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Jenise

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WTN: 1997 La Bernadotte Haut-Medoc

by Jenise » Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:50 am

This was an odd one that defied the vintage and all other attempts at categorization.

Purchased about eight years ago after I'd had Bernadottes from better vintages (and considered them good value at $20ish) and thought these worth a chance at $5/bottle close-out several years later. Initially they were quite disappointing and reminded me of my 4th grade teacher, the elderly spinster Miss Schwellenbach: skinny, stern and ascerbic with light body, frail uncomplex fruit, a mean green streak and tough acids. I remember the first bottle we ever opened sat on the counter for ten days before it became drinkable, but even then it wasn't pleasurable. Every year we'd open one and find it had changed very little, so we finally quit opening them, unsure if they would ever be worth drinking at all even at the ridiculous price I paid.

Last week we finally opened another, and I'm pleased to report that the wine is finally showing well. Yes it's still lean and rather linear, but the meanness is gone and it has finally developed some warm tones both in color and secondary characteristics that make it a better food wine but not uninteresting on its own for those not acid-averse--it now sports a rather umami kind of brightness and a sweet caramel edge. Finally, unlike the bottles up till now, we truly enjoyed the wine. And what's more remarkable, it will go on for years at its current glacial pace and outlast most of the pedigreed wines from the vintage. Now if only I could have the bottles back that we drank and start all over--I believe there are only four left.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: 1997 La Bernadotte Haut-Medoc

by David M. Bueker » Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:41 pm

At least you found out before they were all gone. Usually it's the very last bottle that starts to show well.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: 1997 La Bernadotte Haut-Medoc

by Jenise » Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:46 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:At least you found out before they were all gone. Usually it's the very last bottle that starts to show well.


Yahbut, I started with a case and a half. :)

Trouble is I started dragging them out to serve drunks who didn't care what they were drinking when the party got a little long--you know the type.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: 1997 La Bernadotte Haut-Medoc

by Jenise » Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:03 am

David, this will make you laugh--you were closer to right than I was. I have only TWO bottles left.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: 1997 La Bernadotte Haut-Medoc

by David M. Bueker » Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:39 am

Someone must have done a study about how good the last bite, last sip, last bottle tastes & the semi-related reluctance to open the last bottle, take the last slice of pizza, eat the last donut (ok that I can understand), etc.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.

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