WTN: Older Bordeaux with David Wainwright at Triomphe

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WTN: Older Bordeaux with David Wainwright at Triomphe

Postby Dale Williams » Thu Apr 06, 2006 12:21 pm

A group of winegeeks gathered at Triomphe last night to welcome our old friend David Wainwright who was on a short visit to NY. Thanks to Paul Jaouen for doing a fine job organizing, Triomphe for doing their usual splendid job,and David for giving us an excuse for trying some "Freaking Good 1990 & Older Bordeaux." I wasn't 100%, so my notes are even crappier than normal. And my grading is tightened up a bit to allow for a lot of good wines, only the Montrose, corked P-Lalande, and BA wouldn't be welcome on my table:

1998 Bonneau de Martray Corton-CharlemagneAt first a wet wool nose that reminds me a bit of Chenin Blanc. Tight and woody at first. After a while opens a bit, showing that slightly oxidative hazelnutty notes that I associate with this wine. Maybe not a great year, but a nice wine. B+/B

1995 Trimbach "Cuvee Frederic Emile" Riesling
Mineral and petrol, surprisingly approachable. Seemingly lighter than vintages like '97 or '98, but I like this a lot. B+

Bordeaux Flight One
1970 La Fleur Petrus (Pomerol)
Maybe the pleasant surprise of the night. A pruney nose at first, but that blows off as it opens up. Quite lively with sweet red plum fruit. B+

1975 Giscours (Margaux)
Very light at first, but picks up some steam in glass. Cedar and flowers. B

1983 Rausan Segla (Margaux)
Very mature nose, some perfume and cigarbox. Nice rounded red fruit. B/B+

Flight Two
1970 Montrose (St. Estephe)
Stinky nose, big and brawny. I think others like more than I do, there's a mint note and harsh acidity I don't care for. I'm pretty brett-tolerant, but the stink on this doesn't seem to be that Montrose barnyard. Someone says they don't think it's a representative bottle. C+

1970 Mouton Rothschild (Pauillac)Others dismiss this, while I think it's not awful, though not a great bottle for a First. Also some stink, but I think beneath the funk there's a pretty good wine lurking. Some lead pencil and cedar. B/B-

1978 Grand Puy Lacoste (Pauillac)
Showing well, cigarbox and learther over redcurrant fruit. B+

1982 l'Arrosee (St. Emilion)
Wine of the flight for me. Sweet red fruit, tobacco and cedar on the nose. Medium-bodied, silky texture. Very good finish. I always seem to like Arrosee, but never buy, should reconsider. A-/B+

A little break from the reds as the scallops in porcini foie gras butter arrived. John had broght the 1995 Zind-Humbrecht "Clos Windsbuhl" Gewürztraminer to go with this. Brilliant match, and very good wine. I always like ZH's Gewurz & TPG more than the Rieslings. Big, aromatic, tasty. A-

Flight Three
1983 Gruaud Larose (St Julien)
I loved this when we did a Gruaud vertical last year, and this is also showing very well. Sweet dark fruit overlaid with floral and earth. Medium-bodied yet with some real backbone. A-/B+

1983 Pichon Lalande (Pauillac)
I think group agreed this was slightly corked, but you could still sense some power under the cardboard. NR

1982 l'Evangile (Pomerol)

Elegant rather than powerful, warm red plum and currant fruti with tobacco and cedar. I really enjoy this, A-/A

1990 Leoville Barton (St Julien)
Tight, a bit hard, though the fruit is trying to push through. Much more closed than a bottle at a 1990 horizontal last year. Tonight this is a B, though couple more hours of air might have upped a bit.

Flight Four
1989 L'Evangile (Pomerol)
Showing pretty well, balanced with blackcurrant and black plum fruit, a nice medium-bodied Pomerol with good finish. B+

1985 Cheval Blanc (St. Emilion)
My WOTN. Elegant yet with a sense of vibrant strength, there are layers of violets, cigarbox and leather over the classy fruit. Finish goes on and on. A

1985 L'Eglise Clinet (Pomerol)
Pretty funky, but it blows off to show a nice if very mature modest Pomerol. B

Flight Five
1989 Pichon Baron (Pauillac)
Light pruney edge, pretty mature. B

1986 Lynch Bages (Pauillac)
Seems tighter and less evolved than bottle at 1986 horizontal, with notes of sweat and earth. B

1989 Lynch Bages (Pauillac)
Sweet fruit, brawny, young but offering lots fo pleasure. A-/B+

1990 Troplong Mondot (St. Emilion)
Lifted nose at first, aromas of coffee and licorice. Very exotic, no points for typicity, but fun wine. B+

I wasn't feeling well, and had my main course just wrapped up. The waitress also wrapped my cheese course (great service, by the way). I tried the dessert wines, but my heart wasn't really in it:

1986 Coutet
Vibrant, with clover honey over apricots and ripe peach. Delicious, lovely. A-/B+

1976 Sichel Winzer-Berrin Beerenauslese (Rheinpfalz)
(name might not be totally right)

Attractive nose of bitter orange, but my note says the palate was "icky". Maybe more a function of my stomach than the wine, but I say C/C+.

Nice night. I wish I had more of an opportunity to enjoy Triomphe's fine food. Thanks everyone!

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.

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Dale Williams
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Re: TN: Older Bordeaux with David Wainwright at Triomphe

Postby Randy Buckner » Sun Apr 09, 2006 1:14 am

Wow, Dale, what an exciting tasting. They are always fun to do, but I always feel like I didn't do justice to some of the old beauties when tasted in such a venue.
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Re: TN: Older Bordeaux with David Wainwright at Triomphe

Postby Dale Williams » Sun Apr 09, 2006 6:22 pm

Actual intention was one bottle per person. but quite a few brought two- either because their bottle was maybe a bit less pricey than others (my case, I decided to add the BdM C-C starter because my on theme '98 Ch. 'Evangile was less pricey than many other wines) or because there were some doubts as to whether the wine would be alive (the '70 Lafleur Petrus).

My actual ideal is 6-8,but this particular group usually limits to 12. We at least ensure a decent initial pour.
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Re: TN: Older Bordeaux with David Wainwright at Triomphe

Postby JoePerry » Sun Apr 09, 2006 8:39 pm

How is David liking the London Christies? It must be great to go home again.

I'll never forgive him for ruining mundane sherry for me...

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