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Old 26-10-2006, 02:02 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN: SOBER tasting- Bdx, Rhone, Piedmont

Mark Golodetz hosted last night's meeting of SOBER (Several Oenophiles
Becoming Extremely Rambunctious) and put on a superb night of food and
wine. A great lineup:

1988 Lanson "Noble Cuvee" Champagne
Fresh baked bread, apple pie. Good acidity, good length. I don't tend
to drink much aged Champagne, but liked this a lot in a very brief
taste. B+

Mark had a nice assortment of paté, meats, and cheeses out. The first
flight was blind:
Wine #1 : Ripe, meaty nose. Some stones and smoke on palate. Sweet pure
dark berry fruit, good acidic balance, resolved tannins. John pretty
quickly says Northern Rhone, chooses Hermitage over Côte-Rôtie, and
he's right, the 1983 Delas Freres "Marquise de la Tourette" Hermitage
A-

Wine #2: Very ripe, kirschy, full, a little hint of barnyard. Seems
shorter and drier on finish than other two. Some olives and mushrooms
with time. With the hint of knowing wine #1 a couple people quickly
identify the 1983 Jabloulet "La Chapelle" Hermitage. B

Wine #3. Somewhat lifted nose. Rather deep fruit, a meaty note like #1,
fully mature. It's the 1983 Chave Hermitage. John says this bottle is a
bit advanced, but I like, although a tad less than #1. B+/A-

Next flight was served with a delicious lamb stew (with a hint of
lemon) and pureed parsnips. Not blind.

1996 Pape-Clement (Pessac-Leognan)
Earthy, mineral, with redcurrant fruit. Some tobacco and pencil
shavings with time. My favorite for drinking today, though it certainly
has plenty of life ahead of it. A-

1996 Pontet-Canet (Pauillac)
Ripest and most modern of the bunch (our leading oneo-Ludditte John has
a good time riffing on its faults), but I like (as I have in the past).
Cassis and sweet oak, nice texture, nice finish. Outclassed a bit, but
a nice wine for me. B+

1996 Leoville-Barton (St. Julien)
I find this beautiful, rich and structured with deep deep dark fruit
and long finish. Not as ready as the Pape-Clement, A-

Mark brought out another blind wine. He asked me what I thought, I
found it rather oaky/modern, pretty sure it was Cabernet/Merlot.
Guesses around the table included young Spanish. Oops, the 1996
Haut-Brion (Pessac-Leognan). Not exactly posterchild for modern in Bdx,
but you can't take your guess back. After a bit it opens somewhat, but
to me it's still rather oaky and monolithic. Powerful wine. I'm sure
that the oak will integrate, but B+ for now.

Next flight (not blind) was accompanied by the cheeses (nice assortment
especially a Tallegio).

1996 Sandrone "Cannubi Boschis" Barolo
High acidity, good red fruit, a bit of cedar but dominated by flowers
and a little tar. Not as tannic as many 1996 Barolos, but does need
some time. I liked a lot. A-/B+

1997 Sandrone "Cannubi Boschis" Barolo
Not surprisingly the ripest of three. Low acid, soft, ripe round fruit.
Doesn't seem as deep as the '96, but would be ok as a restaurant wine.
B/B+

1998 Sandrone "Cannubi Boschis" Barolo
Quite thin compared to the other two, wood sticks out more. Maybe a
little green. Mark felt it was much better with the cheese than alone.
I think better with food, but still my least favorite wine of night.
But if I got in a restaurant I'd shrug and make do. B-

Another blind wine, this time I refrained from guessing as I overheard
Mark say what it was. But I don't think I would have been close. The
1971 Haut-Brion was so fresh and young I would have never have guessed
its age. Pure clean fruit, earth and ferric minerals, beautiful and my
WOTN. A

We finished with the 1965 Delaforce Colheita. Very caramelly, with a
little marmalade and mocha. Sweet, clean, easy. B+

Nice night with a nice group and a generous host.

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.


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Old 26-10-2006, 06:02 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN: SOBER tasting- Bdx, Rhone, Piedmont


DaleW wrote:

1996 Pape-Clement (Pessac-Leognan)
Earthy, mineral, with redcurrant fruit. Some tobacco and pencil
shavings with time. My favorite for drinking today, though it certainly
has plenty of life ahead of it. A-


From your note above and several other notes I have read on recent

vintages of Pape-Clement, this wine has greatly improved from what it
was in the 1970s. My notes from that era were not very flattering. They
also had a white in the 70s that was decent, but not outstanding, in
the one vintage that I tasted. If I were buying Bordeaux today, it
might be worth checking Pape-Clement again. In the 70s I soon concluded
that money spent for Pape-Clement would buy a wine much more to my
taste elsewhere.

