TN 1988 Bordeaux

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Simon Grant, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. 88 BORDEAUX @ LA T - La Trompette, London (07/06/2018)

    • 2006 Perrier-Jouët Champagne Belle Epoque - France, Champagne
      Pale mid straw. A touch of bread. Lovely balance. Still quite fresh but starting to round out a little on the mid palate. Slightly richer than I expected. Nose opening nicely with a finely chalky minerality. **** (92 pts.)
    • 1988 Château Cos d'Estournel - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
      Lovely traditional nose, all cedar and cigar. A hint of richness to the fruit too. Classic 88 — the dryness quite prominent on the finish. Bare **** (91 pts.)
    • 1988 Château La Lagune - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc
      Corked. Swimming pool nose but pretty corky palate. NR (flawed)
    • 1988 Château Calon-Ségur - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
      Interesting nose. Quite savoury, a touch of tomato leaf. Sweet-fruited attack ahead of 88 profile, but more rounded and sweeter fruited than the Cos. A touch less complex but more harmonious and fun**** (91 pts.)
    • 1988 Château La Pointe - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
      Stewed, evolved nose. The merlot comes through on the attack but overall a bit dry and lacking stamina. (*)** (86 pts.)
    • 1988 Château Talbot - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
      Reassuringly Cordier. Some warm terracotta too. A sweet red fruit element too at its core. Drops of a little on the finish but the attack is sound, decent even. A relative crowd pleaser. Quite rounded with balance. **** (91 pts.)
    • 1988 Château Léoville Barton - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
      Darker fruited. Quite bright. Dry, fairly austere and uncompromising. A touch lactic. Not showy but very harmonious. **** (91 pts.)
    • 1988 Château Léoville Las Cases - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
      Relatively mute on the nose. A richness, rather than sweetness to the attack. Lots of interest here. Complexity. **** (92 pts.)
    • 1988 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
      Corked. NR (flawed)
    • 1988 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
      Last from a half case and by far the richest. Darker and denser than the other wines this evening. Dense mulberry fruit. Very dense and svelte. Far richer than the other wines. A touch of mocha towards the finish. Lovely and really quite plush. **** (93 pts.)
    • 1988 Château Mouton Rothschild - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
      Cleaner and brighter than previous bottle in 2006. Dense but slightly dull dark red fruit nose. Quite dark fruited A savoury fragrant lingering scent. A touch of pepper too. Lots of nuance. Opens up nicely. Less obvious gras than the Baron but a touch more sophisticated. Lots here. Lovely. ****1/2 (94 pts.)
    • 1988 Château Climens - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Barsac
      Half 1. Pretty much as it should be. Quite lush and lifted with coconut and tropical fruit. **** (93 pts.)
    • 1988 Château Climens - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Barsac
      2nd half. Darker and more evolved. Flatter on the nose, far less rich, tropical or lifted. More creme caramel than creme brûlée. Bare **** (91 pts.)
    • 1988 Château Coutet - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Barsac
      Leaner, lighter, fresher. Far less sweet. Somewhat lean. More foie gras than pudding. Medicinal on the finish. Bitter even. A touch of resin too. I’ve found Coutet 88 pretty variable, but this one is an outlier. ** (84 pts.)
    Posted from CellarTracker
  2. How do two stars get 84 points, Simon? 84% of perfection, which is what I assume 100 points indicates, is pretty high compared to 2 out of 5 which is 40%.
  3. Top evening. I loved the LLC, the Mouton, the Barton and the Pichons Baron with the Talbot only a whisker behind.

    Thanks to Ian S for pulling together and all for their wines and company.

    La T hit more good tones than bum notes although the pasta course was hindered by an overly rich reduction and over seasoning and the sweetness of the desert slightly overwhelmed the two stickies.

    '17 EP PLL or '88 LLC? Hmmmmm ;)
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  4. Think of stars as equivalent to hotel ratings, Tom. The points are my best attempt at converting to a Parker-esque /100. As I understand it you get 50/100 for just turning up, whatever state you happen to be in. If I ever want to sift through wines, CT requires scores to be a percentage or else it can’t handle them.
  5. Canapes- muffins and Irish pollan

    Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque 2006

    Pollan is an Irish fish. A lively vivacious glass of champagne to kick off proceedings on a sultry late spring evening to nurture the guardedly sanguine spirits of the assembled forumites.

