What a special wine for a very special occasion! 1977 was the birth year of many a friend of mine being that I was also born in that year. But in this year 2009 it was extra special and important for someone in particular. 1977 was the birth year of one of my new sister’s, Chris. Her father John, and my father in-law, saved a bottle of 1977 Chateau Lafite for his daughter's wedding day, almost 30 years later on April 18, 2009. (Bordeaux wines are released about 2-3 years after the vintage date to allow for barrel and bottle aging).
I did not score this wine, because honestly I really don't think it matters (but it would for sure be well north of 90 points). Many people never get the chance to drink an older wine of this pedigree, and to have had two in less than one year I feel truly blessed.
1977 Lafite was one of the oldest wines I have ever tasted and one of the best, after of course the 1980 that I shared with my wife on our wedding day last year. Compliments to the father of the brides John - this is such a wonderful tradition that some of my friends and I for certain will continue. Funny enough at this rate if our children are born in a stellar vintage they may be drinking Smith Haut-Lafite (SHL) instead of Lafite.
The bride and groom were gracious enough to allow us a few sips. It was complete from start to finish, especially the deeply fragrant nose! This wine is truly bullet-proof – 32 years later and this wine was still magically fragrant in the bouquet and amazing on the palate.
Color: Brick red edges with a surprisingly more youthful than expected vibrant red outer center, slightly dark maroon core. Clean, even through a little bit of cork debris.
Nose: Absolutely the best nose on an older wine that I have ever had. Very complex and layered. Very fragrant, it reminded me of how pretty a Burgundy is, but unmistakably Bordeaux. Sandalwood, some crushed dry rose petals, some of that classic smoky oak, cassis & coffee bean but more subtle.
Palate: Classic older style flavors of cassis, dried cherry, some oak and old leather all haunted by the ever present taste of fall leaves that haunt many old wines aged well. You have to understand older wines, they have a few very distinct flavors and aromas, one being the smell of fall, the leaves, the cooler air, etc...this is a beautiful trait and very prone to older wines made from Bordeaux varieties.
Congratulations and thank you Chris & Jeff!