This is still a work in progress as I upload tasting notes and wine labels from as far as 1999... Check back once in a while to get the updates.

May 30, 2008

MNSC Dinner - Amber

MNSC dinner at Amber, hosted by Dr. Poon.

Theme of the evening was to pair a grand vin with its second wine.

First flight:
1982 La Tour Haut-Brion - first impression was a hint of sweet grass, with plenty of alcohol in the nose, along with a bit of brett and smoke. With time the nose became a bit sweeter. I rated it 93 points while the Parker score was 99.

1982 La Mission Haut-Brion - nose was smoky, more open than the La Tour Haut-Brion. Good amount of sweet fruit on the nose, and there was more power here. Still plenty of tannins here but the finish became a bit acidic. I rated it 94 points against the 99-point Parker score. Quite disappointed in the wine, actually.

Second pair:
1986 Léoville-Las Cases - a very open wine with lots of sweet fruit on the nose. Powerful and concentrated. I rated this 94 points against the 98 points given by Parker. Oh and I did guess the wine's identity correctly...partly due to luck.

1986 Clos du Marquis - amazing amounts of sweet fruit, powerful and very open. There was good length on the finish, but after a while it was clearly fading in the glass. I rated this 96 points. No Parker score given.

Last pair:
1990 Montrose - what a wine! Amazing power and an explosion of sweet fruit. There was also a bit of smoky grilled meats and bacon fat. What else can you say about this wine? A few of us were able to immediately identify this wine from the memory of its sheer brilliance. This is a wine that never fails to impress. I rated it 96 points against its perfect Parker score, because the wine faded a little in glass at the end.

1990 La Dame de Montrose - I thought the Montrose was a great wine, but this was actually better! Once again an explosion of sweet fruit, with more smoky cigar and a large dose of "farmy" nose of grilled and gamey meats. This wine just blew me away. I rated it 98 points against Parker's score of 90.

We were utterly amazed by the result of this blind tasting. In general we preferred the second wines to their grand vin counterparts, and all of these wines have had enough time to evolve and reach their drinking plateau. In the case of the last flight, the two wines had a 10-point difference in Parker score, and we preferred the second wine that cost about 1/8 of the price of the grand vin!

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