Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

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Keith Levenberg
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Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

#101 Post by Keith Levenberg » June 9th, 2019, 6:50 pm

Oh, Bern's cellars are no colder than any other good wine cellar. Keep in mind the real oldies there spent their first few decades of life elsewhere, anyway. (They opened in the late '50s - obviously didn't buy their 1924s on futures.) So you, too, can have a Bern's-quality cellar! All you need is a good cooling unit, a few decades to spare, and unlimited buying power

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Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

#102 Post by Claus Jeppesen » June 10th, 2019, 7:28 am

    Jeb Dunnuck wrote:
    June 9th, 2019, 6:39 am
    Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
    June 8th, 2019, 6:31 am
    Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
    June 8th, 2019, 6:09 am
    Okay, the 1987 NYT article was trash. Here’s a perspective which seems more aligned with the comments on this thread...

    ...I’ve had some Beaujolais from Bern’s that are 25+ years old...
    Dude, don't use Bern's as a reference point for drink windows... that place is like the twilight zone where time stops!
    https://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/v ... &p=2590538
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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #103 Post by Panos Kakaviatos » June 14th, 2019, 9:45 pm

    Robert.A.Jr. wrote:
    June 5th, 2019, 5:02 pm
    Some valid points, Noah.
    NoahR wrote:
    June 5th, 2019, 4:55 pm

    I also think XXXX is totally off base with a statement that could only be made by someone who (to his credit, perhaps) tastes so much wine that he is dead to the stifling and mouthdrying effect of tannins. At some point you maybe cease noticing the fact that the back end of your wine is like the choke of an artichoke. Maybe after the 15th barrel sample. Or maybe you just only note the glycerin and plummy topnotes, which might explain why so many of the EP critics seem to have a sweet tooth in their ratings for merlot heavy wines - and they all do. Other than the “major critics” I don’t know a single collector who would routinely rate mid-level St-Emilions over the similarly priced Left Bank classified Growths.
    So I was just sorta panning the 2016 Lanessan for its dry oak astringency, and chuckling to see Panos’ CT note calling it “fresh and frank” but then acknowledging his tasting came on the heals of tasting “Grands Chene” - which ironically translates as “big oak”. It’s a sickly oaky wine, so I can see how the Lanessan tastes fresh and frank. It did not show that to me. And I like some of Panos’ writings. This one just was amusing given the perception of one following the another.
    Egads! I’ll need to retaste Lanessan 16’. Context counts and coming after Les Grands Chênes, I could have overplayed the comparison in favor of the former.
    I am mainly based in Europe, and thanks for reading wine-chronicles(.)com

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #104 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 15th, 2019, 3:18 am

    In all fairness, Panos, I need to try it again as well. I did that a couple times with the 2015 but never did take to it. I have some more Lanessan for sampling, along with the 2016 Cambon La Pelouse. I do not like giving up on either of these wines that have performed so admirably in the past for my narrow palate.

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #105 Post by L.Cole » July 6th, 2019, 11:36 pm

    Well after reading this thread and many others about how well “modern” Bordeaux is drinking lately I figured I would start trying a few. After all if Bordeaux is becoming more like Napa then this will be right up my alley. :) Admittedly I do really like big extracted Cali reds from ripe vintages but I also like many of the leaner vintages and lighter reds. Walking thru Total Wine today I see a 97 point 2016 Chateau Bellevue and figure what the heck. I chilled it and poured a third of it in the decanter. I drank slowly over 3 hours and must say it wasn’t an enjoyable experience. I tried to like this wine. If I had to rate this tonight it would be 86ish. Subdued nose, firm tannins, sour cherries. I will drink the rest over the next couple of days and see what happens. I hope to come back to this in a couple days and say now I get it. I want to love Bordeaux. So much history and tradition. I am looking at a few other early drinking ‘16s as well to try soon. The limited experience I have had with aged Bordeaux hasn’t helped either. Might just be time to buy a few great bottles with age and see what I think.
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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #106 Post by J B a s k a m » July 7th, 2019, 4:46 am

    Brian Thorne wrote:
    June 7th, 2019, 9:29 am
    J B a s k a m wrote:
    June 6th, 2019, 5:31 am
    It's coming up on 19 years for the 2000 Left Bank Crus. Have not seen many notes on these. Is it about time? Look forward to seeing more tasting notes as we head towards a score.
    From my recent experiences, I think many of 2000 Bordeaux are entering their drinking window. Still youthful, but developing enjoyable and complex secondary aromas + flavors. Branaire Ducru, Grand Puy Lacoste, Pichone Lalande, Pontet Canet, Léoville Poyferré, Smith Haut Lafitte, Troplong Mondot were all drinking beautifully when opened in the last year or so. That said, I think all of them, with the exception of Branaire Ducru and Smith Haut Lafitte, will continue to evolve and improve, where well stored. Other recent bottles that were still quite primary and tight as a drum include Pichon Baron, Ducru-Beaucaillou, and Angelus.
    Helpful and encouraging information. Thank you, Brian.
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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #107 Post by Jim F » July 7th, 2019, 5:59 am

