Readers' letters say it: tasting notes (VKN) are in demand. I understand this. Those who still have 94 Bordeaux in their cellar would like to know more about it. And those who have had 94s in their glass recently are tempted to measure their experiences against others.
In fact, I didn't drink the 250 or so wines from the Bordeaux year completely without "sense and reason", simply because I was in the mood for wine, because a good wine goes with a meal, because I wanted to toast with friends, because.....
|Wine diary with all its "secrets|
No, I actually also (mostly) took notes, recorded what I experienced, made comparisons, passed judgements: in short, kept a wine diary. But this diary is personal, even intimate, as diaries are. Not only "hard" facts are recorded, but much more frequently and in detail personal circumstances: for example, with whom I drank the wine, what was the predominant topic of conversation, what were the most important experiences of the day. Mood and weather often come up, but also feelings, fears, anger and hopes. In short, everything a diary can contain.
Only, the reason for writing is no longer soul butterflies or butterflies in the stomach, no longer budding love and broken friendships, as once in teenage years, but a good sip from a nice glass. There are no points, but certainly assessments, no demonstration of knowledge, but sensations, feelings and also hints of consequences. In fact, I have "put back" a few bottles of certain 94 Bordeaux, mostly because they were still sealed, or because I would like to give them (and myself) a few more years.
They are all still waiting% until they are allowed into the glass
These are: Angélus, Ausone, Carmes Haut-Brion, Clinet, Conseillante, Cos d'Estournel, Dominique, Ducru-Beaucaillou, Evangile, Figeac, Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Lafite Rothschild, Lafleur, Léoville-Las-Cases, Margaux, Mission Haut-Brion, Montrose, Mouton-Rothschild, Palmer, Pavie, Petit-Village, Pichon-Lalande, Rol Valentin, Troplong Mondot, Trottevieille.
There are very different reasons why they have not yet been put into the glass: some are closed, like the Lacoste, which still has to and can open up a lot, or the Cos d'Estournel, which - as I noted in the "diary" - is strangely bitter on the finish, or the hard, austere Las Cases, which I believe still has development potential that can only do it good.
I put other wines on hold because I wanted to prolong the enjoyment: the Lafleur - for me the most harmonious, most profound, best wine of the year - or the Troplong Mondot, which was so criminally scored down by Gabriel, but for me is now at its peak.
Other wines I would definitely like to encounter again: the Pavie, which in my eyes is much better than almost all wine gurus claim, or the unbelievably aromatic Montrose, which you can still put in front of me many times (again and again). Or the Petit Village, which you should actually finish, but which - as it is now - is one of my favourite wines.
|Château Clinet% only a tablet carved in stone reveals% what lies behind it|
Finally, the four wines I asked about: Grand Mayne, Pavie Macquin, La Grave Figeac, les Gravières. I put the Pavie back because I find it better than its reputation. According to my notes, the Pavie Macquin is much better, but unfortunately I have already drunk it: "wonderful fruit, chocolate notes, already ripe, can hardly get any better; if there is a good auction offer, definitely buy it! Grand Mayne: I got this one on a "bad" day, maybe it was even several bad days, because I didn't like it that much: "should have been drunk long ago!" Is that so, or were they just "bad days"? I never had the other two wines in the cellar - and therefore - except at tastings, never drank them and didn't note anything in the diary.
I'll probably open a few of the wines I've kept back at a tasting in a fortnight. We'll see what's written in my diary afterwards. Today it will say, among other things: "Letters from readers have inspired me to enjoy with even more sense and spirit from now on. Now I'm particularly curious about Clinet, which I don't really like much, perhaps because it tastes too much like Michel Rolland to me". Why do you think I haven't yet elevated the excellent Clinet to a pleasure? But my diary is silent about that.