Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

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alan weinberg
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Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#1 Post by alan weinberg » March 15th, 2020, 10:22 am

expectations are sometimes dashed but also sometimes far exceeded. We all know the greatest wines we have ever had, but what is the wine that has most exceeded what you expected?

For me there are two—94 Raveneau Valmur, absolutely spectacular and riveting from a meh vintage and 78 Arnoux Suchots, something that far transcended what I expected and thought possible.

Your greatest surprise?

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#2 Post by B. Buzzini » March 15th, 2020, 10:49 am

Two come to mind...the 1968 Heitz Pinot Chardonnay Lot Z-82...I know i know, I've mentioned this wine on numerous threads, but I really went into the wine just hoping it was drinkable...and it turned out to be probably the top three wine experiences of my life! The 1997 Vogue Amoureuses...was expecting a good wine, especially from the producer and vineyard, but not so much the vintage...and it turned out to be a bottle of PERFECTION!

Two wines I still dream about. [cheers.gif]
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#3 Post by Curtis Chen » March 15th, 2020, 11:00 am

Just happened a month ago, so it immediately comes to mind.

There was a trio of 70s Heitz Martha's Vineyard in the background, but I was COMPLETELY enamored by a 1988 Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow that c fu brought. I literally could not stop drinking it all evening. I'll be dreaming about that wine for a looong time.
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#4 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » March 15th, 2020, 11:05 am

The 2005 Domaine Joguet Les Varenne du Grand Clos Franc de Pied. I’ve gone through quite a bit, and still annoyed that I did not buy more, and when it is “on” it’s the best Loire Cab Franc that I have had. I have had some really bretty bottles too, so buyer beware. Sadly this cuvee is now gone, ended in 2007, the louse won.

Honorable mention to 1986 Chateau Meyney. Easily the greatest QPR that I have ever had, performs at a Classified Growth level. I’ve easily gone through two cases, last just a few months ago.

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#5 Post by Carl Steefel » March 15th, 2020, 11:15 am

I agree on the Joguet. I had this one as well, and it kept getting better and better. I recall the posters on the Wine Disorder Board dissing the 2005 Loire Reds early on, but maybe this was somewhat understandable given its backwards character. But with some bottle age, this really blossomed...

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#6 Post by AndyK » March 15th, 2020, 11:22 am

A couple of bottles that come to mind...

2005 Henri Boillot Corton-Charlemagne -- was expecting it to be very good, but it was phenomenal
1995 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Summa Vineyard -- didn't expect CA Pinot could be that good
1993 Faiveley Latricières-Chambertin -- one of the best Burgundy experiences I've had
2010 Nikolaihof Riesling Reserve Steiner Hund -- doesn't get better for $40
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#7 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » March 15th, 2020, 11:22 am

Interesting Carl, I never saw that thread. I think some producers slayed it in 2005. Joguet was excellent across the board, but will acknowledge that Dioterie is OTT for a Loire Cab Franc (and damn Tasty, too). Rougeard cuvees in 2005 are amazing, just had another Les Poyeaux a couple months ago that ranks up there with one of the best Loire CFs that I’ve ever had. Not touching my Le Bourg yet.

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#8 Post by Mark Thompson » March 15th, 2020, 11:32 am

This is really difficult. 1970 Lanessan maybe?

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#9 Post by Michael S. Monie » March 15th, 2020, 11:46 am

I'm drinking it right now: 2010 Forman Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a wow wine. The last time that I had it a couple of years ago there was a strong cedar component that I found to be distracting. No longer. This has integrated and is at the beginning of what I'm sure will be a long and graceful evolution. It could easily go head to head with a $300 Bordeaux from a strong vintage. Glad I went long.
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#10 Post by patrick c albright » March 15th, 2020, 12:24 pm

1991 Marcel Lapierre Morgon.
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#11 Post by Chris Seiber » March 15th, 2020, 12:38 pm

patrick c albright wrote:
March 15th, 2020, 12:24 pm
1991 Marcel Lapierre Morgon.
Consumed at what age?

