I needed to make a trip to DC to pick up a couple of cases of 2015 futures from storage and to hand off a few bottles of 2015 Canon I picked up for a friend, so we decided to take advantage of the opportunity and opened a few bottles at always reliable Dino's Grotto last night. A few of the DC BWE crew met up with some local Berserkers for a great time, as usual with this gang and at Dino's.
A welcome bottle of Champage accompanied the introductions and a shift to a larger table. Dean could see we were packing more bottles than we were going to fit.
- 2006 Bollinger Champagne Brut Rosé (Special Edition) - France, Champagne
A fun starter to the evening. Light salmon color, strawberries, bit of sweetness, nice balance, medium body, medium finish.
- 1989 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Cellared since release, perfect cork and fill. Pop and pour, drank over 4 hours. Dark red to rim, nose was less forward than a few years ago, but showed dark fruits, pencil shavings and clean moist earth. Medium bodied, not as full or as focused as before, good balance, moderate complexity, medium finish. Very good to excellent, this didn’t live up to expectations. Fading or just a below-par bottle? One left in the cellar, will make a note to open it relatively soon.
- 2000 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Cellared since release, perfect cork and fill. Popand pour, drunk over 4 hours. Dark red, minimal lightening at rim. Nice full nose of cassis, tar, leather and earth. Full bodied, ripe fruit, good balance, long finish, some complexity. Excellent to outstanding. Best of the 1989, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 group of Barons, and with the 1989 Conseillante one of my two favorites on the night.
- 2001 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Part of a 5-vintage vertical. Perfect cork and fill. Pop and por and drunk over 4 hours. Dark red core. Decent nose but a bit thin and astringenton opening, I wasn’t much impressed. But when I came back to it 2 hours later the wine had really opened up with a fragrant nose of cassis, earth and hints of veggies. Full bodied and rich with excellent balance and a subtle streak of green adding complexity and freshness. No real aged complexity yet but plenty of fruit, tannin and acid to have a long and promising future. This kept improving through the night and finished behind the 2000 but a little ahead of the 1989 and 2003 Barons on the night. Excellent.
- 2002 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
The weak sister in the 1989, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 collection of Pichon Barons. Perfect cork and fill. Pop and pour, drunk over 4 hours. Dark red core. Somewhat shy nose, medium body, a bit too green and acidic for the amount of fruit but maybe in the wheelhouse of the hard-core AFWE crowd. Medium finish. It didn’t round out with time like the 2001 did. Very good.
- 2003 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Perfect cork and fill, pop and pour and drunk over 4 hours. Dark red core. Forward nose with cassis and smoky tarry notes. Full body, ripest fruit of the vertical with some palate-coating sweetness but still well balanced, plenty of tannins, medium-long finish. Behind the 2000 and nipping at the heels of the 2001, but a modernist might place it higher. Should drink well for years, hopefully with increased complexity with further aging. Excellent.
- 1989 Château La Conseillante - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
Perfect cork and fill. Pop and pour, drunk over 4 hours. Dark red core, minimal lightening at rim. Good from the get-go, but itreallyramps up after a hour or so with a complex intense nose of ripe red fruits, spices and earth. Medium to full body, lush layered fruit mixing beautifully with some minor green notes, fresh balancing acidity, long finish, outstanding. This and the 2000 Pichon Baron were my 2 favorites on the night.
- 1985 Château Cos d'Estournel - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
Pop and pour, drunk over 4 hours. Dark red core, fading at the rim. Dusty, mushroom and earth nose with faded cassis and cherry fruit, hints of cedar. Medium body, nice complexity and balance, medium-long finish. Though a step behind bottles from a few years ago, still excellent and one of the stars of the night.
- 2004 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Pop and pour, drunk over 4 hours. Dark red to rim. Subtle delicate nose with cassis, tobacco, earth. Medium body, good balance, no real complexity yet, drinking well but would expect it to improve with more time in the cellar. Very good to excellent now with a promising future.
- 1996 Château d'Yquem - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
Perfect cork and fill. From a half bottle, pop and pour and drunk over an hour. Light-medium gold. Enveloping nose of peaches, honey, flowers, crème brûlée, medium body, intense on the palate, still plenty of sweetness, excellent balance, medium longfinish, excellent to outstanding.
Votes for favorite wines were divided. Not a one was bad. There was a lot of love for the 2000 and 2001 Pichon Baron andthe 1989 Conseillante, butalmost all the wines garnered some praise.