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March 9, 2011

UGC 2008 tasting

I had tasted some of these on our trip to Bordeaux 2 years ago, so it was interesting to see how they have evolved since then.

2008 La Conseillante – tropical coconut, a little pruny, ripe and sweet, and alcoholic. A little dry on the palate. Jean-Michel Laporte, Director and winemaker whom I had first met at the château 2 years ago and again last December, was pouring the wines.

2008 Haut-Bailley – green peppers, smoke and a bit animal. Véronique Sanders, the winemaker whom I missed meeting on our trip 2 years ago, was pouring the wines.

2008 Branaire-Ducru – sweet, fruity, minty, exotic and lovely. We met Patrick Maroteaux 2 years ago, and he was here tonight.

2008 Rausan-Ségla – lead pencil, smoke, a little sweet fruit and a bit green.

2008 Pichon-Lalande – smoky, exotic spices, not bad at all! A hint of sweetness on the finish. I was surprised to see Sylvie Cazes behind this table and not behind the one for Lynch-Bages, but apparently she had been appointed Director of this château last month.

2008 Clerc-Milon – lovely nose of coffee, fruit and smoke. Very classic.

2008 d’Armailhac – a little too pungent with prominent sulfur notes. Smoky.

2008 Langoa Barton – minty with spices. First wine where I felt the tannins as it was so concentrated.

2008 Léoville Barton – coffee, smoke and still a bit alcoholic.

2008 Lascombes – lots of animal, leather, smoke, lead pencil, Asian spices. Very open and lovely.

2008 Brane-Cantenac – minty, a bit sweet and tropical. Henri Lurton, who participated in the 2009 tasting I attended last year, was pouring the wines

2008 Clinet – smoky, meaty, sweet with notes of oak. Ronan Laborde - who was also at the 2009 tasting last year - was here again, and I heard compliments from the crowd on his good looks…

2008 Angélus – very sweet, lots of coconut butter, exotic, caramel and buttery popcorn. I loved this wine. We actually missed visiting the château 2 years ago, so I'm glad to finally be able to taste the wine.

2008 Talbot – muted, a bit dusty and dirty. Not enjoyable at all. Took only a small sip and poured out most of my glass…

2008 Beychevelle – a bit sweeter, smoky with wood notes.

2008 La Lagune – minty, a bit smoky with lead and forest notes.

2008 Figeac – a little smoke and some oak, and a bit sweet.

2008 Canon-la-Gaffelière – much more concentrated, with forest and mint notes. Not bad. Comte Stephan von Neipperg was here. The Specialist didn't quite like the "fake camera".

2008 Canon – very open and lovely nose, which was very well-balanced in terms of acidity. Lovely smoky notes. The Specialist much preferred the "real camera".

2008 Grand-Puy-Ducasse – smoky, alcoholic and oaky. Not great.

2008 Gruaud-Larose – smoky, animal, a bit sweet, toffee, oak and exotic spices.

2008 Troplong Mondot – lots of coffee and smoke.

2008 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge – coffee, smoke, a bit of wood.

2008 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc – big nose of pipi de chat and smoke. Very powerful, and quite enjoyable.

2008 Smith-Haut-Lafitte Rouge – ripe berries and a bit of smoke. Not as good as the Blanc.

2008 Pape Clément – coffee grinds, smoke and leather.

2008 Guiraud – plastic, orange and honey.

2008 Lafaurie-Peyraguey – much lighter with minerals, a bit urethane and floral. Almost more like a dry white. Sweet on the palate, though.

2008 Climens – orange marmalade but more complex and fragrant, with honey, a hint of botrytis, honeydew melon. On a different level compared to the previous sweet wines. Lovely.

2008 Rayne Vigneau – plastic bad nose, served colder and more muted.

2008 Doisy-Daëne – more minerals, pungent, pipi de chat and orange rind. Fabrice Dubourdieu - who came for the 2009 tasting last year - was here again.

2008 Coutet – richer, more honeyed and fragrant.

2008 Sigalas-Rabaud - plastic, sweet on the palate but not as sweet on the nose.

I think my favorite wines of the evening were La Conseillante, Pichon-Lalande, Lascombes, Angélus, Canon, Gruaud-Larose, Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc and Climens.

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