? on '83 Bordeaux

Anyone have Pichon Lalande, Gruaud Larose and Rausan Segla lately? Or general thoughts on these '83s?

The Lalande is a good drinker/value.

Haven’t had the other two in many years, but unless a miracle took place in the bottle, they’re both mediocre.

I’ve always found the '83 GL to be a pretty solid wine, but Ray’s “mediocre” and my “mediocre” may be different things - that said, I haven’t pulled a cork on one lately, although I’m pretty sure I still have a double mag of it somewhere.

The '83 Pichon Lalande has peaked in quality and holding the plateau. I opened one of these last fall and it was absolutely delicious. Last bottle :frowning:

I had the GL, but it was many years ago. I remember it being nice, on par with the 89, but I cannot at all say where it is nowadays.

Funny, we had the '83 Pichon Lalande the other day at Peking Duck House. I really liked it. Lots going on in terms of aroma and flavor - not just the usual lead pencils but deeper and earthier. On the minus side, there was a bit too much tannin relative to the rest of the material - a few people said it needed a steak.

Based on my last PLL, I would say it is on the other side of the aging curve. Time to drink up. If it is from a 50 deg cellar, may be you have more time.

Wow, all the bottles I have had were silky smooth with no discernible tannin at all. Amazing how bottle vary huh.

I liked the '83 Gruaud when Jud served it to a bunch of us last September. I agree my definition of mediocre will surely be on a more modest scale! Here was my note, which was definitely influenced by drinking it after the '01, '99 and '98…

1983 Chateau Gruaud Larose St. Julien. The bouquet offers up a very open-knit and gentle mélange of soft dusty earth, old leather and warm cherry pie that has an effortless airiness. Still, it is nicely mouth-filling on the palate, certainly showing some age, but also a certain robustness. It is definitely more open-textured than anything before it, though there are still some drying tannins to contend with. It is more red-fruited for sure than the previous wines, with decent structure still evident—suggesting that this will hold a while but probably not improve any more.

As for the '83 PLL, I have really enjoyed that each of the 3 times I’ve had it over the past couple years. It is on a higher plane than the GL, IMO. My note from last April:

1983 Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Pauillac. Compared to the Mouton served alongside it, the nose on the Pichon Lalande feels brighter and more red-fruited with cassis, dark cherries and red currants. It also features distinctive herbal, jalepeno and bell pepper aromas that seem to fit in just right with the other notes of spicy cedar, soft spice cake and forest ferns. In the mouth, it is lush and creamy and nicely layered—feeling like a more complete wine than the Mouton. It is nicely mouth-filling and dense, yet elegantly structured and fresh, and featuring soft tannins throughout. If offers fantastic drinking right now.


Thanks. Maybe I’ll open both the Pichon and Gruad tomorrow.

paul, you won’t go wrong with the PLL, had it last year and it was a real beautiful wine

One thing I always liked about the '83 GL was that it struck me as one of those quintessential “Georges Pauli/Domaine Cordier” wines with lots of funk and other things going on. Certainly not at the level of the '82 & '86, but at least in my experience I preferred it to the '85, '88 & '81.

All from within the past 16 months:

My notes from 13 March 2008 on the '83 Pichon Lalande:

5th - 1983, very nice PL, one I’d not had before, fine and complex, a bit of resin to the smokey cedar - but in a good way. I remember liking this quite a lot and am surprised now, after reviewing my notes, that I ranked it “only” 5th.

Re: other '83s, a Lafite Rothschild last had on 10th March 2009:

1983 Château Lafite Rothschild - Again, from the Stockbroker, another 1855 1st Growth, this time from Pauillac. Very mature, and just a shade over the hill - hands down, the best red of the lunch.

What this wine gave up in perfumed allure to the '92 Margaux (a refined, suavely masculine Pauillac bouquet), the former more than made up for in the mouth with elegant balance and texture, deeply-veined, layered dark fruit, cassis, mere whispers of licorice, violets, tobacco and intricately woven sweet cedar. Not somber like the Ducru Beaucaillou, and not as earthy, though still expressive of its terroir. More living fruit in this.

Much, much nicer than than the '83 Lynch Bages and '83 Latour, in my opinion. Very likely the best '83 I’ve ever had, just edging out, to me, the '83 Palmer (though this comparison, I recognize, is tenuous at best since the '83 Palmer is a delicately feminine Margaux as opposed to this decidedly masculine Pauillac, however refined and suave the latter may be). Beautiful wine.

'83 Palmer at a blind wine dinner on 16 August 2008:

Wine # 2 - Slight band-aid on the otherwise delicate, minerally nose. The band-aid subsided after several minutes revealing faint, sweetish scents of dark violets, gravel, earth, minerals, cassis and cedar (my wife noted it as the best nose of the night, while the Doc and the Stockbroker thought its nose was muted). All these were mirrored on the palate with a dark plummy underbelly and the sweet cedar more pronounced late-mid-palate and, the violets surfacing more towards the back.

Admirable finesse and complexity, but comparatively too light on the palate after the previous wine. It had the misfortune of being tasted immediately after Wine # 1. Wine # 2 was an elegant wine, to be sure, delicate and feminine, but was a bit too fine and delicate to be served right after the previous lush and generous wine. I eventually ranked it 3rd Place. Mrs. Doc and Mrs. Stockbroker, however, ranked it 1st Place, while the Vigneron and my wife ranked it 2nd Place.

It turned out to be the Vigneron’s 1983 Palmer - again, reputedly one of the best the château has made. I must mention, though, that my bottle of their 1989, one of their other heralded vintages, failed to impress me to any great extent.

'83 Yquem on 16 October 2008:

1983 Château d’Yquem - Textbook pairing for the “refined” roquefort. I am unsure why the cheese was described as refined, probably because it was quite mild for a roquefort, and not as creamy or bleu as usual. Good that it was, though, as the '83 Yquem was quite elegantly reserved and unusually short (for an Yquem), without the usual luxurious richness, expansiveness and push one would expect from Yquem from a good Sauternes vintage. Make no mistake, it was very nice and I enjoyed it, but I couldn’t help but compare it to the Stockbroker’s viscous sex-bomb of a 1983 Rieussec we enjoyed a few years ago which seemed a lot fuller, with a notably healthier dose of botrytis. We spoke about the wine briefly and had similar thoughts about it.

Still and all, it is always a great treat to have an aged Yquem from a heralded vintage, and I am more than thankful for the opportunity to try it at this stage of is development. Not the kind of Yquem I expected, but still a very good Sauternes, elegantly reserved, impeccably poised, good acidic balance, firm structure.