The Edinburgh Wine Club 

 A Bordeaux Vertical Tasting

18 July, 2013

This was by its nature a comparative tasting and so the layout is in different form. The wines were all supplied by Corney and Barrow. Most are not now available but those that are will be priced.

First La Combe de Grinou 2012 was presented. It is in fact Bergerac but represents the characteristics of Bordeaux and uses Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. It has grapefruit and passion fruit characteristics length and freshness and was marked out as an impressive wine (Vino as well as C and B £8.80). This was compared with the same wine but of the year 2007. There was here more colour. The bouquet was melons but the taste was dull .It was accepted that the wine had typically not been made to last. A debate followed on what would make a dry white last and the conclusion was that probably contact with the skin and pips after pressing would achieve that and some examples in Bordeaux and Burgundy were noted.

There followed the main event which was a tasting of Chateau de Lamarque reds from 2000 to 2010 though the sequence was not complete.These were from the cellar of the host who had bought them en primeur.

2010 had been decanted as it was being "looked at " before the recommended date. It like the others was served at a temperature rather lower than the heat of a sultry Edinburgh evening.The wine had an almost Southern Hemisphere nose in the view of one member. This was followed by a full but slightly dry taste. This suggested that when the tannic grip lossened it would become richer with the fruit revealed. In contrast the 2009 was already more fruit driven although still somewhat closed .Less repressed was the comment of our guest. Both wines were admired but at an early stage in evolution, not always yet loved. The alcohol content (14% and 14 1/2%) was noted. The last wine list from C and B shows some left sold by the case en primeur. This may however not now be the case.

We then proceeded to 2007. This along with 2004 and 2002, is not a great vintage. Instead of the top figure of almost 50% in a classic vintage, 38% cabernet sauvignon was used in 2004.The 2007 probably has a similar proportion. Merlot accounts for about 30% in a classic year and in 2004 it is up to 38%. Cabernet Franc is 22% in this example and Petit Verdot 5%. What we found with the 2007 was a far fuller bouquet "sublime " was one comment. Oak was more evident. While the characteristics of the earlier wines were less intense what we noticed was sweet fruit and hints of mocha. We were delighted. The wine list indicates this is £17.50 a bottle.

2004 proved to be a classic though not from a renowned vintage. We had the vanilla and black fruits of the bouquet followed by a complex and approachable balance of sweetness fruit tannin and a variety of other hints and expressions all with the poise of a wine which is in great  form.

2003 was a hot one and the harvest was early. We assume lots of cabernet sauvignon in the blend. Not much to say about the bouquet although of course fruity then fruit, tannin; quite mellow. Good weight and length in the aftertaste.This was a slightly lighter wine than the year would have suggested.

2002  though not a classic year was a classic win and thought by many to be the wine of the night. Effusive bouquet and full elegant flavours. This wine had lots of vigour but harmonised in a complex delicious whole. A real claret exclaimed our guest. Then the 2000, the last wine. We wondered if the variety and fun of the evening might blunt our appreciation of a more mature wine and therefore something more restrained. This is another classic year and the bouquet was as one hoped. Possibly there was a hint of disappointment at a wine that was judged on its own, magnificent, but after so much else, possibly too restrained .

And our conclusions? The members thought the concept of the evening excellent. They had volunteered that they had learnt a lot. They were more interested in Claret. Finally they were inclined to follow a  wine regardless of the reputation of a particular harvest. The terroir and the technique of the wine maker seemed the most important factors.