After two weeks of intensive visits and tastings in Bordeaux with my colleague James Molesworth, I rendezvoused with Sara at the home of an old vintner friend in Entre-Deux-Mers for some quiet time in the country.
We had Sunday lunch at home with Philippe and his daughter, Louise, and it was a true family occasion. We ate a blanquette de veau that Philippe’s mother had cooked and left for us, and he opened a 1990 Château Lynch-Bages that his late father had given him several years earlier. We sat in his cozy dining room overlooking vineyards he has tended for nearly 30 years, just down the hill from the château where his grandfather lived. We reminisced about the time Sara and I had lived nearby, back in the 1980s, and all the good times and sad times that had flowed by us since then.
The wine somehow bound everything together—the food, the moment, the friendship. It was maturing but still combined power and grace, with ethereal aromas of dried fruits, forest underbrush and exotic spices. It supported the rich veal stew and mingled with the wood smoke from the fire of burning vines. It evoked people and places we shared and loved, and created its own memory for us to carry forward into the future. Though rating the wine seems superfluous given the context, as a critic, I scored it 96 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review and check the current auction price for Château Lynch-Bages Pauillac 1990 (94 points, $43 on release).
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Bordeaux reds.