Phelps Eisele 1984 (flawed) and Ducru Beaucaillou 1996

Opened this at dinner for a nephew born in 1984. Pouring it into the decanter, gorgeous crimson color, and I am quite confident. The level is high shoulder, and the bottle has come from an important cellar, where the owner is known to be meticulous. Not much of a nose.

Half an hour later, I realize there may be problems. Some significant amounts of VA, a roasted element but certainly some fruit. Later still, I know I am not enjoying the wine, it tastes to me of slightly vinegary Christmas pudding. Blows off a little, but not enough.

I have opened the Ducru, as soon as I figured there might be problems. It needs a little time, but I know how extraordinary this wine can be. A perfect expression of Bordeaux Cabernet, no excess fat. Brilliant and linear, with an incredibly long finish. One of the great wines from a top vintage, definitely First Growth quality.