1855 - Celebrating the Bordeaux Classifications

A Wine Society Tasting
Banqueting Suite,
Lancaster Town Hall
23rd May 2005

An informal walk-round tasting, with sixteen wines on offer.

2001 The Society's Exhibition Pauillac
Made for The Wine Society by Rothschild's domaine vineyards of Lafite and Duhart Milon.
Very light and even garnet-cum-ruby. Very powerful blackcurrant nose, but also quite meaty and leathery. Immediate, big ripe fruit on the palate. Tannins quickly fill in with some sweaty sock flavours to give a really rounded wine. A good, easy drinking claret with some real backbone, but a little lost in much of tonight's company. Very Good.

2001 Château Beaumont, Haut-Médoc
Deepish ruby, fading to a very light watery purple. A very curious nose - brambly fruits with waxy furniture polish. Light on the palate. Clean and fairly fresh tasting with plenty of layers of interest. Good structure. Very clean and blanced. A very interesting wine. Very Good Indeed +

2001 Château Gloria, St Julien
A nice even colour: a fairly youthful mid ruby. Complex nose - blackberry and other hedgerow fruit with a warm woody spice blast, though the spice blows off. Good, precise fruit on the the palate; quite a refreshing drink. Nice structure. Really quite elegant. Fresh and clean on the finish with woody spice. Very Good Indeed +

2000 Les Allées de Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Mid ruby, with hints of youthful purple at the rim. A very light hedgerow fruit nose with a slight hint of coffee/chocolate. Big fruit on the palate, with plenty of ripeness going on. Round and pleasing, though not an earth-shattering wine. A well-made solid claret. Good/Very Good.

2000 La Parde de Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan
Quite a youthful mid ruby appearance. Very powerful, if rather austere blackcurrant fruit. Good attack. Nice balance of fruit and texture. Very even and a touch simple. Good.

1999 Château Batailley, Pauillac
A mid purplish ruby. Very perfumed, fruity nose - quite intense with a touch of leather and a hint of brett. Fairly light mouthfee with deep concentrated fruit. Fairly soft with a tender meaty feel. Very Good Indeed.

1996 Château Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Light and bright appearance with a dark plum core. Light cedary, blackcurrant nose. Really very rich on the attack. Soft, fruity palate with bitter notes developing. Really quite tannic after, though the tannins don't really appear until right at the end. Very Good.

1996 Château Belgrave, Haut-Médoc
Very, very dark colour - almost inky. Soft leathery nose with lots of pencil shavings and a ripe blackcurrant core. Fairly simple and straightforward on the palate. good, round, balanced, well-made with, finishing with nice spice. Very Good.

1996 La Dame de Montrose, St Estèphe
Very dark black plumskins colour with almost a touch of youth. Quite a gentle nose with rich blackberry fruit and some cherries. Very fine attack. Very clean and pure with really nice fruit. Super balance. Fine structure, elegant, full. Very Good Indeed/Excellent.

1995 Château La Gurgue, Margaux
Dark ruby, starting to mature. Big, plummy nose. Immediate black fruits in quantity on the palate. Very round, with grainy tannins on the finish. A touch uni-dimensional. Finishes well, with good length. Very Good.

1989 Château Chasse Spleen, Moulis
A mature, fairly muddy, very deep ruby. Deep, concentrated hedgerow nose. Opened up with time: interesting, layered with lots of toasty cloves spice. Quite fresh on the attack, but not a lot of fruit. Very dry. Soft tannins give quite a grainy finish. Very Good.

1988 Château Léoville Barton, St Julien
Good colour: mature with no hint of bricking. Perfumed blackcurrant nose with a hint of sour cherries and plums. Very pure on the attack. Very light, perfumed flavours. Very elegant. The tannins build as the wine stays in the mouth, but it remains a very very soft and the fruit returns on the finish with quite a flourish. Very Good Indeed +.

1983 Château-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
A good even mature garnet colour: very bright and clear. Very elegant nose indeed with very fine fruit. In fact this is the fruitiest of the three wines from the 1980s. Light and fresh on the attack. Very elegant indeed with superb balance. Great depths, yet very restrained. Stunningly good. Excellent.

2003 The Society's Exhibition Sauternes
Sourced from Château Cantegril, which is under the same ownership as Doisy Daëne.
A very, very, very pale gold. Very fragrant, perfumed nose with crisp, elegant honeydew melon notes. Immediately a lovely balance. Fairly sweet, but really well balanced and elegant, in a very fruity, fresh style. Very fresh tasting fruit. Very Good Indeed.

2001 Château Doisy Védrines, Barsac
Lightish gold. Complex honey and caramel nose with a light touch of tangerines. Good weight on the plate without being at all cloying. Quite an extracted citrus peel note towards the finish. Much more complex and rounded style than the own-label Exhibition Sauternes. Very Good Indeed +.

2001 Château Coutet, Barsac
Lemony pale gold. Quite a light nose - very fresh with a physalis perfume. Much higher acidity than the Exhibition Sauternes and the Doisy Védrines. This is very elegant indeed. Almost a bit too refined. Very pure. Hugely clean, especially afterwards, and really refreshing. Very Good Indeed.


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Last updated: 19 October 2006