Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Chateau Larose Trintaudon, 1990
Larose Trintaudon is interesting. With 175 hectares, it produces huge amounts of wine (800,000 to 1 million bottles annually), and they use machines to pick the grapes. It has an Haut Medoc appellation, and uses about 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the remaining 5% is Cabernet Franc.
I used to buy several bottles of Larose Trintaudon every year, and I found a bottle of the 1990 in my cellar. Although I know that it is not a good idea to hang on to anything except the best wines, and this wine is, after all, a $10 bottle of wine, tonight's experience made me question that wisdom.
What a delight this wine was! It was complex; you could still taste the tannins, and there was the distinctive signature taste of Cabernet Sauvignon fruit. The finish was amazing, very very long. Then there was the bouquet; tobacco, smoke, and there was still the fresh vanilla scent and taste of the oak. I am so glad I kept my Larose Trintaudon for so long and I wish I still had some left.
But the lesson here for me is not to be afraid to keep even some medium priced wines for a long time. If you keep them well, you discover some complexity that is not there when they are young. Bordeaux is my favorite of all wines, and it seems that they really do well.
My oldest wines are probably from Chateau Musar, the Lebanese phenomenon. I will be drinking some of these over the next couple of months hoping they did as well as Larose Trintaudon. (I have about a dozen bottles of Musar going back as far as 1985.)
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