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Tim York

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WTN: Really fine warm vintage Bordeaux

by Tim York » Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:49 pm

Château Léoville-Poyferré 2ème Grand Cru Saint-Julien 1982, made from Cabernet-Sauvignon 65%, Merlot 25%, Petit Verdot 8%, Cabernet Franc 2%.

This is what Médoc from a “great” vintage is all about. After a run of Bordeaux which have not moved me, this proves that my reverence for left bank Bordeaux was not based on nostalgia.

Colour was a remarkably youthful deep carmine with only the slightest bricking at the rim. Aromas on the nose and palate were dark fruit with a lot rich black currant lifted by a refreshing green edge and mixed with touches of cedar. Body was deep with firm flesh and quite full, and the palate shape was linear with resolved tannic structure, a gentle crescendo towards the finish and a long diminuendo in the after-taste; fruit was rich but still fresh, sweeter than in a more classical vintage but balanced by lively acidity and that typically Bordeaux green touch (not pejorative in my pre-Parker vocabulary; can anyone find a less tainted descriptor?); above all there was a sense of harmony and moreishness which almost had be running for another bottle. This was the best bottle of four already opened (two left) showing no signs of imminent decline; 18/20.
Tim York
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: Really fine warm vintage Bordeaux

by David M. Bueker » Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:56 pm

It's interesting to think of '82 as a warm vintage given what has happened to the Bordeaux climate over the last 25 years. 2003 makes '82 look like the ice age, and I really do wonder if '82 is much of a benchmark anymore given the proliferation of top tier vintages.

Still that bottle sounds delicious.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Tim York

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Re: WTN: Really fine warm vintage Bordeaux

by Tim York » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:56 am

David, I think that 1982 can certainly be classified as a classical warm vintage, maybe the last, like 1929, 1947, 1949, 1959 and 1961 which produced big, rich but well balanced wines. Some may also argue that it was the first modern "Californian" vintage in Bordeaux, though that style has gathered a lot more pace this decade. No one knows how these super-ripe Bordeaux will age and I can't help wondering whether, for example, many 2000s will show as gracefully as this Léoville in 2027 and the 2005s in 2032. 2003 was not warm; it was hot as reflected by the unbalanced cooked and candied tastes in many wines.
Tim York

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