A few descended on Graileys last Thursday and it was clear from the first bottles hitting the tables that it was going to be a fun afternoon.
I decanted a 1989 Leoville Barton about two hours before the wine was going to be consumed. Wow, this is a wine that is in prime drinking window right now. A spectacular bouquet of menthol, forest floor, and green tobacco layered with sweet blackcurrant note emerged from the glass. In the mouth, it was medium-bodied with a silky texture. The savory notes of earth, dried tobacco and forest floor with sweet black fruit flavors subtly build in the mouth creating this layered complexity. Bottle age has truly melted the tannins away creating a wine with a very smooth mouthfeel. Good length with a nuance of forest floor.
I loved the bouquet and the texture of the 89 Leoville-Barton that I instinctively sat my glass down on the table so I can just re-experience it every few minutes. In the meantime, I sat back and sipped on a powerfully structured, focused, very zesty 2002 Dom Ruinart Rose. In the mouth, the wine was tightly-wound with the structure driven by a lip-smacking acidity. I thought it was very young and quiet backward. Slowly, aromas of crushed rocks, minerals, citrus, ginger spice, green apple, floral undertones, and red currant emerged from the glass. Very elegant, refined bubbles. This wine was about power and potential for longevity. I think it just needs some bottle age to allow the firm acidity to settle down a little bit. I’d love to revisit this Champagne in another 5 years and see how it evolves.
We went back to Bordeaux courtesy of the smoky, broad, and fleshy 1990 L’Evangile. This showed more intensity on the nose with smoke, plums, black cherries, and a truffle, underbrush, and dried herb undertones. The palate was also richer, with more flesh and concentration as well as a sweeter fruit profile. The wine’s concentration and balance suggest that it could continue improving in bottle for years to come.