Last week there were two extraordinary wine events and I am not sure that I have ever tasted so many great wines in a 48 hour period.
The first was the 10th Charity Wine Dinner at the Intercontinental Hotel. Laura and I started the wine dinner a year after Sam our son was born with Down’s syndrome. These dinners happen every two years and gather together Chateaux owners, wine lovers, collectors and even whisky and Red Bull drinkers who are just there to support the charity.
The 10 Dinner was in aid of the National Society for Epilepsy and Macintyre, a wonderful charity that looks after 1000 children and adults with learning disabilities.
Held at the Intercontinental Hotel the evening started with a tasting of all the 1998 1st Growths, Cheval Blanc, Petrus and Le Pin and a good range of other 1998 Classed Growths from the Médoc. There will be a full list of the wines plus the combined Goedhuis and Co scores shortly but this is my personal view.
The two great Pomerols were fantastic and both had their supporters. Ch Latour was magnificent but for me the best wine of the night was Ch Haut Brion which was outstanding. Whilst the Ch Cheval Blanc, one of the pre-match favorites, just didn’t show on the night.
Amongst the other classed growth Ch Palmer showed beautifully and was my top wine followed close behind by Ch Leoville Lascases, a big wine with a wonderful future but needs to be left untouched for another 5 years. Ch Cos d’Estournel had a huge problem of bottle variation.
Overall the tasting was of a very high standard and there were very few wines I wouldn’t have wanted to have in my cellar.
At dinner we drank Sacha Lichine’s extraordinary Garrus from Ch d’Esclans. This is the worlds most expensive rosé. Whether it’s worth the money doesn’t really matter. What does is that the wine is quite delicious and helped the guests get through my speech with hardly a murmur. Ch d’Esclans has in a very short time established itself as producing a range of the very finest rosés.
The white Burgundy was Chassagne Montrachet, 1er Cru Embrazees Domaine Philippe Colin 2006. Just delicious and beautifully balanced.
The first two red wines were Domaine de Chevalier and La Chapelle de La Mission 1998, both Pessac Leognans. The Domaine de Chevalier was just that little bit more profound than the Chapelle but both are lovely but will still benefit from a few more years in the cellar.
The final red was Ch L’Evangile, Pomerol 1998 and was the best of the three. Wonderful depth, lovely fruit but still very youthful.
The final wine was Clarendelle Amberwine 2003. This Monbazillac is made by the Haut Brion team and worked really well with the pudding.
Humphrey Butler, the world’s finest auctioneer, once again practiced his black arts or maybe it was the quality of the wines but, whichever it was, the guests were hugely generous. The auction raised over £140K, the silent auction £50k and all in all the evening will have made over £200,000 to be split between the National Society for Epilepsy and Macintyre.
We would never have raised so much money if it wasn’t for the generosity of many of the chateaux but in particular, Leoville Barton, Le Pin, Domaine de Chevalier and Haut Brion.
Be warned that reports of the demise of the wine dinner were premature. March 2012 for the 11th Wine Dinner and the 2000 Bordeauxs.