A mini-vertical of stalwart Pauillac Fifth Growth Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, at prime drinking age.

1995 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste.  Permit me a brief anecdote on this particular bottle please.  Purchased en primeur when I was still a starving student, for the then-princely sum of $27, this old fellow, my last of four, has followed me around the world for all these 23 years.  Acquiring a bottle today would set one back in the range of $125.  Oho! – a tidy 500% return on the initial investment! one is tempted to say.  And yet, $125 means a great deal less to me today than $27 did 24 years ago.  So a bit of a false economy maybe.  Yet, the fill on this baby was still well into the neck and I know precisely where it has lain every day of its life.  So I treasure it somewhat irrationally.  But now that I only have to drink a glass of it rather than sacrificing the old soldier for good, needle away!

So, the wine.  Opaque dark ruby, hardly showing a sign of age (and neither are the other two).  Leafy, foresty, lead pencil nose.  Soft, dark profile in the mouth, hint of cassis which is the orgasmotron of Cabernet Sauvignon here.  Lovely rich texture.  Not at all decrepit.  The tannins are almost fully resolved and this is not going to improve but it’s drinking great today.

This will be a good test for how the wine lives after being Coravined.  Stay tuned.

2000 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste.  Clean, pure style, quiet at first but opening with air to plum and tea.  Still has good tannins, no hurry at all on this one.  Civilised, serious style.  I would decant a couple of hours if popping an actual cork (ha!). 

2003 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste.  Ripe cherry, tobacco, dusty nose, a little wild, very nice.  In the mouth rich and expressive.  It has acidity and drinks really well actually.  It isn’t pure and suave like the 95 or 2000, more rough around the edges but it’s more flamboyant and definitely has held its fruit longer.  A bit surprising for the canicule vintage, which Uncle Bob rated significantly below the other two (95, 93+, and 88 for the three vintages so far as I can see).  Nice showing, and really no hurry on this bottle.

I have to vote for the 1995 as my fave, though maybe I’m biased given the financial sacrifice.  The 2000 may nose ahead but at this age one has to wonder whether a wine can actually improve.  Nice wines all.