TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

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John Morris
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TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#1 Post by John Morris » June 13th, 2019, 7:41 pm

These were two of the wines served in my brown-bag group tonight. Though utterly different, they shared (for lack of a better term) the bleccchh factor.

1995 Ch. Leoville Las Cases - St. Julien
At first there was a faint scent that made me think it was a big cab, but that might just have been the power of suggestion, since they guy who served this tends to bring pretty over-the-top California wines. (Some of us pour conspicuously small amounts of his wines.)
On the palate, this wasn't his typical swill, however. There wasn't much there except coarse tannins. This was so under-fruited that at first I guessed it was a petite sirah. Then I thought maybe a Madiran, which can be excessively tannic and rustic. Dense, with long, tough tannins. Pretty charmless. Somewhere below 80 points for me.
When it was unveiled, I began to wonder if this was the result of early experimentation at LLC with reverse osmosis. I've often found that RO'ed Bordeaux have these coarse tannins, and LLC was an early adopter of the technology. I often found the '95 Medocs lacking in mid-palate concentration, so maybe they went too far in correcting. That's speculation but, in any case, no resemblance to a super second St. Julien. As I said, blecccch.

2007 Dom. de Pegau - Chateauneuf du Pape
Slight barnyard and a sweet, porty note on the nose. In the mouth, this was sweet, with a vague ruby port note. All reddish fruits. Soft tannins. Then, whack! Like some 1940s movie where the male protagonist gets fresh, I've just been slapped on both cheeks by alcohol.
For all the sweetness, there wasn't any discernible fruit. (With hindsight, it is probably that hollowness that too-ripe grenache can have.) It follows up with some heat on the finish.
Not as hot as I might have expected for an '07 CdP, but charmless. 78 points for me.

Thankfully the '98 Lamarche - Vosne - Suchots, 01 Grivot - Nuits -Boudots and '08 Produttori di Barbaresco Rabaja compensated. I'd post notes but it's late and, to borrow from Tolstoy: All good wines are alike, while each unhappy wine is unique.
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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#2 Post by Victor Hong » June 13th, 2019, 7:48 pm

Was the food good?
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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#3 Post by John Morris » June 13th, 2019, 7:56 pm

Schaller & Weber savories and pecan pie from Two Little Red Hens. Um-um, good!

Wish I'd saved some of the Pegau for the pie.
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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#4 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 13th, 2019, 8:11 pm

John Morris wrote:
June 13th, 2019, 7:56 pm
Schaller & Weber savories and pecan pie from Two Little Red Hens. Um-um, good!

Wish I'd saved some of the Pegau for the pie.
Was it a gregarious, gracious pie?

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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#5 Post by John Morris » June 13th, 2019, 8:19 pm

I would say more elegant and refined, with no hints of chocolate-covered cherries or mocha.
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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#6 Post by Mark Thompson » June 13th, 2019, 8:58 pm

I’ve struggled with the ‘95 LLC as well (and some others from the vintage). Dumb phase? It just seems totally closed—and difficult to say if it will improve with age. I guess I’m inclined to give it the benefit of the doubt, but I certainly haven’t rushed out to buy more. I’m sure plenty of others on the board have more experience watching a wine like this progress.

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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#7 Post by Alan Eden » June 13th, 2019, 9:24 pm

Im reading the Cdp tasting notes and im thinking this wine sounds like crap !! Then John does say its crap.

Its surprising how something with such reputation can actually be dire in the glass
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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#8 Post by Wade H » June 13th, 2019, 9:59 pm

Although it was quite a while ago I also remember the '95 LLC as being a rather charmless, austere wine.
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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#9 Post by Tom Reddick » June 14th, 2019, 12:52 am

John Morris wrote:
June 13th, 2019, 7:41 pm
These were two of the wines served in my brown-bag group tonight. Though utterly different, they shared (for lack of a better term) the bleccchh factor.

1995 Ch. Leoville Las Cases - St. Julien
At first there was a faint scent that made me think it was a big cab, but that might just have been the power of suggestion, since they guy who served this tends to bring pretty over-the-top California wines. (Some of us pour conspicuously small amounts of his wines.)
On the palate, this wasn't his typical swill, however. There wasn't much there except coarse tannins. This was so under-fruited that at first I guessed it was a petite sirah. Then I thought maybe a Madiran, which can be excessively tannic and rustic. Dense, with long, tough tannins. Pretty charmless. Somewhere below 80 points for me.
When it was unveiled, I began to wonder if this was the result of early experimentation at LLC with reverse osmosis. I've often found that RO'ed Bordeaux have these coarse tannins, and LLC was an early adopter of the technology. I often found the '95 Medocs lacking in mid-palate concentration, so maybe they went too far in correcting. That's speculation but, in any case, no resemblance to a super second St. Julien. As I said, blecccch.
RO at LLC got underway in 1987 if memory serves. I do know it predates the 1995 vintage by a few years.

I suspect the issue is more the 1995 vintage in general. That vintage came to market right when the US Bordeaux boom was getting underway- the "big one" in which being a wine connoisseur eventually became cool and not just snobby- and right on the heels of a 4 vintage run (91-94) without any "great" years- and so it was probably accorded more regard than was advisable in its early stages.

