Icon wines at The Sampler, including Latour 82, La Chapelle 78 and Ygay 59

bordeaux burgundy northern rhone rioja

Icon wines at The Sampler, including Latour 82, La Chapelle 78 and Ygay 59


Each year The Sampler put some high-end ‘icon’ wines on their enomatic machines. It’s a real highlight tasting through them, and this year was no exception. The highlights included the almost perfect Latour 1982 and the thrilling La Chapelle 1978.

Domaine de la Romanée Conti Richebourg 1995 Burgundy, France
Beautifully aromatic with cherries, plums and fine spicies. Delicate palate with fine hints of iodine, a bit of blood and a touch of undergrowth. Lovely finesse here. Expressive with a long, warm finish. It manages to be mature yet still fresh at the same time. 96/100 (£50 a sample)

Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay 1959 Rioja, Spain
Sweet and seductive with lovely rounded berry fruits. Smooth and pure. Floral with a hint of meatiness and lovely elegance on the palate, with a touch of citrus peel freshness and fine cherry fruit. Such elegance here, with beautiful finesse. Very fine and detailed with good acidity. 97/100 (£19 a sample)

Château Lafite Rothschild 1929 Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Very distinctive nose has a green herby edge and some notes of undergrowth, malt and spice. Very green on the palate but still alive. Very distinctive with high acidity. Of intellectual interest but not all that pleasurable. 88/100 (£87.50 a sample)

Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle 1969 Northern Rhône, France
Beautiful fresh, floral aromatics. Meaty, fresh, spicy and fine with lovely cherries and a bit of herbiness. Hints of blood and rubber, as well as some aniseed. Lovely, with real freshness and detail. Lots of life left in this wine. 95/100 (£37.50 per sample)

Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle 1978 Northern Rhône, France
Spicy, peppery, bloody nose is highly aromatic. Still taut and focused. The palate shows amazing elegance and freshness, with lovely power and elegance combined. Cherries, plums, herbs and a bit of warmth, this is linear and focused and just beautiful. 97/100 (£80 per sample)

Château Latour 1982 Pauillac, Bodeaux, France
Such a beautiful nose. Perfumed cherries, blackcurrant, chalk, minerals. The palate is alost perfect: light and expressive, showing elegance yet with good structure beautifully woven into the fine cherry and plum fruit. There’s also a chalky, mineral dimension. Shows almost perfect harmony, with the meeting of youth and maturity in a beautiful place. Still lots of fruit but developing nicely. No hurry to drink this. 98/100 (£104.75 per sample)

Sassicaia 1990 Tuscany, Italy
Minty blackcurrant fruit nose. Dense, tarry and spicy with some real grip and ripe black fruits dominating the palate. Still quite youthful with some warmth to the fruit. Seductive. 93/100 (£13 per sample)

Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Port 1978 Douro, Portugal
Very cloudy. Beautifully warm, rich, spicy and elegant. Concentrated and rich with a seamless beauty to it . Elegant and concentrated with some mintiness to the fruit. Hamonious, rich and very sweet. 96/100 (£42.50 per sample)

See also: last year’s Sampler icons, and also the 2014 icons (with links to previous years)

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