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Jim 29-12-2004 11:07 PM

TN: Boxing Day with Family (98 Mugnier Moose, 97 Leoville Barton)
At a casual Boxing Day gathering of mostly non-wine geek types. Among
the array ordinary Chilean merlot and Aussie shiraz, two interesting
wines were opened.

**1997 Ch=E2teau L=E9oville Barton - France, Bordeaux, M=E9doc, St. Julien


Still a fairly deep reddish color, solid throughout. Nose of a little
sweet oak, some cassis and a little herb. With time (a little) slight
notes of plum and dried leaf. Didn't get a lot of time, but don't
expect much was developing. Palate was surprisingly sweet, but not
large or round. Tannins noticeable but not intrusive, acid very slight.
Finish okay, but light overall. Not quite watery...but definitely a
little dilute. Perfectly enjoyable for current casual drinking and okay
for the vintage, but nothing to get excited about.

**1998 Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Musigny - France, Burgundy,
C=F4te de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny

Opened spur-of-the-moment by a friend. Well cellared, but served
without benefit of any aeration.

Color from the side is deep, rich burgundy. Against light from below,
showing a little lighter at the edges and brightish red toward the
center. Upon opening, simple nose of a wee bit of barnyard, dark cherry
fruit, a little sweetness, some earth. With time in glass (it got a
little over an hour total), nose expanded to include floral elements,
more earth, a little cool mineral. Initial impression on the palate of
underlying tannin, front of mouth fruit. Mid-palate was more wood than
usual from Mugnier and a little devoid of fruit, but back of palate and
finish were pure exploding Musigny. Again, with time in glass the
mid-palate filled out a little. As a drink for today, was perfectly
enjoyable, but didn't offer up what producer and the vineyard can. But
the way the nose opened and the finish exploded...this one's got a lot
more to offer when given its due time. Really enjoyed it, but glad it
wasn't mine opened at this age.


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