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Independent reviews of some local and imported wines available in New Zealand, including earlier vintages.
LIBRARY TASTING:  FORTY YEARS ON – 1970 BORDEAUX / CLARET STYLES REVISITED …


In our Library Tastings series based in Wellington we have looked at the 1970 Bordeaux in 2000,  again in 2005 as reported on this website
(25 Mar 2005) and now 11 March 2010.  This latest tasting has been written up without referring to the earlier article – which adds to the interest but introduces some repetition.

The Invitation to the tasting made a few of the following observations,  now expanded.  Broadbent,  2003:  ****  An imposing vintage,  combining quality with quantity, though in my opinion,  not as uniformly excellent as 1966.  And likewise in 1980:  An outstanding vintage, with that rare combination of bumper crop and high quality;  note however that comment was made after a run of modest years.  

Two of the wines offered have been described loosely as the top wines of the vintage.  They are Michael Broadbent's top wine of the vintage (Latour),  and his second best,  Ducru (rated equal with Cheval Blanc).  Latour is also Robert Parker's 'wine of the vintage',  rating 99 points.

When we last looked at the Latour on 21 March 2005,  it was superb,  not illustrating Michael Broadbent's comments:  'it needs decanting 'days ahead',  he says,  and then hours in the glass.  'It will still be teasing some of you in 50 years' time'.  I commented then that such a view presented alternative values for the 'instant gratification' generation,  but alternatively it could just be code for a reductive wine,  as so many Bordeaux were then.  However,  that was not the case.  None of this applies to Ducru-Beaucaillou,  which from the outset has been one of the loveliest clarets I have ever come across.

These are wines in the "classic" lighter French style,  well before the more hefty wines of today.  The nominal alcohols on a couple of them (before the days of labelling requirements) are 11%,  a figure unbelievable and almost unacceptable in today's American-influenced climate of opinion.  Hence the Americans don't rate 1970 as highly as the Europeans.  Even so,  Robert Parker in 1991 considered:  Between the two great vintages in 1961 and 1982, 1970 has proved to be the best year, producing wines that were attractively rich, and full of charm and complexity.  They have aged more gracefully than many of the austere 1966s and seem fuller, richer, more evenly balanced and consistent than the hard, tannic, large framed but often hollow and tough 1975s.  The year 1970 proved be the first modern day vintage that combined high production with impeccable quality.  Moreover, it was splendidly uniform and consistent vintage throughout Bordeaux, with every appellation able to claim its share of top quality wines.

Conversely,  for the foils run with the Bordeaux wines,  1970 was modest in Burgundy,  and pleasant / commercially successful but unremarkable in New Zealand and Australia.  

When we ran a similar tasting nearly 10 years ago on 24 May 2000,  my notes included comment along these lines,  now amended:  given the maturity of these wines,  this I hope will be a tasting about beautiful bouquets, and subtlety and finesse of flavour.  For tonight,  abandon thoughts of rich fruits,  strapping flavours,  and the hyperbole of latter-day wine-speak.  We will be looking for hints of violets or other modest wildflowers in full scent,  of fading blackcurrants,  ripe cherries or red plums perfumed in the sun,  and maybe hints of cedar or cigar box.  There will be mellow and autumnal qualities aplenty,  thoughts of old cellophane-topped jars of shrinking jam found at the back of the pantry,  but let us hope these things merge into fine,  silky and sustained if delicate flavours on the tongue.  Hence the comment in this year's Invitation … Coupled with age,  tune your tasting expectations,  please.

Interesting to reflect on the corks.  All were fulfilling their duty admirably at 40 years of age (nominally),  as one would expect in a temperate climate.  It is fair to say some were fiddly to extract,  for the body of the cork is losing strength / softening now,  leading to a tendency to break during extraction.  But in general they go to show how debatable the much-touted Penfolds re-corking clinics are,  a programme designed more to schmooze the chattering classes than to optimise the wine.  Any wine over 15 years from vintage qualifies,  for heaven's sake.  Who in fact wants the resulting ersatz blends of vintages,  once it has been tasted by a Penfolds "expert",  topped up NOT with the same vintage,  and issued with the no-doubt all-important certificate – important to this defined class of wine-person.  How much better it would be if Penfolds used quality corks in the first instance.  No quality cork should be in any doubt for the first 30 years at least,  in my experience.  To illustrate:  in a 'Do Penfolds Wines Age' Library Tasting I presented 5 years ago,  the average cork length of the 10 Penfolds wines was 44.3 mm,  and 1970 Grange was 42 mm.  The average of the 10 French 1970 wines in the present tasting is 52.7 mm.  The 1979 Jaboulet Cote Rotie les Jumelles (syrah) subsequently opened to compare with the Chambertin is 53 mm,  a number showing much more respect for the grape Penfolds has had such success with.

