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1989 Dauphin Cave du, Bonnes-MaresFeb. 2012
The second bottle from this ‘cache’. The nose is completely lovely; a reasonabe depth but sweet and understatedly creamy. The fruit doesn’t (at least to start with) show any of the roasted character I noted with bottle 1. Silky and clean, the last impression is a little astringency though not much obvious tannin to support that. Mineral and with good acidity – the mouthwatering flavour lasts long in the mouth but always majoring on the mineral. Not super-intense, but certainly enjoyable.
1989 Dauphin Cave du, Bonnes-MaresNov. 2011
Medium colour. There is a hint of roasted to the fruit but generally this is not so bad, rounded with a faint pot-pourri note. The fruit is ripe enough and actually shows a good mineral tension; not the last word in intensity, but not bad either. The acidity is just fine and you can still get a few grains of tannin too. Probably not an exceptional Bonnes-Mares, but a nice enough bottle.
1996 Ponnelle Pierre, Bonnes-MaresJun. 2011
Medium plus core of relatively young looking colour. The aromas are deep, a little raisined plus soil and a low level forest-floor note. Full, slightly fat, silky-smooth texture – roll the wine around in your mouth and you will eventually feel some tannin which delivers a lick of bitter-chocolate flavour in the finish – a hint of astringency too. The acidity starts in a very understated way, but peaks in the mid-palate, decaying in tandem with the high-toned flavour. On the first day this wine is certainly flirting with me, but behind the smile is a strict upbringing – I don’t expect a virtuoso performance before it’s twenty-one – but it has potential! Day two and this is very composed and chic; a strong mineral note reminds that it comes from the soil – despite being dressed by Chanel – super.
2005 Comte Georges de Vogüé, Bonnes-MaresMay. 2011
Popped and poured. Medium-plus colour. The nose has a hint of Bordeaux about it with a slightly mineral, cigar-box aroma; but slowly it releases a blend of violet flowers and flashes of gorgeously sexy red and blackberry fruit. In the mouth this has a very understated layer of velvety tannin; otherwise it is immaculately smooth and polished, slightly linear and shows a wonderful mid-palate intensity. The flavour in the finish is dark and concentrated, reminding me again of that half mineral – half cigar-box impression. the flavour easily hangs on for over a minute. Day two the last half a glass is very tight – the natural order is restored.
2008 Comte Georges de Vogüé, Bonnes-MaresMar. 2011
We really have the juice of the fruit here says François Millet. Here is a deep, concentrated core of darker-red fruit – the nose seems almost ‘smooth’. The smell of the last drops in the glass are super-gorgeous. A little more structure but it’s super-fine and concentrated. A beautiful core of fruit that goes long into the finish.
2008 Vougeraie, Bonnes-MaresMar. 2011
A very wide panorama of a nose, layers of aroma too with a creamy smoke. Full in the mouth, concentrated yet the intensity builds more, releasing another wave of fruit. Seems a slightly stony flavour and it’s very, very long!
2009 Vougeraie, Bonnes-MaresMar. 2011
This is high-toned and very pretty adding red fruit and the faintest of vanilla. Round and interesting this wine just grows in flavour and already shows quite some complexity. A wine to contemplate…
1986 Fougeray de Beauclair, Bonnes-MaresJul. 2010
The nose doesn’t offer the instant ‘to die for’ gratification of the Cotetidot 86 Clos de Vougeot, but it also far from disappointing; there’s a savoury, slightly saline impression that I assume has its roots in oak – although it’s a little tight, it’s also quite inviting. Given time the nose develops a more earthy depth. Silky, with grand-cru fat, this shows a little of that saline element in the flavour too, coupled to slightly oaky bitterness. The mid-palate just bursts forward with minerality and a selection of dried fruits; sweet currant and fig flavours stain your palate, eventually gaining a faint creaminess. The first of these 86s where I’m not delaying the next pour!
1996 Castagnier Guy, Bonnes-MaresMar. 2010
Medium, medium-plus ruby-red colour. The nose is quite mineral, edged with macerating dark fruits and the faintest hint of brett – at this level it’s quite nice. There is still a velvet texture to the (now) medium tannins, and despite its age there is still more than enough fruit extract to balance the acid-led mid-palate flavour fireworks. It’s an impressive burst of power that leads you, mouth watering, into a very good finish. Perhaps there’s another 4 or 5 years left for absolute maturity, but this is very drinkable today, very drinkable…
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