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May 2010 Neal Martin 93+ Drink N/A $226-$718
Tasted from an Imperiale at the Claret Club -85 Dinner at -The Square-. Interesting this: one of the best -85s but rendered far more reticent and backward in this large Imperiale format. It does have a gorgeous nose if you can wait for an hour and even so, much more generous and expressive than Lafite -85. Touches of pencil box, redcurrant and black truffle here. The palate is tannic, full-bodied and masculine, easing up with aeration, beautifully poised with a touch of black tea and tobacco towards the finish. This seems to be 10-years behind the regular bottle format! Tasted December 2009.
Sep 2009 Neal Martin 94 Drink N/A $226-$718
Tasted at Roberson’s in London. This bottle was not quite as spellbinding as the one opened with Bob last year but it remains a sublime Claret. The nose here has more graphite/pencil box signature, wonderful definition, the cigar box aromas then intensifying with aeration with red-berried fruit, bergamot and redcurrant. The palate is imbued with wonderful poise and elegance, not a powerful or tannic Mouton like the ’86, but still very harmonious and exuding freshness from start until finish with hints of tobacco and a hint of Lapsang Souchong lacing aftertaste. Drinking perfectly now. Tasted April 2009.