In the tasting notes which follow,  the cepages given are more for then,  than now.  Included are some quotes illustrating the pleasures of browsing wine-writers,  seeking enlightenment .... or otherwise.  Incidentally,  this tasting was advertised as:  This tasting cannot be repeated,  so 'last chance !'.


References:

Broadbent,  Michael 1980:  The Great Vintage Wine Book.  Mitchell Beazley,  432 p.
Broadbent,  Michael 2002:  Michael Broadbent’s Vintage Wine.  Harcourt / Webster’s International,  560 p.
Broadbent,  Michael 2003:  Michael Broadbent’s Wine Vintages.  Mitchell Beazley,  223 p.
Evans, Len 1978:  Complete Book of Australian Wine.  Hamlyn,  512 p.
Lake,  Max,  1966:  Classic Wines of Australia.  Jacaranda Press,  134 p.
Parker,  R  1991:  Bordeaux.  Simon & Schuster,  1026 p.
Peppercorn,  David 1998:  Wines of Bordeaux.  Mitchell Beazley,  248 p.
www.jancisrobinson.com
www.erobertparker.com





CABERNET,  MERLOT,  AND RELATED BLENDS

1970  Alexis Lichine Chambertin (en magnum)
1970  Ch Ducru-Beaucaillou
1970  Ch Lascombes
1970  Ch Latour
1970  Ch Leoville-Las-Cases
1970  Ch  Margaux
  1970  McWilliams (NZ) Cabernet Sauvignon
1970  Ch Pape-Clement
1970  Ch Rausan-Segla
1970  St-Pierre (St-Pierre-Sevaistre)
1970  Ch Tahbilk Cabernet (standard bottling)
1970  Ch Talbot


1970  Ch Ducru-Beaucaillou   19 ½  ()
St Julien Second Growth,  Bordeaux,  France:   – %;  $ –    [ cork;  CS 65%,  Me 25,  PV 5,  CF 5;  49 ha,  17,000 cases.  One of the finest clarets I have ever tasted,  not big,  but very beautiful.  Broadbent 1980:  classic but undeveloped bouquet;  concentrated,  deep,  stern and unyielding,  but great potential. ****,  till 2010.  In 2002:  [ Re the 1970 vintage ] … leaving aside Latour, I rate Ducru and Cheval Blanc as the best wines. The most recent bottles at best superb, sweet-nosed, harmonious, perfect flavour and balance … drying. *****  Parker 1991:  the best Ducru between 1961 and 1982. Impeccably balanced, smooth as silk, till 2000 91,  and 1996:  This wine has been fully mature and delicious for many years, so I was not surprised by how stunning this bottle was. It has always been an outstanding wine for the vintage - complex, rich, savory, and the quintessentially elegant Bordeaux. This beauty continues to reveal the fragrance and finesse that one expects from Lafite-Rothschild but so rarely finds. A fragrant, complex bouquet of cedar, herbs, vanillin, fruitcake, and coffee is followed by a soft, gentle, graciously-constructed wine with sweet layers of fruit. I am not sure how much longer the 1970 Ducru will keep, but from regular bottle, it is delicious and should be consumed. How nice it would be to have a stock of magnums of this wine in the cellar! 92;  www.chateau-ducru-beaucaillou.com ]
Ruby and garnet,  a good ratio of ruby,  one of the deepest.  One sniff,  and this is heaven,  exactly what mature claret or cabernet / merlot from an appropriate temperate climate should smell like:  deeply floral even violets,  wonderfully mature but not obviously browning cassis,  total cigar-box integration of the dark tobacco and cedar,  and great volume – just pouring from the glass.  Palate follows perfectly,  displaying a poise and elegance of flavour so much dreamed about,  so rarely encountered,  in a wine-tasting career.  This wine is still fresh,  vibrantly cassisy,  yet gentle and harmonious,  all the characters on bouquet lingering wondrously on the aftertaste.  Other wines (in other tastings) may be bigger and thus score higher for those to whom size is important,  but this is perhaps the most beautifully fragrant and poised Bordeaux blend I have ever tasted.  Like 1966 Ch Palmer,  it has been beautiful from youth to maturity.  Now fully mature in a temperate climate cellar,  but no hurry.  Clearly the top wine in the blind tasting, 15 of 22 tasters rating it their first or second-placed.  GK 03/10

