Wine Tasting: 1995 Claret (9th Feb 1998)

A fine wine tasting, Glasgow. The wines were presented blind, without breathing. A mature claret and a Californian ringer were included as benchmarks.

1. 1995 Talbot Bordeaux

9th Feb 1998 GBP18 Bordeaux Table Red

Purple fading to ruby at rim.
Intense blackcurrant, cedar, leather nose with hints of mushrooms and obvious alcohol.
Dry and tannic medium-bodied wine with flavours of leather, tar, peppery fruit and a trace of green leaves.
Long finish.
Too daunting to consider drinking now but well balanced - should develop well over the next 5 years and beyond.

2. 1995 Lagrange Bordeaux

9th Feb 1998 GBP17 Bordeaux Table Red

Deep purple/red fading to ruby.
Slightly more restrained nose than the Talbot, but appealing, with lurking black fruits and alcohol.
Big, soft, alcoholic fruit flavours on the palate with traces of coffee, tar, meat and rotting vegetation - almost Burgundian! Very dry on the finish with high acidity and powdery tannins.
This is a superb wine that needs at least 3 to 4 years.

3. 1995 Clerc Milion Bordeaux

9th Feb 1998 GBP19 Bordeaux Table Red

Deep purple fading to ruby - obviously very young.
Rich, spicy fruit, mushrooms and oak dominate the nose with plenty of alcohol evident.
Full bodied and soft wine with cassis and chalky/mineral flavours, oak and sweet alcohol. Good acidity and ripe tannins, well balanced with a long finish.
This is an outstanding wine that will need 4 or 5 years to open out.

4. 1995 Lynch Bages Bordeaux

9th Feb 1998 GBP25 Bordeaux Table Red

Deep purple fading to ruby with a trace of red at the rim.
Dense, ripe, alcoholic nose with notes of cedar and mint.
Medium bodied and well rounded with oak, green leaves and spicy cassis flavours, long and alcoholic finish with good acidity and ripe tannins. A leaner, but more elegant wine than the Clerc-Milon.
Needs plenty of time to develop.

5. 1994 Wing Canyon Cabernet

9th Feb 1998 GBP19 USA Table Red

Deep, even purple fading to pink at rim.
Pungent, ripe, alcoholic fruit aromas with some oak and tart black-cherry notes.
Full bodied and ripe cassis with vegetal notes, quite tart acidity and hard tannins, a long dry finish.
Excellent structure but will take a few years to reach its full potential.
Few of the tasters spotted this as an outsider in spite of the different origin and vintage!

6. 1995 Palmer Bordeaux

9th Feb 1998 GBP27 Bordeaux Table Red

Deep purple/red fading to red/pink at rim.
More restrained nose than previous wines with notes of sweet alcohol, cassis, cedar and black pepper.
Full bodied with a silky texture and excellent balance. Spicy cedar and tar, good acidity and ripe tannins underpin ripe, peppery fruit.
A wine with great elegance and structure that will be outstanding in 5 or more years.

7. 1995 Bourgneuf Vayron Vayron

9th Feb 1998 GBP17 Bordeaux Table Red

Deep purple fading to red at rim.
Perfumed nose of plums and cassis - quite volatile.
Full bodied and soft with an array of flavours - cassis, plums, spicy cedar, chocolate and vanilla - good weight and balance with tangy acidity on the long finish.
Lovely for drinking now but will develop very well.

8. 1995 Petit Village Bordeaux

9th Feb 1998 GBP29 Bordeaux Table Red

Deep purple fading to red.
Forward ripe nose with plummy, vegetal notes.
Rich and full bodied with smoky, vegetal fruit and toasted oak flavours. Soft and mouth-filling with excellent balance and a long finish.
Very appealing now although it will improve over the next decade.

9. 1995 Couspaude Bordeaux

9th Feb 1998 GBP19 Bordeaux Table Red

Deep red to tawny/red - very mature in appearance.
Rich, complex, developed nose with hints of oak - very much the nose of a mature wine.
Well balanced and medium bodied with some cassis and spice flavours, ripe tannins and good balance. Excellent drinking now but not a wine for cellaring.
I don't know why this wine was so atypical - the unanimous verdict was that it was from a much earlier vintage - possibly 1983.

10. 1995 Grande Mayne Bordeaux

9th Feb 1998 GBP25 Bordeaux Table Red

Deep red/purple fading to tawny red.
Deep minty nose of plums, cedar and green leaves.
Full bodied and spicy with flavours of leather, mulberries and plums, big ripe tannins and good acidity. Excellent balance.
Drinking nicely now but really needs a few years to show at its best.

11. 1995 Troplong Mondot Bordeaux

9th Feb 1998 GBP40 Bordeaux Table Red

Deep, even purple to pink/red at rim.
Rich, soft voluptuous nose of smoky oak, vanilla and chocolate.
Full bodied, soft and mouth-filling with flavours of chocolate and smoked, toasted oak, ripe tannins and soft acids.
A blockbuster of a wine that will develop nicely but drinks well now.

12. 1986 Cos d'Estournel Bordeaux

9th Feb 1998 GBP78 Bordeaux Table Red

A treat to make up for all those tannic wines!
Deep purple/red fading to tawny/mahogany rim.
Ripe, mature claret nose with plenty of alcohol evident, meat, cassis, chocolate, vanilla and toasty oak.
Medium to full bodied, with a silky, elegant mouth-filling texture. Long, long finish.
A very classy wine that is drinking well now but will keep going for another few more years.