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#12 Post by Nick Ellis » March 15th, 2020, 1:07 pm

1988(?) Renaissance Cabernet. I think this wine was made by a cult, and it had a label that said “Cheap grocery store wine”, but it was actually quite good.

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#13 Post by dcornutt » March 15th, 2020, 1:17 pm

1947 Quancard Fleurie
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#14 Post by Doug Lee » March 15th, 2020, 1:20 pm

1993 Adelsheim PN found in a retail shop in August 2018 and consumed a few days later. Delish!

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#15 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » March 15th, 2020, 1:22 pm

Michael S. Monie wrote:
March 15th, 2020, 11:46 am
I'm drinking it right now: 2010 Forman Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a wow wine. The last time that I had it a couple of years ago there was a strong cedar component that I found to be distracting. No longer. This has integrated and is at the beginning of what I'm sure will be a long and graceful evolution. It could easily go head to head with a $300 Bordeaux from a strong vintage. Glad I went long.
I had this back in 2016 and remember thinking at the time that this would be a stunner. Wish I had bought a case at the time!

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#16 Post by Mattstolz » March 15th, 2020, 1:23 pm

this kind of thread is always interesting to me. there are two ways it can go: cheap wine that plays out of its league and great wine that is even better than expected. I would imagine until you've had some of the great wines, that second category is hard to imagine. as an example: it seems crazy to me that Raveneau can outperform expectations. but having never gotten a chance to try a raveneau, who can say?

My biggest ever overperformer was a $30 1983 licht bergweiler auslese opened a year or two ago. I had no idea what to expect, it smelled terrible when I opened it, but it completely opened and changed with a half hour in a decanter to a beautiful wine

the other was a $35 1986 Adelsheim Elizabeth cuvee opened last august.

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#17 Post by F.Daner » March 15th, 2020, 1:29 pm

Tough to pick one. My recent 2010 Forman was one of the best Cab's I've ever had so agree with Michael on this one. An 84 WS Russian River was an absolute revalation in what Cali pinot could become with age. Most recently the 2017 Bedrock Old Vine is an unbelievable value and just an outstanding wine. Load up on this one. You can thank me later :-)
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#18 Post by patrick c albright » March 15th, 2020, 2:00 pm

Chris Seiber wrote:
March 15th, 2020, 12:38 pm
patrick c albright wrote:
March 15th, 2020, 12:24 pm
1991 Marcel Lapierre Morgon.
Consumed at what age?
This past November.
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#19 Post by Ken Strauss » March 15th, 2020, 2:11 pm

AndyK wrote:
March 15th, 2020, 11:22 am
A couple of bottles that come to mind...

2005 Henri Boillot Corton-Charlemagne -- was expecting it to be very good, but it was phenomenal
1995 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Summa Vineyard -- didn't expect CA Pinot could be that good
1993 Faiveley Latricières-Chambertin -- one of the best Burgundy experiences I've had
2010 Nikolaihof Riesling Reserve Steiner Hund -- doesn't get better for $40

Good to hear about the Henri Boillot Corton-Charlemage! I have a couple of bottles.
Good time to open one up.
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#20 Post by Chris Seiber » March 15th, 2020, 4:05 pm

patrick c albright wrote:
March 15th, 2020, 2:00 pm
Chris Seiber wrote:
March 15th, 2020, 12:38 pm
patrick c albright wrote:
March 15th, 2020, 12:24 pm
1991 Marcel Lapierre Morgon.
Consumed at what age?
This past November.
If you don't mind, share some kind of description. I love Lapierre Morgon and have some stowed in deep storage, but I have little idea what to expect down the road. Thanks.

