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Old 13-01-2007, 07:29 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default 1966 Bordeaux

Notes from a very enlightening tasting of the 1966 Bordeaux vintage
arranged by Albert Givton.

This vintage, along with the 1961 and 1964 was a star of the 60s, yet
if you read reviews of many of the wines (there is a marked difference
between Parker, who described many wines as being essentially dead
decades ago and Broadbent, who held out more hope and proved to be more
accurate in this case) they can come off as mediocre over the hill
wines not worth bothering with, when in fact they can be vital
interesting wines if cellared well.

Make no mistake, I am not saying you should rush out and but 1966s on
the internet. These wines had long been stored in a very cool (7 deg.)
cellar, and other bottles less carefully stored would probably be dead
by now. But this tasting turned out to be a longing goodbye to this
vintage rather than a wake. It was held at Vancouver's Wedgewood
hotel, and although I often omit details of the menu, the chef did such
an exemplary job with this one that I feel obliged to insert
descriptions of the food that was offered with the wines.

We couldn't just plunge into old Bordeaux, we needed a palate
adjustment interval, so we started with:

1997 Champagne Paul Bara (Grand Cru) - not a house I had ever tasted
but a very pleasant wine with a yeasty fruit nose, bright acidity, and
a perfect palate cleanser to start with.

With poached Nova Scotia lobster w. shaved vegetable and herb salad,
and chilled lobster/yoghurt dressing:

1997 Meursault Genevrieres, Remy Jobard - this wine had a pale straw
colour seemingly with a hint of pink! Excellent nose of vanilla pears,
a hint of cocoa in the mouth, and good length. While it is well
balanced now, that will not last and this is a wine for early
consumption.

We then plunged willingly into the Bordeaux, the first flight of which
was served withpot roasted pheasant breast poached in foi gras fat,
with an ethereal light boudin blanc made in-house.

l'Arrossee - this was sadly corked, but fortunately this was the
only bottle.


Gruaud Larose - this was the last really good vintage for Gruaud
until 1981. The nose was a lighter style with some cedar and mature
Bordeaux notes, there was still significant tannin, it was smooth with
good length and while not a knock-out by any means it presented
surprisingly well and was pleasurable to drink.

Cos d'Estournel - this was back in the old days when Cos was still
around 80% cab sauv, and hadn't started adding as much merlot to the
wine. Also fairly dark, with a well integrated nose, good fruit and
soft tannin, ending smoothly with good length, this was the clear
winner in this flight for me.

With roasted tenderloin of veal and slow braised cheek, parsley puree,
roasted porcini, shallot confit, Bordelaise sauce:

La Lagune - I have tasted this wine before (I once did an extensive
vertical event that included it) but had given up on ever again finding
a bottle in good shape and had consigned it to fond memory, so it was a
delight to taste it in fine form one last time. Last tasted by Parker
in 1978 and marked in his 3rd edition of "Bordeaux" in 1998 as
"probably in serious decline" this shows how unreliable the usual
sources can be for older wines. If the reviewer had a small sample size
(tasted once or twice) and had the bad luck to get poor bottles, that
will forever damn a possibly good wine to oblivion. This bottle was
superb. The oak in the elegant nose was well balanced by mature fruit
notes - a truly attractive quintessentially Bordeaux nose. Medium
weight with a nice hit of spice coming in anear the end of the lengthy
finish, this was a delight.

1986 La Lagune - offered as a mystery wine from two decades later,
this failed to win supporters. Not much nose at all, medium body,
somewhat tart at the end. it was a disappointment after the 66, and we
weren't sure how it would eventually turn out..

Lynch Bages - darker colour, sweeter nose with a decided riper pruney
touch to it, not really forthcoming until it had some time in the
glass. It was a bit leaner than the La Lagune, which may be
attributable not to a lack of fruit but rather to the greater presence
of tannin in this wine. I rated this slightly below the La Lagune.

Haut Brion - a slightly floral vanilla nose, medium colour, medium
weight, supple and smooth with well integrated tannins and very good
length. I finally decided that it was the best of this flight, but the
fact that the humble La Lagune made me stop and really think about it
was remarkable.


