Finally some well balanced and luscious Right Bank wines! While tasting some back vintage wines at a negociant house – I had the opportunity to taste some of the upper echelon St. Emilion wines and I was surprised. These wines were very well balanced. While they still had the concentration, alcohol levels, and tannin characteristic of the vintage – the wines showed surprising finesse. Ch. Troplong Mondot had an intense and beautiful nose of soft and seductive fruit with a luscious mouth fell and a long, long finish. In good years I always find this wine to be very sensual. Ch. Pavie was also very good but in a big and burly style. It had overripe candied fruit, huge tannins, and massive acidity – but I liked it – and I am sure it will age well. Ch. Canon was more restrained and elegant and was simply delicious. Ch. Figeac was also very good – with a much lighter body than the other wines – it seems to have been made in a more classic style. I felt that Ch. Monbousquet was overripe and had a shorter finish than I expected.
The star of the tasting was a bottle of 1973 Ch. de la Dauphine. This wine is not a blockbuster or a superstar. It is simply a very mature wine that is holding up surprisingly well. The 1973 vintage was not a particularly strong vintage and so the condition of this wine was astonishing. It was definitely showing signs of its age. It was very dark brown – almost caramel in colour and almost completely transparent. The nose was intense with classic old Bordeaux aromas of earth, mushrooms, and a hint of fruit and vanilla. On the palette, it had a medium body with refreshing acidity and a surprising amount of fruit and sweetness left. The acidity kept it refreshing. The best part about this wine is that it is not expensive. It will retail in BC at a very reasonably price. I will be making an offer of very old vintages of Ch. de la Dauphine when I return to BC.