The vintage 1978 was not ideal in Bordeaux. First a cool start, but then a warm summer. The quality of the wines is mixed, not everything will have lasted until today. So I had no particular expectation of the 1978 Château Siran, but great interest and looked forward to opening it. First, the cork. Almost completely penetrated, it fell apart easily. But what ended up filtered in the carafe was a clear wine that immediately released a beautiful scent of dark berries. I promptly poured into the first glass, but decanted the rest for 90 minutes.
Dark red in colour, as expected with a slight brick red. But not brown at all, a good sign. I was surprised by the fragrance already mentioned. Dark berry, blackcurrant, raisins, plus some beetroot. Not dominated by the tertiary aromas, which were of course also present. Cigar box, leather, earth. With more time in the glass, a little stable smell developed, wet hay, but faded away again. Everything is held together by a fresh note, like liquorice or eucalyptus, but this is restrained in the background. Soft in the mouth, thin tannins after many years of bottle ageing. On the palate, dark berries again, slightly peppery. Dark chocolate with raspberries. This is coherent, the fruit still has something to counter the acidity. Unfortunately, the length on the palate is a little lacking.
We don’t need to quibble about the fact that the zenith of this wine has meanwhile passed, after an incredible 45 years. Nevertheless, this 1978 Château Siran was a good wine with Bordeaux characteristics that I enjoyed for over two hours. Still enjoyable when well stored, but better to drink it now if there is still a bottle in the cellar! DM89-.
Drink through 2023.
Tasted by Dominik Müller on Thursday, 10 August 2023.
89Wines with a DM87 to DM89 rating are very good wines, more or less above average even in the world of fine wine. That means these wines have been produced really well. They have no flaw whatsoever. Moreover, they have a good balance, elegant tannin structure and a well-integrated acidity. These are wines that I will happily drink up and buy for my own cellar. Then what keeps them from getting a rating in the 90s? While above average and good in practically every way, wines in the DM87 to DM89 range may still not be exceptional in a way that they make you pause and think 'What a wonderful wine this is!' In WSET terms, wines with a DM89 rating tend to be at the lower end of a 2.5 WSET score./ 100
3.0Wines with a 3.0 WSET rating are clearly 'very good' wines according to the WSET scoring system, where we consider balance (B), intensity (I), length (L) and complexity (C). In terms of my personal rating system, wines with a WSET score of 3.0 usually get 91 to 92 DM points./ 4.0
4Wines with a rating of 4 stars are excellent wines in their category. They are almost at the top of their peer group in terms of quality./ 5
Jasper Morris of InsideBurgundy.com inspired me to use his 'Five Star Scale' in my tasting notes, too. The limitation of the standard 100-point scale is that in certain appellation hierarchies, such as Burgundy village versus premier cru, the lower-end wines will typically score less than the wines higher up the hierarchy. The five star scale therefore wants to compare a wine to its peers from the same category. It allows for very well-made wines to stand out.
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