(2020) This second-growth from Pauillac was last tasted five or six years ago. It's still youthful, decanted off the sediment for an hour or so, showing classic pencil shaving, blood and deep black and red fruit aromas, a wonderfully evocative bouquet. On the palate it has masses of fruit depth, always savoury, gamy, blood and iron-oxide-streaked, with terrific structure: the tannins here are still firm and commanding, the juiciness of the acidity is keen, and the overall balance is excellent. I'd say this is still on the upslope, is still chewy and firm, and will be brilliant with some lamb or rare roast beef.
(2020) Solid ruby at the core but tawny towards the rim, this has a mellow, currant and sweet plum flesh nose, that undertow of game and sauvage quality is there, a firm graphite note still discernable. No sign of the slightly more animal character of a couple of bottles drunk many years ago. Lovely sweetness on the palate: pure blackcurrant and savoury, plum skin and bitter orange, tannins still spicy and taut, acidity balanced and gastronomic, and the wine drinking really well. I'd guess this is at, or has just peaked, and is for drinking now. Really very good indeed - complete mature Bordeaux experience.
(2019) From a legendary vintage, this second-growth Margaux is absolutely exemplary classic Bordeaux: only 12.5% alcohol and a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot, at 33 years old the colour is surprisingly dense and ruby at the core, the broad rim only just fading to pink/amber. Heavenly, pure classic nose of pencil shavings and truffle, a little dried blood note and plenty of black, small berry fruits. There is perfume to spare here, from the gamey to the floral. Decanted for half an hour or so, it is clearly a wine just edging towards the downslope, the tannins a little dry, a bit of brick dust character, but is gives such pleasure and is such a terrific wine. Balancing meatiness, elegance, firmness and yielding softness so well, it has sweet fruit on the mid-palate but does dry just slightly towards the long finish, suggesting it should be drunk up soon to enjoy this gorgeous wine at its best.
(2018) At 33-years old, in a more or less perfect place for me, pouring with still a healthy ruby at the core and the nose absolutely à pointe with some herbal Cabernet character, but loads of precise graphite and black fruit and a waft of rose-like perfume somewhere in the background. In the mouth still rich and substantial: a wine that has shrugged off its three decades, still a hint of muscularity and taut athleticism, but there is a softening touch to the fruit, a little Muscavado sugar caramel, but lovely, lovely resolution of the tannins and acids into a harmonious and quite long finish. Could it be a tad more complex? Maybe, but I'm very happy to have one more bottle left in the cellarfor drinking over the next few years.
(2018) In Bordeaux, 1985 is my favourite vintage bar none. Yes, '61 may be more legendary, '49 more revered, but I have bought and drunk a lot of '85s over the past 30 years with unfailing success in the wines being both sumptuous and structured, in an immensely pleasurable vintage. This Margaux may be the pinnacle, a heavenly depth of graphite and cedar-touched ripe, but not overripe, black fruits, the lightest nuances of game and vanilla, and just a gorgeous, ethereal Margaux perfume. In the mouth the tannins are now resolved of course, but the fine-grained, supple nature is lovely and the fresh acidity gives this an alert, still energetic character at 33 years of age. Wonderful fruit, again just touched with cedar and game on the palate, but a depth of blackcurrant and edged by black plum and chocolate bittersweet notes. Long, not fading in the glass after an hour, and possibly with substantial time ahead for well-cellared bottles.
(2016) Nice deep and dense colour, orange on rim, initially quite gamy on opening, meat stock and a touch of almost bretty character but over 10 minutes that has almost disappeared, leaving much more cigar box and graphite, classic and mineral with a core of taut black fruit. Glorious in the mouth: fairly lean in style, that is, no excess baggage here, just a tight and meaty core of black fruit and roasted meat, chestnut and a hint of cherry. Fresh, with elegant acidity, a fairly noteable tannin still. Delicious and I think it may plateau for quite some time.
(2016) At 22 years old the Haut-Brion 1994 has a broad amber rim, and a red oxide colour. On the nose there is plenty of game and forest floor, briary character, graphite and pencil-shavings, and a sweet black berry fruit is there in the mix. In the mouth it has marvelous, blood-streaked and mineral character: true Graves, with the savoury black fruit touched by olive and game, the tannins very refined and now quite modest, and the alacrity of good natural acidity and its lowly 12.5% alcohol shining through. It perhaps lacks the final ounce of generosity to command the highest score, and it is hard to say whether more time in the cellar will be rewarded, but it has a relatively austere beauty and is a terrific wine that oozes class from first sip to last.
(2015) From the moment this wine is uncorked the bouquet is heavenly, wafting from the glass with a melange of exotic incense spices, Sandalwood and jasmine, then sweet damp earth, graphite and finally a bold and glossy pool of black cherry and cassis. It is, in short, sensational. On the palate there is absolutely no disappointment. Graceful and elegant, it is at the same time just crammed with essence of black fruits, the tartness and the sweetness of biting through a ripe plum into the sweet flesh, a background of earth, gravel and minerals, and yet sweet woodsmoke and tobacco swirl through it too. Light at only 12.5% alcohol, yet substantial, it is almost gravity defying in its lift and perfect balance into a long, beautifully focused finish. One of my great Bordeaux experiences.
(2012) The game and bloody perfume is beginning to develop here, a very fine, racy ash and smoke note over refined black fruit. The berry richness suggests great ripeness. The palate has delightful balance, with very acidity and intense concentration, but the tannins and lovely length of the wine show brilliant harmony and huge potential.
(2012) Such a deep colour here, brown on the rim but ruby at the core. The depth of sensuous, blood streaked meat, coffee and gamy notes. There is the peppercorn and herbal note too, some olive, in a hugely complex profile. The palate too is sensational, the medium bodied finesse of the savoury, still tight black fruit woven with smoke, sweet, suede-like tannins, and decisive acidity. This wine shimmers with life and vitality, the orangy tang of the acids and creamy ripeness of the fruit still there, even amongst the developed nuances of game and coffee. Fabulous, and extraordinarily long.
Displaying results 0 - 10 of 13