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Date: Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Time: 6 PM

Formal Tasting: 6.20 PM

Price: Members: $85

Price: Guests: $115

(includes appetizers)


Venue: Faculty Club, Univ. of Toronto,

         41 Willcocks Street
         Toronto, Ontario
         M5S 1C7  - 


NOTE: You must register online and pay by credit card or cheque. NOTE: ALL ticket sales/reservations are final. Cheques must be received by Sept. 15. The cheque-payment option will be disabled 6 days prior to the event after which only PayPal (bank withdrawals & credit card payments) will be accepted. You will be sent an email confirmation after completing your registration. If you tried to register but did not receive your confirmation, please contact before trying to register again.







2004 Left Bank Bordeaux

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017


Guest Speaker: Julian Hitner


Notes on the Wines



In our increasingly speedy world where time never seems to stop, sometimes infinite patience is needed before opening a bottle of fine wine. So how long should you postpone tasting a Bordeaux? Well, it depends on its ‘pedigree’ and the vintage. Ten years has conventionally been considered the minimum age for enjoying a halfway serious red Bordeaux. The Toronto Vintners Club waited patiently for a decade before tasting the 2004 vintage of wines from the Left Bank. Now we have another opportunity to resample this vintage after an additional three years of cellar storage and ageing in a perfectly temperature controlled setting.


The Left Bank terroir and the blends of grapes that produce these fine Bordeaux wines with considerable tannins, need time to evolve and improve over time. Will the wines be better after 13 years of aging versus 10? Will they be peaking yet? Most likely they will be taking better with softening tannins but most may not be peaking yet, not when you see their anticipated maturity dates. Some are expected to mature another 10 to 13 years. All we can do is assess them at the time of drinking because these bottles are all that remain of the 2004 vintage in the TVC inventory.


Robert Parker Jr. tasted many of the wines we are presenting, on more than one occasion, albeit a mere one year apart several years ago. It was interesting, however, to see that in most cases, his evaluations of them were more favorable the older they got.


The 2004 vintage was considered “classic’ and the best Bordeaux wines represented good value (well, that’s all relative) at the time they were first released. “There is a lot of pleasure in 2004. It may be more splayed and not as finessed or clearly defined as 2001, but there are many wines here that you just want to pour into a glass and drink – surely the point.” (Victoria Moore, The Telegraph March 2014.) If you were to buy them now in 2017, all have increased in price with some of them doubling. The prices shown for each wine are what TVC paid either in futures or shortly after they were released.


So we’re bringing the 2004 vintage out for you to enjoy one more time because time flies and we’re not getting any younger! After this event, 2004 Bordeaux will become TVC history and another very pleasant memory.


Our guest speaker for the evening is Julian Hitner. Julian is an extremely knowledgeable wine critic, writer for Wine Align and is currently researching the complete history of the Bordeaux. We are thrilled to have him return to TVC to share his knowledge, stories, and passion for wine.


The event price includes a reception wine, bread, appetizers and of course, our main wines! Please refrain from wearing scented products. Dress is business casual.




The Wines

Note – prices shown are from the time of purchase; these wines are considerably more pricey in today’s market.


2004 Malescot St. Exupery, Margaux 3E $49
“Although one of the appellation’s more tannic 2004s, the tannin is beautifully balanced by sweet black currant fruit, spring flower, camphor, and licorice notes. This impeccably well-made, medium-bodied Margaux reveals a lovely integration of acidity, tannin, and wood. Give it 2-3 years of bottle age, and drink it over the following two decades. This estate appears to be performing at a high quality level over recent vintages.” Reviewed 26th Jun 2007. The Wine Advocate. Drink 2009 – 2029. 90/100


2004 Pichon Longueville Baron, Pauillac 2E $99
“An undeniable star of the vintage, Pichon-Baron’s 2004 boasts an inky/ruby/purple color to the rim as well as a big, sweet nose of melted licorice, chocolate, black currant jam, truffles, and charcoal embers. Soft tannin, full body, and abundant opulence and flesh are atypical for the vintage character, but this wine is loaded. Pure, ripe, and evolved, it should be at its finest between 2009-2022.” Reviewed 28th Jun 2007. The Wine Advocate. 93/100


2004 Duhart Milon, Pauillac 4E $54
“Another sleeper of the vintage for this property that has been doing impressive work over recent vintages, the 2004 (a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot) displays a dark ruby/purple color along with classic aromas of cedar, creme de cassis, earth, spice, and wood. Medium to full-bodied, ripe, long, and impressively endowed, it should be at its peak between 2010-2022.” Reviewed 28th Jun 2007. The Wine Advocate. 91 pts


2004 Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac-Leognan GCC $65
“A sensational effort and one of the stars of the vintage, Smith-Haut-Lafitte’s 2004 possesses an inky/blue/purpletinged color as well as a sumptuous nose of lead pencil shavings, spring flowers, blueberries, and blackberries. Surprisingly full-bodied for the vintage with stunning concentration, purity, and overall harmony, this is another brilliant wine from the proprietors, the Cathiards, who have done such a spectacular job at this estate since the early 1990s.” Reviewed 28th Jun 2007. The Wine Advocate. Drink 2009 – 2022. 93 pts


2004 Leoville Barton, St. Julien 2E $73
“This is an impressively endowed vin de garde that should age effortlessly for 20-30 years. How Anthony Barton continues to fashion uncompromisingly primordial Bordeaux that are always among the biggest and densest of all the St.-Juliens is beyond me, but he does it year in and year out. Moreover, when it’s time to set the price, he appears to have the consumer foremost in his mind. The 2004 is a classic Leoville-Barton meant for long aging. Concentrated, with loads of smoke, crème de cassis, forest floor, and earthy notes.” Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030+. Reviewed 28th Jun 2007. The Wine Advocate. 93 pts


2004 Lagrange, St. Julien 3E $45
“This backward, tannic, strikingly oaky St.-Julien reveals a big structure as well as copious power and muscle, and a modern-styled combination of ripe fruit and new oak. While it requires a few years of bottle age to shed its cloak of tannin, and develop more Bordelais character, it possesses plenty of stuffing, and may turn out to be outstanding with additional time in bottle. Patience is warranted.” Anticipated maturity: 2011-2025. Reviewed 28th Jun 2007. The Wine Advocate. 89+ pts


2004 Langoa Barton, St. Julien 3E $60
“Very pretty and perfumed, with plum, vanilla and chocolate aromas. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long, caressing finish. Best after 2011.” (3/2007) Wine Spectator 91 pts. “Another sleeper of the vintage from this somewhat under the radar step-child of Anthony Barton’s more famous Leoville Barton, the 2004 Langoa Barton exhibits deep, concentrated, chunky, black currant and cherry fruit intermixed with notions of forest floor and aged beef blood. This impressive, full-bodied, powerful, ageworthy St.-Julien is atypically backward and brooding.” Anticipated maturity: 2013-2025+. Reviewed 28th Jun 2007. The Wine Advocate. 90 pts


2004 Branaire Ducru, St. Julien 4E $45
“Possessing the finest aromatics of all the 2004 St.- Juliens, Branaire Ducru offers complex licorice, cranberry, boysenberry, and floral notes interwoven with notions of plums and figs. This dark ruby/purpletinged, medium-bodied, elegant effort offers sweet fruit as well as ripe tannins.“ Anticipated maturity:2008 – 2023. Reviewed 28th Jun 2007. The Wine Advocate. 90+ pts John Szabo, MS 91/100



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