    L.Cole wrote:
    July 6th, 2019, 11:36 pm
    Well after reading this thread and many others about how well “modern” Bordeaux is drinking lately I figured I would start trying a few. After all if Bordeaux is becoming more like Napa then this will be right up my alley. :) Admittedly I do really like big extracted Cali reds from ripe vintages but I also like many of the leaner vintages and lighter reds. Walking thru Total Wine today I see a 97 point 2016 Chateau Bellevue and figure what the heck. I chilled it and poured a third of it in the decanter. I drank slowly over 3 hours and must say it wasn’t an enjoyable experience. I tried to like this wine. If I had to rate this tonight it would be 86ish. Subdued nose, firm tannins, sour cherries. I will drink the rest over the next couple of days and see what happens. I hope to come back to this in a couple days and say now I get it. I want to love Bordeaux. So much history and tradition. I am looking at a few other early drinking ‘16s as well to try soon. The limited experience I have had with aged Bordeaux hasn’t helped either. Might just be time to buy a few great bottles with age and see what I think.
    At increasing price points starting low $20’s, here are some bottled 2016’s I have tasted last few months, and liked them all, with high hopes for down the road: Lillian Ladouys, Potensac, Dame de Montrose, Branaire Ducru. Yes you will fine some firmness from fine tannins, and while enjoyable now, some of the enjoyment is indeed from projecting to a few years down the road.
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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #108 Post by David Glasser » July 8th, 2019, 4:01 am

    Jim F wrote:
    July 7th, 2019, 5:59 am
    L.Cole wrote:
    July 6th, 2019, 11:36 pm
    Well after reading this thread and many others about how well “modern” Bordeaux is drinking lately I figured I would start trying a few. After all if Bordeaux is becoming more like Napa then this will be right up my alley. :) Admittedly I do really like big extracted Cali reds from ripe vintages but I also like many of the leaner vintages and lighter reds. Walking thru Total Wine today I see a 97 point 2016 Chateau Bellevue and figure what the heck. I chilled it and poured a third of it in the decanter. I drank slowly over 3 hours and must say it wasn’t an enjoyable experience. I tried to like this wine. If I had to rate this tonight it would be 86ish. Subdued nose, firm tannins, sour cherries. I will drink the rest over the next couple of days and see what happens. I hope to come back to this in a couple days and say now I get it. I want to love Bordeaux. So much history and tradition. I am looking at a few other early drinking ‘16s as well to try soon. The limited experience I have had with aged Bordeaux hasn’t helped either. Might just be time to buy a few great bottles with age and see what I think.
    At increasing price points starting low $20’s, here are some bottled 2016’s I have tasted last few months, and liked them all, with high hopes for down the road: Lillian Ladouys, Potensac, Dame de Montrose, Branaire Ducru. Yes you will fine some firmness from fine tannins, and while enjoyable now, some of the enjoyment is indeed from projecting to a few years down the road.
    Larry, I would agree with Jim's recommendations for someone who likes Bordeaux. They won’t ring the same chimes as a big extracted Napa cab. Nor will most of the wines we complain about being too modern. It’s all relative. If you want to try a fairly inexpensive Napa-esque Bordeaux, I’d recommend Quinault L'Enclos, but it's not going to make you think you’re drinking a big To-Kalon cab.

    If what you’re looking for is the aged Bordeaux experience, leaving your 2016 Bellevue (or any young Bordeaux) open for a few days won’t do it. Buying a few aged bottles is a great idea. A lot of 1989s are drinking well, as are many 1996 left bank and 1998 right bank wines, and some 2000s are getting there. There’s always some provenance/storage risk, but the only way to find out if you like aged Bordeaux is to drink some.

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #109 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 8th, 2019, 4:31 am

    David Glasser wrote:
    July 8th, 2019, 4:01 am
    Jim F wrote:
    July 7th, 2019, 5:59 am
    L.Cole wrote:
    July 6th, 2019, 11:36 pm
    Well after reading this thread and many others about how well “modern” Bordeaux is drinking lately I figured I would start trying a few. After all if Bordeaux is becoming more like Napa then this will be right up my alley. :) Admittedly I do really like big extracted Cali reds from ripe vintages but I also like many of the leaner vintages and lighter reds. Walking thru Total Wine today I see a 97 point 2016 Chateau Bellevue and figure what the heck. I chilled it and poured a third of it in the decanter. I drank slowly over 3 hours and must say it wasn’t an enjoyable experience. I tried to like this wine. If I had to rate this tonight it would be 86ish. Subdued nose, firm tannins, sour cherries. I will drink the rest over the next couple of days and see what happens. I hope to come back to this in a couple days and say now I get it. I want to love Bordeaux. So much history and tradition. I am looking at a few other early drinking ‘16s as well to try soon. The limited experience I have had with aged Bordeaux hasn’t helped either. Might just be time to buy a few great bottles with age and see what I think.
    At increasing price points starting low $20’s, here are some bottled 2016’s I have tasted last few months, and liked them all, with high hopes for down the road: Lillian Ladouys, Potensac, Dame de Montrose, Branaire Ducru. Yes you will fine some firmness from fine tannins, and while enjoyable now, some of the enjoyment is indeed from projecting to a few years down the road.
    Larry, I would agree with Jim's recommendations for someone who likes Bordeaux. They won’t ring the same chimes as a big extracted Napa cab. Nor will most of the wines we complain about being too modern. It’s all relative. If you want to try a fairly inexpensive Napa-esque Bordeaux, I’d recommend Quinault L'Enclos, but it's not going to make you think you’re drinking a big To-Kalon cab.