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#21 Post by Joshua Kates » March 15th, 2020, 4:17 pm

The 1993 Ampeau Puligny-Montrachet Les Combottes 1er immediately comes to mind. I opened it a few years back at a Chicago La Paulee and it just stunned everyone there, including some who would brought some very serious whites, such as Coche (which was by no means half bad). Still, the concentration in this was astonishing, just could not believe the density and intensity.
On reds, 1983 Rousseau Chambertin and 2014 Macdonald both stay with me, but maybe not overperformers given the hype; true of the one perfectly cellared 1989 Lynch-Bages that I've had also.
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#22 Post by Eric Ifune » March 15th, 2020, 4:47 pm

Borges 15 year old Malmsey Madeira
Quinta do Sobral Reserva Tinto

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#23 Post by J a y H a c k » March 15th, 2020, 5:03 pm

1982 Branaire (Duluc Ducru) - in 2005. My note had two words, "fruit salad." I had it the same night as 1989 HAUT BRION from Magnum and I liked this more.

1976 Chateau de la Maltroye Clos de la Maltroye Rouge in 2006. After decanting, my dining room smelled like someone had just smashed a couple pounds of ripe cherries on the floor.

2009 Black Sears Zinfandel. The best Zinfandel ever made. Laser sharp smooth white pepper with a fruit backdrop.
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#24 Post by brodie thomson » March 15th, 2020, 5:24 pm

dcornutt wrote:
March 15th, 2020, 1:17 pm
1947 Quancard Fleurie
Hi Don, funnily enough this was going to be my answer... I had a mind blowingly good 1947 Fleurie courtesy of Eric at an unnamed steak house in Tampa. Don’t remember the maker however.

Cheers Brodie

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#25 Post by Howard Cooper » March 15th, 2020, 5:25 pm

A few:

2006 Henri Jayer Bourgogne Rouge (shocked that this was just a Bourgogne rouge)
1982 la Lagune (punched way above its weight)
1989 Neiderhauser Steinberg Kabinett from Staatsdomaine (one of the best Kabinetts I have had)
2003 Truchot Clos de la Roche, Charmes Chambertin and GC Combottes (shocked that 2003 could be one of his best vintages)
1978 Ridge Geyserville (had this a couple of years ago and it was still going strong)
1973 Sterling Cabernet (still doing great about 5 years ago)
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#26 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » March 15th, 2020, 5:32 pm

That’s 82 La Lagune is a great call. I had it several years ago with MarcF. Very close in quality to the 82 Talbot. Loved them both.

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#27 Post by T. Altmayer » March 15th, 2020, 5:40 pm

Best is hard, but I had a 90 Merryvale Profile last night that was outstanding. No expectations, but great result.
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#28 Post by James Sanders » March 15th, 2020, 5:40 pm

It was an obscure grower Champagne recommended by the crew at the old Garnet Liquors back in 1988--H. Selosse was the grower. Pretty sure it was 100% Chardonnay and I think it was $15. Drank it with my now wife on Chappaquiddick beach at sunset that summer. Magic.

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#29 Post by Dan Kravitz » March 15th, 2020, 6:20 pm

No contest for first here, but I'll also mention a couple of runners-up:

NV Gallo Zinfandel from gallon bottle in 1963.
This superb bottling bears huge responsibility for my career, ie, for all of the P*trid Sw*ll I've foisted off on other people over the past 40 years. YMMV.
To my eternal shame, I do not remember the name of the person who caused it to be brought to that fateful Monday night college poker game in 1963.

A few other goodies:
1947 Jadot Beaune 1er Cru 'Avaux'.
1961 Chateau Lanessan
NV Foppiano Petite Sirah (from jug-handled half-gallons; I laid down a case of six for 10 years, cracked one, then drank them with anybody I could over the next 30 days).

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#30 Post by David Glasser » March 15th, 2020, 6:21 pm

1982 La Lagune. Held its own with the 1982 first growths at a dinner last month.

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#31 Post by Josh Grossman » March 15th, 2020, 6:42 pm

1988 Catherine et Pierre Breton Chinon Beaumont
1994 Weingut Hermann Ludes Klüsserather Bruderschaft Riesling Auslese
1991 Souverain Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Alexander Valley

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#32 Post by Matt Fleming » March 15th, 2020, 7:15 pm

2002 Fery-Meunier Charmes Chambertin consumed in 2012. An obscure negotiant stateside, it absolutely held myself and two friends speechless. Good vintage, good vignoble, so we had reasonable expectations but this was wonderful wine. Minerality, finesse, depth, balance, not a lot of oak. This might be the my answer to this question forever.

