TN: Bordeaux with Lunch

Notes from a blind tasting of Bordeaux:

2018 Château Suduiraut Le Blanc Sec de Suduiraut – clean dry wine with honeyed nose and excellent balance. Made using 20 year old + grapes. Impressive white as a starter.

1970 Ch. Gloria – high shoulder fill, garnet colour, some elegant sweet fruit still evident and good length. From my cellar – I had wondered about condition at that age so had a back up, but was pleased not to need it…

1993 Ch. La Mission Haut Brion – still very dark with a big sweet dark fruit nose with some tobacco hints and it still had a fair bit of tannin. Good showing from an lesser vintage. Also from my cellar.

2004 Ch. Palmer – even darker than the previous wine, with an abundance of sweet dark fruit in the nose, and some nice cedar notes. Excellent length and an over all great showing from an under rated vintage.

2004 Ch. Fleur Cardinale – this St. Emilion was also very dark in colour, but was not very forthcoming on palate, though showing some sweet red fruit. I went back to it later but it was still not very expressive.

2005 Ch. Batailley – I have always considered this Pauillac to be a reliably decent wine and this was no exception to that – it showed a very decent nose of dark fruit, lots of secondary character and smooth soft tannins, a good bottle.

2009 Ch. Coutet Barsac – orange wine with a ripe sweet nose ad on palate a lot of botrytis character and lengthy finish, Lovely with cheese.

Later on a member who hadn’t been able to join us earlier dropped by to share a half bottle with me:

1970 Ch, Magdelaine – I enjoy this St. Emilion and have just started in on my 95, but I wondered how a 1970 would have fared in half bottle. No worries as it turned out – it was pale, with a sweet caramel and cigar box nose. Obviously carrying a lot of age, it was nonetheless still sound and offered an elegant silky finish and after a bit of air, some decent rd fruit.

Next up is Alsace, and following that I am putting up a nine vintage vertical of De Toren Fusion V, a creditable attempt for South Africa to produce a left bank Bordeaux wine.


I have always been surprised by how well Gloria aged in real life, given that aspect was not normally mentioned in professional commentary.

In a random note, I discovered recently that the 1982 hit song “Gloria” by Laura Branigan was a cover of a 1979 pop song by an Italian man, Umberto Tozzi.

It’s pretty funny hearing the original now.

1 Like

Great notes here Bill. 2004s are very classic in style, and came at a great time following the overhyped 2000s, the sometimes excellent 2001s, the sometimes good- to very-good to excellent Left Bank 2002s, and the oddball extraordinary 2003s (perhaps 10 wines, all on the Left Bank). For my palate the 2004s share some similarities to the Médoc 1996s (perhaps those with more technical information from the vintage will chime in). And Palmer made a really fine wine that year.