TN: 1982 Bordeaux dinner at Lavandou also bubblies, whites and stickies


Panos came back home to DC and the usual suspects got together to drink some wonderful wines for one last time in 2011. Thirteen must be a lucky number as we were thirteen of us and most of the wines showed extremely well. This was extremely educational and reminded me a few valuable lessons.

Buying small wines in a great vintage and properly cellaring them will handsomely reward the owner. The La Lagune and the Meyney were very impressive and in the case of La Lagune upto par with the others.

Although I still love 100 point scale, believing is as a precise measure is completely absurd. I have recently drunk a number of identical wines from the same cellar and my rating was often varied. My palate is pretty consistent but there are so many factors that can affect the rating as much as 5 points.

Knowing and good at detecting technical flaws is a two edged sword. Pyrazine in 2004 Henri Boillot Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet wasn’t too obvious but still noticeable. This diminished my overall experience with this wine.

Except for a few exceptions, I like my ice wine young when there is still a lot of primary fruits.
Champagne flight
All three champagnes showed well. I hope this makes sense to everyone, the Churchill was spring, the Krug Autumn and the Salon Winter.

  • 1990 Krug Champagne Brut - France, Champagne
    Randy M generously provided this and the 82 Cos. Both his last bottles. This seems slightly more matured than the last bottle I had. A hint of candy orange rinds, light caramel, brioche and ends with a hint of fino sherry. I also get Chartreusee. As expected deeply toned and displays bright acidity. With time the nose got more complex with noticeable vanilla. This is where my mood factors in as I wanted more Salon than Krug hence perhaps a point or two lower in my assessment. (95 pts.)
  • 1999 Pol Roger Champagne Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill Brut - France, Champagne
    Very floral, I believe this has high % of pinot noir but I get fat meursault nose, pear, white peach, flint and flowers. This is very fat but fresh. It is a smaller version of the 99 Salon with very similar ripe fruit expression. Drinking nicely right now. (93 pts.)
  • 1996 Salon Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs - France, Champagne, Le Mesnil Sur Oger, Champagne
    Cornucopia of flowers, honey, limestone, white pepper, beeswax and etc. The nose hints the piercing acidity that is just about to hit the palate. The palate displays excellent concentration, freshness and bright acidity. The nose is not as expressive as Krug but is incredibly pure. Despite the piercing acidity, the palate gives the impression of roundness due to the dense perfectly matured fruit. Not sure whether it is appropriate to use “unctuous” for a champagne but it is just that. With air, it gained even more weight and the fruit got slightly sweeter/riper. I initially rated this 96 but ended with 99. A long life ahead. (99 pts.)

Mostly White Burgs

  • 2006 Hospices de Beaune Meursault 1er Cru Charmes Cuvée Bahèzre de Lanlay Faiveley (Hospices Auction Group) - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru
    I don’t like the 06 white burgundy as I find them too fat and too cloying. This is one of the better wines although still very fat and ripe. Ripe yellow fruit, bubble gum, banana, honey, beeswax and limestone. Despite lacking acidity, noticeable mineral component balances out the fat ripe fruit. A lot better than expected and no sign of premox. Bravo Bernard! (90 pts.)
  • 2008 Domaine Ramonet Bâtard-Montrachet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
    This bottle is more often than my first bottle but not as expressive as Barry P’s bottle a couple weeks ago. A bit of Chablis clos like minerality, meyers lemon, yellow fruit and a hint of oak. The palate shows impressive concentration, sweet fruit impression with bright acidity. A beautiful wine that needs time. Knock on wood! (95 pts.)
  • 2007 Paul Blanck Riesling Schlossberg - France, Alsace, Kientzheim, Alsace Grand Cru AOC
    Very mineral, flower, soap, white pepper, pear and granny smith apple. Although the nose gives the impression of very ripe sweet fruit, it is quite dry not unlike Trimbach Frederic Emile. Fresh and delicious, this is a very food friendly wine. (90 pts.)
  • 2004 Henri Boillot Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
    This is more Chevalier than Batard in the delicate and subtle fruit expression. A slight hint of pyrazine that is not bothersome. White pear, white flower and sea salt. Very fresh. The palate gives very cool impression once again with a hint of green. Panos mentioned a bit of Sancerre like fruit expression and I agree. Knowing and good at how to look for the technical flaws make me a bit more critical. This is quite nice and some seems to enjoy even more than me. Kevin Harvey to be blamed since he taught me that pyrazine causes the greenness. (92 pts.)

