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About a year ago, BHVineyard was passing through on a business trip and I opened a case of 1983 Pichon Lalande, the 2nd growth Bordeaux Chateau located in the Pauillac district which has an rmp rating of 94 points. It was difficult to break into that case, but the time had arrived.

I seem to remember that although it was excellent, it was upstaged by the 1990 La Conseillante, and a 1995/6 Mordoree which BHV had brought.

Anyway, last night I removed the 2nd bottle from the case and here are the results:

The cork was perfect, no compromise. The wine was beautiful with deep dark color of black/purple! This was somewhat surprising as I expected some sign of aging, but there was none; no amber or orange color rimming the glass, none at all.

The nose was spectacular, reminiscent of Chateau Margaux! Perfumed minerals and spices filled the glass. Could it compare to the 1982 Pichon??? Ummmm, absolutely not, but the nose was impressive! But where was that abundant fruit that was supposed to be supported by the nose? The taste was somewhat muted dark fruits but this was not the chewy, jammy juice that the nose had promised. Still, this was an impressive wine, perhaps not a parker 94, but definately a latour67 91 pointer.
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All,

The '83 Pichon that Mr. Latour opened for me a while back was indeed a fine wine. However, as Mr. Latour has pointed out, it did not compare to the '90 La Conseillante. The former being a very good wine; the later being a truly extraordinary wine with fine silky tannins, and a wonderful meaty flavor that was distinctive, but elegant. This was a long enough ago that I'm short on details, but I know the La Conseillante was a "high-90s" wine; and my recollection was that the Pichon was a "low-90s" wine. This would be consistent with Latour's recent rating.

As an aside, the Mordoree CDP was a way-too-young 1998. Still tasty, fun to try, but as expected, very much in need of several more years of cellaring.

TM
rmkam,

I bought those cases of 1983 Pichon Lalande in the mid to late 80's; they were not futures, but all four cases were in the wood and appeared unblemished. Since that time, they have been stored in my cellar at 55 degrees. Two of the four cases are gone, and now I have opened the third case! This is like losing an old friend!


grossie,

Las Cases is one of my very favorites, and it will age better than Pichon Lalande. How long have you had that bottle in your control?
Latour,

Better start drinking that stuff. The nose sounds wonderful, but muted fruit? Guess all Pichon lovers will forever be "spoiled" by the glorious 82. I wish I had bought 50 cases of that stuff!!! I still await another wine experience as great as my last bottle of 82 Pichon. When oh when? As much as I love it I will not pay $400 per bottle to experience it again. Perhaps my 90 Cheval Blanc or 98 Lafite will provide such an experience...but alas I must wait a while longer.
rmkam,

The 1982 Pichon lalande is a real favorite! We now have just one bottle per year and we are down to the last 6 or 7. However, I really do envy your 1990 Cheval Blanc! I have had one glass and it was fabulous. After reading the rmp review of 1997, and I think he may raise the score to 99 or 100 points in the future. Unfortunately, I do not have any in my cellar!
Latour,

I read RMP's TNs from 97 and pulled the cork on one bottle of Cheval Blanc on New Years eve 1999 (had to ring in 2000 with something special...had no more Pichon). It was totally closed down Frown
Is my cellar that cold??? The only thing I can think of is that it went into a dumb phase sometime after 97. I just remember the deep inky color and the massive underlying structure the wine possessed. Too bad the nose was muted and the fruit and any other secondary elements were all hidden. Perhaps in 2010 I'll give it a go
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rmkam,

When I have that "dumb phase" problem, I will let the wine breathe for a couple of hours, put the cork back in the bottle, and leave it at room temp for up to a few days. However, if the wine was a bottle 1990 Cheval Blanc, or any quality Bordeaux wine from the 1990 vintage, I would check it daily! At some point, it will open.
(Of course there's nothing you can do about that on new years eve.)
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Latour,

I let it breathe in the glass for 30 minutes and consumed the bottle over a four hour period. It never came out to play. I had a similar experience with the first bottle of 82 Pichon opened in 1992. It was closed so we decided to leave our glasses and attend to another matter. When we returned (about 40 minutes) we could smell the aromatics in the glasses as they sat on the table. Then the taste....remarkable. Subsequent glasses continued to change in aromatics,flavor and finish. To me that is why it earned a 100 pt rating. Each bottle thereafter offered a repeat performance until they were all gone by 1998. Should have saved one for Y2K
S/D

Parker assigned a "drinking window" for the 1983 Pichon Lalande of 1997-2008. However, the bottle which Board-O & I experienced was "tired" and disappointing. Perhaps it was the "travel shock" from the plane trip to Oregon.

I have had two bottles from the same case last week and both were excellent and consistent. I do have one more in the OWC, but I think I'll wait till 2008 to open it. Also, I'm curious to see how that wine will be after Parker's 2008 window, perhaps in 2010-2013.
Latour67, slightly off topic, but I have a different take on "aging well" re: your comment about the LLC aging better than the PL.

In an ideal world a perfect wine would reach maturity in 5 years, having shed the tannin, the oak absorbed into the fruit, and the secondary and tertiary bouquet and flavor components emerging. To me a wine that takes 20 years to reach this stage vs. 10 is "aging less well", not better.

Just a different perspective. Last time I checked waiting for something was a negative, getting it quicker is a positive.
DunninLA

Interesting perspective, but Pichon Lalande will age faster than Leoville Las Cases. Pichon has a higher percentage of Merlot than does Las Cases, and Merlot ages faster than Cabernet.
Also, the styles are very different and Las Cases makes a darker heavier style. Far too many variables, like location, percentages into the Grand Vin, cuttings, pruning, trimmings, winemaker, chai, and more than I know.

So, I think you could say it's Finesse vs Power. They are both great wines, great scores, equal to a 1st growth; and sometimes P/L is better and sometimes LLC is better, but LLC will age longer than P/L.

I have always heard that "Patience is a Virture", but-----I don't like the wait either, but it does pay off to let a classified Bordeaux mature in your cellar.
Dr. Drab, is that you? Confused
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