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WTN: Pichon-Baron '98 vs '99

by Otto » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:48 pm

  • 1998 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac (1/29/2008)
    This started out as a very classical Pauillac with graphite, cigar box and cassis aromatics. With air the fruit turned to a more darker toned/inky, more modern styled wine, and the oak also became more apparent with air. Full bodied, but refreshingly leafy. It has much tannins still but they are ripe so are not bothersome to me (but do require some red meat now). Long and refreshing aftertaste. This isn't offensively modern in style and I quite like it as it shows true Pauillac character despite the modern elements. Needs a few more years.
  • 1999 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac (1/29/2008)
    The nose is rather opulent, with some blueberry oaky notes, but also a delectable amount of dung/brett! It is a rather inky and modern style otherwise, with lots of fruit and oak, and the whole is very dark toned. Full bodied, ripe, slightly flabby and unacidic palate, not as refreshing as the '98, but is soft, creamy and oaky instead. Where the '98 was to my taste despite a nod towards the modern style, this was too much in that direction for my taste (despite the slight bretty aroma!). Palatable certainly, but not my preferred style. It was interesting to note that 1,5 years ago, I enjoyed this wine very much - strange how radically tastes can change in such a short time.
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Brian K Miller

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Re: WTN: Pichon-Baron '98 vs '99

by Brian K Miller » Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:36 pm

Otto Nieminen wrote: It was interesting to note that 1,5 years ago, I enjoyed this wine very much - strange how radically tastes can change in such a short time.[/list]
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Eek. Too true. I have a cellar full of big California Cabs that I probably no longer would like as much! :?
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: Pichon-Baron '98 vs '99

by David M. Bueker » Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:46 pm

'99 Pichon is not a structured wine (as Bordeaux goes). I would never expect it to be in your wheelhouse Otto.

As for '98, I cannot see your evaluation. Don't get it at all. '98 is a very structured, classic Pauillac. Is the fruit in the black rather than red range - yes, but that's Cabernet. It shouldn't really be anythng else.
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Re: WTN: Pichon-Baron '98 vs '99

by Otto » Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:00 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:As for '98, I cannot see your evaluation. Don't get it at all. '98 is a very structured, classic Pauillac. Is the fruit in the black rather than red range - yes, but that's Cabernet. It shouldn't really be anythng else.


Why not? As far I see it, we are saying pretty much the same thing! Where we might slightly disagree is that black fruit is ok, but inky I don't like? But other than that little point, I think I wrote what you did above also...

-O
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Re: WTN: Pichon-Baron '98 vs '99

by David M. Bueker » Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:27 pm

Otto Nieminen wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:As for '98, I cannot see your evaluation. Don't get it at all. '98 is a very structured, classic Pauillac. Is the fruit in the black rather than red range - yes, but that's Cabernet. It shouldn't really be anythng else.


Why not? As far I see it, we are saying pretty much the same thing! Where we might slightly disagree is that black fruit is ok, but inky I don't like? But other than that little point, I think I wrote what you did above also...

-O


Then you possibly just don't like Cabernet (or Merlot) as it produces dark colored wines except when it is not ripe. Are you really that particular about the color? There's nothing blueberry-ish about it or overly extracted. What about the wine do you consider inky? '98 was not a low-acid, fruit bomb year for Pauillac, nor for P-B.
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Re: WTN: Pichon-Baron '98 vs '99

by Michael Malinoski » Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:53 pm

Otto Nieminen wrote:
  • 1999 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac (1/29/2008)
    The nose is rather opulent, with some blueberry oaky notes, but also a delectable amount of dung/brett! It is a rather inky and modern style otherwise, with lots of fruit and oak, and the whole is very dark toned. Full bodied, ripe, slightly flabby and unacidic palate, not as refreshing as the '98, but is soft, creamy and oaky instead. Where the '98 was to my taste despite a nod towards the modern style, this was too much in that direction for my taste (despite the slight bretty aroma!). Palatable certainly, but not my preferred style. It was interesting to note that 1,5 years ago, I enjoyed this wine very much - strange how radically tastes can change in such a short time.
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Hi Otto,

Thanks for the notes. I have to say that my experience this past summer of the 1999 Pichon Baron was quite different. I found it to be open for business, yet quite crisp and refreshing. In fact, I recall being surprised at just how juicy it was at this stage in its evolution. I did not encounter any dung, either, so it seems possible there is some bottle variation at play here? Anyway, my note:

1999 Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron Pauillac. The bouquet changes with each swirl, centering primarily on raw leather, a big hit of tobacco leaf, red currants, dark chocolate and iron. It shows excellent balance in the mouth, and a surprisingly fresh, yet rich fruit profile. Red currants, leaves, minerals and crisp acids lead to a refreshingly crisp finish. This went quite well with food and seems to be drinking very well right now.

-Michael
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Re: WTN: Pichon-Baron '98 vs '99

by Otto » Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:41 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Then you possibly just don't like Cabernet (or Merlot) as it produces dark colored wines except when it is not ripe. Are you really that particular about the color? There's nothing blueberry-ish about it or overly extracted. What about the wine do you consider inky? '98 was not a low-acid, fruit bomb year for Pauillac, nor for P-B.


Hold on! I wasn't talking about the colour of the wines, but of the tones on the nose which were suggestive of darker fruit tones than I find in strictly traditionally styled Bordeaux. Apart from that, as we have noticed so often before also, our tastes tend to differ a bit in Bordeaux, so I'm not surprised you didn't find it as modern in style than I did. But, like I said, I liked the '98, so yes I do like the Bx blend.

I managed to save a small drop of these for tonight. The '99 has become much more to my taste overnight: still a bit flabby, but it smells more like Bordeaux, more like Michael's bottle and more like the one I remembered from a year and half ago. The '98 hasn't budged - still very nice.

-O
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.

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