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Château Croizet-Bages, Pauillac, 5th growth 1978
First cork crumbled to nothing - no amount of gentle persuasion could hold it together. Open a second bottle. Cork quite crumbly again, but managed to extract it without too much damage. Colour very brown with still some ruby at core. Very overripe, meaty, perfumed nose of game and stewed fruits. A touch maderised. Palate still has a fine sweetness of fruit, ripe and mouth-filling. Very chewy and much cleaner than I'd feared, but still earthy, gamy and savoury with highish acidity gripping the finish, though tannins very subdued. No long-term future perhaps, but a very pleasant, if rustic surprise after cork condition and colour. (06/00)