Several thoughts went through my mind following this extensive tasting of more than 20 vintages of this Château:
1/ At what temperature were these wines stored? I suspect that the older vintages were stored in a non temperature controlled cellar, hot in the Summer, cold in Winter, until the new cellar was constructed.
2/ Corks older than 20 years which can properly fulfill their purpose is like playing the lottery.
3/ The taste of purity. A neat harvest and clean grapes have been a major improvement in today’s wines.
4/ Old barrels were a normal practice, with rotations on 3/4/5 vintages.
5/ Our professional taste doesn’t accept anymore defects which some amateurs consider as quality in old wines (smells of mushrooms, cellar, wet earth, straw).
6/ Will our wines hold up to the test of time? And will they go through tough tastings by demanding young enthusiasts 30 years from now?
I love this picture posted on François Mauss blog (from the Grand Jury Européen)