Since I don’t have any wine news to write about today, I am going to recap a great Bordeaux wine dinner I had the pleasure of attending in March.  It was a retrospective of five decades of Bordeaux reds, organized by Justin Christoph of Manhattan Wine Company.  Justin is a great host with a wealth of wine knowledge.  It was at Aroma, a sweet little Italian wine bar and restaurant off the Bowery.  We were in their cozy private dining room in the cellar, it was very European!  The food was great, the company was merry, and the wines were simply one of the best wine experiences I have ever had, filled with highs and lows.  Retrospectives always give you a great chance to really understand how wines age.  For the five decades of Bordeaux, we tasted two wines each starting with the 2000′s, 1990′s, 1980′s, 1970′s, 1960′s.  Here is the run down, we tasted newest to oldest.

Château Léoville-Poyferré 2004

I really liked this wine, though I have always been a fan.  It was a great bargain for a while while it was flying under the radar, but the quality and price have been creeping up over the past decade.  Never the less, it still remains a good value to quality wine.  For a young wine it was already very accessible with a very aromatic nose and flavors of smokey dark fruit.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Château Calon-Ségur 2003

I was expecting a bit more from this wine, it was a bit more on the delicate side than I would have thought.  Light berry and floral aromas and a medium body.  Think it might show better after a few more years in bottle, seemed a bit closed down now.  RECOMMENDED

Château L’Evangile 1994

I was really looking forward to tasting this wine and it did not disappoint.  This is a very unique wine and might not be for everyone due to its myriad characteristics.  Dark in color this dense wine has very earthy flavors, mixed with smokey notes, iron, offal, hoisin, and liquorish.  Wow.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Château Le Gay 1994

The Le Gay was a more claret like version of the L’Evangile.  More harmonious and classically Bordeaux in character.  A very easy wine to appreciate, it mixes the meaty earthier flavors with some more delicate floral notes. A delicious wine, drinking very well now.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Château Pichon-Baron 1988

This was the wine of the evening in my book.  I think it exceeded many people’s expectations.  The super rich and complex nose grabs you immediately.  There are flavors of dark smokey fruit, spice box, and blood sausage.  The finish is easily 30 seconds long.  This is a profound wine.  An experience really.  Certainly one of the greatest bottles of wine I have ever tasted.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – ALL STAR

Château Léoville-Barton 1988

I thought this wine would show better than it did.  It seemed a bit medicinal.  Offal mixed with an herbaceous quality.  Pretty hard to stand up next to the Pichon-Baron anyway, which it was tasted against.  RECOMMENDED

Château Margaux 1978

This is not a big wine or a great wine, but there really was not much to be that excited about during the 1970′s in Bordeaux.  That said, it is a nice classic claret style Bordeaux.  Not as perfumed as Margaux is known to be, but there were some nice delicate floral aromas.  RECOMMENDED

Château Mouton Rothschild 1975

Who knows what this might have been, the bottle was off.  Oxidized/maderized.

Château Haut-Brion 1970

There is such a mythical aura to Haut-Brion, I was really looking forward to trying this wine.  The wine was probably a bit over the hill, but was still very interesting and enjoyable.  There were elements of chocolate and beef stew mixed with caramel and dark dried fruit.  A classic!  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Château Léoville-Las Cases 1961

1961 is one of the most famous vintages in Bordeaux history.  The Léoville-Las Cases has not been regarded as one of the most legendary, but this bottle proved to be very good for a wine nearly half a century old.  There was a sweet caramel nose and hints of smoked fire.  Another classic.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED