Chateau Lagrange 1998

90 points

Saint Julien, Bordeaux, France

Very attractive in a warm toasty oak style. Oddly overshadowed by Lascimbes 2001 and (less surprisingly) Lafite 88 on the night.

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Chateau Lascombes 2001

90+ points

Margaux, Bordeaux, France. 13%

The Wine Doctor said this vintage of Lascombes appeared oddly forward, though delicious. But that’s not really the sort of wine I encountered. This is youthful, quite dense with a good deal of slightly intrusive oak. I enjoyed the meaty flavours (unusual for Margaux), it’s an interesting wine.

Lascombes is returning to fine form after a reported poor patch in the 90s.

Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1988

96 points

Pauillac, Bordeaux, France. 12.5%

Surprisingly youthful colour, with a luminousity that suggests acidity.

Fresh yet complex, and rather delicious inviting aromas. Classic cedar, touch herbaceous. Perhaps more like Margaux.

Fine elegant long wine, with a surprising (for 20 years old) tannic finish – but a long, not hard short, finish. This is very good. Such confidence to make such an impressive wine without making a blockbuster, nothing is forced and yet it is still concentrated and clearly built for age.

I don’t think this wine has peaked yet, perhaps 5 more years and then expect it to plateau for 20 years. Which is all very impressive – this must be a good bottle i.e. great cork.

2008 Bordeaux vintage harvest begins

Decanter magazine’s website reports that the the 2008 Bordeaux vintage harvest is underway as of the 4th of September.  White varieties only at this stage, reds are 3-4 weeks away:

“Harvest dates all over the region are around two weeks behind usual, due to a lack of sunshine throughout the growing season. There is, however, generally less rot in the vineyards than last year, due to good weather in the last two weeks of August.  But rain started falling again earlier this week.”

Fruit quality on the whites is looking good.  We’ll have to see for the reds.  Having spent much of the growing season in Bordeaux (see earlier report) I’m expecting them to be better than 2007, but not expecting a ripe concentrated vintage like 2000 or 2005 (and thankfuly nothing like 2003).

Look what The Weather Channel is forecasting, more mild Summer: