Took the train into city and then subway down to Wall St last night; our Bordeaux group did a horizontal of 1983 Bordeaux at Harrys of Hanover Square. We got off to a rocky start- in AM a core member had to bow out due to a death in the family, another decided not to come because he said his Pichon Lalande was cooked when he double decanted, another guy bringing multiple bottles had to leave behind a dead Conseillante. But we had hopes for the rest of the wines.
1983 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc - pretty much everything I want in white Graves. There’s a whiff of grass/gooseberry, clearly significant Sauvignon Blanc, but also a waxy note that seems more Semillon-ish. Full, rich, crisp. A-
We sent around one wine on its own:
1983 Cantemerle (Haut Medoc)
Very good bottle, elegant, more red than black fruit, nice herbal note, good length. Nice showing. B+
Next up was a flight that didn’t do well. That was ok because the scallop course arrived and this gave me chance to revisit the DDC with the scallops.
1983 Belair (St. Emilion)
1983 L'Arrossee (St. Emilion),
I told John on train down I had thought this was corked on first sniff, but when I doubledecanted I didn’t get any TCA (I’m probably a 4 on a scale of 10 in sensitivity). Well, with a bit of air the TCA was definitely there.
OK, a bit worrisome, but from here on in clear sailing.
First St. Julien flight
1983 Ducru-Beaucaillou (St. Julien)
I thought a touch pruney when doubledecanting, but with air in glass this shaped up nicely. Mid-bodied, more elegant than powerful, red fruit and tobacco. Got better and better. B+/A-
1983 Gruaud Larose (St. Julien)
A bit of ye olde barnyard, but well within my tolerance. Full, masculine though not heavy, good length. A-
Second St. Julien Flight
1983 Leoville Poyferre (St. Julien)
Cassis and cocoa,lots of earth, fresh and full. B+/A-
1983 Leoville Las Cases (St. Julien)
Tight, stolid, showing less than other bottles. B/B-
1983 Palmer (Margaux)
This was a very good bottle, though not the magic that one occasionally runs across in an 83 Palmer. A-/B+
1983 Rauzan Segla (Margaux)
Sweet fruit, smoke and spice. Not as long as some others, but very tasty, B+
Final (mixed) Flight
1983 La Mission Haut Brion (Graves)
Exotic, tannic, full. This was very good wine that didn’t taste like I remember 83 LMHB tasting. A bit burly. B+
1983 Ausone (St Emilion)
Elegant, long, nice tension between fruit and acids, tannins mostly resolved, put this in a GC Burg flight as a ringer. My WOTN by a hair. A-
We did our usual 3/2/1 voting at end. This is total that I noted, but Suzanne says there were 2 first place votes for LMHB, so may be off somewhere by a point.
Ausone 20 pts
La Mission Haut Brion 5
Gruaud Larose 5
Leoville Poyferre 2
Ducru Beaucaillou 2
Fun night with a fun crew, though tasting dinners 2 nights in a row- I’m getting too old for this. Thanks to all for good wines and good company.
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.