On my last day in Hong Kong, I went to Peter Lam’s office overlooking the harbor in the center of the city, and he laid on a tiny blind vertical of 1975 Pomerols with lunch. The 1975 is a forgotten and often maligned vintage despite that it made some excellent wines on the Right Bank. The problem with the year is that it made very tannic wines and many of the Left Bank wines that rely mostly on Cabernet Sauvignon have always been so tannic that they have now dried out. The softer Merlot-based reds such as Pomerol, however, continue to please.
Anyway, he poured four legends including Lafleur, L’Evangile, Pétrus, and Trotanoy. We were all correct in guessing the vintage, due to the oldness and juicy firm tannins in the wines. The big-time collectors in Hong Kong are big fans of 1975 Pomerol. In fact, I would guess that more great Pomerol is consumed in Hong Kong than anywhere else in the world at the moment.
We also guessed the four wines right, but I got the order slightly wrong, as did wine merchant Thomas Bohrer, who was sitting next to me. The other guest, a well-known local wine collector, got them all right. Before revealing the names of the wines, Peter took a vote and we all agreed that the third wine was clearly the best, but the fourth was also superior to the other two. The top wine? Pétrus. It was followed by Trot.
Here are my tasting notes:
1975 Pétrus. This shows impressive aromas of blackberry, coffee and sweet chocolate with hints of tarragon. It’s full-bodied with velvety tannins and a long, long finish. Subtle yet thick and powerful. I have had this numerous times in the last year, and it continues to be superb with a long life ahead of it. 95 points, non-blind.
1975 Trotanoy: I haven’t seen a bottle of Trot from this year in a while but this bottle is wonderful, subtle and complex with coffee, chocolate and hints of olives and earth on the nose and palate. It’s full and round with a smooth mouthfeel. I almost preferred it to the Pétrus, but then it faded a little after about an hour in the glass. 93, non-blind.
1975 L’Evangile: I had this at Peter’s birthday a few days before. The wine started out with a slightly funky, musty nose but after about 30 minutes in the glass it developed beautiful aromas of licorice, berry and coffee. It was full, round and balanced with lots of fruit and soft tannins. 92, non-blind.
1975 Lafleur: I have had better bottles than this. It was a bit murky in the decanter, which didn’t help. Lovely aromas of sweet plum, berry, tea and tarragon follow through to a full body, with soft and velvety tannins. But a bit acidic. 91, non-blind.
Interestingly, I also had a 1975 Château Nenin at dinner the night before the lunch and it was equally outstanding. I have drunk a lot of this wine over the years and it always pleases. Here is my note from the dinner:
1975 Nenin: Aromas of black truffles, blackberries and plums with just a hint of flowers. Full and velvety with a delicious finish. Falls away on the palate after about 30 minutes. Drink up. 90, non-blind.
David A Zajac — August 16, 2007 4:39pm ET
Quek Li Fei — Singapore — August 16, 2007 11:01pm ET
Mark Antonio — Tokyo — August 17, 2007 12:01am ET
Stephen Towler — Dubai — August 17, 2007 2:55am ET
Bobby Chandra — London — August 17, 2007 3:00am ET
Peter Chang — Hong Kong — August 17, 2007 5:52am ET
James Suckling — — August 17, 2007 3:49pm ET
Russell Quong — Sunnyvale, CA — August 20, 2007 1:35am ET
James Suckling — — August 20, 2007 3:12am ET
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