1970  Ch Latour   18 ½ +  ()
Pauillac First Growth,  Bordeaux,  France:   – %;  $ –    [ cork;  CS 80%,  Me 10,  CF 10;  60 ha,  16,000 cases.  Broadbent 1980:  Fabulous colour,  rich cabernet sauvignon aroma,  packed with fruit,  flavour,  alcohol,  tannin,  acidity.  All the component parts,  still austere. *****  Till 2020.  In 2002:  Immensely impressive … It needs days of decanting time,  and hours in the glass.  Mouth-filling,  concentrated,  still very tannic. *****  [ Till 2050,  in effect. ]  Parker 1996:  One of the top two or three wines of the vintage (Petrus and Trotanoy are noteworthy rivals), this young, magnificent Latour is still 5-10 years away from full maturity. The opaque garnet color is followed by a huge, emerging nose of black fruits, truffles, walnuts, and subtle tobacco/Graves-like scents. Full-bodied, fabulously concentrated and intense, with a sweet inner-core of fruit (a rarity in most 1970 Medocs), and high but well-integrated tannin, this enormously endowed, massive Latour should hit its prime by the end of the century and last for 2-3 decades thereafter. This is will be the longest-lived and potentially most classic wine of the vintage.  98  Note however that subsequent to this,  he has had lesser bottles,  and notes:  remember the expression, "there are no great wines, just great bottles, particularly after a wine reaches 30 years of age.".  Jancis Robinson 2003:  Latour 1970 is certainly the best 1970 I have tasted. And in a vertical of Latour direct from the chateau in the same year:  Still quite dark. Brick rim. Minty nose. Very mineral. Supple. Subtle. Relatively lightweight, but very well balanced and long. Very distinguished. Very Latour. 19;  www.chateau-latour.com ]
Ruby and garnet,  clearly the freshest and deepest wine in the tasting.  Bouquet is the freshest too,  vibrant cassis,  cedary oak,  good volume,  definitely high-cabernet Medoc.  In mouth,  there is the same concentration of cassis the bouquet implies,  yet there is not the magic of the Ducru.  For a wine so highly praised over the years,  there is a certain two-dimensional purity and incipient austerity evident,  against the multi-hued beauty of the more delicate Ducru.  Certainly,  the wine has the freshness of flavour and body to cellar for some years yet,  but like the Las-Cases,  the austerity may increase,  leading to a lean and sinewy wine,  without the magical softness and fragrance to lift it to the highest level.  GK 03/10

1970  Alexis Lichine Chambertin (en magnum)   18 +  ()
Cote de Nuits,  Burgundy,  France:  11%;  $16.10   [ cork;  no info,  but Lichine was quite well regarded for his burgundy selections at that stage.  Will be very frail now – it was never more than delicious ! ]
Palest garnet and ruby,  the lightest colour in the tasting,  but healthy.  Bouquet is quite dramatic in the set,  the boronia and roses-related magic of the spicy Cote de Nuits very apparent even though there is an aged component too,  with clear browning cherry,  roast chestnut,  and forest floor (one taster insisted –  agreed !) complexities,  wonderfully organic in an autumnal (+ve) way,  no faults,  real burgundy.  Palate is a little less,  the oak and tannins more apparent than the bouquet would suggest,  for the fruit while rich is fully mature,  the freshness fading a little.  It stood very well though,  the flavour still beautifully appropriate to the variety,  and lingering long.  The other half of the magnum,  immediately sub-bottled against argon,  was an absolute delight with rare fillet,  and in comparison with 1979 Jaboulet Cote Rotie les Jumelles,  two days later.  A pretty good showing for a 40-year-old burgundy,  but bottles need finishing very soon,  considering this is a magnum.  GK 03/10

