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Dale Williams

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WTN: 1996 Bordeaux at Gavroche in NYC

by Dale Williams » Tue May 09, 2006 11:44 am

Nice group tasted a bunch of '96s last night. In payment/voting/taxi flurry I left my notes; but thought I'd at least post impressions.Some very good wines, my grading is tougher than usual due to competition:

St Emilion Flight

1996 La Gomerie-clear winner of flight, ripe red fruit and coffee, B

1996 Troplong Mondot- tannic, tannic, and tannic. Some mocha and red plum, but tannins dominated. B-

1996 Monbousquet-wierd nose. At first I though corked, but no- more chemical. Some nice fruit underneath, too bad C+

Pessac-Leognan

1996 Smith Haut Lafite
- Arv says coconut, Frank says green pepper, I say no thanks (with other wines on table no need). B-

1996 Pape Clement-ah,more like it. Rich fruit, good earthy aromas. B+

1996 Haut Brion-Good but tight. I vote for winner of flight, as do most, but for me it was close. Some says fell apart with time, but I didn't save enough to find out. B+/A-

St Julien #1

1996 Ducru-Beaucaillou- Gorgeous. Crushed berry fruit nose, clear and clean. Unanimous winner of flight I think. A-

1996 Talbot- really barnyardy nose (more than any of the numerous bottles- well, most were half-bottles) I've tried before. But nice round fruit on palate. B

St Julien #2

1996 Leoville Poyferre- I know this bottle is flawed- I've had several times,and never this intense saddle sweat nose. Shouldn't be graded.

1996 Leoville Barton - this seems off too, but not as extreme. Slightly corked? B-

1996 Leoville Las Cases- this rocks. A little VA at first (though it had been decanted), but blows off and leaves a massive but gorgeous wine. Wine of the flight, and my WOTN. A

Pauillac#1

1996 Pichon Baron- beautiful, fresh, ripe. Probably QPR winner of the night. A-

1996 Pichon Lalande- good but with a little green funkiness underneath at first, but morphs into a rich pretty wine. This flight is a tossup (I vote for Baron for value), majority prefers Lalande. A-

Pauillac #2

1996 Grand Puy Lacoste- Deep, big, ripe tannins. A-

1996 Pontet Canet- very good , just outclassed in this flight. B/B+

1996 Lynch Bages- big, ripe. B+

St Estephe

1996 Montrose -very good, but backward. B+

1996 Cos D'estournel - Rich, coffee and red fruit, big tannins. My second favorite of night, but I'm only one with this in top 3. A-/A

1996 Lafon Rochet - Thin compared to flight mates, probably not bad overall. But in this competition B-

John B. served a blind Sauternes. Guesses were all over the place. It was the 2001 de Fargues - double-decanted on 4/24! B+

Though table was tight, I enjoyed food at Gavroche . Convivial crowd, thanks to organizers . Overall I was very pleased with showing of the Medocs (except the Poyferre & Barton, I think both were off especially the Poyferre).

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't
drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no
promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency. Disclaimer of disclaimer- last night I was a tougher scorer.
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James Roscoe

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Re: WTN: 1996 Bordeaux at Gavroche in NYC

by James Roscoe » Tue May 09, 2006 1:57 pm

Dale,
I love your claim that you're an easy grader. I probably would give most of these wines A's. I'm much harder on my students. Your grades are probably rock solid right on. I doubt you need to continue the apology at the end. Great job on the notes. I wish I could have been there!
Cheers!
James
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Covert

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Re: WTN: 1996 Bordeaux at Gavroche in NYC

by Covert » Tue May 09, 2006 9:15 pm

Dale,

Where would you put the Ducru on the maturation curve? A couple - maybe three - years ago I thought the bottle that I opened was quite young. Was sorry that I opened it. If you only had five left, like I do, would you wait for a while before opening the next one?

Covert
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Re: WTN: 1996 Bordeaux at Gavroche in NYC

by Dale Williams » Wed May 10, 2006 10:23 am

James, as noted, I was tougher grader Monday due to the competition -would have been lots of As on my normal scale.

Covert, this bottle was drinking nicely, but like most it had seen couple hours in a decanter that AM before going back into bottle, and then some more air time at restaurant. My guess (and these things are always guesses) is that prime time for this Ducru will be 2012-2020.
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Re: WTN: 1996 Bordeaux at Gavroche in NYC

by Covert » Wed May 10, 2006 11:12 pm

Re the '96 Ducru drinkability: it's settled, then: 2012 or later it is.

I mentioned a while back about being enchanted by a '61 Ducru. I won't count on the '96 matching up with it, but anything in that direction is worth waiting for.

The '82 did little for me. Will try another in maybe 10 years.

The '97 was second to no other '97, in my opinion. Two left, and they are maybe at their best right now.
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Re: WTN: 1996 Bordeaux at Gavroche in NYC

by Jenise » Thu May 11, 2006 12:47 pm

Covert, thanks for the tip on the 97. I have one, might even be two. One I opened three years ago was so entirely backward that I would dare not hope for them to be drinking well this soon.
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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