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Very young, but plenty approachable. Just beginning it's maturity. Notes of mint leaf, weedy green tobacco, black plum, wet earth, anise, mineral, and meat jous. Deep purple with slight ambering at the edges. My only problem with Gruaud every time I have it (outside of maybe the '82) is that it has more earthy meaty notes than fruit. It's a rugged, lumberjack of a Bordeaux, but very traditionally styled. With upside potential...92+ pts.
Where would we be without Board-O to tell all of us how to live our lives and when to drink our wines. Roll Eyes

Meanwhile last week you tore into an "approachable" but not yet mature '75 Petrus. From YOUR cellar. Let's see what did you say .... Popcorn

"I loved it, but it's still a little restrained and needs time." Eek Roll Eyes

Next time you want to be an idiot...remember you don't have to put your foot in your mouth too. You can save at least a little face that way... Razz
quote:
Originally posted by dr.darkrichandbold:
Meanwhile last week you tore into an "approachable" but not yet mature '75 Petrus.


I sure did, but I had a reasonable expectation of it being ready. I opened it at dinner with wine + art and both of us thought it would be ready, hence we decanted immediately before tasting. Yes, we were wrong in thinking it would be ready. Both of us know the '86 Gruaud Larose is not ready.
Oh good grief, tasting is so subjective, and I was going to leave this thread alone, but I might as well jump into the fray!

I've had the 1986 Gruard Larose many times, probably 10. Most bottles were either closed, overly tannic, or just plain not ready. However, I've had bottles that were far advanced from others and weren't too bad----and they were from the same case! Why? I don't have a clue---perhaps they were too hot during shipment??

My real concern is----will this wine ever come around, come into balance? I'm thinking the 1986 Bordeaux vintage is really too tannic and many wines will lose their fruit before the tannins soften.....The 1986 Meyney is fading fast with the fruit being consumed by the tannins-----what is going to happen to the G/L?? By the time its ready to drink will their be any fruit left in the bottle?

Also, I've blown thru a case of 1986 Leoville Las Cases, with many who enjoyed this very young and closed wine immensely, while I thought it was a waste, due to muted, tannic, and immature flavors.....

Bottomline, I may sell all of my 1986 Bordeaux! EekYes, send it to auction, take those funds and buy something that I don't have to worry about any longer, and just simply enjoy! Cool
quote:
Originally posted by latour67:
Oh good grief, tasting is so subjective, and I was going to leave this thread alone, but I might as well jump into the fray! Big Grin


My real concern is----will this wine ever come around, come into balance? I'm thinking the 1986 Bordeaux vintage is really too tannic and many wines will lose their fruit before the tannins soften.....


I'm also thinking the same thing about many of the '95 Bordeaux. I hope I'm wrong.
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by latour67:
Oh good grief, tasting is so subjective, and I was going to leave this thread alone, but I might as well jump into the fray! Big Grin


My real concern is----will this wine ever come around, come into balance? I'm thinking the 1986 Bordeaux vintage is really too tannic and many wines will lose their fruit before the tannins soften.....


I'm also thinking the same thing about many of the '95 Bordeaux. I hope I'm wrong.



Do you think this could happen to the 2000 and 2005 vintages? I have bought some but have been careful to also get some 01, 04 and will buy some 06.
quote:
Originally posted by spo:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by latour67:
Oh good grief, tasting is so subjective, and I was going to leave this thread alone, but I might as well jump into the fray! Big Grin


My real concern is----will this wine ever come around, come into balance? I'm thinking the 1986 Bordeaux vintage is really too tannic and many wines will lose their fruit before the tannins soften.....


I'm also thinking the same thing about many of the '95 Bordeaux. I hope I'm wrong.



Do you think this could happen to the 2000 and 2005 vintages? I have bought some but have been careful to also get some 01, 04 and will buy some 06.


spo, I have never tasted a 2000 or 2005, so really do not know, sorry.
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by latour67:
Oh good grief, tasting is so subjective, and I was going to leave this thread alone, but I might as well jump into the fray! Big Grin


My real concern is----will this wine ever come around, come into balance? I'm thinking the 1986 Bordeaux vintage is really too tannic and many wines will lose their fruit before the tannins soften.....