    Aged peking duck, lavender and cherries - super dish, the best of the night

    La Lagune 1988 - corked, bugger...replaced by:

    La Pointe 1988 - shy nose, mellow, lactic, some hint of plummy Pomerolness but didn’t really get out of first gear **

    Cos d'Estournel 1988 - violets, briar, tobacco leaf, rich, compact, understated, elegant, with excellent depth and balance; ‘a point’ **** (92)

    Calon Segur 1988 - old school, church pew aromas, cigarette ash, cigar box, leafy...and as the table noted tomato leaf and greenhouse...dark fruited, savoury, bit musty, some found it a bit too bretty. It reminded me a bit of the 1970 I drank with Nicos. Very enjoyable, but outclassed by Cos ***1/2 (90)

    Iberico suckling pig agnolotti, black garlic and turnips

    Talbot 1988 - in a good place, old school but less rustic than the Calon, nice lift, cool red fruits, tobacco leaf, dextrous, with a lovely finish. Reminded me of the 1966 drunk in Paris a few weeks ago. **** (91)

    Leoville Barton 1988 - a little slow out of the blocks but this went from strength to strength. Cedar, cigar box tobacco, this has more power and mid-palate density than the Talbot. It really comes into its own with these dishes. A class act. Similar in quality to the 1985. ****1/2 (93)

    Leoville Las Cases 1988 - lead pencil, initially slightly more obtrusive tannins, smooths out, more black fruits, perfect equilibrium, such a class act and a complete wine, this just edges out the Barton but it was a close call. ****1/2 (94)

    Barbecued short rib, ceps, scapes, spinach and bone marrow

    Pichon Lalande 1988 - corked, merde!

    Pichon Baron 1988 - perfect entry, classical Pauillac, earth/soil and tobacco notes, beautifully resolved and very fine. However it falls off on the back end. Lacks depth and length of some of the others here. I think this needs to be drunk up. Note this bottle was pristine too. **** (91)

    Mouton Rothschild 1988 - vigorous soy Mouton nose, cedar, cigar box, red fruit, density and authority with a tad residual austerity; classy, effortless, cool fruited. A very good Mouton but neither a thrilling one nor a truly great one. ****(1/2) (93)

    (As an aside my former colleague at Bankers Trust bought 100 cases of this in the early 1990s after James Suckling rated it 100 points. He panicked after I pointed out that Parker only rated it 89, but suggested he hung on to them for the long haul. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle and Parker subsequently raised his score to 92. )

    Wild apricots, honey and almond

    Climens 1988 - Nose quite mute, palate is lively and fresh with a slight bitterness on the back end **** (91)

    Coutet 1988 - drinkable, but not a great bottle. NR

    Many thanks to Ian for organising, fellow participants and the staff of La T. The food was noticeably very rich tonight, which if anything played to the strengths of the clarets.

    Scores for the doors for the clarets:

    5th place - Cos, 3 points

    4th place - Barton, 6 points

    3rd place - Baron, 8 points

    2nd place - Lascases, 19 points

    1st place - Mouton, 25 points

    It was disappointing that three wines were flawed but it was otherwise a good showing for the 1988 vintage. My hypothesis coming into the dinner was that it is not a vintage that will make old bones, and the 1985s will easily outlive the 1988s. I think that probably holds but several of these wines were in a very good place and three of them - Leovilles and Mouton - should still be going strong in 10-20 years.

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  6. Shame this wasn’t offered through the auspices of Wine-Pages. I could have offered Latour, HB, Margaux and Gruaud.

    Still interesting reading.
  7. Thanks for the notes. Would have been interesting to put an 88 Monte Bello in as a ringer just to see how it rated. Have a few bottles and it is a lovely wine .
    Guess there was no real surprise with the outcome ? 88 is a good vintage which I would have thought is just about past it’s best .
  8. Sums it up I think, Keith.
  9. I’ve always been quite fond of 88s - lots of enjoyable though not life-changing experiences. Las Cases and Comtesse are favourites; interesting to hear about the Baron as I had kept a couple of bottles as still having plenty of time left - might revisit.

