1er Grand Cru Classe lands on the moon…
Okay, it’s only a metaphor, but when needed, fits the bill completely, upon this land of Mendocian Malbec and Bonarda.
So we have had a first, an original, a vinous experience like no other to happen before in South America… roll out the claret coloured carpet.
A tutored (not a dam masterclass*) wine tasting of all five Premier Grand Cru Classe Bordeaux, followed by a dinner cooked by our local chef hero, Martin Rebaudino (Restaurant Roux in Barrio Norte).
The, non-kitchen, maestro for the evening was Juan Ignacio (from JIA wine shippers) who uncorked, poured and sensitively explained the ins and outs of the following vintages:
1999 Ch.Lafite Rothschild
As elegant and intense in all it’s manner, as one would except from this great Chateau. A lovely bottle full of cedar and toasted cassis flavors, balanced with layers of ripe, medium bodied richness.
Pure ripe Margo-ey nose, dark cherry fruit backed with soft violet tannins. Still has great power.
2002 Ch.Haut Brion
This has always been one of my favorite HBs, first tasted (sorry drunk) back in 2005, during the ‘en primeur’ week in Bordeaux.
Amazingly complex Graves nose, plummy and fig like with a medium to full palate. Sometimes the nose and the palate can seem a little paranoid.
But given the vintage, I look forward to drinking more 2002 Haut Brion over the next ten years, if I can actually keep my hands off it.
A power house of a wine and maybe this bottle was the wine of the evening. More Merlot on the nose than one would expect from this pure-bred. Walnuts and Cassis supported by complex tannins that would suggest this wine has further to go on the ageing front. Too easy to drink now.
1991 Ch.Mouton Rothschild
What a beautiful old school, dark ruby color. A velvety mouthfeel, layered with exotic herby, cabernet finish. Much bigger wine than I was expecting considering the vintage.
2001 Ch.Cheval Blanc (poured from a magnum at the dinner afterwards)
Of course coming from a magnum this wine seemed larger in all it’s voluptuousness. Hints of black currant and dark forest. The Cabernet Franc really working well to support the Merlot fruit. Thank god we had a magnum, it dissapeard rapidly.
Boasted almond and hazelnut honey. The golden, creme caramel finish and sweet acidity makes this a very good d’Yquem, if not a great one. I have squirreled away a bottle to taste in 2023.
After this Bordeaux pleasure it is not easy to plan the next dinner. But I have come up with something. If I mention these names: Jayer, Sassicaia, Petrus, Grange Hermitage, Opus One and Vega Sicilia Unico, it may give you a hint.
Asta la proxima!!!