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1989, 2005

No time yesterday to highlight the main site update of the week, so I will do it today – notes from a wonderful and very enjoyable tasting of the 1989 vintage, featuring the classic regions of Europe (or, to put it another way, whatever I could lay my hands on in the cellar). The tasting hops from Champagne to the Loire and then Bordeaux, before branching out to Rioja and Germany, featuring wines from Roederer, Métaireau, Poniatowski, Huet, Chasse-Spleen, Haut-Bages-Libéral, Meyney, Coutet, Murrieta, Kesselstatt and (the only un-profiled estate) La Rioja Alta.

Today though, something of more appeal to those looking to stock up the cellar for the future, more notes from my recent assessment of 2005 Bordeaux, this time looking at the wines of the right bank. There were certainly some surprises here, not least the Pavie-Macquin and Larcis Ducasse duo, a heavily extracted pair which seemed to be slowly coming together based on this tasting. The Larcis Ducasse I have been impressed with before, so my slightly higher score merely continues a trend of upwards creep, although now to quite a high level (nothing exceptional for the vintage, mind), but with Pavie-Macquin my score has really jumped up as on this tasting the wine seemed so much more harmonious (although still brimming with tannin) than it has done before. I’ve left my scores as ranges though; I’m still not sure I ‘get’ these heavily extracted right bank styles. These recent tastings suggest they have more ability to integrate and develop harmony than very early tastes suggested to me, but will this progress continue? I hope so, as I know these wines are very popular in some quarters.

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