    I think the peaks in 88 are higher in Burgundy (perhaps all might not agree on this) and - especially - the Northern Rhône. Sassicaia is also a stunner.
  10. 1988 red burgundy is indeed exciting, often in unexpected places, but the good wines are only just there now.
  11. That was a very enjoyable evening indeed. I've always liked the 1988s which, while not stellar, are lovely cool-fruited clarets at the upper end of the scale. At thirty years old they're all drinking well, although some will carry on for a good while yet (especially Leoville Las Cases). I did think, like Neil, that the food did not sit quite as well as it might with the wines, and the agnolotti suffered from double jeopardy - they were over-salted and the intense reduction competed too much with the stuffing itself. The Italians serve agnolotti in a light broth for a good reason. The Peking duck dish was very good, as was the short rib.

    • 2006 Perrier-Jouët Champagne Belle Epoque - France, Champagne
      Quite a full, large-scaled champagne here with the pinot noir making its presence felt. Biscuity and lemony at the same time and now just beginning to taste secondary in character. Very vinous at the finish. Enjoyable. ****
    • 1988 Château Cos d'Estournel - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
      A strong performance on the nose here, but a little less interesting on the palate. The nose shows attractive notes of graphite, cedar, and hot cinders together with something leafy. On the palate, the wine is long with nicely evolved blackcurrant fruit - it broadens in the mouth and finishes well but there is a lack of dimension. One to drink now. ***1/2
    • 1988 Château La Lagune - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc
      Not tasted - flawed. NR
    • 1988 Château Calon-Ségur - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
      Having drunk through a case of Calon-Segur 1988 in its middle age, I thought this example was not representative of the wine at its best. The nose was initially a bit fungal and subdued, and to be fair, some of this fungal note did blow off, but the nose was still subdued. On the palate it tasted simple and bit too lean for its own good. Simon was far more taken with this wine than my end of the table. Barely ***
    • 1988 Château La Pointe - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
      This was a back-up wine. Frankly not in the class of the other wines with a stewed, rhubarby nose and thinnish, slightly shrill fruit with the acidity beginning to poke through. Serviceable old claret, but no more. **
    • 1988 Château Talbot - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
      Classic Talbot here - initially a little malty/milk chocolate on the nose with brighter red fruit showing with more air. This is a gentle, lifted, red-fruited wine in a feminine vein. Fully mature. More enjoyable than the points rating suggests. ***1/2
    • 1988 Château Léoville Barton - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
      This had a dark-fruited nose of real depth with notes of cedar, plum and a dash of iodine. Long, cedary, and quite serious on the palate, with the initial severity moderated as the wine gets air. There's good acidity too - it finishes with conviction and with some late coming tannin. Mature, but will hold well. ****
    • 1988 Château Léoville Las Cases - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
      Classic Las Cases luxe here - there's a deep plummy, blackcurrant nose that becomes really quite fragrant after time. There's noticeably good ripeness here and a generous texture to the wine without any flabbiness or over-ripeness. The fruit is seasoned with tobacco-y and cedary elements. There are notes of kirsch and liqueur at the finish. probably not quite at its peak, but very enjoyable at 30 years old. ****1/2
    • 1988 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
      Not tasted - flawed. NR
    • 1988 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
      This has a big, deep, ripe, come-hither nose - this is by far the ripest wine on the nose. It is a big deep, quite sexy wine with no rough edges, but it does tail away a touch at the finish. There is just the faintest sense of the wine being more worked than the other top wines. Nor does it show the attractive freshness of some of the other wines. Some will like this more than me. ***1/2
    • 1988 Château Mouton Rothschild - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
      This is a Mouton that I really connected with. At many horizontals, it has not always been the first growth that was my favourite wine, but last night Mouton was definitely my number one. This has a classy, cool, confit plum and cedar nose with lovely cool fruit that has a sneaky length and a lovely sense of layering. There's good acidity and that gorgeous silky texture that the best claret can show. Finishes well and invites you back for the next sip - very moreish. Drinking well now but will hold. ****1/2
    • 1988 Château Climens - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Barsac
      2nd half. This is a ripe, honeyed, and quite dark fruited wine - just enough lift here with some confit grapefruit notes. Finishes well, but no fireworks. ***1/2
    • 1988 Château Coutet - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Barsac
      A poor showing. This was the last bottle from my stocks and the previous bottle had been outstanding - sadly this one was a mere shadow of that. Dull, medicinal, and subdued. **
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  12. 1840A794-C6E9-4702-8EDD-B3C95305B660.jpeg 1C9DBF8E-7BF1-465D-ACA8-4D89E5D2A38F.jpeg FE13BFB8-318C-4190-9750-BA9534FD52A5.jpeg Peking duck, Iberico suckling pig and the Apricot tart. Forgot to take a shot of the short rib!
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  13. Great notes all round, well done chaps.
    I am sad to have missed out as Debbi had me drinking Rioja Blanco in Palma.
    Whilst I have found a good one it really doesn't make up for missing this, although the relatively modest scores for Climens88 which I adore beckons a question as t whether it is a stage it is going through?
  14. Sorry, not in order but you get the gist.
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  15. Short rib:

