Open Mike: 94 Bordeauxs

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Open Mike: 94 Bordeauxs

Postby Jenise » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:38 am

Last week, Jay Labrador posted about a 94 Margaux that seemed to be heading downhill. Sitting on a few of those myself, that shot me in fear over to Cellar Tracker to see if others had been similarly dismayed with recent bottles, and no, it would seem Jay's bottle was simply a bad bottle. Which got Walt Carpenter and I talking since I am relying on him to tell me when these wines are ready to drink, and he thinks the 94's are going to open up the way the 88's eventually did. I've only opened one of my 94's ever: a Pavie Macquin about three years ago which I found very black, taut and unyielding.

I don't have many, but I'll sacrifice another for the cause if anyone wants to join me. I have Roche Brun, Pichon Baron, Leoville Las Cases, Margaux, Canon, Pavie Macquin and Grand Puy Lacoste available to compare with anything someone else has. Of those, I'm guessing the Roche Brun and the Canon would be the likeliest ducks to quack.
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Re: Open Mike: 94 Bordeauxs

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:50 am

IT's not in my inventory but I have a bottle of '94 Leo Barton to offer.
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Re: Open Mike: 94 Bordeauxs

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:28 am

Sounds like a very interesting topic Jenise!

Of those, I'm guessing the Roche Brun and the Canon would be the likeliest ducks to quack.

Did you know that actually the only duck that says "quack quack" is the Gadwall? Don`t expect me to give the calls of the other duck species!!!
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Phelan Segur the only one I have had recently:

Postby SteveG » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:50 am

7/1/2008 rated 93 points: mahogany/rosewood with burnt orange edges, cedar, old leather, black cherries, smoky herbs. Lots of smooth tannins, perfectly balanced and pleasant, rather lighter than I expected for a St. Estephe, lovely but not especially long finish. A wonderful, aged Bordeaux, just not top-of-class. Enjoyed with sirloin steaks and Parmesan orzo.

In retrospect, I think most would have found it a little wanting of fruit (perhaps related to the shorter finish), but I somewhat enjoy that style.
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Re: Open Mike: 94 Bordeauxs

Postby Dale Williams » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:25 am

Offhand, I've got Petit Village, Leo Poyferre, Talbot. Will open one soon, but weather next few days here doesn't scream Bordeaux,
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Re: Open Mike: 94 Bordeauxs

Postby Mark Lipton » Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:39 pm

Hmmm... I'll have to check the database when I get home tonight. This isn't exactly the weather for drinking Bordeaux chez nous, but maybe we'll grill steak, lamb or chicken some evening...

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Re: Open Mike: 94 Bordeauxs

Postby Jenise » Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:22 pm

Dale Williams wrote:Offhand, I've got Petit Village, Leo Poyferre, Talbot. Will open one soon, but weather next few days here doesn't scream Bordeaux,


You guys still baking? 58F and cloudy here at 9:18 a.m. Seems fine. :)
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Re: Open Mike: 94 Bordeauxs

Postby JC (NC) » Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:31 pm

I may have a Talbot but the only '94 Bordeaux I know I have is my first and only Lafite Rothschild. I won't be opening it any time soon if the '94's are considered to be immature. Maybe in 2014?
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Re: Open Mike: 94 Bordeauxs

Postby Tim York » Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:13 pm

Dale Williams wrote:Offhand, I've got Petit Village, Leo Poyferre, Talbot. Will open one soon, but weather next few days here doesn't scream Bordeaux,


What is you guys' Bordeaux unfriendly weather problem? Over here it is cold and wet, so robust reds spring to mind.

This OM interests me. I have some Pontet-Canet, Haut-Bailly, Léoville-Poyferré and Poujeaux several rows down in a 100+ bottle stack of mid-90s Bordeaux. The least inaccessible are the Poujeaux and Haut-Bailly so i will probably take out one of those although I was warned that Haut-Bailly was hard a few years ago.

I also had some Phélan-Ségur and Maucamps, which are all gone. Both were sturdy enjoyable classical clarets in a slightly austere vein. Steve's note on Phélan is recognisably the same wine allowing for the fact that my bottles were drunk at a younger stage.
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Re: Open Mike: 94 Bordeauxs

Postby Dieter Weiser » Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:04 pm

Jenise wrote:the 94's are going to open up the way the 88's eventually did.