    If what you’re looking for is the aged Bordeaux experience, leaving your 2016 Bellevue (or any young Bordeaux) open for a few days won’t do it. Buying a few aged bottles is a great idea. A lot of 1989s are drinking well, as are many 1996 left bank and 1998 right bank wines, and some 2000s are getting there. There’s always some provenance/storage risk, but the only way to find out if you like aged Bordeaux is to drink some.
    I agree with David across the board. In addition to Quinault, try Fleur Cardinale. I find both of these wines OTT for my palate, i.e., too extracted, oaky, higher alcohol. But they may work for you given your acknowledgment of what you like, your palate.

    If you decide to grab something with age, and perhaps spend a bit more to compete with the Napa pricing, I recommend going to something like 2003 Chateau Cos d’Estournel, or Pavie from 2000, 03 or 05. Go for the solar vintages.

    I brought that Cos last year to a client dinner at a popular steak house that is known for over-spicing their meats and having lots of big Napas and cults. I knew my client would order some of that Cabs, so wanted to see how the Cos lined up, and I also was thinking that perhaps there is something that I would drink, begrudgingly. Everyone at that table preferred the Cos. While it’s not my style of wine, it worked in that context for me. I’m betting you would like it very much.

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #110 Post by David Glasser » July 8th, 2019, 5:15 am

    Yup, that 2003 Cos is about as close to a big Napa cab that I’ve had from Bordeaux.

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #111 Post by Marcu$ Stanley » July 8th, 2019, 12:35 pm

    I didn’t find the 03 Cos to be at all similar to a big Napa Cab. I can see how the fruitier, richer style would appeal to those who find left bank Bordeaux too earthy, but that’s different than saying it actually tastes like a big Cali cab. The Cos has much lower alcohol (13.5) and a much lighter body than a big Napa and probably more freshness too.

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #112 Post by David Glasser » July 8th, 2019, 7:12 pm

    Yes, Marcu$, but that’s the point. The modern, ripe, fruity, oaky Bordeaux are Napa-esque, having more in common with a big, extracted Cabernet than a classic Bordeaux if you look at the individual elements on paper. Yet still very different from Napa in the mouth.

    This thread, the old favorite Vincent Price/Peter Lorre blind tasting clip that Blake posted, and the reminiscences about the passing of the eRP board reminded me of another favorite Parker episode. This predated the Squires board if my memory serves (not a given), and happened back in the Prodigy days. Parker got into it with Robert Callahan over Bdx vs. Napa and being able to tell the difference blind. Yes, these arguments were going on 25+ years ago. Callahan was an early and frequent Parker antagonist. I think he was the inspiration for or maybe founder with Chris Coad for Wine Asylum(?) that eventually became Wine Disorder? Others who know more can correct me, but I digress...

    Parker called out Callahan and challenged him and another 10 or so Prodigy-ites to a blind Bdx vs. Cali tasting in Baltimore. At Parker’s expense. I think RP supplied the wines but they were all single blind - i.e. everyone knew what was in the lineup. Some might say it was an early demonstration of RP not being willing to let criticism pass, but it was done after months of unrelenting criticism and seemed to me to be presented in the form of a friendly put up or shut up challenge. Callahan did poorly, blaming a cold and travel fatigue, but most others got most of them right. Callahan was mercilessly ridiculed by many Parker fans, but I don’t recall Bob being ungracious. That was back in the day when Parker was my wine Virgil (early 90s?) so my memory may be colored.

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #113 Post by Jayson Cohen » July 8th, 2019, 10:42 pm

    David Glasser wrote:
    July 8th, 2019, 7:12 pm
    Yes, Marcu$, but that’s the point. The modern, ripe, fruity, oaky Bordeaux are Napa-esque, having more in common with a big, extracted Cabernet than a classic Bordeaux if you look at the individual elements on paper. Yet still very different from Napa in the mouth.

