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2006 Bordeaux - Results, Sep. '15

On September 28th, 2015, TVC celebrated its 40th annual Bordeaux tasting with the 2006 vintage. We tasted 2 Grand Cru Classé (GCC) wines and second (2e) to fifth (5e) growth wines mainly from the Left Bank. The average cost of the wines for this tasting is $79 (based on futures’ prices) compared to $6 in 1975! Our guest speaker for the evening was Michael Vaughn of Vintages Assessments. Many years ago, he was a TVC member! We enjoyed a lovely chilled 2013 Cheval Quancard Reserve Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon as our reception wine.



2006 Chateau Malescot St. Exupery, Margaux, 3 e $69

While it is easy to lose sight of this wine, given the prodigious 2005 that was produced, this is another outstanding effort from an estate that has been doing everything right for some time. Notes of graphite, black currant liqueur, incense, and camphor make for a complex and intensely penetrating set of aromatics. Dark ruby/purple, medium to full-bodied, with superb concentration and moderate tannin, this is a beauty of finesse and substance that should be at its best between 2012 and 2024. 91+ pts, Robert M. Parker Jr. Feb 2009

2006 Chateau Clerc Milon, Paullac, 5 e $59

From the same stable as Mouton Rothschild and d’Armailhac, Clerc Milon, despite the relatively high percentage of Merlot (44%) combined with 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Cabernet Franc, is dense, rich, tannic, and backward. Surprisingly muscular for this offering, which often exhibits a more precocious side, it offers up abundant amounts of creme brulee, chocolate, cedar, and black currants. This full-bodied Pauillac displays gorgeous purity and depth as well as moderately high tannins in the finish. Because of its freshness, structure, and density, it is reminiscent of a 1996 Medoc. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2028. 91+ pts, Robert M. Parker Jr. Feb 2009

2006 Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste, Pauillac, 5 e $82

Grand-Puy-Lacoste has produced another classic wine with the creme de cassis fruit that I often find in both Mouton Rothschild and Pontet-Canet, yet both of those vineyards are closer to the Gironde River. This wine has a pure personality, with the aforementioned classic creme de cassis notes, medium to full body, beautiful density, purity, texture, and length. If anything, this recalls a hypothetical blend of their brilliant 1995 and 1996. Tannins are elevated, so patience will be required. This was Xavier Borie’s first vintage in his new state-of-the-art winemaking facility. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2027. 92 pts, Robert M. Parker Jr. Feb 2009

2006 Chateaur Domaine du Chevalier, Pessac-Leognan, GCC $64

The brilliant St.-Emilion-based consultant, Stephane Derenoncourt, is working his magic at this great vineyard in Leognan. The 2006 is a revelation of sweet, lush, black raspberry and black currant fruit intermixed with subtle notes of scorched earth and barbecue spices. Round, luscious, sexy, and exceptionally complex, the wine is dominated by that smoky minerality that comes from this area. It is the quintessentially elegant yet substantial Pessac-Leognan with class, complexity, and potential. Despite wanting to drink most of the bottle when I was tasting it, I know it will be even better with 2-4 years of bottle age, and should keep for two decades. 92 pts, Robert M. Parker Jr. Feb 2009

2006 Pavie Macquin, St. Emilion GCC $85

From a superbly situated on St.-Emilion’s plateau, 38-acre vineyard planted on primarily limestone and clay, this 2006 is meant for long-term aging. A combination of 80% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, it is a backward, brawny, muscular, long distance runner. Consumers lacking patience are advised to steer clear of this wine. Its dense purple color is followed by aromas of graphite, sweet cassis, pen ink, and charcoal. This powerful, dense, concentrated wine possesses high tannins and lots of structure. One of the more backward offerings from the right bank in 2006, it will not be close to drinkability for 8-10 years. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2030. 92+ pts, Robert M. Parker Jr. Feb 2009

2006 Chateau Leoville Barton, St Julien, 2 e $99

Not surprisingly, this wine is closed, masculine, but super- rich, with a denser, more complete and full-bodied style than its sibling, Langoa Barton. Some toasty vanillin is apparent in the black currant aromas intermixed with tobacco leaf, cedar, and spice box. The wine is full-bodied and has a boatload of tannin, not unusual for this estate, as well as an impressively pure, long finish. Everything is here, but this wine, made with uncompromising vision, is meant to be cellared for an exceptionally long period of time. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2035. 92-94 pts, Robert M. Parker Jr. Feb 2007

2006 Chateau Leoville Poyferré, St Julien 2 e $95

Dense ruby/purple, with sweet blackberry and black currant fruit with hints of smoke, espresso roast, and new saddle leather, this is another impressively endowed but tannic, backward style of wine. The concentration, brightness, and depth are all present, but I can't see it being even approachable in less than 5-7 years. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2028. 91 pts, Robert M. Parker Jr. Feb 2009

2006 Branaire Ducru, St Julien, 4e $75

By no means comparable to their sensational 2005 or 2003, but still an outstanding wine, this singular St.-Julien always possesses notes of spring flowers, boysenberries, black currants, and graphite. The complex aromatics are followed by a medium-bodied, classic Bordeaux displaying a deep ruby/purple color as well as moderately high tannin. It needs 3-5 years of bottle age, and should last for two decades or more. 90 pts, Robert M. Parker Jr. Feb 2009

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