The person running the tasting suggested that St. Julien is hard to identify and frequently mistaken as Pauillac since it has the graphite nose and slightly more mid-palate. Of the left banks tasted, Margaux had flowers, which I like.
1. 2005 Ch. Lynch Bages Blanc, Pauillac($48)
40% Semillon, 40% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Muscadelle
significant oak, brown sugar, sweet fruit, pretty perfumed almost
2. 2005 Ch. Birot, Cotes de Bordeaux($13)
popcorn butter at first, bright crisp, herbal alcohol, significant flavor and slightly astringent
3. 2005 Ch. Marjosse Rouge, Bordeaux ($15)
only reason not rated “superior” because sourced fruit all up and down left bank. owned by Pierre Liertan of the supermarket chain. rich berry but not too fruity, mostly oak with significant powdery tannin. a fave of the group.
4. 2005 Ch. Hilare, Medoc ($16)
50% Cab Sauv, 45% Merlot, 5% Cab Franc
significant nose, bell pepper almost, like a nicer California Cab with a softer mouthfeel than CA would.
5. 2004 Leoville Barton, St. Julien ($60)
72% Cab Sauv, 20% Merlot, 8% Cab Franc
consistent and best price/value of the second growths, their 2003 was $150. significant Cab nose, big fruit and tannin, powdery tannins, glycerol quality, slightly astringent. this one will be mature in 3 to 5. best at 2012.
6. 2003 Beaumont, Haut-Medoc ($16)
62% Cab Sauv, 30% Merlot, 5% Cab Franc
Beychevelle winemaking team which has a soft sensual delicate style. Significant oak and ripe fruit, with a delicacy to the mouthfeel. easy vintage for them to make? One of my favorites for the price bracket.
7. 2003 Lynch Bages, Pauillac ($85)
73% Cab Sauv, 15% Merlot, 10% Cab Franc
Significant Cab taste, almost no astringency, well-balanced round tannins, great in 2003. Pauillac classic graphite, pencil lead smell. classic pairing with steak and potatoes, no tomato or spice.
8. 2001 Ch. Lascombes, Margaux ($60)
40% Cab Sauv, 55% Merlot, 10% Cab Franc
This house changed style in 2001, quite a saga. classic smell for the region is flowers lilac/honeysuckle. rich, unctuous but a high acid vintage, bell pepper going down, but round tannins as well.
9. 1996 Ch. Haut Bailly, Pessac-Leognan ($70)
65% Cab Sauv, 25% Merlot, 10% Cab Franc
pronounced oh-bye-yee. classic smell is gravelly, grimy, with briny limestone finish as if kicked up dust. This one needs time to flesh out. Described as elegant delicacy to this property, however, my perception of graves is very austere, masculine type of wine with odd veg with gamey smell. Intense Cab and very intense flavor.
10. 1996 Ch. Riessec, Sauternes ($65)
90% Semillon, 7% Sauv Blanc, 3% Muscadelle
described as most unctuous of the Sauternes. Property next to Yquem. Candied apricot, not unctuous on tongue but citrus.
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