I really, really love old DDC. I really dislike current DDC. I’m not sure when the change in style began, but if you love old school terroir driven Bordeaux, the change was tragic.
Not had the 81, it sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing.
And thanks to John Gilman for standing up for wines like this (even if it’s long been a lost cause). I can’t say enough about what a Gilman stamp of approval means to me — I know I’ll like the wine and it’s style. It’s not that my palate always aligns with his (but for French wines at least, it usually does), it’s just that I know we’re starting from the same general place.
Tonight I opened the final bottle of BAMA, another 1995, and it was badly corked. So without any air time or even standing the bottle up, we opened the 1979 DDC. Hardly any bricking, it seemed a decade younger than the 1981. A good deal of red fruit, some leather and cedar, it was a lovely wine, but tailed off a little two thirds of the way through, only to come back for a nice finale and finish. Extremely good, and but for that dip, it would have been the equal of the ‘81. 93
Sorry about the BAMA - you really have been unlucky. I had the DDC 02 this weekend, which was very good on the first night, not so good on the second. Plenty of ripe red cherries at first, with some sour cherry coming next and an interesting blend of the two on the finish. I liked the bright acidity and tension a lot and on the first night, thought it was one of the best I have opened recently. On the second night, however, a rather unpleasant note of kirsch took over the finish. Still, overall much better than the last two 04s and I preferred it to the 00.
What I found amusing was the comparison with a Couly Dutheil Clos de L’Echo Crescendo 02, which actually tasted more like a Pessac-Léognan than the DDC.
My vintage is a very (and I mean very in it’s most crystalline form here) poor one, 1968. You hardly ever see them because no one bothered cellaring any. But, for what it’s worth, I have had the 68 DDC twice in the last few years and it has been surprisingly good. Last months showing was the best one. A wine that surprised not just me but also some experienced palates each time.
Not that a single bottle is available anywhere in the world on Wine Searcher. But still, a tip for fellow unfortunates born in that unfortunate harvest year. Keep on the lookout.
You have some choices. Excellent California vintage, and Vega if you manage to avoid a corked bottle (the magnums seem to be a bigger problem). A single vineyard Taylor Vargellas I tasted was also fabulous.
Now try my year, 1956. No wine great there, not even close. I did have an Armagnac which was delicious, but the few bottles that have come my way are all shot. Fortunately as a February baby, I decided for this purpose alone, I was a Roman Catholic, and life began at conception, I.e. 1955.
I’ve long been a fan of the 79 DDC, for years available at amazing prices for quality, don’t think I ever had to pay more than $50. Now more.
The only time I had it at same time as the '81 was at your vertical, where I slightly preferred ;79, but both great.
Yeah, last week in Napa there were similar opinions on the 68s from California. Did not have time to go hunting for one but surely will when I return in May. Have had a few interesting Riojas also from my year.
And well played you vs God/Fate, depending on your persuasion.
2016 DDC last night was not good. I am not hopeful for Day 2. I’ll post a note at some point. I have yet to have DDC from this century anywhere close to past glories and continuing glories from the past.
I found the same phenomenon with Pontet Canet, though a bit different. The 1990 and 1995 were lovely, balanced terroir driven wines. The 2005 was over the top, highly extracted, micro oxygenated, over oaked and could have been from anywhere along route 29. Big disappointment and clearly a house making a move for a specific style.
+1. I tasted several 2018s single blind and it came out on top. Ethereal and light, with high-toned red fruit and super floral aromatics that you could smell across the room. I was convinced it was Rauzan-Segla.
I’m not quite as harsh, but your notes aren’t far from mine on the 2005 from this weekend. It was certainly disappointing for the current value. For those who have tried a lot of different DDCs from old and more recent vintages, should I take this as a reasonable reflection of how future DDC releases will be, or is this just a tough vintage? Anomaly, or sign of things to come?
I hear there has been a change beginning in 2018, and the 2019, in particular, does have a strong terroir signature. I have not tasted, so cannot comment, but knowing how good the terroir can be, that sounds a very positive development. I would however skip over anything after 2000.
That’s good news for me since I have a single '18 to try and a few futures purchased for '19 and '20. I’ll probably crack that '18 early to see if I should opt to get rid of the others, though I guess I’ll have to handicap for hotter vintage and early oak presence.
Some recent CT notes on the '18 mention “Napa” as a descriptor, so the varying reviews on that one have me puzzled. I did pick up some '19s based on WK’s hearty recommendation, but probably 7-10 years before I open one to find out what we have.