On Thursday evening we held a Wine Dinner at our London offices for the winning bidder in our Summer Rosé Tasting Auction in aid of Starlight in June. What I may not have told anyone was that Hugo, a young member of the Goedhuis team, saved the night. Michele, who looks after the office, was cleaning up after a major Spanish tasting and was seen disappearing into the kitchen with the bottle of Petrus and La Tache in hand on the way to pouring them down the sink! We are sending her on a wine course immediately and Hugo is going to be promoted and given a 100% pay rise.
The wines we did in the end drink were:
Billecart Salmon, Cuvée N-F Billecart 1966
The Krug was a great start to the evening, deep colour and fully mature. Glorious but not sure that it will last as well as the fabulous Billecart, the second bottle of which was just magnificent.
Musigny, Grand Cru Domaine de Vogue 1992
From magnum: lovely yellow colour, mouth filling with notes of tropical fruit. Fully mature, low acidity and exactly the right time to drink it
Musigny, Grand Cru Domaine de Vogue, Grand Cru 1996
Drinking 1996s at the moment is seriously exciting. Many wine lovers had begun to despair that they would ever come round, but like that wretched ugly duckling they are beginning to turn and are just beginning to show their quality. This is still miles from its peak but it was still a pleasure. Was drunk fast by all present.
Musigny, Grand Cru Domaine de Vogue, Grand Cru 1993
More closed than the 1996 and although opened 3 hours before it needed lots of work in very big glasses to start to show. Little by little the nose unfurled and the fruit developed. One sensed that one was drinking something that will be outstanding when it is fully mature. 1993, like 1996 is a vintage with high acidity and needs lots of time but wow will it be worth the wait. Both vintages leave the 1990 Musigny standing.
La Tache, Grand Cru Domaine de La Romanée Conti 1999
When ever I am lucky enough to drink DRC I am just so hugely impressed. Is this the greatest wine estate in the world? I cant think of any other that gives me quite so much pleasure. Even in the most difficult of vintage DRC manages to produce something extraordinary. So onto the La Tache. This is a wonderful wine, hugely complex with years of evolution ahead of it. Was it infanticide? Absolutely not, as it certainly did give pleasure, but it still needs to come together- it is still slightly angular.
Romanée Conti, Grand Cru Domaine de La Romanée Conti 1996
The wine of the night. I have tasted Romanée Conti at the Domaine but this was only the 2nd time I have sat down and actually drunk a bottle (or do I mean 1/8 of a bottle) and ok I did drink it too fast. Why wasn’t it a magnum? The nose was already developed whilst on the palate there were lovely dark red fruit flavours and real weight and concentration in the mouth. There was acidity but it was covered by the ripeness of the fruit. Just fabulous and thank goodness that this bottle had made its way back from Sydney.
Petrus, Pomerol 1995
The 1st time I have drunk/tasted this since the Wine Dinner tasting of 1995s. Great evolution and is really beginning to strut its stuff. Sadly not served at Petrus for the “vendangeurs dinner”. Robin Kick our 2/3 MW has had a spoilt youth and tasted this a number of times and said that this was the best bottle she had ever tasted and was very impressed and surprised about just how good it was.
Ch La Mission Haut Brion, Graves 1982
Stunning, challenged the Romanee Conti for wine of the night. Just glorious, fully mature and close to perfection. Bob Parker described it as “The greatest La Mission Haut Brion made between the 1975 and 1989, the 1982 is, stylistically, a dead-ringer for the ethereal 1959. One of the most massive wines of the vintage, it remains an adolescent in terms of evolution, but it can be drunk with great pleasure if it is decanted 2-3 hours in advance. A thick, unctuously-textured wine with massive richness as well as abundant notes of black fruits, truffles, creosote, scorched earth, smoke, and camphor, a colossal mouthfeel, a layered texture, incredible depth of fruit and glycerin, and copious, but well-integrated tannins that are largely concealed by the incredible amount of fruit. An old school La Mission, it is a tour de force that should continue to age effortlessly for another 40+ years. A monumental wine!”. And I am not sure any of us who tasted it last night would dare to disaggree. 100/100.
Ch Climens, 1er Cru Barsac 1949
Finally to finish this magnificent offering. Glorious amber colour, superb balance and fresh as a daisy. Has lasted as well as yours truly. Just fabulous.