Château Le Bon Pasteur 1996

IMG_4067Tasting Note:

Still drinking well and likely at its peak. Nice ruby color with faint orange at the edges. Nose was aromatic with no decant, though maintained over 2 hours. Noted blackberry, plum, chocolate, earth, fennel, spice, and hints of eucalyptus. Medium weight, velvety mouthfeel. Tannins soft and round. Medium-plus finish. This is a nice high-quality Pomerol that offers great value.


About Château Le Bon Pasteur:

The initial Le Bon Pasteur estate pre-dated the appellation system, which then split the estate into three parts: Pomerol, Lalande-de-Pomerol, and St. Emilion. Two new chateaux were then formed, Chateau Bertineau-St.- Vincent (Lalande-de-Pomerol) and Chateau Rolland-Maillet (St. Emilion); all three wines are made in the Le Bon Pasteur facilities.  Harvesting is done manually, plot-by-plot. The grapes are then double sorted before and after de-stemming.

Three Interesting Facts:

  1. The name Le Bon Pasteur, meaning ‘The Good Shepherd,’ was chosen by previous owner Hermine Dupuy on Good Shepherd Sunday of the Catholic calendar.
  2. Joseph Dupuy was the initial owner, purchasing the land in 1920.  His grandson, the famed oenology consultant Michel Rolland, ran the estate from 1978 until it was sold in 2013.
  3. Le Bon Pasteur was sold to a Chinese businessman in 2013, due to Michel Rolland’s brother Jean-Daniel’s desire to sell the estate.
    Blend: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc
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Grand Puy Lacoste 1996

IMG_3897Tasting Note:

Ruby red with some slight bricking at the edges. The nose is a treat, which continued to evolve over the 3 hour decant. Bold dark fruits, leather, cigarbox, and hints of barnyard, bell pepper, and soy sauce. This was just bursting with fruit. Silky mouthfeel and full-bodied. Soft, round tannins and a nice acidic backbone. Medium finish. This wine seems like it is just entering its prime drinking window, and would guess 10-15 years left. Compared to the ’96 Pontet-Canet and Pichon Baron, this wine seems to have more longevity and structure.


About Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste:

Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste is one of the oldest properties in the Medoc region of Bordeaux. The grounds of the chateau are known for their beautiful gardens and lake, complete with swans. in 1855, it was classified as a Fifth Growth chateau.

Three Interesting Facts:

  1. ‘Puy’ is a geological French term meaning ‘volcanic hill.’
  2. In 1978, Jean-Eugene Borie of Ducru-Beaucaillou acquired half of the shareholdings of Grand-Puy-Lacoste, as the owner Raymond Dupin had no one to inherit the property. When Dupin died in 1980, Borie then became the sole owner.
  3. This is one of the more popular non-first growth chateaux in China, known as the ‘alligator wine,’ referring to the Lacoste clothing brand.

Blend: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot

Aging Potential: 2030

Chateau Leoville Poyferre 2003

IMG_3895Tasting Note:

Dark ruby red and concentrated, with minimal lightening of the edges. Benefited from 2 hour decant. Open nose of dark fruit, blueberries, a little leather, damp earth, and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, rich, mouth-filling and silky. Ripe tannins. Long 60 second finish. Should continue to drink well and improve for 10+ years


About Chateau Leoville Poyferre:

Chateau Leoville Poyferre was once part of the massive Leoville estate, present in the 17th and 18th centuries. This Second Growth Chateau in St. Julien has been consistently producing top quality wines, especially since 2000. The vineyards are 80 hectares and the terroir is mostly gravel with some limestone.

Three Interesting Facts:

  1. The Poyferre family owned the estate for a very short time, but it happened to be during the 1855 classification.
  2. The Cuvelier family has owned the estate since 1920, with Didier Cuvelier running the estate since 1979.
  3. Leoville Poyferre shares a building (and entrance) with Leoville Las Cases. For marketing purposes, they designed an imaginary chateau for the label that is now the current logo. In 2014, they built a new facility across the street that resembles the logo seen on their label.

Blend: 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc

Aging Potential: 2030

Calon Segur 2004

Tasting Note:

Dark ruby red, with no bricking. Nice bouquet of dark plum, cherry, leather, tobacco, and earth. Good attack and mid-palate. Medium finish. Accessible and smooth, but would guess this should improve in about 5 years.

IMG_3896


About Chateau Calon Segur:

Just south of the town of St. Estephe, this is the most Northerly classed growth on the Left Bank. The vineyards lie on one of the lowest elevations of all classified growths, around 10 meters above sea level.This Third Growth Chateau, ages its wine for 18-20 months in new oak barrels.

Three Interesting Facts:

  1. The heart on the label refers to the fact that the owner in the 18th century felt his heart belonged with this chateau, as he also owned Lafite and Latour.
  2. The word ‘Calon’ comes from a translation of a boat used to ferry timber across the Gironde estuary during the Middle Ages. ‘Segur’ comes from a previous owner, the famous Marquis de Segur (Nicolas Alexandre).
  3. The winemaking facilities are undergoing a renovation that is scheduled for completion in 2016. It is anticipated to cost 20 million Euros.

Blend: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot

Aging Potential: 2022

Ducru-Beaucaillou 2005

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Tasting Note:

Impressive complexity and concentration. Let this decant for 3 hours, tasting it along the way. Dark purple color. The nose exhibited bold and ripe dark and blue fruit and secondary aromas of truffle, forest floor, violet, and wood spice. The oak is in no way overbearing. The palate is silky smooth with an impressive mid-palate. Finish is medium-plus. The structure is sound, with round tannins and a nice balanced acidity. This wine is just getting started, but is very enjoyable right now. Glad to have more of this.


About Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou:

Ducru-Beaucaillou is an acclaimed Second Growth Chateau in the St. Julien appellation of Bordeaux. It has been managed by Bruno Borie since 2003.

Three Interesting Facts:

  1. The Ducru vineyards were once part of Beychevelle, until it was broken up in the 17th century due to considerable debts.
  2. The name ‘Ducru’ comes from Bertrand Ducru, who purchased the estate in 1795. ‘Beaucaillou’ literally means ‘beautiful pebbles’, referring to the large stones found on the property.
  3. In the 18th century, the estate was known as ‘Maucaillou’, meaning ‘bad pebbles’, a reference to the difficult, stony ground and perhaps the poor quality of the wine.

Blend: 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot

Aging Potential: 2018-2050

Chateau Palmer 2009

IMG_3810

Tasting Note:

Dark purple, inky in color. An intoxicating perfumed nose of blackberry, blueberry, violet, dark chocolate, truffle, and tobacco. Full-bodied and concentrated. The palate was silky smooth, velvety and dense. Firm tannins, with a long finish. While this is a very young wine nowhere near its drinking window, it is immensely enjoyable now. Huge potential here.


About Chateau Palmer:

Considered a “Super Second” by many, this third grown wine (from the 1855 Classification) consistently produces outstanding wines that rival First Growth standards. This wine from the Margaux appellation on the left bank of Bordeaux, is unique in that it often uses a majority of Merlot in its wines.

Three Interesting Facts:

  1. Chateau Palmer gets its name from an Englishman, General Charles Palmer, who purchased the property in 1814. He eventually sold the property in the 1840s due to economic difficulties.
  2. Since 2004, Chateau Palmer has been managed by famed winemaker Thomas Duroux.
  3. The famous chateau was built by the Pereire family in 1856 due to a rivalry with the Rothschild family.

Blend:

52% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot

Aging Potential: 2015-2050+