October 17th 2011
Last Saturday we were asked to dinner with some good friends in Suffolk. They weren’t celebrating anything in particular, so I thought it was going to be a nice relaxed evening and I would be back home tucked up in bed by 11.30pm. How wrong could I have been!!
On arrival, I had the choice of 2 Champagnes, 1995 Krug and Laurent Perrier Grande Siecle, so I tried them both. Very different in style, the Krug had big rich powerful flavours, very impressive. The Grand Siecle is a multi-vintage meaning it is made from a blend of vintage years, this was gorgeous with lovely pretty fruit and delicate flavours which lingered on the palate.
The chef had been very busy, he told me he had been up at 5 o’clock that morning so by now he was looking somewhat exhausted and all his hard work would now be under close scrutiny. We started off with what I’m not sure you would describe in culinary terms but it was cauliflower soup. This was fabulous and the white wine that was produced was 2008 Chassagne Montrachet, 1er Cru Chenevottes Domaine Bruno Colin and it was a perfect match. The 2008 white Burgundies are drinking beautifully now even at this level, lovely opulent flavours with good grip- a great glass of wine.
I was then asked if I could pour the red. I went into the kitchen and sitting on the table in front of me were 2 decanters with 2 different bottles. On closer inspection I was some what gob smacked, in one decanter was 1990 Montrose, St. Estephe- this is a legendary wine which I had never tasted or drunk before but the other was even more impressive, it was 1996 Ch. Margaux- now I was feeling very thirsty!!
So I served both of these wines at the same time as they would be very different style and therefore a great comparison. The 1990 Montrose was hugely impressive, big broad dark rich aromas on the nose and on the palate it was equally amazing. 21 years old but still massively concentrated and powerful, but brilliantly balanced, this was a wine that couldn’t fail to impress, it had a very long finish and it certainly lived up to its famous reputation with a 100 points score from Robert Parker.
I then put my nose into the 1996 Ch Margaux, wow this was pure class. It was gorgeous with a wonderful nose, very refined but with huge intensity, beautifully floral, very feminine- the queen of Bordeaux. On the palate it was as good as it gets, silky soft flavours, extraordinary balance and a finish that lingers for minutes- I think this may be the best wine I have ever drunk!!!! It is near as good as perfect, just sensational and forever changing in the glass, massively complex. What an amazing treat, a truly amazing wine. This more than lived up to its reputation.
With this we ate the most delicious duck, they worked well together but I was so blown away by the wine I now can’t remember much about the dish. After drinking those two amazing wines we were served 2001 Bonnes Mares Grand Louis Jadot, I think the 2001 Burgundies are really beautiful very elegant and feminine in style, with delicious red fruits.
We were served the most wonderful pear pudding and this, just for good measure was washed down with a magnum of 2002 Ch. Yquem. This was pure nectar, lovely unctuous fruit and a gripping acidity. Who said you only need a small glass of pudding wine? The magnum was polished off pretty quickly.
After dinner, we were then made to play a game which I’ve never played before called WII DANCE, I’m afraid I wasn’t very good my batteries on my set were playing havoc!!!!!