Honestly, most 94 Bordeaux are crap, I've sold all of it. I would strongly recommend to invest your money into pleasure rather than to wait for miracles.
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Re: Open Mike: 94 Bordeauxs

Postby Dale Williams » Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:31 pm

Jenise, what is Roche Brun? Rare that I run across a Bordeaux I don't recognize.

Dieter Weiser wrote:Honestly, most 94 Bordeaux are crap, I've sold all of it. I would strongly recommend to invest your money into pleasure rather than to wait for miracles.


Like 75s and to a lesser extent '88s, '94s are never going to be lush and "hedonistic." Nor will they likely ever mellow into great mature clarets to have with your roast chicken. But I've found quite a few that have shown surprisingly well in verticals, and have no problem with '94 Leo-Barton, Leo-Poy, Haut-Brion, Clinet, L'Evangile, Latour, Lafite as steak wines. Not crap.
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Re: Open Mike: 94 Bordeauxs

Postby Otto » Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:52 pm

Dieter Weiser wrote:
Jenise wrote:the 94's are going to open up the way the 88's eventually did.

Honestly, most 94 Bordeaux are crap, I've sold all of it. I would strongly recommend to invest your money into pleasure rather than to wait for miracles.


I love '88s and the more I taste them, I am finding the '94s to be in a similar profile. They obviously aren't to everyones' tastes, but for those of us who like a savoury style of Claret both vintages seem to provide great pleasure. I can't remember who on this board said it, but I agree with the sentiment that Bordeaux shouldn't have baby fat on it, but should only be muscle and bones. I don't know whether it is a stylistic choice or global warming or whatever else, but I think much of recent Bordeaux has had baby fat on them. I like the '88s and '94s because they don't, but for my tastes the ones I have had have been perfectly balanced. From my frankly too limited experience with both vintages, I would love to try more from both.

I recently tried two '94s that I truly loved. Cos d'Estournel 1994 from a half was still adolescent - I prefer more maturity in my Bx if possible - yet it still provided great pleasure. It was a very classic, stern nose with some lovely greenness/herbaceousness; still quite strong structure, very refreshing and classic in its blackcurrant leaf aromas. If the half-bottle was representative, this is at the very beginning of its life.

Ch. Meyney 1994 was more developed half a year ago. A very classic left-bank nose, attractively aged, but a bit simple and four-square. The palate is still somewhat tannic, red toned in its fruit, savoury, classic. Long and dry finish. I like it very much - a good example of why even "humble" Bordeaux should be left to age. Drinking well now (for those of us who don't demand a sexy, fruit-forward style) and should keep for some time still.

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Re: Open Mike: 94 Bordeauxs

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:27 pm

Dieter Weiser wrote:
Jenise wrote:the 94's are going to open up the way the 88's eventually did.

Honestly, most 94 Bordeaux are crap, I've sold all of it. I would strongly recommend to invest your money into pleasure rather than to wait for miracles.


Dieter - you seem to have some rather definitive opinions today*. Why not participate in the discussion instead of telling us all how wrong we are in our preferences. What are your specific issues with the '94s? Is it tannins, acidity, fruit levels?

*see this thread, the Prum kabinett thread, the QbA thread
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Re: Open Mike: 94 Bordeauxs

Postby Michael Malinoski » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:43 pm

The 2 '94's I've had recently are Haut Brion and (just this past Sunday) Leoville Las Cases. Of the two, the Haut Brion was drinking the best and giving the most pleasure. The Leoville Las Cases was drinking a bit muted, but is by no means devoid of positives. Not worth the tariff, but not a bad wine by any stretch.

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Re: Open Mike: 94 Bordeauxs

Postby Bill Spohn » Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:11 pm

It surprised me to find that I have a dozen different 1994s, none of which I have touched yet except one that needs drinking - Coufran. Thanks for the reminder, I'll be digging some out of the cellar to have with lamb this weekend. Maybe I'll also pull an Haut Bailly to go with it.

It would surprise me to hear anyone knowledgeable in Bordeaux condemn this vintage wholesale as 'crap'. If you are selective there are many decent wines. This was also the case in 1993, mostly on the right bank. If you want to pass simplistic judgements about a whole vintage, you'd be much safer with 1991 and 1992.
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Re: Open Mike: 94 Bordeauxs

Postby wrcstl » Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:04 pm

Jenise wrote:Last week, Jay Labrador posted about a 94 Margaux that seemed to be heading downhill. Sitting on a few of those myself, that shot me in fear over to Cellar Tracker to see if others had been similarly dismayed with recent bottles, and no, it would seem Jay's bottle was simply a bad bottle. Which got Walt Carpenter and I talking since I am relying on him to tell me when these wines are ready to drink, and he thinks the 94's are going to open up the way the 88's eventually did. I've only opened one of my 94's ever: a Pavie Macquin about three years ago which I found very black, taut and unyielding.