    This thread, the old favorite Vincent Price/Peter Lorre blind tasting clip that Blake posted, and the reminiscences about the passing of the eRP board reminded me of another favorite Parker episode. This predated the Squires board if my memory serves (not a given), and happened back in the Prodigy days. Parker got into it with Robert Callahan over Bdx vs. Napa and being able to tell the difference blind. Yes, these arguments were going on 25+ years ago. Callahan was an early and frequent Parker antagonist. I think he was the inspiration for or maybe founder with Chris Coad for Wine Asylum(?) that eventually became Wine Disorder? Others who know more can correct me, but I digress...

    Parker called out Callahan and challenged him and another 10 or so Prodigy-ites to a blind Bdx vs. Cali tasting in Baltimore. At Parker’s expense. I think RP supplied the wines but they were all single blind - i.e. everyone knew what was in the lineup. Some might say it was an early demonstration of RP not being willing to let criticism pass, but it was done after months of unrelenting criticism and seemed to me to be presented in the form of a friendly put up or shut up challenge. Callahan did poorly, blaming a cold and travel fatigue, but most others got most of them right. Callahan was mercilessly ridiculed by many Parker fans, but I don’t recall Bob being ungracious. That was back in the day when Parker was my wine Virgil (early 90s?) so my memory may be colored.
    I had discussions with Robert about this episode in the late 90s/early 2000s. (The showdown itself was just before my vinous time.) He had a wicked cold that day. Anyone who knew Callahan personally back then — he has been a veritable hermit unfortunately for a long time now for reasons I won’t get into — knew how good a taster he was. (He may even be lurking here. Hi Robert.) And he called bullshit on the big, ripe, and/or manipulated wines that Parker seemed to love as vocally then as anyone. He wound up being probably my first mentor into fine wine, suffering my newbie questions even though he wasn’t much older than I was. He is also of course the absentee subject of one of the greatest pieces of wine writing ever, Coad’s Waiting for Callahan.

    He did not start Wine Asylum. A number of us WLDG folks moved away to the existing but sparsely populated Wine Asylum when we decided it was time to find a new home. It didn’t last long because Callahan started and moderated Wine Therapy, where Chris (and I) were participants. My recollection is that, many years later, Serge the Scourge hacked and corrupted Wine Therapy (during a period of time I was not as active due to work), and Wine Disorder was started out of the ashes by others.

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #114 Post by Jim F » July 9th, 2019, 5:15 am

    David Glasser wrote:
    July 8th, 2019, 7:12 pm
    Yes, Marcu$, but that’s the point. The modern, ripe, fruity, oaky Bordeaux are Napa-esque, having more in common with a big, extracted Cabernet than a classic Bordeaux if you look at the individual elements on paper. Yet still very different from Napa in the mouth.

    This thread, the old favorite Vincent Price/Peter Lorre blind tasting clip that Blake posted, and the reminiscences about the passing of the eRP board reminded me of another favorite Parker episode. This predated the Squires board if my memory serves (not a given), and happened back in the Prodigy days. Parker got into it with Robert Callahan over Bdx vs. Napa and being able to tell the difference blind. Yes, these arguments were going on 25+ years ago. Callahan was an early and frequent Parker antagonist. I think he was the inspiration for or maybe founder with Chris Coad for Wine Asylum(?) that eventually became Wine Disorder? Others who know more can correct me, but I digress...

    Parker called out Callahan and challenged him and another 10 or so Prodigy-ites to a blind Bdx vs. Cali tasting in Baltimore. At Parker’s expense. I think RP supplied the wines but they were all single blind - i.e. everyone knew what was in the lineup. Some might say it was an early demonstration of RP not being willing to let criticism pass, but it was done after months of unrelenting criticism and seemed to me to be presented in the form of a friendly put up or shut up challenge. Callahan did poorly, blaming a cold and travel fatigue, but most others got most of them right. Callahan was mercilessly ridiculed by many Parker fans, but I don’t recall Bob being ungracious. That was back in the day when Parker was my wine Virgil (early 90s?) so my memory may be colored.
    Haha, I remember that entire episode. The killer was Bob bringing his current (at the time) Beaux Freres, which Callahan had been disparaging, but liked it at the tasting ( there was maybe some revisionist history after the tasting) and was a bit agitated about it being a ringer. Full disclosure-I did not attend, did not volunteer to attend (sadly), but followed the entire episode online. Lurked I guess it could be called. But, of the 2, Bob was certainly the gracious one and put up all of the wine for the event as I recall.
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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #115 Post by David Glasser » July 9th, 2019, 5:17 am

    Thanks Jayson, I knew I had my history messed up. It was Wine Therapy, not Wine Asylum that I was trying to remember.

    I never knew Callahan personally and I wish him well. It sucks that he was essentially disabled for that tasting and his treatment by the Parker acolytes afterwards was uncalled for. It was an early peek into what would eventually become the Achilles heel of the eRP Squires Board.

    What I liked about the episode was Parker's willingness to bring a bunch of people together in what looked to be a good-natured effort to see how well people were at differentiating Bdx from Cali. Which finally brings me back to my response about Bdx that "mimics" Napa Cab: most with a moderate amount of experience (and a working sniffer) can tell the difference more often than not, even in blind tasting where it’s so easy to lose your way. I think it would be harder today than 25 years ago.

