Our guest speaker was Michelle Paris, Master of Wine Candidate, DipWSET and Certified Sommelier.
Château La Lagune (Haut Medoc) $68
A final blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot from the Frey family, the 2005 is a gorgeous La Lagune, and one of the first great ones under the Frey administration. This wine has a dense ruby/purple color, a beautiful nose of sandalwood, black raspberries, and cassis, silky sweet tannin, medium to full body, and a textured, long, pure mouthfeel and finish. This wine is probably 3-4 years away from prime-time drinking, but it should evolve gorgeously for another 20-25 years. Robert M. Parker, Jr. 94 points.
Château Malescot St. Exupery (Margaux) $95
A beautiful wine, once again, from this property that has been on a superb qualitative roll for several decades. Dense ruby/purple with notes of graphite, background oak, youthful crème de cassis and blackberry fruit as well as a floral underpinning, it is medium to full-bodied, textured, rich and impressive. Still in a somewhat adolescent stage, it should hit full maturity in another 2-3 years and last at least two decades. Robert M. Parker, Jr. 96 points.
Château Branaire Ducru (St. Julien) $90
Floral nuances combined with lots of mulberry, raspberry and sweet blackcurrant fruit are followed by a medium to full-bodied, beautifully pure, textured, complex wine with soft tannin. It should drink well relatively early on (2-3 years) and last 15 or more. Robert M. Parker, Jr. 94 points.
Château Clerc Milon (Pauillac) $69
The nose is straight-down-the-line classic Clerc-Milon with intense graphite and cigar box aromas infusing the black fruit that could only come from Pauillac. The palate is medium-bodied with powerful black and red fruit, hints of tobacco suffusing the multi-layered black fruit that gently grip the mouth. It has opened slightly since I last tasted this wine, though I would still afford it another 3 to 4 years in bottle. This is a great Clerc-Milon, probably the best ever made. Tasted August 2016. Robert M. Parker, Jr. 93 points.
Château Malartic-Lagraviere (Pessac-Leognan) $65
Gorgeously pure blueberry and blackberry fruit along with some notes of cassis, charcoal and licorice jump from the glass of this inky purple wine. An absolutely fabulous success for Malartic Lagravière, this full-bodied wine has sweet tannin, and is complex and long. Drink it over the next 25 years. Bravo! Robert M. Parker, Jr. 95 points.
Château Gazin (Pomerol) $82
The 2005 Gazin is a big, masculine, full-throttle Pomerol that comes closer to the style of a Pauillac than some of the other Pomerols. Nevertheless, this wine is locked and loaded, with an inky plum/purple color, stunning concentration, a boatload of tannin, and unlimited upside potential. Sweet cassis, plum, vanilla and truffle notes are followed by a dense, deep, profound wine with blackcurrant and black cherry fruit, high extraction, and a multi-layered texture. This is a long distance runner, even for a 2005, and probably won’t even be close to full maturity for another decade. It should easily last 30 or more years. Robert M. Parker, Jr. 95 points.
Château Clos de L'Oratoire (St. Emilion) $62
From the Comte von Neipperg, his wines from this overachieving estate always deliver an aromatic fireworks display of cedar wood, Christmas fruitcake, roasted herbs, black olive, cassis and sweet kirsch. The 2005 has all that as well as ripe, well-integrated, velvety tannin, and full body in a sexy, luscious, heady style to drink now and over the next 10-15 years. Robert M. Parker, Jr. 94 points.
Château Grand Mayne (St. Emilion) $67
Grand Mayne’s 2005 (a blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon) is a sexy, fleshy St.Emilion with a dense ruby/purple color and loads of blueberry, cassis and black raspberry fruit. It is medium to full-bodied, luscious, and already drinkable, although capable of lasting another 10-15 years. Robert M. Parker, Jr. 94 points.
How the wines were ranked