Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

2008 Bordeaux Blind Tasting

A small selection of Bordeaux wines from the challenging 2008 vintage, tasted blind.

This selection of wines shows how wide the range of prices, and quality is in 2008, and frankly how price does not guarantee that quality. For example Cantenac was hit by significant hail in 2008, and the wines is frankly not worth buying while ont he other hand Ch. Potensac has produced an absolutely delicious wine that Bordeaux lovers will rejoice over. Take your pick at about $30!

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Château Leoville Barton St. Julien (2008)
Comments: Spicy and oaky on the nose with graphite and dried herbs layered over hard, fresh black currant fruit. Dry, hard and austere in the mouth. There’s some nuanced blackberry fruit on the palate and this feels a little extracted but it’s well balanced with great length. Tannic and hard, this is too lean to be from california. I bet it’s Bordeaux. Not a great vintage but a very well made wine for the cellar. A vin de garde. 90pts
Average price: $64.10 from 10 stores
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2 Duluc de Branaire-Ducru Red Bordeaux Blend St. Julien (2008)
Comments: Moist soil rich in clay greets the nose along with notes of charry wood, cinnamon, and beefy. This is a bit sweet and soft in the mouth with a hard currant, candied fruit edge that’s a touch diffuse but really quite balanced with nice inner mouth tension and a seductive feel. The finish shows a touch darker with a lovely black cherry finale. 90pts
Average price: $570.34 from 6 stores
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3 Potensac X Owc (2008)
Comments: A bit astringent on the nose with notes of iron and toasted oak accenting the slightly roasted black cherry fruit. Soft and silky on entry this shows of some crisp tannins with a savory edged core of bitter cherry fruit. There’s good complexity here and the fruit powers right through the bright finish. Nice depth and complexity, certainly not the best wine here but one that is ready and delicious. 88pts
Average price: $30.89 from 11 stores
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4 Château Carbonnieux Red Bordeaux Blend Pessac-Léognan (2008)
Comments: Red and fruity on the nose with a nice leafy Cabernet Franc edge that shows sweet herbs, pipe tobacco and some astringent soil tones. A touch sweet early on the palate, with red plummy fruit that is soft and front loaded leading to a crisp, fairly tannic finish of decent length with a red fruity finale 88pts
Average price: $34.31 from 2 stores
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5 Château Lagrange St. Julien les Fiefs de Lagrange (2008)
Comments: Classic Cabernet nose full of weedy notes, crisp and focused with red and black currant fruit over an oaky base. On the palate this comes of as rich and soft, front loaded with fruit then a bit chunky and simple with nice red currant fruit supported by soft tannins and bright acids but little complexity and considering how open this is little chance to develop much. 86pts
Average price: $51.42 from 9 stores
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6 La Dame de Montrose (2008)
Comments: Herbal on the nose with a joyfully slightly under-ripe array of savory aromatics such as olive and tomato leaf accenting the core of light, elegant fruit. On the palate this was open, fruity, soft and quite simple. 85pts
Average price: $43.99 from 117 stores
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Comments: Fruity on the nose with a nice underlay of toasty oak spice and vanilla and top notes of braised herbs, licorice and violets. This is smooth and supple in the mouth with an initial rush of smoky, toasty and scorched earth inner-mouth perfumes. Perhaps a bit on the tight side, this shows a fairly heavy if balanced load of load tannins in the mouth along with dark pencil lead and toast flavors over some grape, with red currants and fresh purple and blue fruits. The finish is cut short by the tannins. This has some of the hardness and underlying unyielding nature of old school winemaking. I bet this gets better with 2-5 years in the cellar. Needs an aggressive steak for dinner tonight. 90pts
Average price: $22.99 from 178 stores
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8 Cantemerle Haut Medoc Red Blend (2008)
Comments: Oaky on the nose with toasty wood spice over a shallow and lean core of astringent fruit. Soft and anonymous in the mouth, showing a modicum of mineral flavors and a hint of cherry fruit but this is short, charmless and already drying out. 78pts
Average price: $36.69 from 10 stores
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