OT Note:

I just downloaded the very new Firefox 2.0 browser, which is a major
upgrade in many ways. Now many words that I write or read in this group
have a red underline. I found out that the red underline is for words
for which Firefox questions the English spelling. In my response, Pape
is red underlined since the spelling checker does not understand the
French, at least on the English version of the browser. The same
applies for Pessac-Leognan on your post. Alt.food.wine now has become
rather colorful with red underlines, because so many non-English words
are used.

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Old 26-10-2006, 07:28 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN: SOBER tasting- Bdx, Rhone, Piedmont

I liked the '61, but think Pape-Clement's rep wasn't too shiny in most
of 70s & 80s. I missed a vertical my group did of most major PCs from
1955 to 2000, but recall most of my friends were unimpressed with most
of the maybe mid60s through mid80s wines in context of vintages. But
late 80s they seem to have turned around, and I've really enjoyed the
'90 twice. The '96 as noted is nice (this is several times for me), as
is the '98. Lately there has been a switch in style, and the 2001 &
2002 are definitely somewhat (insert your favorite descriptor here for
modern style: international, spoofulated, Parkerized, hedonistic,
sexybeastified, whatever). That should bring some red out for you.

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Old 26-10-2006, 08:38 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN: SOBER tasting- Bdx, Rhone, Piedmont

"cwdjrxyz" wrote:

From your note above and several other notes I have read on
recent vintages of Pape-Clement, this wine has greatly improved
from what it was in the 1970s. My notes from that era were not
very flattering. They also had a white in the 70s that was
decent, but not outstanding, in the one vintage that I tasted.
If I were buying Bordeaux today, it might be worth checking
Pape-Clement again. In the 70s I soon concluded that money spent
for Pape-Clement would buy a wine much more to my taste
elsewhere.


The improvement - stunning and fast - dates from vintage 1986
upwords. Pape Clément was acquired in 1937 by Paul Montagne. 1939
saw the entire property more or less fully destructed by a severe
hailstorm. Paul's son Léo took over, but apparently never really
cared. Léo's son-in-law Bernard Magrez was put in charge sometime
in 1985, iirc.

So you can buy "blind" almost anything from 1986 or younger,
as you should avoid just about anything from 1985 or younger.

I have been on a press trip to Pape Clément in October 1989. Denis
Dubourdieu, then consultant oenologist, let us taste 1986/7/8
sinde by side, plus a tank sample of one of the merlots from 1989.
The wines were quite impressive, with 1987 a much lighter style,
of course.

Funnily, the tasting in the chai was done from Riedel glasses,
while the wines for lunch at the chateau - all from the pre-Magrez
era - were served in crappy glasses the caterer had brought with
him. (To be honsest, Bordeaux caterers today do care for better
stemware, but at that time ...).

But I remember that everyone had standing, besides the small
glasses for the wines, a water bowl that happened to be the large
Riedel Sommelier Bordeaux Grand Cru stem (4400/00). With the last
red, Pape Clément 1961, I had it poured into this glass, much to
the distress of the server - and to an almost collapsing maitre d'
in the background.

We were four tables. From every table one non-French journalist
was asked about his opinion about the '61. As fate would have it,
from my table they asked me. Since the wine was rather tired and
slightly oxidized - nowhere, where a decent 1961 claret should be
- I tried to be polite and deliberated about how really great reds
converge when getting older, so that the characters of an almost
30 year old claret and an equally old Barolo show similarities.

I guess what I said was not what they wanted to hear ... ;-(

M.
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Old 26-10-2006, 08:50 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN: SOBER tasting- Bdx, Rhone, Piedmont

"cwdjrxyz" wrote:

From your note above and several other notes I have read on
recent vintages of Pape-Clement, this wine has greatly improved
from what it was in the 1970s. My notes from that era were not
very flattering. They also had a white in the 70s that was
decent, but not outstanding, in the one vintage that I tasted.
If I were buying Bordeaux today, it might be worth checking
Pape-Clement again. In the 70s I soon concluded that money spent
for Pape-Clement would buy a wine much more to my taste
elsewhere.


The improvement - stunning and fast - dates from vintage 1986
upwords. Pape Clément was acquired in 1937 by Paul Montagne. 1939
saw the entire property more or less fully destructed by a severe
hailstorm. Paul's son Léo took over, but apparently never really
cared. Léo's son-in-law Bernard Magrez was put in charge sometime
in the mid-1980ies.

So you can buy "blind" almost anything from 1986 or younger,
as you should avoid just about anything from 1985 or older.

I have been on a press trip to Pape Clément in October 1989. Denis
Dubourdieu, then consultant oenologist, let us taste 1986/7/8
sinde by side, plus a tank sample of one of the merlots from 1989.
The wines were quite impressive, with 1987 a much lighter style,
of course.

Funnily, the tasting in the chai was done from Riedel glasses,
while the wines for lunch at the chateau - all from the pre-Magrez
era - were served in crappy glasses the caterer had brought with
him. (To be honsest, Bordeaux caterers today do care for better
stemware, but at that time ...).

