TNs: Friday night Bordeauxs

FRIDAY NIGHT BORDEAUX - Cafe Bernard, Chicago IL (7/24/2009)

Matt was back in town so a few of us met up in lincoln park to have some bordeaux with age on it. We all went to check out Cafe Bernard as for some of us it would be our first time, and for a couple others, it would have been their first time in a long time, so it looked like it’d be a good place to check out

  • 2002 Château Pape Clément Blanc - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    nose: extremely intriguing nose filled with minerals and smokey tones along with some petrol tones, clementines, meyer lemons, nutty tones and a good helping of citrus’. Excellent depth with a real youthful sense on the nose

taste: really good and polished feel with medium+ acidity. Well defined and balanced tones of clementines, meyer lemons, smokey tones, and a whole lot of minerals with some crushed rocks added in for good measure

overall: one of the most interesting Bordeaux Blanc’s that I’ve had. I took a smell of what little was left at the end of teh evening and the nose was almost pure petrol, but it was far from off putting. A good amount of depth with really good acidity, this may be in an in between stage currently and the color was excellent light straw yellow. This is a wine that I would love to really spend some time with to get at its full story because it was very interesting (91 pts.)

  • 1985 Château Canon - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    nose: very pretty, and wide open nose with well balanced tones of roasted herbs, dark red cherries, violets, red florals, and some nice tones of red currants. Very elegant with beautiful depth and brings about a very demure quality to it that is quite enjoyable

taste: extremely pretty medium feel with nice fine grained tannins and tones of red florals, violets, anise seed, red currants, roasted herbs and dark red cherries. Very floral on the attack and finish that is very elegant

overall: a wonderfully mature right bank wine. Opened this and bottle aired it for about 90 minutes before vacu-vining it and taking it to the resturant. Was open from the start and stayed that way throughout the dinner. A very elegant wine that evoked thoughts of a 50s cool hollywood blonde. It can certainly go longer, but this seems to be as good as it will get and is quite enjoyable right now and should be for another decade (93 pts.)

  • 1986 Château Canon - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    nose: fairly brooding nose and has a brutish quality to it with tones of dark red cherries, anise, black currants, and tones of dark herbs. Good depth, but rather tight and doesn’t give up too much for a while

taste: a bit taught on the palate with a real nice silky medium feel and good tannins that remind you that this is a 86. Well balanced tones of dark red cherries, dark florals, black currants, and dark roasted herbs balance out well together. The tones are more alive on the palate then they were on the nose

overall: still quite young. Very well balanced with good acidity, this certainly reflects the vintage and it certainly can be drunk now, but needs a good decant to let it get going (91 pts.)

  • 1990 Château Lagrange St. Julien - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    nose: very lush and pretty that shows off the st julien elegance, and also shows off the wonderful balance of 90 with tones of sweet cassis, dark red cherries, pencil lead, cedar and real good tones of dark berries. Very elegant with great depth with the ripeness that comes with 90s

taste: absolutely lovely medium/full feel on the palate with good tannins. Very elegant with great depth and polished tones of kirsch liqueur, cedar, dark berries, pencil lead, sweet cassis, on top of a great dark red cherry base

overall: a better bottle then what was had on new years. Didn’t come off as evolved as the New Year’s bottle. This was chock full of class and elegance that made it extremely enjoyable and a real delight to drink. This paired perfectly with a rack of lamb and everything about it was open for business (94 pts.)

  • 1989 Château Cos d’Estournel - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
    nose: rich and dense nose with tones of black cherry liqueur, cassis, dark red cherries, black currants and real nice tones of cedar. Good depth with a well evolved nose that still has a primal nature to it

taste: really good medium/full feel with dense tones of cedar, black cherry liqueur, dark cherries, and a nice amount of cassis. Good tannins with excellent balance but doesn’t really bring it to the next level

overall: a very enjoyable Cos. While it is very ready right now with some good air, it still has a way to go as the nose is relatively evolved but the palate still has a youthful feel to it. The tannins are still quite present but are in a supporting role right now. An outstanding wine that has a ways to go, but not sure that it will get all that much better (91 pts.)

  • 1990 Château Cos d’Estournel - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
    nose: very silky with a good amount of depth and balance that is very elegant on the nose with great tones of leather, cedar, kirsch, dark red cherries, and dark berry tones. A really pretty and elegant nose

taste: extremely polished with great depth and elegant tones of black currants, dark berries, leather, kirsch, and dark red cherries. Very full bodied on the palate with a real good with excellent pure tones that have a seamless quality to them

overall: Drinking very well and shows off the qualities that I love from 90. Very seamless with great polish and elegance. While it was extremely good, it didn’t seem to kick it into third gear and have that next level quality to it that the laLande and Lagrange did (93 pts.)

  • 1986 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    nose: very tight at first, but as it unwound what emerged was an absolutely beautiful and silky nose that was purely layered with nuanced tones of perfumes, cassis, red cherries, herbs, bits of purple florals, and hints of bell peppers. Extremely graceful that required my full attention and allowed me to just get lost in the nose and the moment

taste: so plush and velvety on the palate that is almost like satin with a very layered medium/full feel that just flows. Tones of red cherries, mixed berries, cassis, purple florals, herbs, and a touch of bell pepper all intermingle splendidly and makes you close your eyes and relish it

overall: all I could think of was Ravel’s bolero while drinking this. This wine was just so beautiful and layered that brought out an intelectual and emotional side of me. This was just pure lalande as it had a very pretty feminine touch. Not delicate at all, but still feminine, this came across as a wine that has a soft side to it, but knows what it wants to do and makes you come to it (96 pts.)

