Aromatically closer to the style of the Richebourg than the Vivant, but right from the start it has focus and an extra and deeper register if not the anticipated spice-box. The flavour profile is riper/sweeter than the last wines – closer to the Echézeaux – but the there is a clear and distinct extra length. Currently this is at the subtle end of the traditional La Tâche continuum – it’s far from a blockbuster, but it certainly edges the Richebourg for the most complete wine so far.
Yield 26.35 hl/ha – or 1,432 cases. I spent 40 minutes with this wine and despite how impressive it was – I didn’t seem to find too much to write! The nose starts slightly understated – hints of cedar and plenty of spicy interest. Slowly it becomes smoother and wider with faint caramel and coffee, eventually showcasing nice precise red fruits. Here is yet another character – more forward and ebullient. Super length with plenty of attack.
The nose starts in a similar vein to that of the GE; exciting, deep, musky, before broading to an even wider panorama of powdery red fruit aromas. Mouthfilling and concentrated. There is an easily preceptible extra density to this wine. The marvellous finish is easily a match for the GE, and overall, this is the first wine that manages to better it. Superb.
Medium colour. The nose starts rather closed vs the other wines, taking rather a while to develop – ends up like a less intense, perhaps ‘junior’ 1978 – no bad thing! The palate is less explosive than most of the others, but the intensity still grows and grows in your mouth. Perfect texture and lovely acidity. It has everything that the other wines have, but on a slightly lower register – perhaps it’s starting to fade – it is, however, a beautiful thing.
What a wine! It’s actually a little deeper in colour than all the preceding wines – until you reach the 1990. The sweet nose has truffles and subtle rose petals, slowly expanding to provide a wonderful panorama of notes. Again beautiful texture and volume in the mouth, there’s even still a bite of tannin in the finish. Once again a wine that builds and builds in the mouth – Bravo. On this showing as good as the 1978 even if the 78 has a little more aromatic intensity.
Already lost much of its youthful colour, just a trace of cherry still at the rim compliments a core of medium-plus ruby. Starts with a blast of fruit, becomes mute for a while, then starts to show its wares, complex fruit laced with spice notes that you really only get with La Tâche – almost ginger cake – just a trace of oak toast and smoky stems in the mix too. There’s an understated entry into this wine before a fabulous burst of fruit rushes you from the mid-palate into the finish. The soft tannins are buried and the acidity is just right. It needs an hour from opening to blossom, but this was a stellar performance for such a baby.
A wine that set the tone (hue) for the colour of the other wines – despite it’s relative youth, this wine was an old mahogany colour of medium-plus depth. On opening, this wine showed mushroom, forest-floor, inflections of soil, a deep peppery undertone and eventually a baked cherry note. Less round than the 2002 – the acidity sticks out a little. There is good length and weight, but the elements are somewhat disparate. This was actually the only wine that required extended air-time to show its potential. One hour later there was more harmony, less mushroom and a very strong ‘family’ resemblance to the wines that followed it. Don’t be disappointed if you have this wine – I wouldn’t be!
The deepest colour yet – looks quite old though with its mahogany colour and browning rim. The nose is a little gamey and still shows some mushroom – but this time much more subtle – together with high tones and jammy red fruit. Beautiful texture and weight in the mouth. This is the first wine with such volume. There is again a crescendo effect as you savour the wine, the finish being of bitter chocolate coated red fruits. Still a rasp to the tannins and lovely acidity. Very classy.