The main event at the annual tasting organized by a dear friend in Atlanta was a blind horizontal tasting of the 1982 Bordeaux vintage in three flights. I offer these notes in the order in which they were tasted. I was also fortunate to be present in 2012 for a tasting of the same vintage drawn from the same collection, tasted in the same apartment, with most of the same tasters. For some reason, I did not rate them then, although I did after this most recent tasting. The line-up was not exactly the same in 2012, but I include those notes by way of comparison.
Haut-Médoc 1982, Château La Lagune
Mature and starting to fade, this shows eucalyptus, cedar and cigar leaf on the nose along with a bit of cinnamon spice. The tannins are soft and the finish is somewhat tart. Time to drink. ** In Atlanta with friends, March 2017
Saint-Julien 1982, Château Léoville-Poyferré
Thoroughly enjoyable and still fairly youthful, this shows black plum aromas accented with a hints of ground coffee, truffle and a hint of brett that will delight some and dismay others. The texture is round and soft on the palate, and the finish lingers pleasantly at the end. **** In Atlanta with friends, March 2017
Saint-Julien 1982, Château Gruaud-Larose
Tasted blind, this was the wine of the first flight for me. At this point it is open and drinking well but not overly so, and it is far from being in decline. To my taste, this wine is a perfect example of a great claret from a great vintage, drinking at its peak. It shows ripe notes of currant, peppery spice and cigar box, with a silky texture and enough body and structure to support the wine but no astringency or hardness at all. Marvelous. ***** In Atlanta with friends, March 2017
From 2012: The ’82 Gruaud-Larose shows a bright cherry fruit fruit up front with a cedary edge and a hint of tobacco or cigar leaf. On the palate the wine is still tannic and fairly dense. Lacking perhaps a bit of the generosity of the other ‘82s, this is still classic claret, drinking beautifully that will hold for years. With friends in Atlanta, March 2012