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The last couple of months I had the pleasure to drink some more or less well known wines.

CHATEAU FONREAUD LISTRAC C.B. 1996 Fonreaud is one of the better chateaux in this Medoc sub-district. Not too expensive ($23). Fruity in the nose. Very dry and with undeveloped tannins. Berries, oak, soem vanilla. Medium bodied. Medium, though dry finish. Certainly not yet worth drinking now. Not balanced, and may improve some points in the next few years. 81 pts

CHATEAU MAUCAILLOU MOULIS C.B. 1995 Supposed to be a star from the region, it failed to impress me. Still very tannic at first, a lot of oak, pepper and fruit. Medium bodied with a nice finish. I hoped for a bit more concentration and power considering the vintage. May be it will mature a bit more in the future? 84 pts

CHATEAU LA TOUR CARNET HAUT-MEDOC 4me GCC 1993 Not a great year for a winery not in the best shape (improving since '96). This proved to be a bad deal. Fruity in the nose. Medium bodied with unevolved tannins. Not in balance or elegant. Some fresh fruit, oak, pepper. Short, dry finish. Not worth the $ 39. 78 pts

CHATEAU POUJEAUX MOULIS C.B. 1992 And than you take a even worser year to find out sometimes wineries have some luck. I bought this one as a joke ($ 13 or so) and was surprised. Not powerful or full bodied, but elegant, fresh and honest. Real fruit in this one, combined with some vanilla, berries and a touch of oak. Not more than a medium, but very fresh finish. Considering the disaster year for the regio, very good! 84 pts

MARQUES DE CACERES RIOJA GRAN RESERVA 1989 Wow! This was an nice surprise. Bought it in Spain last year, not knowing the history of this bottle. Soft and silky tannins. Oak, fresh fruit, vanilla, raisins. Medium bodied and elegant. Long, fresh finish. This was very good indeed. Enjoy now! 89 pts

CHATEAU CLOS DES JACOBINS ST.-EMILION GCC 1986 I really had the pleasure with this one. Dark, ruby, thick wine. Raspberries, coffee, vanilla, velvety tannins, and some fresh fruit as well. Medium to full bodied and very elegant and fresh. Full finish. Not over the top yet, but don't wait too long! This estate makes good wine for a nice price ($ 30!). 90 pts

CHATEAU GRUAUD-LAROSE ST.-JULIEN 2eme GCC 1979 This one came from a box of six remaining '79ers. In the nose it was impressive with fresh fruit and raspberries. Medium to full bodied with soft tannins, all melted into something really nice. Fruit, soft oak, vanilla, it was all there and in a seductive balance. Medium finish. This wine needed to be consumed... Lucky us. 88 pts

DOMAINE DE FONTARNEY MARGAUX AC 1976 Sometimes chateaux keep wine in stock for ages. This one was released in small numbers in 2001 (for a very good price of $28). This domaine name is now (since the early-1980s) the 2nd wine of Cru Classe D'Esmirail. It was really a surprise to drink this very well maintained bottle. Fresh, fruity nose. Medium to full bodied with pepper, vanilla, berries, a bit of oak. The tannins were very well integrated. A very great finish that wouldn't stop. Showing age? Not this one! 90 pts

Nice to see that the 'smaller' wines sometimes really can make your day...

By the way, does anybody have recent experiences with Giscours 1989, Cos d'Estournel 1988, Beausejour-Duffau 1985 regarding WHEN to drink it and WHAT will I drink?
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