1986 Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2eme Cru Classe Pauillac Bordeaux France
Nice garnet color with brick nuances. Beautiful nose with secondary and tertiary aromas expressed by intermingled notes of forest floor, mushroom, underbrush, kirsch cedar wood, tobacco, old prune, liquorice and hints of toasted oak. The palate is more youthful than the nose with dark and red fruits flavors inspired with spicy, smoky, earthy, slightly peppery notes coming along, especially on the finish. Somehow so young and refreshingly juicy, enhanced by great acidity and framed by a seamless tannin structure. What a lovely wine. And that attractive smokiness, I loved it. Could last for another 10-15 years in my opinion, at least that bottle could have...
It is funny to notice that usually the wine press and critics in general are very elogious and optimistic about the sunnier and thus riper vintages in terms of complexity and ageing potential. Yet, in most case scenarios and especially with Bordeaux wines, it is very often the brighter vintages that show the most vibrancy and ageing potential: more particularly after 2 decades in the bottle: i.e. 1983 and 1986 compared to 1982 and 1985.
Same for Burgundy, which brings me to agree once more with all the brave and wise who said that fruit and ripeness give you flavors, strength and texture, while acidity and integrated fruit tannins confer freshness, structure and longevity.
2 Chinese words to celebrate that last fact:
Mainland China in Mandarin or Putonghua: Gan Bei (Sante, Cheers and/or Drink it all!)
Hong Kong in Cantonese: Yam Sing (Sante, Cheers and/or Let's drink to success!)
Of course, this concept can be deceiving as riper vintages show more fruit and fuller texture and can trick you by their complexity and intensity, yet it does not mean that they will last longer compared to vintages that possess more acidity and fruit tannins; (in my opinion) on the contrary they may fade away quicker with time and gradually yet sooner lose their freshness, vivacity and fullness. The statement is a bit bold as there are many exceptions, but overall and in my experience, I think that it is the case.
1990 Chateau d'Yquem Premier Cru Superieur Sauternes Bordeaux France
Golden color with a slight pinkish hue. Barely noticeable oxidized notes on the nose at first. After a few minutes scents of orange fruits, mango and apricot, predominated the bouquet. Rich structure and really sweet orange and mango accents mainly composed the round and lightly spicy palate. The finish is quite unctuous and sweet yet not as long as long as expected. It showed much better after half an hour. (Tasted 18.07.2012)
Fantastic, with lovely acidity and texture, very integrated and harmonious and still full of potential. Show a youthful profile for its age in this particular bottle and seem to show better now than even a few years ago. I love it. In my opinion much better and vibrant and alive than some of the 1982 and 1985 that I recently tasted, which, once again and despite the disbelief of many in the wine press and critics, brings me back to what I was saying above regarding the acidity, structure, longevity and vibrancy of the wines from cooler vintages.
After 30 minutes decanting the wonderful nose offered attractive aromas of red and dark fruits mingling with nuanced secondary notes of mushroom, truffle, tobacco, cedar wood, pencil shave and cigar box. Well balanced, the palate was still fresh, harmonious and integrated and very healthy. This particular bottle could have definitely be kept for another 10 years no problem. (Tasted 18.07.2012)
1966 Taylor Port (Colheita ?) Portugal
(No indication on the label but surly a Tawny judging by the brownish color of medium intensity in the glass, past experiences proved the regular vintage ports are usually darker even for old vintages). Charming overall with medium intensity yet still quite vibrant and flavorful with a spicy, peppery finish. Enjoyable but I would have loved more define fruit expression and more refine structure. Not bad but I tasted better bottles than this particular one.
LeDom du Vin