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31 July 2010

Some posh old Bordeaux

Tasted, savoured and gently quaffed at the Circle of Wine Writers' 50th anniversary dinner at the National Café, London WC2, on May 17th 2010 ("Flaunt it baby, flaunt it," as Zero Mostel said in "The Producers"): my notes got a bit lost in a pile of paper until now...

These three reds served with rack of spring lamb or wild mushroom risotto:
1996 Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac Grand Cru Classé - smoky maturing nose with savoury tobacco vs liquorice even; rich mouth-feel and depth vs still quite firm tannins, although I like its seductive chewy roundness; complex maturing finish with "sweet/savoury" and tobacco tones again vs underlying grip indicating there's still life in it yet. 92-94
1998 Château Branaire-Ducru Saint-Julien Grand Cru Classé - leafy cedary blackcurrant aromas vs maturing savoury edges; lighter palate with fresher acidity, attractive crunchy cassis fruit vs sweeter/savoury texture; gets richer and more open with air, probably very good for this tricky vintage. 88-90
2001 Château Canon La Gaffeliere Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé - ripe black fruits even with quite rustic smoky profile, intricate and "cheesy" (like old Rioja) too; still showing a touch of dry grip vs "sweet" texture and oomph (13.5% ?); lush, seductive and soupier too (bretty even?) but difficult not to like it! Tastes older than the other two. 90-92
With apple tarte tatin:
2002 Château Guiraud Sauternes Premier Cru Classé - delicious actually, even if not very rich and exotic; shows classy spicy nose with dried fruits, honey and marmalade; fine cut and bite vs oily texture, lovely balance. 88-90
Oh, we also enjoyed a wee glass of Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champers with nibbles beforehand to set the scene nicely. Afterwards, back to reality to catch a late tube. Ho hum. Picture from www.lynchbages.com

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Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.