I'm also thinking the same thing about many of the '95 Bordeaux. I hope I'm wrong.


wine+art

1995 was the commencing of the Bordeaux gouge and I didn't buy very much 1995 or 1996 Bordeaux. My 1995 Meyney is almost fruit lifeless; and the La Couspaude was too thin and tannic, yet all I can remember was the hype, hype, and more hype by the negociants and Chateaux about how outstanding the wines were from Bordeaux 1995---------I think the 1996 Bordeaux vintage has a better future than 1995 Bordeaux! Sorry!
quote:
Do you think this could happen to the 2000 and 2005 vintages? I have bought some but have been careful to also get some 01, 04 and will buy some 06.



spo

I would be very selective when buying tannic vintages. The 2000 Bordeaux vintage is tannic, but the fruit is copius and ripe, and I think you'll have no problem.

I was disappointed at a tasting of the 2003 Bordeaux vintage, with many wines lacking the ripe fruit, and others being excessively tannic.

I haven't tasted any 2005's, but I'll bet they have even more ripe fruit than the 2000's.
quote:
Originally posted by KSC02:
quote:
Originally posted by latour67:
I think the 1996 Bordeaux vintage has a better future than 1995 Bordeaux! Sorry!

Well, the only '95 Bordeaux I own is a single bottle of Chateau Margaux, and I'm attempting to stay optimistic about it. Smile


There is no way it could show as poorly and the '88 did for me this past week. Mad

I'm thinking you have the charmed touch with the '95!
quote:
Originally posted by latour67:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by latour67:
Oh good grief, tasting is so subjective, and I was going to leave this thread alone, but I might as well jump into the fray! Big Grin


My real concern is----will this wine ever come around, come into balance? I'm thinking the 1986 Bordeaux vintage is really too tannic and many wines will lose their fruit before the tannins soften.....


I'm also thinking the same thing about many of the '95 Bordeaux. I hope I'm wrong.


wine+art

1995 was the commencing of the Bordeaux gouge and I didn't buy very much 1995 or 1996 Bordeaux. My 1995 Meyney is almost fruit lifeless; and the La Couspaude was too thin and tannic, yet all I can remember was the hype, hype, and more hype by the negociants and Chateaux about how outstanding the wines were from Bordeaux 1995---------I think the 1996 Bordeaux vintage has a better future than 1995 Bordeaux! Sorry!


Interesting. James Suckling seemed to indicate the opposite in a recent retrospective of 95 and 96 Bordeaux (he generally preferred wines from the 95 vintage). Personally, I can't comment. All of mine are sleeping peacefully for a few more years before I pull any corks.
I think, for most of these vintages, it comes down to what style do you prefer? I think the '96 is a more modern styled vintage with riper fruit, and '95 is more classic claret. I personally don't think either vintage is in nearly as much jeopardy as the '86 vintage....those are wines to be cautious of....

That said...neither vintage did well accross the board, so you'll have to be selective about what wines you're cellaring. I definitely think rt. bank is better in '95 and left bank is a toss up as to what style one may prefer. I like the '95 Margaux better than the '96 every time I've had it. I like both examples of the Pichon Lalande, while '95 Trotanoy and l'Evangile are definitely better than their '96 counterparts, etc., etc.
quote:
Originally posted by dr.darkrichandbold:
This is why I take what the critics say with a grain of salt. For years now, Parker has stood behind '96 as being the better and longer lived vintage while Suckling has said '95. Who's right? They are BOTH fantastic guides, but there is no substitute for ones own palate. Try them and see what your instincts tell you.

Agreed. If I was sitting on a case of any particular wine, I wouldn't mind pulling some corks now and then to see how they are. I can only afford to buy up to a few bottles of each wine. I would hate to be dissapointed by a closed tannic wine and not be able to revisit the wine when it is ready. That is why I have to sometimes have to rely on critics and fellow tasters (such as yourself) to give me a realistic drinking window. Despite some of the abuse you get, thanks for taking one for the team.
quote:
Agreed. If I was sitting on a case of any particular wine, I wouldn't mind pulling some corks to see how they are. I can only afford to buy up to a few bottles of each wine.


I've certainly discussed this one ad nauseum, and I certainly understand the rationale behind buying futures or a great deal that won't last long (and as such, not being able to try what you're buying as a trade off for a great price, etc.), but here's what I'm wondering...