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#33 Post by Brad Baker » March 15th, 2020, 7:24 pm

1988 Heidsieck Monopole Diamant Rose - One of the last great wines from a house that lost its way and greatness in the era when Mumm owned it and only got worse once Vranken took over. This drank brilliant into the late 2000s. It is tired now, but I still have a bottle left to track how it evolves once past its peak.

1992 Jean Laurent Rose - Not the greatest Champagne vintage, but one that has excelled for Rose. This bottle is not only the best Rose I have had from the vintage, but the best Champagne and it stands tall and proud with the best Rose from any vintage. An absolutely beautiful wine that I no longer have bottles of, but one I do have fond memories of.
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#34 Post by Kevin Patrick » March 15th, 2020, 8:01 pm

1994 Gallo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon -- I could pick these up for ~$30-$35/bottle on the secondary market in the mid-2000s. An absolutely stellar wine suffering from the name on the label that made the entire family rich. When I snuck these into blind tastings against labels priced 5x greater it more than held its own.

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#35 Post by Thomas Keim » March 15th, 2020, 8:10 pm

The 1978 Gallo Cabernet Sauvignon -

An early release just labeled 'California' and sold for five bucks. I was kind of a snot in the early 80s, and pretty much poo-pooed this wine, but held on to the bottle. In the late 1980s, the tastiing group I was in had a blind tasting of '78 California cabs. I remember bringing a bottle of Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow (which was tight as a nun's .... at that point) but I also brought the '78 Gallo bagged to throw on the table. Everyone, and I mean everyone thought it was the '78 Lafite as a ringer. And this was an older group raised on mature Bordeaux.
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#36 Post by B. Buzzini » March 15th, 2020, 8:23 pm

Well...if we are going to Gallo-out here...1994 Frei Ranch Cab...1997 Barrelli Creek! Blew socks off in the day! [worship.gif]
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#37 Post by Wade H » March 15th, 2020, 11:08 pm

Sometime in the 2003-2005 time frame I purchased a half bottle of H. Lignier Bourgogne Rouge for $3.99 off a clearance rack at a local wine store. That was a beautiful wine truly punching way above its weight.
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#38 Post by Mike Evans » March 16th, 2020, 5:59 am

Clos Roche Blanche, pretty much universally but the Côt in particular.

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#39 Post by Greg Ossi » March 16th, 2020, 6:57 am

1986 Talbot

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#40 Post by Jürgen Steinke » March 16th, 2020, 7:17 am

1985 Rousseau Gevrey Chambertin village when 12-15 years old – wow!
1986 Chasse Spleen
1990 Marquis de Terme

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#41 Post by timmy roos » March 16th, 2020, 7:21 am

Thomas Keim wrote:
March 15th, 2020, 8:10 pm
The 1978 Gallo Cabernet Sauvignon -

An early release just labeled 'California' and sold for five bucks. I was kind of a snot in the early 80s, and pretty much poo-pooed this wine, but held on to the bottle. In the late 1980s, the tastiing group I was in had a blind tasting of '78 California cabs. I remember bringing a bottle of Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow (which was tight as a nun's .... at that point) but I also brought the '78 Gallo bagged to throw on the table. Everyone, and I mean everyone thought it was the '78 Lafite as a ringer. And this was an older group raised on mature Bordeaux.
I still have some bottles of this I kept only for novelty
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#42 Post by jason stein » March 16th, 2020, 7:40 am

Barthod Bourgogne absolutely wows me every time for the level.