But I remember that everyone had standing, besides the small
glasses for the wines, a water bowl that happened to be the large
Riedel Sommelier Bordeaux Grand Cru stem (4400/00). With the last
red, Pape Clément 1961, I had it poured into this glass, much to
the distress of the server - and to an almost collapsing maitre d'
in the background.

We were four tables. From every table one non-French journalist
was asked about his opinion about the '61. As fate would have it,
from my table they asked me. Since the wine was rather tired and
slightly oxidized - nowhere, where a decent 1961 claret should be
- I tried to be polite and deliberated about how really great reds
converge when getting older, so that the characters of an almost
30 year old claret and an equally old Barolo show similarities.

I guess what I said was not what they wanted to hear ... ;-(

M.


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Old 26-10-2006, 08:57 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN: SOBER tasting- Bdx, Rhone, Piedmont

Michael,
sounds like your '61 was a bit off. Mine (from questionable storage)
was pretty good if a tad tired 2 years ago, I remember at time it was
one of the stars at a vertical I missed ('55-'00). And John Gilman was
saying last night it's a fave (probably notes at bentleywine.com). But
I've never had a 70s PC that really impressed, and the '82 is a noted
underachiever.

But I remember that everyone had standing, besides the small
glasses for the wines, a water bowl that happened to be the large
Riedel Sommelier Bordeaux Grand Cru stem (4400/00). With the last
red, Pape Clément 1961, I had it poured into this glass, much to
the distress of the server - and to an almost collapsing maitre d'
in the background.

We were four tables. From every table one non-French journalist
was asked about his opinion about the '61. As fate would have it,
from my table they asked me. Since the wine was rather tired and
slightly oxidized - nowhere, where a decent 1961 claret should be
- I tried to be polite and deliberated about how really great reds
converge when getting older, so that the characters of an almost
30 year old claret and an equally old Barolo show similarities.

I guess what I said was not what they wanted to hear ... ;-(

M.


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Old 26-10-2006, 09:39 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN: SOBER tasting- Bdx, Rhone, Piedmont


Michael Pronay wrote:
"cwdjrxyz" wrote:

From your note above and several other notes I have read on
recent vintages of Pape-Clement, this wine has greatly improved
from what it was in the 1970s. My notes from that era were not
very flattering. They also had a white in the 70s that was
decent, but not outstanding, in the one vintage that I tasted.
If I were buying Bordeaux today, it might be worth checking
Pape-Clement again. In the 70s I soon concluded that money spent
for Pape-Clement would buy a wine much more to my taste
elsewhere.


The improvement - stunning and fast - dates from vintage 1986
upwords. Pape Clément was acquired in 1937 by Paul Montagne. 1939
saw the entire property more or less fully destructed by a severe
hailstorm. Paul's son Léo took over, but apparently never really
cared. Léo's son-in-law Bernard Magrez was put in charge sometime
in 1985, iirc.

So you can buy "blind" almost anything from 1986 or younger,
as you should avoid just about anything from 1985 or younger.

I have been on a press trip to Pape Clément in October 1989. Denis
Dubourdieu, then consultant oenologist, let us taste 1986/7/8
sinde by side, plus a tank sample of one of the merlots from 1989.
The wines were quite impressive, with 1987 a much lighter style,
of course.

Funnily, the tasting in the chai was done from Riedel glasses,
while the wines for lunch at the chateau - all from the pre-Magrez
era - were served in crappy glasses the caterer had brought with
him. (To be honsest, Bordeaux caterers today do care for better
stemware, but at that time ...).

But I remember that everyone had standing, besides the small
glasses for the wines, a water bowl that happened to be the large
Riedel Sommelier Bordeaux Grand Cru stem (4400/00). With the last
red, Pape Clément 1961, I had it poured into this glass, much to
the distress of the server - and to an almost collapsing maitre d'
in the background.

We were four tables. From every table one non-French journalist
was asked about his opinion about the '61. As fate would have it,
from my table they asked me. Since the wine was rather tired and
slightly oxidized - nowhere, where a decent 1961 claret should be
- I tried to be polite and deliberated about how really great reds
converge when getting older, so that the characters of an almost
30 year old claret and an equally old Barolo show similarities.

I guess what I said was not what they wanted to hear ... ;-(


After looking at some notes, I find that the last older red
Pape-Clement that I tasted was the 1970. It was drinkable, but not at
all exciting. The one-and-only white I have tasted was the 1977
Pape-Clement blanc. Of course 1977 was not a very good years for reds,
but some whites perhaps were a bit better than the reds. Again, this
white was drinkable, but rather common. I do find I have a single
bottle of the 1961 that appears to be in good physical condition. I had
been in no hurry to open it, given my past experience with this wine. I
note that some reviewers have rated it a good bit above average, and
some rather average or flawed bottles have been noted. None rated the
61 anywhere near the top for 1961. The several reviews I have noted
seem to suggest that there may have been more than normal bottle
variation which could have been caused by storage issues or the wine
could have been bottled at different times or from different batches.



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