(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.
(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.
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