1970  Ch Rausan-Segla   18  ()
Margaux Second Growth,  Bordeaux,  France:   – %;  $13.80   [ cork;  CS 66%,  Me 28,  CF 4,  PV 2.  42 ha,  10,000 cases.   Broadbent 1980:  Must re-taste [ ! ] ***  Which he had done by 2002:  A pretty good wine.  Firm fleshy good fruit.  Still tannic. ***   Parker 1991:  I am not sure this wine is ever going to open up and blossom. Admirably big and full-bodied, but rustic and coarsely textured, with entirely too much tannin. Till 2000.  82;  www.rauzan-segla.com ]
Garnet-washed old ruby,  fully mature.  Bouquet is a delight,  classic mature claret with browning cassis,  fragrant dark tobacco and cigar-box all soft and sweet and very forthcoming.  How is that the Bordelais achieve this wondrous cedary quality on their oak,  whereas so many New World wines are merely oaky ?  Palate is fine,  still remarkably good fruit for its age,  no longer the excess tannins Parker mentions,  instead sustained,  gentle,  the bouquet qualities lasting right through to the aftertaste.  Final impression is a little dry on the cedar,  but very agreeable.  This wine was deployed as number one in the blind 12,  to define what the tasting was about:  the Bordeaux or cabernet / merlot class.  Fully mature to fading slightly,  no hurry to finish,  if you like old wine.  GK 03/10

1970  Ch  Margaux   17 +  ()
Margaux First Growth,  Bordeaux,  France:  11%;  $ –    [ cork;  CS 75%,  Me 20,  CF and PV 5;  85 ha,  17,500 cases red,  3,500 white.  This is another wine with wildly contrasting reviews,  serving mainly to remind us that then,  before ubiquitous stainless steel,  it was not so easy to assemble the vintage into near-uniform bottlings.  Broadbent 1980:  Its best feature a fabulous bouquet,  complex,  fruity;  medium dry,  rich,  chunky,  perhaps lacking follow-through.  ****,  till 2000.  And in 2002,  a bottle in 2000:  a big wine,  but much more approachable than Latour;  nose low-keyed but harmonious,  sweet good fruit,  slow to open up;  medium sweetness and body,  rich good fruit,  grip and balance,  its sustaining tannins and acidity under control. ****  Drink or keep.  Parker 1983:  From a great vintage,  this is the type of wine to foster consumer ill-will toward expensive Bordeaux.  Austere,  lacking fruit and richness. 76.  So,  as for the Las Cases,  we must make up our own minds,  on the evidence on the night …;  www.chateau-margaux.com ]
Like the Lascombes,  this wine is showing a good ratio of ruby to garnet,  and is above halfway in depth.  Freshly opened the bouquet is sensational (just as Broadbent says),  ghostly violets and roses,  subtle cedar,  truly aethereal (which is not a euphemism for estery / volatile).  There is cassis and a berry component too.  Palate is astonishingly light however,  yet fresh in mouth,  cassisy,  initially lovely.  This is not a wine to leave breathing for hours,  though,  for the fruit is more apparent than real.  The palate shortens as the fruit fades,  leaving more the acid,  leafy and tannic side of a Cabernet / Merlot blend,  not as rich even as the Las-Cases,  but softer.  Another wine past its prime (in a temperate climate cellar),  to be finished up while the bouquet is still magic.  GK 03/10

1970  Ch Lascombes   17  ()
Margaux Second Growth,  Bordeaux,  France:   – %;  $ –    [ cork;  CS 55%,  Me 40,  PV 5;  83 ha,  41,500 cases.  Bought by Alexis Lichine in 1951,  the property was enlarged,  and its reputation declined through to the early 90s.  Yet the 1966 and 1967 were lovely fragrant wines,  well up with the pack.  Broadbent 1980:  Good colour, nose and balance. Attractive wine *** ,  till 1990.  Parker 1988:  The fully mature 1970 is a fine example of Lascombes – darkly colored, ripe, full bodied, richly fruity, and fleshy, but it has the concentration of fruit and structure to hold for 4-6 more years. It is a spicy, fragrant, and altogether satisfying mouthful of amply endowed wine. Now.  87;  http://www.chateau-lascombes.com ]
Garnet and more ruby than the Rausan-Segla,  and deeper,  the third deepest.  Bouquet is intriguing,  very close to the Rausan-Segla in volume,  but not quite so fine and cigar-boxy,  the oak more oaky and the cassis slightly younger.  Palate is a little coarser,  leaner and more acid than the Rausan,  so despite the younger colour this too is a wine needing finishing.  It will cellar for some years on the colour and acid,  and the flavours are good within the style described,  but it won't improve.  GK 03/10

