TN: Three Older Reds...(short/boring)

Again, some reds in celebration luncheon for Laura:

  1. Luigi & Italo Nervi Dd’OC: Gattinara Riserva (12.5%) 1971: Rather murky brown color; fairly leathery/cedary light tarry/Nebb fairly earthy/dusty little fruit rather complex oldNebb nose; very tart/acidic/sour light oldNebb/tarry bit cedary/pencilly/oldRed rather tired/dried out complex flavor w/ light bitter tannins; speaks of tarry oldNebb but very acidic & rather faded/tired; no pleasure to drink but interesting to smell.

  1. Ch. Petrus 1975: Dark color w/ some browning; very strong cedary/smokey/oldMerlot/pencilly rather fragrant very complex nose; bit soft bit tired/dried out very smokey/cedary/oldBdx slight earthy fairly complex flavor w/ light smooth/gently tannins; lots of cedary/pencilly/oldBdx character w/ no fruit & not much intensity and drying out somewhat on the palate; more of an intellectual experience than anything.

  1. Ch.Latour 1971: Dark color w/ some browning; some earthy/dusty quite cedary/pencilly/oldBdx little fruit slight herbal/Cab quite lovely complex nose; lightly tart very strong pencilly/cedary/oldBdx slight herbal/Cab little fruit bit faded flavor rather complex w/ light gentle tannins; much better than the Petrus; loads of cedary oldBdx character but a bit lacking in intensity; in pretty good condition but only going to fade away into the sunset.

A wee BloodyPulpit:

  1. Again, the emphasis was on finding Laura’s birth year wines. Two out of three is not too bad.
    The two Bdxs were showing signs of fading and not likely to improve and only fade away into the sunset. Like many old reds, more an intellectual pleasure than anything. Old red wines are overrated.

Not going to argue with your point. I’m sure a few table wines survive that long, but waiting 50 or more years so something rare and magnificent can taste like a box of wood scraps and dry leaves always seemed not worth the risk. Unless, of course, you are commemorating something and willing to treat it as an intellectual exercise as you did. Pretty sure the 50 year old human is holding up better!

I have to express another opinion on the Petrus. My husband and I drank fine Bordeaux since the 60s. We would also often save an extra bottle to see how it would do after many years. This was one of them. This Petrus was in fine shape. It showed really well and went with the rack of lamb I cooked. Bordeaux made from the 60s through the 90s have not, in my experience, been fruit-forward. They were designed to go with food. This Petrus was still complex, yet soft and velvety. No, no dead leaves, old twigs, or dried out character in my opinion. The La Tour, on the other hand, was musty and thin. I dumped it after a couple of swallows. We had a grand La Tour tasting about 5 years ago with many “priceless” vintages. This one was not up to any of those we tried. Also, the Petrus was not up to the magnum of '61 we had in the 90s, but I didn’t expect it would be.

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