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#43 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » March 16th, 2020, 8:28 am

1975 Irroy Cuvee Marie Antoinette

1906 Pol Roger from 375ml

1916 Chateau Cantemerle

1952 Louis Latour Corton Grancey
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#44 Post by Brandon R » March 16th, 2020, 8:49 am

2000 Ch. Villars Fronsac

I had very low expectations from this wine, and it was inexpensive to boot, but it was fantastic. Far overperformed, for me.
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#45 Post by Michael S. Monie » March 16th, 2020, 8:51 am

R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:
March 16th, 2020, 8:28 am
1975 Irroy Cuvee Marie Antoinette

1906 Pol Roger from 375ml

1916 Chateau Cantemerle

1952 Louis Latour Corton Grancey
I've had mixed results aging Champagne in 375's. I'm really curious how a Champagne in that format from 1906 could be not totally oxidized and undrinkable. What was it that made it special to you? Thanks.
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#46 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » March 16th, 2020, 9:09 am

Michael S. Monie wrote:
March 16th, 2020, 8:51 am
R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:
March 16th, 2020, 8:28 am
1975 Irroy Cuvee Marie Antoinette

1906 Pol Roger from 375ml

1916 Chateau Cantemerle

1952 Louis Latour Corton Grancey
I've had mixed results aging Champagne in 375's. I'm really curious how a Champagne in that format from 1906 could be not totally oxidized and undrinkable. What was it that made it special to you? Thanks.
Michael,

I very rarely buy half bottles of Champagne because of the aging issues you stated.
The person who opened several bottles of this during a several year period from 12-15 years ago bought a full case of it in the early 70's. It's possible that it was later disgorged, but if so, it still had a least 35 years of age post-disgorgement and surely more. The one very noticeable thing about the bottle was how heavy and thick the glass was.
As far as the wine itself, it had more sediment than any other Champagne that I've seen. Great complex and mature Champagne flavors, but it still had a fair amount of fruit. Only a touch of oxidative notes. Every bottle was relatively consistent. Best pre-1921 Champagne I've ever had and when I had the initial bottle, I thought it would surely be dead.
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#47 Post by Julian Marshall » March 16th, 2020, 9:30 am

Jürgen Steinke wrote:
March 16th, 2020, 7:17 am
1985 Rousseau Gevrey Chambertin village when 12-15 years old – wow!
1986 Chasse Spleen
1990 Marquis de Terme
I never tried the first two but I quite agree about the Marquis de Terme, which I found better than the Rauzan-Ségla at a fraction of its price. To be fair to him, Michel Bettane raved about the MdeT back in the day. Along with Haut-Bages-Libéral, the MdeT was one of my best surprises of the 90 vintage!

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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#48 Post by Mark E. » March 16th, 2020, 9:33 am

AndyK wrote:
March 15th, 2020, 11:22 am
A couple of bottles that come to mind...

2005 Henri Boillot Corton-Charlemagne -- was expecting it to be very good, but it was phenomenal
1995 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Summa Vineyard -- didn't expect CA Pinot could be that good
1993 Faiveley Latricières-Chambertin -- one of the best Burgundy experiences I've had
2010 Nikolaihof Riesling Reserve Steiner Hund -- doesn't get better for $40
Great to hear about the Faiveley Latricières. I've been getting into Burgundy, can't justify the prices for the majority of the grands crus, but did pick up a bottle of the 2005 a month ago when I saw a great price. When did you drink the 93?

My pick would be a pair of bottles of 1973 Viña Valoria Reserva that I found hidden in a wine shop that was closing last year. $50/bottle and they were both perfect. Haven't found a QPR for aged Rioja like that outside of Spain.
€n+er1ine

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Kevin Porter
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#49 Post by Kevin Porter » March 16th, 2020, 9:46 am

2001 Leoville Barton popped and poured a few years ago. Classic bord profile and I paid under $40.

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Julian Marshall
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Re: Best overperforming wine you’ve ever had

#50 Post by Julian Marshall » March 16th, 2020, 9:56 am

It's difficult to choose the absolute best over-performer. I've already mentioned HBL 1990, so I suppose Brane-Cantenac 1996, which was wonderful when I had the last bottle in 2015, far better than the measly 86 points awarded by RMP had led me to expect. Actually, another 96 comes to mind too - Lynch-Moussas 1996, which gave Lynch-Bages a run for its money a few years back.

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