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #116 Post by Mike Evans » July 9th, 2019, 5:42 am

    Jim F wrote:
    July 9th, 2019, 5:15 am
    David Glasser wrote:
    July 8th, 2019, 7:12 pm
    Yes, Marcu$, but that’s the point. The modern, ripe, fruity, oaky Bordeaux are Napa-esque, having more in common with a big, extracted Cabernet than a classic Bordeaux if you look at the individual elements on paper. Yet still very different from Napa in the mouth.

    This thread, the old favorite Vincent Price/Peter Lorre blind tasting clip that Blake posted, and the reminiscences about the passing of the eRP board reminded me of another favorite Parker episode. This predated the Squires board if my memory serves (not a given), and happened back in the Prodigy days. Parker got into it with Robert Callahan over Bdx vs. Napa and being able to tell the difference blind. Yes, these arguments were going on 25+ years ago. Callahan was an early and frequent Parker antagonist. I think he was the inspiration for or maybe founder with Chris Coad for Wine Asylum(?) that eventually became Wine Disorder? Others who know more can correct me, but I digress...

    Parker called out Callahan and challenged him and another 10 or so Prodigy-ites to a blind Bdx vs. Cali tasting in Baltimore. At Parker’s expense. I think RP supplied the wines but they were all single blind - i.e. everyone knew what was in the lineup. Some might say it was an early demonstration of RP not being willing to let criticism pass, but it was done after months of unrelenting criticism and seemed to me to be presented in the form of a friendly put up or shut up challenge. Callahan did poorly, blaming a cold and travel fatigue, but most others got most of them right. Callahan was mercilessly ridiculed by many Parker fans, but I don’t recall Bob being ungracious. That was back in the day when Parker was my wine Virgil (early 90s?) so my memory may be colored.
    Haha, I remember that entire episode. The killer was Bob bringing his current (at the time) Beaux Freres, which Callahan had been disparaging, but liked it at the tasting ( there was maybe some revisionist history after the tasting) and was a bit agitated about it being a ringer. Full disclosure-I did not attend, did not volunteer to attend (sadly), but followed the entire episode online. Lurked I guess it could be called. But, of the 2, Bob was certainly the gracious one and put up all of the wine for the event as I recall.
    IIRC, Parker lied by stating before the tasting that he would not include Beaux Freres, Callahan took him at his word and guessed something else, then Parker sycophants mocked Callahan for what really amounted to trusting Parker to be honest.

    I’m somewhat biased, as I was a huge Parker fan when I joined Prodigy. I found Callahan to be rude and disrespectful toward Parker and honestly thought he was a bit of a charlatan with his ridiculous praise for second rate wines like Coudert Beaujolais, Pepiere Muscadet, Baudry Chinon, Clos Roche Blanche Côt, and similar crap from obscure regions. Keep in mind that this was more than 20 years ago when Garnet was about the only store in the US that even carried these wines. Callahan’s persistence, determination, obvious intelligence, and excellent writing, coupled with my own contrarian nature, eventually persuaded me to stop by Garnet to meet him when in NY for an incredible Bordeaux offline. He put together a mixed case of some of the wines that he had been praising and those bottles totally changed my perspectives on wine, Callahan, and Parker.

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #117 Post by David Glasser » July 9th, 2019, 5:47 am

    Callahan was an AFWE before it was cool to be one.

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #118 Post by Jayson Cohen » July 9th, 2019, 7:09 am

    Mike Evans wrote:
    July 9th, 2019, 5:42 am
    Jim F wrote:
    July 9th, 2019, 5:15 am
    David Glasser wrote:
    July 8th, 2019, 7:12 pm
    Yes, Marcu$, but that’s the point. The modern, ripe, fruity, oaky Bordeaux are Napa-esque, having more in common with a big, extracted Cabernet than a classic Bordeaux if you look at the individual elements on paper. Yet still very different from Napa in the mouth.

    This thread, the old favorite Vincent Price/Peter Lorre blind tasting clip that Blake posted, and the reminiscences about the passing of the eRP board reminded me of another favorite Parker episode. This predated the Squires board if my memory serves (not a given), and happened back in the Prodigy days. Parker got into it with Robert Callahan over Bdx vs. Napa and being able to tell the difference blind. Yes, these arguments were going on 25+ years ago. Callahan was an early and frequent Parker antagonist. I think he was the inspiration for or maybe founder with Chris Coad for Wine Asylum(?) that eventually became Wine Disorder? Others who know more can correct me, but I digress...

