased two bottles of La Tour Carnet 2001 at Lavinia when I read you
comments and have not regretted it at all. The first bottle, drunk two
months ago was marvelous, specially for the price (about 20 euros retail).
I managed to convince a local retailer to purchase it and now it is
available in my city. A few bottles more to lay down and see how it
However, I do not think that it is the best 2001 that I have tasted.
Leoville Barton 2001 (I suppose this fits into the "premiers" category you
mention) has more structure and substance and, while a bit tight now, I
think it is going to be a better wine, which is not surprising considering
it costs 50 euros retail in Spain.
Another however, and, probably, my only doubt about La Tour Carnet 2001. I
felt that somehow it lacked Bordeaux character. It tasted a bit like an
internationalized wine (Bernard Magrez touch?). What do you think about
Caution: I was talking about that specific cask tasting week in
April 2002. I had bought some LTC en primeur (at 16.09 euros, VAT
and delivery included), but haven't tasted it yet.
It's highly probable that there are better wines, but then they
simply did not show as good as LTC on that specific occasion. I
just looked up my TNs, Léoville Barton scored 84: "Cardboardy,
although good structure", very much looks like a sub-par cask
sample, so your comment makes very much sense.
In my experience, even if clarets taste "international",
"parkerized", "Michel Rolland vinified" (which happens to be the
case with post-2000 LTC) in their youth, these oak influenced
aromas tend to disappear with due bottle age.
I had a beautiful experience two years ago, at a lunch in Paris
with May-Éliane de Lencquesaing from Pichon-Lalande. Amongst other
wines we had the 1982. She commented that at vinification time she
had called it "mon petit californien". 21 years later there was
nothing Californian with this wine, it was pure and unmistakeable
Pauillac. "Il se reclassifie", "it's getting classic again", was
Gildas d'Olonne's (Mme de Lencquesaing's nephew's) comment.
All this supports my theory that after 20 years in bottle it's
more or less irrelevant whether the wine had been vinified in new
oak, old oak, stainless steel or concrete vats. While being very
important in its youth, the differences totally edge out with
I can purchase it at 22 euros VAT included, and I pick the wine at the shop
I do not have a great experience with Leoville Barton but I think I read
somewhere that their wines are usually very tight while in cask and in
their youth. However, I found the 2001 truly an excellent wine.
That is interesting. I tend to drink wines too young, specially wines that
are new for me. When do you think I should drink my remaining bottles of
Yeah, but I have my wine in my cellar right from the start. I
really love to know the provenance ;-)
It probably is. I remember having tasted L-B much better from cask
the other years. Since I taste blind (where possible), there is
seldom a chance to have another bottle (in case there is a bottle
problem). If the cask samples themselves are sub-par (which
happens from time to time), then it's really difficult to give an
Ask me something different, please!
No, seriously, this is one of the most difficult questions which
almost entirely depends on how you like your wines, rhather young
or rather mature.
From our yearly Bordeaux tastings "10 years after" I'd suggest to
have wines like LTC somewhere in the 10 to 15 years range,
provided you have good (cool) storage. But, once again, it's all
up to your personal taste.
Michael Pronay wrote in
I knew this one was not going to be easy ;-)
Thanks, I do have my best bottles in a Liebherr Vinotheque which holds
about 250 bottles. Regulated at 12ºC. And then the rest are below ground at
12ºC in the winter and 20ºC in the summer, but with no daily variation. The
LTC are in the Vinotheque.
I guess everyone has really missed my point in posting this article. I
have been drinking and tasting Bourdeaux wines since the "60's. I'm
quite familiar with cellaring Bourdeaux as well as the fact that many
are quite closed young. That being said, you can also see the aging
potential immediately. Often still in the cask though I've never been
privy to that. From the 1998 vintage onward my tastings of first growths
have not produced anything I would be overwhelmed with in terms of QPR.
Many Bourdeaux's seem to increasing in price while dropping in quality.
My percentage of corked wines from France now approaches 15% since 1990
vintages though the price does not reflect the lesser quality of some
wines and the dismal state of corkage in France. Over the last 2 years
I've lost about 40 bad bottles of French wines from Bourdeaux. Burgundy,
Rhone to a total of $1900. My cellaring program has kept track. In that
same time I've lost 6 bottles of various California, Spanish, Italian
and OZ wines to the same problem to the tune of $125. Because of this I
have severely reduced my buying of French wines restricting to Rhone and
white wines only as these have been the fewest losses. The French wine
industry has serious problems from my small sampling but my tasting
group which now numbers 60 has expressed the same feeling and have begun
limiting French purchases for the same reason.This has zero to do with
politics though we do have a number of active military and ex-military.
None supported the boycott. This is pure economics. We have yet to have
a tasting involving French wines without a bad bottle and some of these
folks have envious cellars. Just my personal rant here. From what I've
read lately there are others in this group with similar feelings.
In article ,
Last Wednesday we tasted 45 Bordeaux from 2001 and 2002. 9 of them
- exactly 20% - were corked, from heavily to almost indiscernible.
The latter was the case for Léoville Las Cases 2001, scoring 90
for the first, 94 for the second bottle.
Compared to Michael I am a slow taster, but I have taken notes on 20+
wines tasted over several hours. The keys are to spit, to write as you
taste and to employ mental shorthand to reduce the amount of writing.
When you know in advance what wines you are tasting, you can write down
the identification (name, year, etc.) in advance and simply supply your
impressions as you taste. It is definitely a different activity from
even a visit to a winery: more analytical, less time to savor what
you're tasting, little conversation and a minimal amount of eating.
It's not recreation, but a great way to quickly gain an impression of a
large number of wines.
In article ,
But how do you compare them between each other? Or is that not the point?
Even when taking notes, 45 is a whole lot. I can taste 45 wines in a day,
but I cannot compare more than 8-10 wines to each other at any one time.
It's my job, and all I can say is: practice, practice, practice.
We started at 5pm with 28 Austrian Weinviertel wines (25 whites:
13 grüner veltliner, 5 rieslings, 2 chards, 2 sauvignons, 3 other
whites, 3 reds) to proceed to 45 clarets, tasted in roughly
ascending order of price, from EUR 6,60 (Malesan Bordeaux) to EUR
80 (LLC). Finished at 9pm. And, of course, I sit, taste, write TNs
into my laptop, the other tasters delivering descriptors from time
to time. We taste in flights of four.
This was a rather small tasting, in fact. When we do our annual
~1500 wines roundup, we usually do 200 wines a day. Needless to
says that this is very hard work, but it's possible.
What we do in our tasting panels (between three and five members),
is to agree immediately upon the score we attribute a given wine.
If it's excellent, we award a score (usually 91 or higher) and put
it aside for an open final tasting of the best 10 to 15 percent of
the wines. This final round is rather fast and serves very well to
evaluate the top wines against each other.