Yesterday I was extremely lucky to attend a vertical tasting of BV Georges de Latour Private Reserve. 21 vintages were poured from 1958 - 2004. Ken Neill, who purchased a seat at the tasting through the Brooks Museum's Uncorked auction, could not attend & asked if I would like to attend in his place. Uh.......YEAH! Even if I did have plans I would have canceled them! The wines were accompanied by an absolutely fabulous 4 course lunch prepared by Chef Wally Joe & Chef Andrew Adams. Thank you, thank you, thank you Ken! Below are my notes from the tasting:
1958: ruby core to a brick-orange rim, light sediment is evident but not as much considering its age. Clarity is muddled & cloudy but typical of age. A nose, of cedar, cinnamon stick, dried cherry forest floor & almond. The palate is very elegant, light & lithe but with a lively acidity for its age, hits on the sides of my tongue with a velvet finish.
1959: light ruby core, orange-rust rim, sediment is evident. Hints at sulfur on the nose with dried plum, obviously dead. Almost pinot noir-esque on the palate with barely a whisper of spice box, hot on the finish, over.
1961: sludgy, rust colored, looks dead. Roasted overcooked fruit on the nose with a funky, sulfur influenced aroma. The palate is tart, tastes of chambourcin. Dead.
1967: garnet core to a brick rim. Nose of currants, cigar box & anise.
1969: bright & clear, clean, rust colored rim, obviously filtered. Dark currant, smoke & slightly cooked fruit on the nose. Subtle, clean palate with bright acid but no mid palate. Hits at the back of the palate.
1974: Cloudy & rust colored. The nose is sulfurous with a pungent licorice/penicillin aroma. The palate is disjointed & seems astringent, hits the hard palate, acid is in line but the alcohol is hot & out of balance.
1978: Garnet color to a pink rim. Dialed down aroma, reserved, black fruits, light earth but not expressive. Soft, hot with no mid palate & unimpressive.
1979: Cloudy core, dark ruby color. Pungently dark core of spice & fruit, somewhat odd & disjointed aroma. Spice box, leather, tea, not impressive, simple & leaves the palate quite quickly.
1982: Cloudy core with a rust rim. , smells off with a pungent, sulfurous nose. Palate expresses cooked fruit with a tangy, light finish.
1985: Ruby garnet, slightly dark at the core. The nose is hot but has notes of black currant & plum. The palate is leathery, black currant, dried raspberry but falls flat on the finish.
1991: Nose of cognac, barrel spice, cedar, cigar box, leather. The palate if round, fleshy, voluptuous, spicy, coats the palate in a luscious fashion.
1992: Clean, ruby color. I found sulfur on the nose with a hint of dried berry. The palate was on the lighter side (lighter than '91) with smoky licorice with a pungent characteristic. Hits the hard palate.
1993: Nose of fill, mustard seed & cranberry. The palate is round, voluptuous, fleshy, leathery & had the most tannins of the night, so far.
1994: Spicy, anise laden nose. A rich, but not heavy, texture with a dark core of supple fruit, tea & cedar.
1995: Heavy with herbes de provence, anise & red currant on the nose. The palate is fleshy & round, big & brawny.
1997: Dark tinted core. A pungently dark, odd, cooked fennel aroma. The palate is big & brawny, the tannins are still too big. Almost overpowering.
1998: Dark ruby core of color. Almost no discernible aroma. Soft fruit. Finally...A MIDPALATE! Hints of spice box. Supple & caressing, just lovely.
1999: Light aromatic expression on the nose, simple & not very interesting. Lusciously powerful & gorgeous on the palate. The finish keeps going on & on with currants & dark blackberry.
2000: Still way too big, but has great potential.
2004: Huge & fruity. Typical Napa cab with big tannins & big black fruit. Seriously needs a steak!
The Pour: Hugh Johnson’s Lifelong Journey Among the Trees - The writer has spent decades as an inspirational authority on wine and trees, and his enchantment endures.
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