    Parker called out Callahan and challenged him and another 10 or so Prodigy-ites to a blind Bdx vs. Cali tasting in Baltimore. At Parker’s expense. I think RP supplied the wines but they were all single blind - i.e. everyone knew what was in the lineup. Some might say it was an early demonstration of RP not being willing to let criticism pass, but it was done after months of unrelenting criticism and seemed to me to be presented in the form of a friendly put up or shut up challenge. Callahan did poorly, blaming a cold and travel fatigue, but most others got most of them right. Callahan was mercilessly ridiculed by many Parker fans, but I don’t recall Bob being ungracious. That was back in the day when Parker was my wine Virgil (early 90s?) so my memory may be colored.
    Haha, I remember that entire episode. The killer was Bob bringing his current (at the time) Beaux Freres, which Callahan had been disparaging, but liked it at the tasting ( there was maybe some revisionist history after the tasting) and was a bit agitated about it being a ringer. Full disclosure-I did not attend, did not volunteer to attend (sadly), but followed the entire episode online. Lurked I guess it could be called. But, of the 2, Bob was certainly the gracious one and put up all of the wine for the event as I recall.
    IIRC, Parker lied by stating before the tasting that he would not include Beaux Freres, Callahan took him at his word and guessed something else, then Parker sycophants mocked Callahan for what really amounted to trusting Parker to be honest.

    I’m somewhat biased, as I was a huge Parker fan when I joined Prodigy. I found Callahan to be rude and disrespectful toward Parker and honestly thought he was a bit of a charlatan with his ridiculous praise for second rate wines like Coudert Beaujolais, Pepiere Muscadet, Baudry Chinon, Clos Roche Blanche Côt, and similar crap from obscure regions. Keep in mind that this was more than 20 years ago when Garnet was about the only store in the US that even carried these wines. Callahan’s persistence, determination, obvious intelligence, and excellent writing, coupled with my own contrarian nature, eventually persuaded me to stop by Garnet to meet him when in NY for an incredible Bordeaux offline. He put together a mixed case of some of the wines that he had been praising and those bottles totally changed my perspectives on wine, Callahan, and Parker.
    This. (For folks, he worked behind the scenes at Garnet, and was in charge of their website when Garnet was Garnet and before David Lillie left to open Chambers.)

    And you used to come see us more back then!!

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #119 Post by Keith Levenberg » July 9th, 2019, 7:55 am

    Somewhere on the interwebs there is an account of the Parker/Callahan tasting, I forget whose - maybe can be salvaged from the Squires board before it goes down - but it's a fascinating piece of history. This was from a simpler time when many drew the battle lines between old world and new world, as opposed to traditional vs. modern, because at the time the former was a much more reliable proxy for the latter than it is now (this was way before anyone became internet-famous making trousseau or low-alc mourvedre in California). The key point being that the old world wines Parker chose were exactly the old world wines you *would* choose if you wanted to puzzle people on what's what - like, if I remember correctly, he served Guigal La Las, Coche, maybe Marcassin or Kistler or whatever. Let's just say that if you want to prove that people who don't share Parker's taste in wine are full of it, mixing up old world Parker favorites with new world Parker favorites is not the best of all possible evidence. I.e., he wasn't exactly pouring Gentaz and Truchot.

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #120 Post by Keith Levenberg » July 9th, 2019, 8:05 am

    Found it! I have no idea whose page this is: http://www.wine-people.com/paradise_at_ ... n_wine.htm
    It also links to Mark Squires' account: http://marksquires.com/novdec96.htm#nov1
    It's mostly like what I said above but even trickier. Coche-Dury and Leroy white burgundies mixed not just with Marcassin but with Chalone and Mt Eden chardonnays. Guigal La Landonne followed by Edmunds St. John Durrell Vineyard! So not exactly a mystery why someone with an old world palate is going to end up preferring CA to FR in that context.

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #121 Post by Mike Evans » July 9th, 2019, 8:14 am

    Keith Levenberg wrote:
    July 9th, 2019, 8:05 am
    Found it! I have no idea whose page this is: http://www.wine-people.com/paradise_at_ ... n_wine.htm
    It also links to Mark Squires' account: http://marksquires.com/novdec96.htm#nov1
    It's mostly like what I said above but even trickier. Coche-Dury and Leroy white burgundies mixed not just with Marcassin but with Chalone and Mt Eden chardonnays. Guigal La Landonne followed by Edmunds St. John Durrell Vineyard! So not exactly a mystery why someone with an old world palate is going to end up preferring CA to FR in that context.
    The first page you linked is Arthur Johnson’s.

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #122 Post by Jim F » July 9th, 2019, 9:14 am

    Mike Evans wrote:
    July 9th, 2019, 5:42 am
    Jim F wrote:
    July 9th, 2019, 5:15 am
    David Glasser wrote:
    July 8th, 2019, 7:12 pm
    Yes, Marcu$, but that’s the point. The modern, ripe, fruity, oaky Bordeaux are Napa-esque, having more in common with a big, extracted Cabernet than a classic Bordeaux if you look at the individual elements on paper. Yet still very different from Napa in the mouth.