Mostly right banks

  • 1982 Château La Lagune - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc
    I believe this came from the same cellar as my last note. Is it the bottle variation or is it me? I really loved this bottle and preferred over the other two in this flight for its expressive perfumed nose. The intoxicating nose displays fully matured sweet red fruits, lead pencil, leather, cedar, truffle and balsamico. In the palate everything has come together nicely, quite silky and ends with a hint of dry tannins that is not bothersome. A lovely wine, perhaps a bit more matured and at plateau compare to the others but drinking beautifully. (95 pts.)
  • 1982 Château Canon - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    Ripe baked red fruit compotes but also crushed berries. Fully matured, deeply toned nose of leather, tobacco and mushroom. Excellent concentration with sweet fruit. This may evolve further displaying more expressive tertiary nose. I prefer the nose of La Lagune. (93 pts.)
  • 1982 Château L’Eglise-Clinet - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
    I was looking forward to this but apparently the chateau made a poor wine in 1982. The nose is rustic, dirty as in damp molded cellar and wet sox, chocolate, scorched earth and not much fruit. The palate however is quite appealing, unctuous and silky. I hope I am wrong but this seems the correct bottle with a very good provenance. Drink up! (85 pts.)

St. Estèphe flight

  • 1982 Château Cos d’Estournel - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
    This bottle is definitely fresher than the last bottle that came from the same cellar. Very ripe dark fruits, cocoa, lead pencil, a hint of tobacco and cassis. The ripe hedonistic fruits and cocoa reminds me the 82 Mouton but the nose is not as expressive. Deeply toned heavy weight but I preferred the 82 Calon Segur for freshness and cabernet perfumed nose in this flight. (94 pts.)
  • 1982 Château Calon-Ségur - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
    A lot of freshness, lead pencil, perfectly ripe and sweet dark fruit, a hint of caramel or butterscotch, cassis. This is more vibrant and fresher than the 82 Cos. A beautiful expression of cabernet sauvignon, ie very floral. Ken B mentioned that the Cos drank so much better ten years ago and I completely agree. The best example of the 82 Calon and this bottle was magnificent. (95 pts.)
  • 1982 Château Meyney - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
    I drank a lot of the 89 Meyney about ten years ago and this displays similar flavor profile. A hint of ash, sweet black fruits, licorice, lead pencil and cedar. The palate shows impressive concentration and still noticeable tannins. It is a bit angular and the fruit expression is not as complex as the others. A good example of the importance of terroir. Nevertheless very pleasurable. Lately I have often heard how unaffordable Bordeaux has become but if carefully chosen, Bordeaux still represents very good value. (92 pts.)

Two Pauillacs and a St. Julien

  • 1982 Château Talbot - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Ken B mentioned tapenade and he is 100% right. Sour cherry, red and black fruits coexist, some cornas in olive aspect and hermitage in grilled bloody steak. The palate is silky but a bit sour. Pretty complex nose but a bit too much tapenade for me. Perhaps better served with food but still very enjoyable. (93 pts.)
  • 1982 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    Bob was 100% right when he referred the 59 Grand Puy Lacoste as “non-wealthy person’s Latour.”. Beautifully expressive nose of dark jammy fruit, cassis, lead pencil, cedar and grilled cep. It has silky palate, high acidity and still noticeable tannins. It is drinking beautifully at the moment. (96 pts.)
  • 1982 Château Lynch-Bages - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    The initial nose impression is very clean and fresh, strong note of lead pencil, cassis, crushed blueberries and a hint of bell pepper that enhances the wine and gives the extra freshness. I revisited the wine an hour or two later and the wine really opened up nicely. Beautifully perfumed classic Pauillac nose,lead pencil, sweet sweet currants, cedar and truffle. A great showing. (96 pts.)

St. Julien flight

  • 1982 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Another nice showing, crushed blueberries, quite floral, a slight hint of lead pencil and cedar. Silky palate, excellent concentration, bright acidity and noticeable tannins. The nose of this bottle has a hint of dust that is not bothersome. Very fresh and drinking well. A long life ahead. (95 pts.)
  • 1982 Château Gruaud Larose - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    A great example of cordier funk, complex nose showing red and black fruits, lead pencil and cedar. Quite youthful, fresh, excellent concentration and birth acidity. Drinking beautifully now and will improve if one prefers the tertiary flavor profile. (96 pts.)
  • 1982 Château Léoville Las Cases - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Will this ever become drinkable? What a pleasant surprise as this bottle is open for business and then some. Dark jammy fruit, intense and expressive nose displaying lead pencil, a hint of cedar, cassis, coffee and etc. This is a big scale wine with excellent concentration. I find the post LLCs to be very clean and modern also least evolving. This particular bottle was expressive and showing exceptionally well. My WOTN. Long long life ahead. (98 pts.)


  • 2001 Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Thick, thick, thick, 10W40. Strong presence of botrytis gives very spicy nose impression, cream caramel, mango, apricot, vanilla and light maple syrup. The palate is unctuous and extremely sweet but the noticeable acidity makes it not too cloying. Still quite fat and borderline cloying. I believe with a few more years of cellaring this will be a bit more precise as it loses the sweetness. Not a bad showing but definitely will improve. (94 pts.)
  • 1994 Trimbach Pinot Gris Sélection de Grains Nobles - France, Alsace, Alsace AOC
    I believe Panos mentioned that he is not a big fan of Pinot Gris as it is somewhere between Gewurtaminer and Riesling and I agree. The nose is very pure with some lychee, wild flowers, a hint of musk and honey. The palate is surprisingly light due to the bright acidity which also makes it not too sweet. This is showing well but I tend to like em real young. (94 pts.)
  • 1985 Von Hövel Scharzhofberger Riesling Eiswein - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    I mentioned to Ken who brought this wine that I prefer to drink icewines young when there are plenty of white fruits like pear and white peaches and he agreed. Light caramel, chestnut, toffee and a hint of oxidative note. The palate shows piecing acidity. Not bad but I would have enjoyed this a lot more in its youth. (91 pts.)

