There are hints of brick orange around the outer edges, but this is still beautifully rich red at the core, and the warmth of the vintage’s sunshine is clear from the first moment. At 34 years of age, the aromatics have almost torrefied, with beautiful burnt caramel notes oozing into rich plum and baked strawberry fruits. Gentle tannins are still holding the fruit unobtrusively but firmly in line. As the wine opens in the glass, the tobacco and cold woodsmoke become more evident, and each time you go back to the glass it gets more and more interesting, extending the conversation and keeping it new. 100 points, Decanter (10/2016).
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most acclaimed appellation, the only one with three Premier Cru properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Latour. These and other Pauillac chateaux produce robust, full-flavored and long-lived red wines made from Cabernet-based blends. Though winemaking techniques and microclimates vary throughout Pauillac, producing some variations in style, classic Pauillac wines have juicy flavours of blackcurrant and cedar, often with coffee, chocolate and graphite notes. Pauillac, part of the Médoc region on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has gravelly and well-drained soils that force vines to grow long and strong roots. Struggling a bit for water, the vines produce grapes with high tannins and concentrated juices. Nearby rivers and the Atlantic Ocean modulate temperatures, preventing the grapes from ripening too quickly. Such grapes make powerful wines that may age and improve for decades. However, in Pauillac, as in other old-world wine regions, some winemakers are working to develop softer red wines that maintain the local wines’ traditional substance and flavours, but are more approachable immediately upon release.