1970  Ch Leoville-Las-Cases   16 ½ +  ()
St Julien Second Growth,  Bordeaux,  France:  11%;  $14.40   [ cork;  the alcohol from the shipper de Luze's standard additional strip-label;  CS 65%,  Me 18,  CF 14,  PV 3;  85 ha,  30,000 cases.  Broadbent 1980:  Lovely rich stylish nose;  a dry wine,  fullish,  fine,  elegant. ****  Till 1995.  In 2002:  A gentlemanly classic.  Now mature;  typical cedary nose,  very good balance and flavour. ****   Parker 1991:  This wine has always enjoyed a considerable reputation.  But the emperor has no clothes.  It is lean,  angular,  light for the vintage.  Till 1995.  77;  www.leoville-las-cases.com ]
Ruby and garnet,  virtually identical in hue to the Rausan-Segla,  but a little deeper.  Bouquet is quiet,  cassisy,  a hint of leaf and cedar,  a passing thought of chaptalising.  Palate is quite different to most of the wines,  tasting cassisy,  lean and sinewy,  as if very high cabernet sauvignon with cedary new oak.  There is a suggestion of stalky firmness now as the fruit fades,  and likewise a little acid is peeping through on the aftertaste.  This has been reticent wine all its life,  but is now past its prime.  Body is still somewhat better than Parker implies,  and there is no hurry,  in its style.  It will just become leaner and more acid.  GK 03/10

1970  Ch Pape-Clement   16 +  ()
Pessac-Leognan,  northern Graves,  France:   – %;  $ –    [ cork;  CS 55%,  Me 40,  CF and PV 5;  30 ha,  13,000 cases red,  900 white.  Peppercorn 1998 notes this chateau has the longest continuous history of any in Bordeaux,  being first planted in 1300.  I have had lesser luck with it,  but he goes on to say:  The wines have a marvellous bouquet, intense with overtones of tobacco … a supple rich texture.  Broadbent likewise says of the 1970:  I always expect a lot from this stylish red Graves.  It has a sweet almost caramelly nose, dryish, quite nicely constituted but uneven development.  Till 1995. ***(*)  Parker 1984: While the 1970 was impressive when young, like many vintages of Pape-Clement made during the seventies it has not stood the test of time. Now becoming loosely knit and losing some fruit, this medium-bodied, very soft and supple wine has a classy, earthy, cedary, spicy bouquet, and good flavors, fading quickly in the glass. Anticipated maturity: Now. 84;  www.pape-clement.com ]
Lighter garnet and ruby,  towards the light end.  Bouquet is short and clearly chaptalised,  lacking berry definition,  but fragrant in a leathery old-fashioned light claret style.  Palate follows exactly,  a bit of varnish as of older oak predominantly,  reasonable 'fruit' and balance for its age,  acid showing slightly,  very dry,  fading now.  Finish up.  GK 03/10

1970  St-Pierre (St-Pierre-Sevaistre)   15 ½ +  ()
St Julien Fourth Growth,  Bordeaux,  France:   – %;  $8.36   [ cork;  CS 70%,  Me 20,  CF 10;  17 ha,  8,000 cases.  Parker 1987:  A sleeper of the vintage, the 1970 St.-Pierre is dark ruby, is loaded with spicy, black currant fruit, and has full body, plenty of round, ripe tannins, and substantial length on the palate. Fully mature, but made to last, the 1970 St.-Pierre can rival many of Bordeaux's best estates in 1970. Anticipated maturity: Now-2005. 87;  www.chateau-saint-pierre.com ]
Garnet-washed old ruby,  near identical to the Rausan.  Bouquet is quiet,  not forthcoming,  a hint of iodine in faded cassis and cedar.  Palate has less fruit than most,  the flavours much faded browning cassis,  acid and tannin starting to show.  Enjoyable as old wine,  but another to finish up.  GK 03/10

1970  McWilliams (NZ) Cabernet Sauvignon   15 ½  ()
Hawkes Bay,  New Zealand:   – %;  $2.40   [ cork;  thought to be 100% CS;  the 1965 set the pace for this wine,  and in general was never again matched,  though one bottling of the 1969 may have been as fine.  The 1970 was lightish and fragrant at the time,  though nicely balanced.  I imagine it will be very frail today,  so it may be in the same company as the Chambertin. ]
Almost a rosy garnet,  the second lightest.  Bouquet is totally distinctive,  the mulberry and caramel of cabernet sauvignon plus chaptalisation plus American oak which characterised McWilliams Cabernet as it was commercialised into more volume from 1968 on.  Yet in mouth the wine is attractive in its style,  suggestions of coconut fudge in the mulberry,  good acid and freshness.  Fading gracefully,  no immediate hurry,  but not popular in the formal tasting.  GK 03/10

