Are we opening some better bottles as we approach lockdown?

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Thom Blach, Mar 16, 2020.

  1. Thanks for the teaching to suck eggs Colin. I'm also tolerant, maybe too so, of old wines being to some extent oxidised, and even not so old premoxed wines being a degree premoxed, when others might have them down the nearest sink. All I can say to you, as you seem to like to take particular issue with my posts, is that the Jobard did NOT imho suffer 'a routine process of oxidation' - there was absolutely nothing routine about that degree of change overnight. Each to their own. I'll try and anticipate better what you might wish to say in reply to my posts in future.
  2. Meanwhile I opened a Leoville-Barton 2004 for tonight after mixed experiences with Pontet Canet 2003 and Cullen Diana Madeline 2008

    I don’t like to tempt fate but I think the Barton is going to give these two a masterclass in what top flight Bordeaux is all about.

  3. Hi Ian,

    I agree that 04 Leoville Barton will epitomise what claret SHOULD be, but a slight cautionary note: I tried an 04 Langoa last year and found it quite closed, giving little away. Clearly everything there was just right, but it hasn't yet unfurled. This surprised me tbh, as plenty of other comparable 04s (e.g. Talbot, Armailhac) are very much open for business.
    mark kogos and Ian Hampsted like this.
  4. Ian.

    Your views much appreciated; I have a case, as yet unbroached...
    Alistair Scott and Ian Hampsted like this.
  5. I know a few have had hit and miss experiences with the Climens 09 and I brought some in to test after not having any in over a year,

    Possibly a touch darker but looks ok. On palette it’s great, maybe more on the cinder toffee side earLay on but this eases after a while. Not quite the tropical feeling of 18 months - 2 years ago but still lovely and happy to have more bottles to see how it develops.

  6. Note on Leoville Barton 2004, for Richard and Nigel

    This wine came across the radar in late 2014 at a Leoville Barton vertical hosted by Lillian Sartorius. I was surprised how accessible it was even then compared to encounters with the 1995 and 1996 (always need another five years). So this was the first of a case I purchased on the basis of that experience.

    I have already drunk though most of a case of Langoa 2004 which has been a charming and accessible wine, as it often is, so was surprised to read that Richard (Ward) found his bottle backward. Leoville Barton has always been a big step up in my opinion, because it is on soil where the vines have to dig much deeper for nutrient.

    Tonight’s bottle of Leoville Barton 2004 had a youthful colour with a bright pink-purple at the rim. On the nose it is a smorgasbord of cassis, red fruits, herbs, cedar, violets, minerals, tilled soil and truffles. On the palate it is opulent, rich, lithe, lifted, seamless, poised and elegant, as the tannins fold into the background. Outstanding. A hypothetical blend of the opulent 2001 and classical 2002, combining the best of both.

    It is a triumph for the vintage. A true masterclass. A wine to celebrate Easter Sunday. The price of this wine has been moving up steadily over the years but it still arguably represents good value for money. Drink now and over the next decade or two.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
  7. I’m curious to know what was wrong with the Pontet Canet. I’ve had the 03 a few times in the past and whilst I appreciate it was a hot vintage I’ve always enjoyed the wine. The Cullen on the other hand is still far too young to open - I’d have been really surprised if it was ready for business. These, the Moss Woods and Voyagers from MR really need close to 20 years to be really enjoyable.
  8. IMG_3095.JPG

    Would hope this can be adjudged a better bottle but someone can tell me off if necessary.

    A previous bottle taken to a York lunch or dinner (can't recall which) was frustratingly corked. This bottle is the 2nd of 3. Bought on release and cellared since. Opened Saturday evening with a small amount carried over to finish Sunday lunch. Pic taken yesterday - to my mind now the wine actually looked paler than the photo might suggest. Inserting the corkscrew gave me a scare as the cork initially moved downwards a small extent but thereafter the cork actually came out quite tightly. Initially a little 'fusty' on the nose with the first pour cleaned up nicely thereafter. Pretty classic older, and complex, white burgundy nose. Delightful lemony, nutty & mineral dans le (la ?) bouche. Very long. Yum.
  9. Thank you!
  10. Not had any LB for a while, last was 02 in mag, but I think it is my favourite claret over all others. As you say price has been rising of late. I paid £220 in bond case of the 02 then it jumped in 03, but still remaines well priced compared to others.
    Ian Hampsted likes this.
  11. Hi Mark

    Copied and slightly edited from a post on the Easter drinking thread:

    Ch. Pontet Canet 2003, the last of this vintage I still own. A difficult wine to analyse but the shortcomings of the vintage are sadly apparent:

    First bottle out of the case: Bright lively, heady entry, classy with vibrant, zippy red fruits, cherries, pomegranates, cassis, kirsch, with a touch of cedar and impression of super ripeness. The bright pure red fruit is a signature from this estate in the early 2000s. On the palate, however, it is somewhat bare, ungenerous, harsh and unripe. The finish is better, but medium. It tastes quite alcoholic but it only says 13% on the label. A wine which feels conflicted and ill at ease, it lacks harmony and balance. Day two it was slightly better with some tar and licorice notes. But like all the 2003 Bordeaux - and there are no exceptions that I have encountered - it lacks the balance, harmony and equilibrium of fine for example last night’s Leoville Barton 2004.

