Robert Parker 97
Tasted blind at the chateau, it is always a privilege to taste a legend with perfect provenance, although I could not bring myself to describe it as a perfect wine. But is does possess and ethereal bouquet that has laser-like focus: notes of pencil lead, mint, blackberry and limestone. Intriguingly there is a touch of menthol that emerges with aeration, which reminded me of the ’45. The palate has an otherworldly intensity to it with vibrant black fruit, an arching framework of tannins, brilliant minerality and sense of precision on the finish that is captivating. It has become more elegant in recent years, perhaps three-quarters of the way through its drinking plateau. But few wines have a drinking plateau as long as this one. Tasted June 2011.
The 1961 Latour is served blind against the Palmer and it comes off second best on this occasion. But that should not take anything away from a quite stupendous Pauillac. Intense black fruit laced with graphite and crushed stone, it is deeply impressive but perhaps lacks a warm personality compared to the Margaux. The palate is medium-bodied with intense black fruit laced with graphite and tobacco, gradually building in the glass towards its structure and persistent finish. Layers of black fruit coat the mouth and there is a slight trace of seaweed, Japanese nori, on the aftertaste. Magnificent. Tasted at the 1961 dinner Chairman Miaow’s in Hong Kong.
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2050
Amazing deep crimson – quite staggering depth of colour. This particular bottle seemed even more youthful than either of those I have been lucky enough to taste so far this year. So thick and dense and concentrated, but unctuous too. Bone dry on the finish and more potential than actuality for the moment. I can hardly believe the drinking dates I am suggesting for this wine!
Anticipated maturity: 2016-2040