Assortment (L&W), Grand Cru, DRC

Note:

RC – Vibrant, pure, spicy, distinctly floral and unusually high-toned for the vintage with big, powerful and concentrated almost to the point of painful intensity with its super ripe, palate staining flavors yet this remains regal, almost aloof and quite reserved on the hugely long finish. The focus is unbelievable and while it`s hard to speak of subtle power, one can sense the vibrancy and depths of reserve that are still only hinted at now even eight years after the vintage. As seductive as the nose is and as awe-inspiring as the flavors are, the finish lasts literally for minutes, indeed I could still taste it the next day and I`ve noticed that this happens every time I am fortunate to have the `99. And, difficult as it is to believe, I`m beginning to think that my score is conservative. LT – Everything that I saw from cask made it into bottle intact and words remain inadequate to describe just how good this wine is as the `99 is a classic La Tâche in every respect with its incredibly pure, marvelously intense oriental spice box nose that merges seamlessly into big, rich and enveloping flavors of hoisin and pure pinot extract of indescribable complexity and length. The big tannins are completely wrapped in velvet and the finish simply does not quit. This is destined to become one of the all-time great vintages of La Tâche and even at 98 points, it`s clear that I was too conservative and thus I am raising my score accordingly. Moreover, among the many bottles that I have been blessed to have tried, I have never had a bottle that was anything less than sensational. However, note that the `99 LT is going to be a long-distance runner so a strategy of cellar and forget is strongly advised, at least for the next decade or so. Multiple, and consistent, notes. Ric – I was blown away by the 1999 Richebourg, an extraordinary, dense ruby/purple-colored offering. It boasts a magnificent perfume of framboise, blackberries, and currants as well as a sweet, buttery woody component underlying black and red fruit flavors kissed by toasty oak. In the mouth, gamy, fleshy characteristics intertwined with violets, licorice, and black fruits is liqueur-like. Ripe, rich, and dense, with spectacular purity and equilibrium, this mind-boggling effort should be at its peak in 2-4 years, and last for 15-20. RSV – A slightly green note is buried beneath the remarkably dense aromas of classic Vosne spice and crushed blackberries, full-bodied, very sappy flavors with a terrific inner core of complexity and still more spice. The purity of extract displayed here is mind bending and the overall harmony of expression is something to see. This remains quite backwards and will require plenty of patience. Tasted: Apr 01, 2005 Drink: try from 2013+. GE – I have now tasted the `99 GE some seven times since my original review in Issue 5 and it continues to improve, indeed to the point that I have raised my score modestly. There is still a touch of new oak framing the penetrating red and blackberry fruits, vanilla and oriental spice aromas and it continues onto the beautifully detailed and quite robust flavors that deliver excellent precision. This is a big wine with richness, superb length and impressive refinement and it`s clear that this will live for decades. In sum, this is very classy juice. ECH – This beautiful effort is evolving glacially with its ripe but still exceptionally fresh nose of blackberries, plum oriental spice and soft earth notes. There is excellent phenolic maturity to the equally ripe, rich and relatively supple medium-bodied flavors that are still underpinned by notably firm tannins and really lovely acid/fruit balance on the beautifully long finish. This is still tight but not hard and there is good vigor, indeed even force behind this wine. The `99 is one of the better DRC Echézeaux in a long time and while it could be drunk now with pleasure I will continue to cellar my few bottles for another 4 to 7 years though I underscore that it will live effortlessly for years. Tasted several times recently with consistent notes. Drink 2021+