1970  Ch Tahbilk Cabernet (standard bottling)   15 ½  ()
Goulburn Valley,  Victoria,  Australia:   – %;  $1.85   [ cork;  CS mainly,  some oddments including CF;  In those days the patriarch Eric Purbrick still kept an eagle eye on things.  The wines then traditional,  big old wood,  the best exceptional,  not dominated by oak.  1970 is not a reputed Tahbilk vintage,  but the lighter years are in fact often more aromatic and interesting.  Max Lake,  in his wonderful book Classic Wines of Australia 1966,  describes them as:  truly classic wines of Australia.  And Len Evans (in the Complete Book of Australian Wine 1978,  says of this wine:  I am most interested in the 1970 and 1972 vintages … an extremely interesting, almost aromatic quality in the fruit,  almost a sappiness which I find fascinating …  it is a most attractive extra dimension.  The contrast with the famous but rather bulky 1971 vintage,   recently assessed,  confirms Evans' view;  www.tahbilk.com.au ]
Old garnet and ruby,  the third lightest.  Along with the New Zealand wine,  these two Australasian wines totally underscore the magic of the authentic Bordeaux style.  One sniff,  and along with the Chambertin,  they are obviously the outsiders.  1970 was early days in cabernet sauvignon for both New Zealand and Australia,  and as I have suggested in my 2005 vintage review,  a similar tasting of Bordeaux and cabernet blends in 2045 will produce very different results indeed.  Not only are the best New Zealand (in particular) Cabernet / Merlots incredibly Bordeaux-like now,  but so many of the traditional Bordeaux have been so internationalised under the mixed-blessing influence of 'consultants' that they are losing typicité.  In such comparisons,  Australia has yet to solve the problem of eucalyptus signatures,  which are distasteful to many outside Australia.  This standard bottling from Tahbilk does not have that problem,  instead showing overt raspberry and mulberry characters browning now,  on old-oak aromas only.  Palate is softish,  pleasantly balanced,  very drinkable,  but even less 'claret'-like than the McWilliams.  There is a suggestion of gritty tartaric acid addition,  and tastes of redwood in the cooperage,  like some Californian wines of the time.  The term 'redwood' is merely a taste analogy in this useage.  No hurry.  GK 03/10

1970  Ch Talbot   15  ()
St Julien Fourth Growth,  Bordeaux,  France:   – %;  $ –    [ cork;  CS 71%,  Me 20,  CF 5,  PV 4;  101 ha,  red 40,000 cases,  white 2,500.  Broadbent is puzzled by Talbot.  In 1980:  always very popular, but I can never quite understand why – medium dry, lean, masculine. ***, till 1995.  In 2002:  Clearly a richly rustic, hen-coop, gentleman farmer's claret, also popular with British Airways First Class passengers. Chunky,  usually leaner than Gruaud. Most recently, deep, farmyard, dry. The nearest thing to a Hunter Valley 'sweaty saddle shiraz. ***   Parker 1991:  This wine lacks one of the telltale characteristics of  the 1970 vintage – a rich glossy fruitiness. Shows blackcurrants, but the tannins overwhelm the fruit. Till 1993. 78.  And in 1996 he has finally decided how he feels about this wine:  My last bottle of the 1970 Talbot, from an ill-advised purchase in the early seventies, proved to be no better than the other eleven clunkers. Tannic, angular, thin, and acidic, with harsh tannin and no fruit, this wine was astringent young, astringent in middle-aged, and astringent old.  76;  www.chateau-talbot.com ]
Ruby and garnet,  close to the Lascombes,  if anything a little ruddier,  midway in depth.  Aha,  here is New Zealand speaking,  an older-style New Zealand cabernet showing a clear leafy fragrance in tobacco and cassis,  so quite a big bouquet,  cedary too.  Palate follows perfectly,  flavoursome yet light,  acid,  leafy and hollow,  Max Lake's doughnut cabernet.  You can see why the warmer-climate wine-style Robert Parker is so disappointed with this,  yet with an oily pizza it would be a refreshing light red,  still.  But,  to be finished up,  soon.  GK 03/10