As I’ve become increasingly interested in wine, I’ve been bitten by the “birth year wine” bug. Because my non-wino parents didn’t have the foresight to predict my fascination with wine, I’m not one of the lucky few who inherited a stash of 1983 Lafite. So, in anticipation of my birthday, I did some research to determine which region of the world to turn to for a bottle of 1983 juice. I eventually settled on Bordeaux, as my experience with aged wine is limited and I wanted something reliable. The product of a good but not great vintage in Bordeaux, I figured a bottle of 1983 Chateau Clinet would be solid, if not spectacular while not breaking the bank. I was right.
Upon opening, I was surprised to find quite a bit of alcohol on the nose, somewhat masking the undercurrent of classic aged Bordeaux. In the mouth, the wine was dominated by burnt toast and smoked meat. It was much more primal and tannic than anticipated, especially given the notes on Cellar Tracker indicating the wine would be over the hill. Far from it, in my opinion.
Fast forward 30 minutes, and bright red fruits are prevalent, with an enjoyable earthy finish that lasts 30+ seconds. At this point I’m lamenting the fact that I didn’t decant more of this as I’d already poured tastes for my family.
Ninety minutes in and the tart fruit is still present but the secondary characteristics of rocks and clay are really emerging as the dominant trait. This is clearly a mature wine, with earthy notes and toasted caramel overshadowing the fruit.
I’d have liked to follow this bottle a bit further but my family drank it down. While I wasn’t blown away by the bottle, and I wouldn’t buy another at the price I paid, it was fun addition to a fantastic birthday dinner. Next year I’ll get more adventurous with my selection! Any suggestions?