It was good to share the great wines with my fellow DCWINOS and I look forward to many more to come in 2012!
Posted from CellarTracker

Nice work; nice notes.


Thanks for posting these fine notes, Kevin. It certainly was an enjoyable evening–great wines, excellent company, and the usual high quality food and service we get from Lavandou. I’m glad my last bottle of 1982–the Cos–made a fine and honorable showing in a distinguished company.

Kevin- was your 1996 Salon from a recent Envoyer cellar offering? I opened one last weekend. While the flavors were pretty much in line with your notes, the bottle that I opened lost it’s fine bubbles after 30min-1 hr. Is this “normal” for Salon or should I open the other bottle sooner than later.

Thanks Kevin,

Serious wines and lovely notes to go with them.

Great stuff!!

I bought a bunch at initial release through the proper US distribution then after reading Alan Weinberg’s oh my gosh notes on ERP bought more. I have not noticed any lack of bubbles and I have drunk half a dozen or more. I had a number of the 80s Salons and no issue with bubbles. I hope the other bottles show better for you.

A superb evening.
As Kevin noted, we had great bottles all around, and it was revealing to taste a cru bourgeois like Meyney. But beyond the Bordeaux 82s, a series of very fine white Burgundies, Champagnes and stickies, too. I posted my notes with photos here:

Happy New Year to all!

A fine report. Panos–thank you. I need to source some more '82s…and some '96 Salon!

Thank you for your excellent notes. We seem to agree on almost everything including the 82 L’Eglise Clinet.

It was an extremely fun evening. Thanks to everyone for making it so. I thought that the first flight of Champagnes was really successful. All three were outstanding and as others have said the Salon was very special. I kept some of it in my glass as we had the white Burgundies and it was really longer and more complex than any of those wines. It was clearly the best of the whites.

For drinking now, of the three white Burgundies I liked the Meursault best by far. The Ramonet had excellent potential, but was a bit closed Thursday night. I did not like the Criots nearly as much as the other two.

The reds were a classy bunch as well. I really liked the Canon in the first flight - it was my favorite of these three wines by a good bit. The second flight was really impressive. I loved the Calon Segur. Really an outstanding wine. The 82 Cos used to be at the top of any of these tastings, but not the last couple of times I have had it. I don’t think it is a question of it regressing as much as others getting better. The Meyney was truly fascinating and makes me want to do a tasting of lower level older Bordeaux, say 1990 and before. This could become a theme for a future tasting.

The Pauillac and Talbot flight was also impressive, although possibly a bit below the previous flight. I liked the Lynch Bages a lot. The Grand Puy Lacoste was also excellent, although perhaps not quite as good as the last time I had it.

The St. Julien flight was the class of the night. The three wines from that flight, along with the Calon Segur were probably my favorite four of the reds. I used to think that the 82 Ducru was good, not great. But this year I have had it three times and it has gone to outstanding. Really complete wine. But, Thursday night is could not quite keep up with a wonderful Gruaud Larose and a Leoville las Cases that was clearly the best red wine we had. The LLC was still a bit young, but it has really opened up since I last had it several years ago. Another tasting idea is 1982, 1986, 1990 and 1996 LLC together. A third future tasting idea discussed is 1982 LLC, Leoville Barton and Leoville Poyferre.

So, I would rate by top four reds as LLC, Gruaud Larose, Calon Segur and Ducru, in that order.

By far my favorite of the sweet wines was the 1994 Trimbach Pinot Gris SGN. Unlike Kevin and Panos, I am a fan of Pinot Gris from Alsace, esp. from Trimbach, dry or sweet. And this was an outstanding one. I am probably becoming less and less of a fan of Sauternes compared to sweet wines from Germany, Alsace and the Loire over time, unless the Sauternes is really old and really good. And, the Eiswein seemed a bit older and off. Seemed somehow to be missing some richness.

Thanks to everyone for a wonderful evening of good wine and better company. It was a great tasting to end up 2011.

Thanks particularly to Kevin and Panos for posting their notes. I am lazy about taking notes, so I am always glad to read what others post.

In general, I agree with Kevin’s assessments. My only difference was the L’Eglise Clinet. I did not find the nose nearly as off-putting, and I thought that the wine had an impressive core of dark fruit. This is one that I would like to come back to in another few years to see if perhaps this bottle was just going through a bad phase as Panos suggested.

I also loved the LLC (but I am biased because I brought it). I decanted it at 1 PM, and by the time we got to it around 9 PM it was really a gorgeous wine.