Someone buys 3 bottles of '95 Pichon Lalande and 3 bottles of '96. Never tries them, and then 25 years later finally cracks one of each open, and realizes they like the more classically styled '95 better and wishes they had done 6 of those rather than 3 of each. Or that one has more of the "green Pichon Lalande" chacter than the other and wishes the same scenairio, etc., etc.

I usually see the reply "well I can't afford to buy a bottle to try". And, I wonder, how can one not (when possible) try first? Otherwise, they are potentially sitting on wasted $$.
Thankfully, I have been lucky enough to be able to try a reasonable amount (Left bank at least) to have some idea of what I am getting into most vintages. Do I have the resources to taste every bottle (bordeaux or otherwise) before making a purchase? No. Will I make some purchasing mistakes? Possibly. I have found that I can gauge my tastes with some of the critics as well as other tasters here. I use that information along with past experiences with the same wine from other vintages (or similar wines from the same vintage) when making some wine purchases when I don't have the resources or opportunity to try a wine when it is available for purchase. All the power to you if you can do it.
I've had multiple vintages from the same producer on many kinds of wine. While there is similarity in the house syle or terroir, I find more that is different from vintage to vintage than that which is similar. For me, just because I like the 2000 of something doesn't mean I will like the 2001 by any means. No matter what the critics have to say. Not to mention, a critic may give 95 pts. to the 1970, '89, '95, '00, and 05 but they can all be very different wines. I often can't or don't want to buy them all in quantity, so trying them to find out which is most appealing is the only way for me. And, I like knowing the general makeup of the wines. If I've tried them before, I know which are ready, and which are far from ready, as well as their flavor profiles so that I can match them with food I'm serving. Never having a baseline on half of what's in my cellar leaves me, personally, in the dark as to what would go well with the food I'm serving, and whether or not it's even capable of showing well at the time.
I believe 1995 was another hyped Bordeaux vintage by Chateaux and Negociants inorfer to justify the huge price increases after the difficult vintages of 1991, 92, 93 & 1994. The wines appear to be overly tannic, and I doubt they will ever be as good as touted!

At the very least, the price increases for the 1996 "Left Bank" wines appear to be a bargain after looking at the 2000 & 2005 vintages! Those who bought these wines are going to enjoy drinking their catch!
quote:
Originally posted by latour67:
At the very least, the price increases for the 1996 "Left Bank" wines appear to be a bargain after looking at the 2000 & 2005 vintages! Those who bought these wines are going to enjoy drinking their catch!

OR....we become the next generation of "I can't afford to drink what I have" canundrum, when they're finally ready. Eek Wink
1/25/2009: Decanted and poured a taster glass to check the wine's progress during the day. The plan was to give it about a 4 hr. decant before dinner based on previous notes. The aroma of violets filled the air during the decant hinting at good things to come. Color was a clear ruby/garnet throughout with an initial taste was sweet fruit. I checked back at 2.5 hrs and the wine had locked up tight, it was like licking a wall of graphite. At 4.5 hours I checked again to see where things stood. Not much on the nose, but the wine had loosened back up and I picked up saddle leather and mild tannins. I thought, it's time to start making dinner. Dinner by the way consists of a 2" thick NY strip pan seared and finished with a Cabernet sauce. Dinner was about an hour later and the wine was drinking nicely. There never was much on the nose, but I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of youthful plum flavor. The tannins had receded by this time and were replaced by tobacco. While I enjoyed the wine, it was obvious this bottle was nowhere near it's prime, if anything it was like drinking a young wine that lacked any type of secondary characteristics that begged for deeper thought. I won't attempt to lead anyone down the wrong path by making projections on the wine's future, but I have two more and see no reason to touch another one for 3-4 more years.
1986 Chateau Gruaud Larose -- Color is perfectly young purple-violet. Classic aged Bordeaux nose with hints of French pasture, light plum, and bread dough. The palate is fresh and lively, with cassis, brambles, and nice floral notes. Tannins are firm but smooth, and the finish is very long. 94

I would say it's ready now, but there is certainly no rush. It is clearly showing better than a bottle tasted from the same source about 5 years ago. Note, this came from a friend who bought at auction in the early 1990's, and has kept the wines in a passive cellar where the temp is low-mid 60s since, so the evolution might have been faster than someone with a colder cellar.

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