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  16. Good tasting notes. Thanks, all.

    I have had several bottles of the 1988 Leoville Barton. At long last it's in a lovely place.

    One of my first purchases of red wine was a bottle of 1988 Talbot for £13.99 in Oddbins in Glasgow in June 1994. I still have it. Might find an excuse to broach it!
  17. I have occasionally thought 50 too high a score to give a particularly bad wine, and been disappointed that Cellartracker won't let me put less than 50 in. :)
    Simon Grant likes this.
  18. Great notes and nice photos, many thanks al for another superb evening..
  19. Nice notes and photos, thanks to all. This makes me think that I should start looking at my 1988 Bodeaux, particulary the lesser ones.
  20. A belated thank you to all but particularly Ian for his very smooth organisation.

    I agree with the descriptions above of La Pointe (5/7). Cos I thought better than the above reports suggest (6+/7) and I gave it my third wine of the night. It was lush and very 80s Cos.

    I'm rather appalled that Simon gave Calon the same mark - this was a bit of a brett bomb, which really exploded after a couple of hours - at first it was stinky but added freshness and savouriness, by the end it was close to undrinkable (5/7 for first impressions).

    Talbot was noticeably the oldest of the St Julien flight on both colour and a funky, slightly manural, old school cedary claret style of nose. Nice and light, ready, but a touch short by comparison with the Leovilles (6/7). Barton was broad shouldered and packed, but allied richness to purity. Delicious and quite young, with a nice tang (LLC's acidity was a totally different style). 6+/7. LLC slightly younger, much more subtle than LB, extra dimensions, a slighter richer acidity. Comes out over time - stellar nose and lovely texture. Super, 7/7.

    In the Pauillacs I didn't rate the Pichon B as highly - deep, leathery nose, great depth - you think it's going to be heavy but it lifts and zips. But then the end is disappointing - a little stewed and new worldy so a slightly puzzled 5+/7 - maybe not the greatest bottle. Mouton - well, this is a bit special. Super complex nose, a class apart, strong, exotic. Rich but not weighty. Right at the start of its drinking window. I absolutely did think this was thrilling - not far behind the 86. 7+/7.

    Climens was good, a little heavy perhaps but enjoyable (6/7). Coutet rather stripped, unbalanced and with some TCP (3/7). A bad bottle, or past its prime.

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  21. Do you guys think you would have rated the wines the same If tasted blind ?
  22. In this case yes.
    Keith Prothero likes this.
  23. I think so, Keith.
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  24. I always thought 88 was a relatively easy drinking vintage. Last had the Mouton 5 years ago and thought it was very good, if not staggeringly good then. Thanks for the notes everyone. Will have to try and purchase some more Pichon Baron which I remember enjoying at our PB tasting many years ago.

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