I had some good experiences early on, but recently La Mission and Lynch-Bages have given me pause- the former quite good but showing signs of getting dusty on the tail end and the latter quite oddly reticent despite being quite charming in the first few years after release.

Time will tell- but it appears many of the wines are going to end up ranging from austere to drying out by the time they peak.
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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#10 Post by Victor Hong » June 14th, 2019, 2:50 am

My lone holding of the 1995 Bordeaux vintage is Cos d'Estournel.
LLC seems to have done much better in 1994.
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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#11 Post by David Glasser » June 14th, 2019, 5:53 am

I was one of those excited to buy 1995s based on proclamations that there was finally a great vintage after 1991-1994. Most, including LLC, did not live up to the hype and got sent off to auction. Kept some Clinet which drinks well with a couple of hours of air.

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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#12 Post by ClarkstonMark » June 14th, 2019, 5:54 am

Victor Hong wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 2:50 am
My lone holding of the 1995 Bordeaux vintage is Cos d'Estournel.
LLC seems to have done much better in 1994.
94 LLC was awesome indeed. I think I have 1 left
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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#13 Post by Victor Hong » June 14th, 2019, 6:11 am

A double magnum has rested in my refrigerator for fifteen years.
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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#14 Post by Markus S » June 14th, 2019, 6:12 am

John Morris wrote:
June 13th, 2019, 7:41 pm
When it was unveiled, I began to wonder if this was the result of early experimentation at LLC with reverse osmosis. I've often found that RO'ed Bordeaux have these coarse tannins, and LLC was an early adopter of the technology.
Do you find similarity with Dunn, because I believe he practices r.o. as well?
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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#15 Post by K John Joseph » June 14th, 2019, 6:25 am

Markus S wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 6:12 am
John Morris wrote:
June 13th, 2019, 7:41 pm
When it was unveiled, I began to wonder if this was the result of early experimentation at LLC with reverse osmosis. I've often found that RO'ed Bordeaux have these coarse tannins, and LLC was an early adopter of the technology.
Do you find similarity with Dunn, because I believe he practices r.o. as well?
This was my immediate thought. Hmmmm, reduced fruit profile and grainy tannins? Sounds like Dunn.
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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#16 Post by John Morris » June 14th, 2019, 6:51 am

Tom Reddick wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 12:52 am
RO at LLC got underway in 1987 if memory serves. I do know it predates the 1995 vintage by a few years.

I suspect the issue is more the 1995 vintage in general. That vintage came to market right when the US Bordeaux boom was getting underway- the "big one" in which being a wine connoisseur eventually became cool and not just snobby- and right on the heels of a 4 vintage run (91-94) without any "great" years- and so it was probably accorded more regard than was advisable in its early stages.
...

Time will tell- but it appears many of the wines are going to end up ranging from austere to drying out by the time they peak.
I'm sure the vintage was part of it. The density of the tannins is what made me suspect RO. And you're memory accords with mind that they began experimenting with it in the late 80s.
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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#17 Post by Bob Hughes » June 14th, 2019, 7:28 am

Interestingly enough (and for whatever value this is worth), every TN posted on CT in 2019 for the '95 LLC has been between 92 and 95 points (9 notes, eight different tasters). Of course, the last TN posted in 2018 was rated 70 points, but even in 2018 the majority of the notes are very favorable.

Yet virtually everyone in this thread has panned the wine - don't think I can previously recall that marked of a dichotomy on a readily available wine.

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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#18 Post by John Morris » June 14th, 2019, 7:34 am

Those CT notes are strikingly different. I'm not sure what to say. I think the person who brought this said it was purchased around the time of release, he's had temp-controlled storage, and it was decanted an hour or more ahead. There was nothing off about it, or any indication of poor storage.
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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#19 Post by julianseersmartin » June 14th, 2019, 8:03 am

1995 LLC is extraordinarily backward, and exhibits some of the "worst" components of the vintage for many palates. Nevertheless I think it's got the bones to come round, but that's probably 10 years away. It'll always be a bottle for the AFWEs among us. I feel sorry for Victor with his dmag, that's going to take a while!

Palmer was like this about 10 years ago, although it's softened now.

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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#20 Post by Greg K » June 14th, 2019, 8:35 am

John Morris wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 7:34 am
Those CT notes are strikingly different. I'm not sure what to say. I think the person who brought this said it was purchased around the time of release, he's had temp-controlled storage, and it was decanted an hour or more ahead. There was nothing off about it, or any indication of poor storage.
At least I now know you're not JSMorris on CT [cheers.gif]
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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#21 Post by John Morris » June 14th, 2019, 8:53 am

Yes, I noticed that name!
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Re: TN: '95 Leoville Las Cases; 07 Pagau CdP :( :(

#22 Post by Greg K » June 14th, 2019, 9:20 am

John Morris wrote:
June 14th, 2019, 8:53 am
Yes, I noticed that name!
It's actually very useful to know, since I don't use CT for aggregate scores but rather for individual scores of people whose palates I find useful (in either direction).
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