I don't have many, but I'll sacrifice another for the cause if anyone wants to join me. I have Roche Brun, Pichon Baron, Leoville Las Cases, Margaux, Canon, Pavie Macquin and Grand Puy Lacoste available to compare with anything someone else has. Of those, I'm guessing the Roche Brun and the Canon would be the likeliest ducks to quack.



We have some like minded wine geeks coming over for grilled lamp chops Sunday and I will open a '94. Surprised that a few attack the vintage but like Otto, this is my type of wine and expect them to never be lucious, just very classic and just nearing drinkability.
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Re: Open Mike: 94 Bordeauxs

Postby Jenise » Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:14 pm

JC (NC) wrote:I may have a Talbot but the only '94 Bordeaux I know I have is my first and only Lafite Rothschild. I won't be opening it any time soon if the '94's are considered to be immature. Maybe in 2014?


Definitely too early for the Lafite, JC. TNs on Cellar Tracker indicate that the wine shows well enough now but should improve and if Walt's right about the future potential of some 88's (I own the 88 Lafite, and have tasted the wine in the past), there's a lot to be gained by waiting.
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Re: Open Mike: 94 Bordeauxs

Postby JC (NC) » Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:18 pm

Thanks, Jenise for reinforcing the decision to hold off on the Lafite.
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Re: Phelan Segur the only one I have had recently:

Postby Jenise » Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:31 pm

SteveG wrote: A wonderful, aged Bordeaux, just not top-of-class.


You know what, I think this is what most of us are hoping for from the vintage. The wines we drink don't all have to be amazing, and if they were, and we had nothing to compare them to, would we really have knowledge? NYT wine writer Eric Asimov once put it best, I think, when talking about the kind of wine buyer who only buys the so-called BEST vintages, "If you only want to see home runs, then you don't really enjoy baseball."


Michael Malinoski wrote:The 2 '94's I've had recently are Haut Brion and (just this past Sunday) Leoville Las Cases. Of the two, the Haut Brion was drinking the best and giving the most pleasure. The Leoville Las Cases was drinking a bit muted, but is by no means devoid of positives. Not worth the tariff, but not a bad wine by any stretch.-Michael


The LLC may be one I should sacrifice this weekend. From notes on Cellar Tracker, though, the Pichon would appear to be the best drinking of what I have.


Dale Williams wrote:Jenise, what is Roche Brun? Rare that I run across a Bordeaux I don't recognize.


I hate this answer, but: no idea, Dale. Strangely, I don't recall why I bought these. By Sunday I'll be able to tell you if they were worth our time, though.
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Re: Phelan Segur the only one I have had recently:

Postby Bill Spohn » Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:41 pm

Jenise wrote:The LLC may be one I should sacrifice this weekend.


No, I think that the 94 LLC would make a truly excellent luncheon wine.... :mrgreen:
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Re: Phelan Segur the only one I have had recently:

Postby Jenise » Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:42 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:
Jenise wrote:The LLC may be one I should sacrifice this weekend.


No, I think that the 94 LLC would make a truly excellent luncheon wine.... :mrgreen:


So I should put the 88 Lafite back?
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Re: Phelan Segur the only one I have had recently:

Postby Bill Spohn » Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:47 pm

Jenise wrote:So I should put the 88 Lafite back?



Nay, another luncheon wine to be sure.....
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Re: Phelan Segur the only one I have had recently:

Postby Jenise » Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:37 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:
Jenise wrote:So I should put the 88 Lafite back?


Nay, another luncheon wine to be sure.....


Well I'll show you mine if you show me yours. :)
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Re: Phelan Segur the only one I have had recently:

Postby Bill Spohn » Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:00 pm

Jenise wrote:Well I'll show you mine if you show me yours. :)


:oops: haven't chosen one for August yet. I usually feel that Bordeaux is more suited to nice cool Fall dinners rather than hot summer repasts, but I'm not sure why I feel that way.

Maybe I'll need to choose a claret friendly terrine recipe!
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