On 10/12/07 I bought a bottle of Chateau Tour St. Joseph Bordeaux (Cru Bourgeois / Haut-Medoc) vintage 1996 for $25 from Total Wine.
I opened it that evening, did not decant, but let it sit in the glass for about 10 - 15 minutes. It had a vinegary finish consistently, otherwise the other flavors were muted.
The cork was intact with no signs of leakage.
Also, it was nothing like any of the Bordeaux I've had before.
So, finally, my question is: Is this wine just too old?
Thanks.
Original Post
Either too old for that particular wine, or stored improperly (too hot), or just not a very good wine to begin with. "Cru bourgeois" denotes an everyday drinking wine that may not necessarily improve with age.

Of course, many high quality 1996 bordeaux are still too young to drink or are just now entering their prime drinking window, but this does not appear to be the case with your bottle.

Do not be discouraged. The rewards of finding a good 10+ year old bordeaux that has aged well, especially at a modest price, more than make up for the occasional disappointment.
You should always take the bottle back to the retailer. Total Wine has a 100% satisfaction guarantee and they will replace the bottle. It is highly unlikely that a good Cru Bourgoeis property like Tour St Joseph has "turned". It is likely at or near its peak for drinking, though. The 1996 vintage was an excellent Bdx vintage that offered plenty of cellar potential. The bottle that you have likely was mis-handled and/or exposed to heat during its journey to the US.
bigtarheel,
That's what I did, and Total Wine was nice about the return, I ended up buying 2 other selections along with the "replacement" bottle.

quote:
Originally posted by bigtarheel:
You should always take the bottle back to the retailer. Total Wine has a 100% satisfaction guarantee and they will replace the bottle. It is highly unlikely that a good Cru Bourgoeis property like Tour St Joseph has "turned". It is likely at or near its peak for drinking, though. The 1996 vintage was an excellent Bdx vintage that offered plenty of cellar potential. The bottle that you have likely was mis-handled and/or exposed to heat during its journey to the US.
quote:
Originally posted by sonshine:
sounds like its not to old just kept to hot or unstable temp.. (the problems with buying from shelf stock) but it sounds like the store backs its wine.


Total Wine's return policy and customer service is excellent. Now as far as their handling of wine, I was there during my luch about a month ago and they were stocking a new shipment of aussies. I picked up one of the bottles as I WAS going to purchase and the bottle was more than WARM. When I told the "stock person" he said they just came in off the truck... Frown

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