I tasted for over two hours in their wonderful old cellar, looking enviously at bins of fungus covered 1893s, and wondering if ever they opened them, when, to my surprise and gratification, after the tasting of commercially available vintages, Philippe suggested we tasted the 9s: 1969, 1959 and 1949. The ’69 was sweet and truffly, the ’59 still tannic and hugely concentrated, whereas the ’49 was just perfection: some mousseron on the nose, a creamy, succulent palate with more sex appeal than the ’59. A point. Philippe opined that the 2005 would evolve in the same way, so for those who have youth on their side… I took the open bottles away with me and re-tasted them 24 hours later. The ’49 had oxidised slightly, but both the ’69 and particularly the ’59 had improved on every front.
Opinion is divided as to the relative virtues of 2003 and 2002. I am firmly in the 2002 camp, as it seems to me more properly to reflect the terroir, whereas 2003 resembles a fatiguing confection all too often. This example has the beginnings of truffle on the nose, and a palate, where black and red fruit jostle for attention. Delightful freshness and some way to go.