Thursday, November 24, 2011

Chateau La Tour Carnet Haut Medoc, 1979

As a companion to the 1980 Conn Creek Cab (below), this 1979 La Tour Carnet illustrated well the differences in New World and Old World styles.

The light brickish color is the first indication of the difference, and the wine is clearly thinner in texture...but not in flavors. The bouquet is definitely herbaceous (rosemary and thyme?) but not vegetal (which I define as celery and green bell pepper). Merlot and Cab Franc are clearly in the blend. Aromas are as fresh and well defined as the flavors. And over the course of an hour, these deepen and bring out scents of red currants and cranberries. No raisins here, though. Silky and svelte on the palate with racy flavors that cling to the tongue and bring you back for more. Almost like a Loire Valley Cabernet Franc.

I paid about $10 for this wine some 30 years ago, as I did for the Conn Creek. Roughly half of those at the table preferred the Conn Creek; the rest, the La Tour Carnet. All agreed they were both very fine wines.


  1. Enjoy your blog. Any suggestions for a left bank Bordeaux that will age well and won't break the bank. I live in Ontario which means the government limits my selection but any advice you can share is appreciated

  2. My top pick would be Tour Saint Bonnet. The 1990 is drinking fabulously right now. (I did a note on it earlier this year.) I saw the 2009 offered on futures for $139 a case--less than $12 a bottle. But there are many others from the Medoc, Haut Medoc, Listrac, etc.--Fourcas Hosten, Potensac, Saint Bonnet, Bel Air and this wine, La Tour Carnet. Most of these are under $20 a bottle. For a little more, Poujeaux and Sociando Mallet are top notch.

  3. Also, of course, Greysac. The 2005 and 2006 have been offered in Michigan for about $15 a bottle. It will age 10 to 15 years, maybe longer. I've never had an older Greysac.