    I found the Cullen Diana Madeline 2008 to be very approachable - picked up a few of these from the 2005, 2007 and 2008 vintages. Like the others it is quite soft, low in acidity with rich, ripe Margaret River fruit with menthol and tobacco notes. It was pleasant enough and certainly enjoyable, but not in the same league as the Leoville Barton. Nor does it represent particularly good vfm even at the lowish price of £65 which I paid. Having said that there are many Cali cabs costing hundreds of pounds which are not as good as Leoville Barton in vintages such as 2001, 2002, 2004 etc.
  12. Re Cullen Ian I think Moss Wood is a much closer match for LB. I'd be interested in your view on this if and when you manage to assess a bottle
  13. Thank you. Interestingly enough I took the 2003 to a cabernet tasting off line a couple of years back and out of the fourty odd bottles tried that night, the 2003 was one of the preferred wines. In fairness it is was a hotchpot of cabs from around the world, including Aus, NZ, US and some French but not many classified. i opened one of the 2005 a year ago and whilst the 2003 is ready to drink, the 2005 was impenetrable.

    On the Cullen, I was surprised to see you found it approachable. Normally the top tier MR take a long time to really develop. As a wine it does tend to polarise Australian drinkers. People either seem to love it or hate it.
  14. A 1998 Leoville Barton opened in 2018 demonstrated to me exactly what is meant by "closed wine". I haven't had any of the 2004 Langoa or Leoville Barton, but the 2002 Langoa seems to be very open (and not suggestive of representing a "poor vintage"!)
  15. Our Easter drink is DP 08, definitely not as easy going as the one in 08 prestige offline earlier (gosh that offline now feels like happened in the previous life). This one has good acidity and complexity, and slightly tight actually.
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  16. Easter Monday - O Leflaive Criots BM 1995. This had performed pretty well previously and has been stored well. But wow, I was surprised how good this was. Mid gold, lots of rich caramel notes, but real zing to balance it out. Grand cru quality.
  17. Mike, that colour looks much lighter than mine and I think it's good!
  18. Zilliken Auslese 1999. First of a case of halves. Not as good as 1997. Enjoyable but a bit too honeyed - bit of botrytis accentuated by needing a touch more acid? Not that I'm planning to stop drinking it!

    I suppose it's possible that it's too young. But given that that it's 37.5cl and the 97 has been ready for a decade, I wonder.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
  19. 22ACF46D-E349-4F17-9388-0E65A585B9A5.jpeg Some wines from the weekend.


    A Deutz bottling that I haven’t seen before. Very primary, intense Pinot fruit, this could develop into something rather good.


    Very young, screeching acidity but very high quality of fruit. Again one to revisit in a few years.


    This has shown brilliantly over many years. While still enjoyable I think that this has now passed its peak.


    The ‘86 seems to have finally come round. Still vibrant to the eye, a subtly beguiling nose and a cool polished palate. It is a shame that I drank my other bottles when they were tannic monsters.
  20. Not in magnum it hasn't ! superb wine.
  21. The problem you are now posing for me, Ian, has to do with guilt - mine, not yours. I bought a case which I was planning to split 6 & 6 with my goddaughter, born that year...even if she isn't drinking yet, her father likes claret. But as the reviews get ever more splendiferous, the temptation to "forget" one's generosity grows by the day.
    Ian Hampsted likes this.
  22. Giving this Italian stallion a run around the paddock tonight:



    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
  23. Be great to hear how this is, Ian. You provided a bottle of this, if I remember correctly, at my very first WIMPS back in 2015 when I was first trying to understand Barolo. Side by side with the Ruperstris I believe, I didn’t know how lucky I was at the time! Although I think my WOTL was Maureen’s Vietti (Lazzarito 2000 I think).
    Ian Hampsted likes this.
  24. Hi Oliver
    I was trying to remember which year that was ... thanks for clarifying, that bottle did not really come out to play.
    I have not tried one since that lunch at La T. When I opened today’s bottle,14% ABV, it had an oxidative note and a brown hue. Undeterred I double decanted at 5pm.
    By the time I came back three hours later the colour had brightened up and it was singing.
    Multi-faceted nose of balsamic, menthol, sandalwood, cedar, herbs, gardenia
    On the palate, ripe, rich, big and expansive, but at the same time elegant, exhilarating and electric
    Overall a sensational bottle, the best barolo I have tried since the 2001 Pie Franco a year and a half ago.
    On the basis of this bottle there is no need to wait.
    I think I paid $80-90 bottle for these ten years ago from the Wine Connection, Pound Ridge, New York State. Wish I had bought more, absolutely thrilling wine.
    P.S. Maureen’s wine was the Vietti Brunate 2000, which also did not show well at the time but has come together well since.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020

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