    This thread, the old favorite Vincent Price/Peter Lorre blind tasting clip that Blake posted, and the reminiscences about the passing of the eRP board reminded me of another favorite Parker episode. This predated the Squires board if my memory serves (not a given), and happened back in the Prodigy days. Parker got into it with Robert Callahan over Bdx vs. Napa and being able to tell the difference blind. Yes, these arguments were going on 25+ years ago. Callahan was an early and frequent Parker antagonist. I think he was the inspiration for or maybe founder with Chris Coad for Wine Asylum(?) that eventually became Wine Disorder? Others who know more can correct me, but I digress...

    Parker called out Callahan and challenged him and another 10 or so Prodigy-ites to a blind Bdx vs. Cali tasting in Baltimore. At Parker’s expense. I think RP supplied the wines but they were all single blind - i.e. everyone knew what was in the lineup. Some might say it was an early demonstration of RP not being willing to let criticism pass, but it was done after months of unrelenting criticism and seemed to me to be presented in the form of a friendly put up or shut up challenge. Callahan did poorly, blaming a cold and travel fatigue, but most others got most of them right. Callahan was mercilessly ridiculed by many Parker fans, but I don’t recall Bob being ungracious. That was back in the day when Parker was my wine Virgil (early 90s?) so my memory may be colored.
    Haha, I remember that entire episode. The killer was Bob bringing his current (at the time) Beaux Freres, which Callahan had been disparaging, but liked it at the tasting ( there was maybe some revisionist history after the tasting) and was a bit agitated about it being a ringer. Full disclosure-I did not attend, did not volunteer to attend (sadly), but followed the entire episode online. Lurked I guess it could be called. But, of the 2, Bob was certainly the gracious one and put up all of the wine for the event as I recall.
    IIRC, Parker lied by stating before the tasting that he would not include Beaux Freres, Callahan took him at his word and guessed something else, then Parker sycophants mocked Callahan for what really amounted to trusting Parker to be honest.

    I’m somewhat biased, as I was a huge Parker fan when I joined Prodigy. I found Callahan to be rude and disrespectful toward Parker and honestly thought he was a bit of a charlatan with his ridiculous praise for second rate wines like Coudert Beaujolais, Pepiere Muscadet, Baudry Chinon, Clos Roche Blanche Côt, and similar crap from obscure regions. Keep in mind that this was more than 20 years ago when Garnet was about the only store in the US that even carried these wines. Callahan’s persistence, determination, obvious intelligence, and excellent writing, coupled with my own contrarian nature, eventually persuaded me to stop by Garnet to meet him when in NY for an incredible Bordeaux offline. He put together a mixed case of some of the wines that he had been praising and those bottles totally changed my perspectives on wine, Callahan, and Parker.
    Now that Offline I did attend.....and sat with the Atlanta Mike’s....although a diehard Yankee fan. I remember the looks in those photos. 82 Latour remains etched in my memory. And yes, Parker was disengenuous about bringing the Beaux Freres, and yes, his followers were pretty abusive to RC after the fact. Geez, another blog string going tangential.
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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #123 Post by Jay Miller » July 9th, 2019, 10:18 am

    Neal.Mollen wrote:
    June 7th, 2019, 8:45 pm
    Howard Cooper wrote:
    June 7th, 2019, 8:42 pm
    Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
    June 7th, 2019, 5:59 pm
    Provocative NYT article from 1987...

    Was this written by Terry Robards? He is well known, among other things, for trashing 82 Bordeaux and saying they would not live to be 10 years old. I cannot remember whether he was still the wine writer then or whether he had already been fired.
    Nope. Frank Prial. https://www.nytimes.com/1987/01/18/maga ... -myth.html
    Remember that Frank Prial was dedicated to getting the masses to start drinking wine. He went out of his way to make it seem approachable. But despite being the NY Times wine writer (and I enjoyed many of his articles) he was far from an expert. I still remember goggling when he said that Muscadet was made from the sauvignon blanc grape...
    Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #124 Post by Mike Evans » July 9th, 2019, 1:20 pm

    Jim F wrote:
    July 9th, 2019, 9:14 am
    Mike Evans wrote:
    July 9th, 2019, 5:42 am

    IIRC, Parker lied by stating before the tasting that he would not include Beaux Freres, Callahan took him at his word and guessed something else, then Parker sycophants mocked Callahan for what really amounted to trusting Parker to be honest.

