By Chateau Lascombes
1997 Lascombes from Chateau Lascombes, Margaux, Bordeaux
The arresting 1997 Lascombes from Chateau Lascombes is an embodiment of the Margaux region's distinct savoir-faire; a year renowned for challenges yet one that revealed the tenacity of skilled vintners. It was a season that queried the adaptability of Bordeaux's vineyards, where only the most committed chateaux crafted noteworthy wines. Chateau Lascombes emerged as a commendable interpreter of this complex harvest.
A Vintage of Resilience and Mastery
Against the vagaries of the 1997 climate, Chateau Lascombes mustered a meritorious composition. Capricious weather patterns across Bordeaux meant this vintage never shouted with the intensity or structure observed in more lauded years. However, it is within these perturbations that the 1997 Lascombes sings its unique tune - expressing a gentler side of Margaux with finesse.
Complexity Amidst Elegance
In the glass, the wine conveys a decline towards maturity marginally quicker than more heralded vintages. Yet, it possesses an affable complexity; herbaceous aromas mingle with hints of ripe berries and subtle earthiness – characteristics that tantalise the sophisticated palate. With an elegantly tannic backbone, it delivers an epilogue that continues to resonate on the finish – an unexpected gift from an unpredictable year.
Savouring History: A Thoughtful Investment
The 1997 Lascombes persists as a discreet yet savvy acquisition for fine wine investors. Understandably overshadowed by its more robust successors, this vintage offers intriguing potential for those appreciative of subtler nuances offered by matured Margaux wines. As it graces its drinking plateau, each bottle savoured recalls the resilience required in winemaking and in wise investing - a memento from nature reminding us of its ebb and flow.
In conclusion, approaching two decades on, the 1997 Lascombes from Chateau Lascombes shows that even in less celebrated years, adept artisans can create liquid poetry worthy of both connoisseurship and investment.
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Scores and tasting notes
Red ruby core. Looks rather dilute and aged. Spicy, herbaceous palate, but reasonably well-balanced though forward. Simple with no frills. Tasted April 1999.
Neal Martin - Wine Advocate - Wine Journal
The 1997 Lascombes is made in an up-front, light to medium-bodied, soft style, but at present the oak seems excessive for the moderate quantities of fruit. It will need to be drunk during its first 7-8 years of life. (No tasting note was provided in Issue 128. We have instead included the text of the tasting note from Issue 122)
Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 20 April 2000