  • 1983 Château Guiraud - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    nose: beautifully balanced nose filled with great tones of honey, warm caramel, all sorts of creamed pears and apricots along with tasty notes of white fruits. Great depth and has a sense of maturity to it more in the sense of refinement that comes through

taste: very delicious and silky feel with great tones of apricots, a good amount of white fruits, drops of honey, and caramel. Really good acidity on it is still present with good depth

overall: the color was great for a 26 yr old sauternes, especially since it was in half bottle. A good lighter blood orange color, this took a little bit to open up, and when it did it was greatly balanced a lovely (92 pts.)

  • 2001 Château Rieussec - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    nose: quite the contrast to the 83 guiraud as this is so youthful on the nose with all sorts of white fruits just jumping out of the glass along with pure tones of white peaches, apricots, and lovely tones of peach blossoms. An insanely deep nose that is extremely well layered

taste: a absolutely wonderful and lighter feel. Good medium acidity that starts to show up a bit more as the wine warmed up(it was hiding a bit when it was fairly chilled). Beautiful and layered tones of coconuts, peach blossoms, apricots, white peaches and a good helping of white fruits and a touch of white florals

overall: very young, but with an amazing amount of potential. Quite young, but not cloying and certainly approachable, but one can only imagine what this will be like as it ages, and it should age for a good while. Certainly provided a great contrast to the older sauternes (94 pts.)

A absolutely great night. Everything showed real well and the Lalande and Lagrange were absolute stunners. The food went extremely well and they had a real nice laid back atmosphere with a great corkage price. I’ll be sure to head back there some time
Posted from CellarTracker


  • 2002 Château Pape Clément Blanc - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
    This had a great nose of petrol,smoke,lemons and rocks.
    The mouthfeel is big and viscous with lemons,minerals,and chalky dust.
    Unfortunately for me the finish carried a bit too much heat to give this a higher
    score. I will say that the others at my table enjoyed this quite a bit more than I. (88 pts.)
  • 1985 Château Canon - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    Beautiful balanced nose of dark cherries,cedar,tobacco,and roasted herbs de.
    Very elegant and balanced palate with lush cherries,cedar,herbs,smooth tannins.
    This is in a great place right now. (92 pts.)
  • 1986 Château Canon - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
    Darker than the 85 and not as open. Tight nose showed some plums and blackberries and bit of dark choclate.
    Still very young mouth shows some really sexy dark fruit along with leather,cedar and earth tones. Still has gripping
    tannins which tell me this wines has miles to go. (90 pts.)
  • 1990 Château Lagrange St. Julien - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Gorgeous nose of dark fruits,cedar,smoke,licorice,dried mushrooms and pencil lead.
    Perfectly balanced mouth has elegant dark fruits, cedar,tobacco,some dark dark choclate,
    all coming together in seemless and long finish. WOW. (95 pts.)
  • 1989 Château Cos d’Estournel - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
    Nice amounts of cedar,tobacco and dark chocolate on the nose along with some real nice blueberries and blackberries.
    Nice amounts of cherries,herbs de,cedar,and still pretty young tannins.
    A nice wine that still needs plenty of cellar time to show it’s full potential IMO. (90 pts.)
  • 1990 Château Cos d’Estournel - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
    Cigar box nose,with black licorice,dark chocolate,dried earth, and leather.
    A huge mouth feel with really nice dark fruit, gobs of wonderful tobacco,coffee,and dark chocolate.
    I hit this after the 90 Lagrange and it just didn’t seem to be as ready for prime time. That being said
    this could in fact turn into a 95+ point wine in years to come. (92 pts.)
  • 1986 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
    This was decanted for over 2 hours and then spent another 3 in a open bottle before consumption.
    It took the nose awhile to get going but when it did-( wow!) A pure deep nose of cedar,tobacco,mushrooms,
    red cassis, and leather.
    Perfectly elegant mouthfeel of dark cherries,tobacco,cedar,truffle oil,creamy dark chocolate,and a bit of bell pepper.
    The finish explodes in the backend and is very silky. Lot’s of energy left in this bottle-this will evolve for 20 more years IMHO… (96 pts.)
  • 1983 Château Guiraud - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Wonderful nose of apricots,botrytis,honey, and minerals.
    Lush and big with lots of honey,marzipan,peaches, and stones.
    Great finish with lot’s of acidity left-this will get better and better for
    years to come. (93 pts.)
  • 2001 Château Rieussec - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    marzipan,creme brulee, honey, peaches, and white floral notes.
    Huge viscosity and acidity along with some nice peaches,honey,and apricots.
    young as hell but this could reach perfection in a few decades. (95 pts.)

It was nice meeting Tooch and drinking some great aged Bordeaux with friends. Cafe Bernard ended up being a great
" value" spot with some pretty nice old school french fare.
Posted from CellarTracker


Superlative notes as usual. The 86 PLL sounds like the real deal. Great PLLs exhibit all the silky mouthfeel and elegance that you describe. A wine to seek out!

[welldone.gif] , love the 86 PLL.

P-Rob: I just love LaLande [dance-clap.gif]. I’m just glad that it showed how it should show given how tough some 86s can be. I’d kill to have it, the 96, 75, and 82 together

Faryan: fully agreed. I’ve yet to have the 82, but this shows off everything that I love about PLL. It needed a good amount of air to get going, but the layering on the nose and palate was seamless