With roasted loin of venison, caramelised chickory and juniper and
thyme jus:

Margaux - this 1966 was the last good Ginestet vintage - the wine
deteriorated from here until the chateau was sold to the Mentzelopoulos
family. It didn't rebound until the very respectable 1978. Good
colour, pale edges, decent nose, but the fruit was lacking and the
slight astringency hinted that this one had seen better days.

La Mission Haut Brion - one of my favourite producers, back before it
was bought by the owners of Haut Brion and was never again allowed to
rival that wine. It had a fantastic nose of spice and toast and dark
fruit, and there is an explosion of flavour in the mouth, smooth and
supple with a balanced lengthy finish. This wine is clearly superior to
the Haut Brion, and if this was the end of the event, would have been
the clear wine of the tasting.

Latour - oh my! Dark, with a wonderful cedar and fruit nose, very big
and intense in the mouth with substantial but fairlt soft tannin, and
what I can only describe as extreme length, lingering on for minutes.
What a wine! This one is just getting on form and will last for
decades - a wine built in the pattern of the juggernauts of the 1920s
that will still show as vital lively wines long after the men who made
them have passed on. Wow. The fact that you can buy this wine for less
than twice what you'd pay for the current vintage is ludicrous.

With Stilton, Asiago and Epoisses:

1966 Sandemans Port - this house always produces a lighter style and
I'd not expected too much from this one, chosen to match the vintage
of the other wines, but it was quite pleasant, with an appearance of a
Bordeaux in colour (though not as light as some 1963s have become), a
warm, but not hot nose, medium body and silky mouth feel with adequate
length. Very nice.

A final interesting experience was a liqueur, made in the 1890s and
presented in the original hand blown bottle, brought to BC by rail car
in the 1904 time frame:

Crème de Violettes - the colour did show some violet but it had
faded to add a bit of orange tinge to it as well. It was viscous syrup
in the glass and extremely sweet, with a floral perfume. This was
apparently just the thing for the ladies when they retired to allow the
men to indulge in cigars and Port, but to me it seemed sweet enough to
gag a hummingbird. Different times, I guess.


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Old 14-01-2007, 02:39 AM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default 1966 Bordeaux


Bill S. wrote:
Notes from a very enlightening tasting of the 1966 Bordeaux vintage
arranged by Albert Givton.


La Lagune - I have tasted this wine before (I once did an extensive
vertical event that included it) but had given up on ever again finding
a bottle in good shape and had consigned it to fond memory, so it was a
delight to taste it in fine form one last time. Last tasted by Parker
in 1978 and marked in his 3rd edition of "Bordeaux" in 1998 as
"probably in serious decline" this shows how unreliable the usual
sources can be for older wines. If the reviewer had a small sample size
(tasted once or twice) and had the bad luck to get poor bottles, that
will forever damn a possibly good wine to oblivion. This bottle was
superb. The oak in the elegant nose was well balanced by mature fruit
notes - a truly attractive quintessentially Bordeaux nose. Medium
weight with a nice hit of spice coming in anear the end of the lengthy
finish, this was a delight.


Haut Brion - a slightly floral vanilla nose, medium colour, medium
weight, supple and smooth with well integrated tannins and very good
length. I finally decided that it was the best of this flight, but the
fact that the humble La Lagune made me stop and really think about it
was remarkable.


The above 2 wines are the only matches between what you had and what I
have. I am glad to learn that you still find them in good form.

A final interesting experience was a liqueur, made in the 1890s and
presented in the original hand blown bottle, brought to BC by rail car
in the 1904 time frame:

Crème de Violettes - the colour did show some violet but it had
faded to add a bit of orange tinge to it as well. It was viscous syrup
in the glass and extremely sweet, with a floral perfume. This was
apparently just the thing for the ladies when they retired to allow the
men to indulge in cigars and Port, but to me it seemed sweet enough to
gag a hummingbird. Different times, I guess.


Creme de Violettes is still made, as well as Creme de Rose, and Parfait
Amour - or at least they were many years ago by Garnier and others. I
do not have to replenish my stock of these very often :-). They are all
extremely sweet and have a fairly strong smell of flowers. They likely
also contain several spices, herbs, etc. Some cocktails call for a bit
of these in the mix. I do not picture many modern men or women drinking
these straight very often, but likely a few do. If you can name it,
there likely is someone in this world that not only does it, but also
enjoys it.

__________________________________

http://wineFAQ.hostexcellence.com/



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