    I’m somewhat biased, as I was a huge Parker fan when I joined Prodigy. I found Callahan to be rude and disrespectful toward Parker and honestly thought he was a bit of a charlatan with his ridiculous praise for second rate wines like Coudert Beaujolais, Pepiere Muscadet, Baudry Chinon, Clos Roche Blanche Côt, and similar crap from obscure regions. Keep in mind that this was more than 20 years ago when Garnet was about the only store in the US that even carried these wines. Callahan’s persistence, determination, obvious intelligence, and excellent writing, coupled with my own contrarian nature, eventually persuaded me to stop by Garnet to meet him when in NY for an incredible Bordeaux offline. He put together a mixed case of some of the wines that he had been praising and those bottles totally changed my perspectives on wine, Callahan, and Parker.
    Now that Offline I did attend.....and sat with the Atlanta Mike’s....although a diehard Yankee fan. I remember the looks in those photos. 82 Latour remains etched in my memory. And yes, Parker was disengenuous about bringing the Beaux Freres, and yes, his followers were pretty abusive to RC after the fact. Geez, another blog string going tangential.
    My memories of that offline are hazy at best, as I can't even remember which wines I brought. I apologize for not remembering that we were at the same table though I suspect that Mike Baker's outsized personality probably helped you to remember the Atlanta Mikes. I do recall that the 1982 Latour stood out, which was no mean feat given the caliber of the other wines tasted and the fuzziness of my recollection. I also remember that the food, wine, and company were an exceptional buffer to my disappointment at the Braves' collapse.

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #125 Post by Jim F » July 9th, 2019, 3:17 pm

    Mike, we had a really great time! champagne.gif
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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #126 Post by L.Cole » July 9th, 2019, 8:42 pm

    Jim, David and Robert
    Thanks for the suggestions. I will certainly seek a few of them out. I did have the Cardinale in hand at Total Wine and went with the Bellevue instead. I just finished it tonight and did see quite a change over the 4 days. I realize this is not a representation of how it will age but it sure did get more enjoyable to drink. Not great but good. I think I will start looking for a couple of bottles from the late 90’s as suggested as well as a few more 16’s.
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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #127 Post by William Gladstone » July 9th, 2019, 9:51 pm

    Scott E. wrote:
    June 4th, 2019, 10:54 am
    Reading the thread about the 2018's and the promotional stuff received from retailers, it seems like the 2018's are somewhat reasonably priced for the scores that they are garnering. The only Bdx I have ever purchased is a few 2009's, but I'm getting interested again. One thing holding me back is my age and the perception that I'm going to have to hold these for 20-years to get my money's worth. If I do buy, I'm not going to buy anything more than 6-12 cherry-picked bottles, so buying in bulk and testing every few years is not an option. What say you? With the warmer climate and better wine making, is it necessary to age these wines for so long? Cheers!
    Scott - if I may offer my experience - it entirely depends on your palete, that is where you should start and that will guide you.
    Open 2 bottles of wine that is more or less in the range of what you will be purchasing, both in grape varietals, price range and other similar attributes.
    One should be 6 - 8 years old and another should be 20 years old, and you will immediately know from your personal taste which wine is more to your enjoyment.

    Of course price is an issue - let's assume you are speaking of finely produced wines.
    A fine wine has an entire fruit profile in the 6 - 8 year range and an entire different profile - because of tannins and other factors at 20 years.
    You need to discover your personal preference.
    For me, I like young fruit of a well built wine. That is just me, what is your personal preference? It is easy to find out.
    Good luck
    Wg

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #128 Post by Scott E. » July 10th, 2019, 11:07 am

    William - Thank you and others for the advice. This thread ended up going many different directions (don't they all?). Like you, I normally drink my domestic cab/blends at age 7. If I were to follow your advice and compare a 2000 Bdx to a younger vintage, I wonder if that would be a fair comparison given that the 2012 vintage is considered a lesser vintage? I also wonder if climate change and better wine making apply to the 2000 vintage? I'm sure the exercise would provide some insight, but it seems like there would be too many variables to draw any firm conclusions? Truth be told, I ended up purchasing a half dozen 2016's (Smith Haut Lafitte, Leoville Poyferre, Leoville Barton, Haut Bailly, Clos Fourtet). Kind of a splurge for me, but it was one of those "what the hell" moments and I had a 20% off coupon from Total Wine. If, by the grace of God, I make it to 79, I will open these at my 60th wedding anniversary. Doubt if I will dabble any further in Bdx - but I did follow up with a second "what the hell" moment and purchased a few bottles of 2016 Port! Ha! Ha! Got to have some incentive to make it to 2036! Cheers!
    $.E$te$

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #129 Post by William Gladstone » July 10th, 2019, 11:31 am

    sounds very good
    so many people forget
    wine is to be enjoyed.
    Yes, let's have these discussions to share our ideas,
    in the end, enjoy.
    those are wines to share with friends and loved ones and to be enjoyed.

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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #130 Post by Tariq K » July 11th, 2019, 5:49 pm

    Jayson Cohen wrote:
    July 8th, 2019, 10:42 pm
    He is also of course the absentee subject of one of the greatest pieces of wine writing ever, Coad’s Waiting for Callahan.
    Been searching for this with no success. Anyone able to provide a link?

    EDIT: Found it! http://thecompleatwinegeek.com/essays/waiting.html
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    Re: Does Modern Bdx Need 20-Years of Aging to Drink Well?

    #131 Post by Jayson Cohen » July 11th, 2019, 6:07 pm

    A friend just restored The Compleat Winegeek last week so the timing here was fortuitous.

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