What a funny olde world we are living in eh. In the last week, I have probably tasted and dined on more good wine, in six days, than I can remember of recent.
Not all great news, but some things that turned, up out of the blue, I would like to share with you here.
In this current ‘wine world’ of only good news and very little indifferent, or dare I say it bad news, I was hugely disappointed with a couple of the following. As you know we all get over it sooner or later. Shit happens.
1999 Domaine Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Reignots
Tightfisted, unbalanced and not going anywhere. Even with my tolerance for high levels of VA, this was busting the limit. We left it for a while in the decanter, and not a lot changed. What a shame as we have had good bottles of this wine in the past. Good old fashioned burgundy, and bottle variation from the same case.
1996 Ch.Cos d’Estournel, St.Estephe
Corked! sorry nothing more to add. It’s supposed to be a stunner. Will try another one in the future.
1990 Ch.Haut-Brion, Graves
I was so looking forward to sharing this bottle, so out it came, decanted by the Sommelier, and off we went. Or did we?
On the nose it definitely had a whiff of good old Graves Rouge, H-Brion style. But this did not add up, it could not have been a 1990. It was reminiscent of a wet vintage Haut-Brion and took me back to maybe 1991. On the palate, too dry and vegetal. Again, this could not be from the 1990 vintage, could it? Well, our good man came to the table with the cork, and the capsule, and the photograph below should be able to tell you the rest of the story. Needless to say, yes we drank the wine, but god I was disappointed as was my guest. Thanks F&R.
The good news, was that 2002 Pommard from Domaine Anne-Françoise Gros’s 1er Cru ‘Les Pézerolles’ started off as, oh no not another duff bottle this week, but having decided to leave it in the decanter for over half an hour, it totally came round, blew off all the huffy puffy .. and we were left with the red wine of the lunch, well for me anyway. Magnificently deep, balanced, and a wonderfully rich Pommard on all levels.
As I arrived a little late, terrible London traffic, there was only a glass of white burgundy reserved for me, a large glass, on the table of Jacques Carillon’s 2012 Chassagne-Montrachet per Cru ‘Les Macherelles’. It was rich and vibrant, delicious flintiness supported with a hint of dry ginger and apricot. A big Meursault style finish.
1962 Dom Perignon (level 3cms from cork) had the colour of a very mature Montrachet. There was a little life left in the bottle, I loved it, although my luncheon comrades who are probably used to the younger more mobile kind of Dompers, had second thoughts. Our local, second largest auction house wine expert, present, suggested adding a little House NV Champagne to the glass. Genius! This little, in the moment, table ‘cuvee’ could not have improved things more. It opened up the 1962 DP, and really showed off the vintage. As if we had gone back in time, to the 1970s maybe. A rich complex wine, with the benefit of some time travel and a touch of creativity. A super wine(s). I will do this trick again in the future if faced with an old bubbly that needs a little bit of resuscitation. Do try it please. Nothing to be ashamed of.
1983 Ch.Haut-Brion, Graves was a goodun. Of course being a total Haut-Brion freak it’s not so difficult for me to get into the swing of things here. Roasted herbs, tobacco, dark forest fruits all in abundance. Medium weight and super silky on the finish. I would love to try this one day from a magnum. But sooner rather than later, join me if you can.
1998 Ch.Cos d’Estournel, St.Estephe also made me feel that we were now on a run of good luck. Dark dark ruby-red, or red-ruby. Licorice, herby, blackcurrant elegance. Soft, sweet tannins and a real Bdx Cab/Sauv-Merlot treat from the Cazes stable. Such good grape definition on offer in the glass. Pretty classy.
2010 Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon was a burstingly bold Napa Cabernet. Lovely Californian finish and a lovely wine to finish with, after the French full frontal, and them followed by gorgeous Merlot from the same part of the world.
2014 Duckhorn Merlot shot out of the glass with flavors of dark cherry, nutmeg and plum tart. Orange peel and cigar box on the palate. A beautifully well made Napa wine, and went very well indeed with the cheese board.
We all got up from the luncheon table and left for various destinations around the world. East Sussex, Hong-Kong, Chiswick, Buenos Aires & Essex. All in First Class of course, jajaja!!