Lunch kicked off with the wrong bottle. Johnny had arranged for a bottle of Laurent Perrier 1990 which we only discovered having opened a brace of Louis Roederer Brut Premiers but we managed to find room for all three. The LP 1990 was nutty and biscuity, slightly honeyed.
We then moved onto whites starting with a Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon Leflaive 1990 which had sadly fallen over. I have had this wine before in good nick so think it was just the bottle. Puligny 1er Cru Combettes 1991 from JM Boillot followed which just got better and better and a very restrained (for the year) Puligny 1er Cry Truffiere 2003 from Michel Colin. It was rich and concentrated but not over blown and blousy like some whites from this blisteringly hot vintage.
The red line up was kicked off by a mystery wine from Jamie Strutt’s cellar which I failed to identify as Corton Bressandes 1993 from Chandon de Brialles. It was sweet and ripe yet savoury, absolutely a poin. We then changed tack and headed off for a tour of Bordeaux. La Conseillante 1986 (would have been better 10 years earlier), Vieux Château Certan 1983 (quite leafy and lean on the nose but broader and sweeter on the palate, faded a bit in the decanter). The Gold medal winner was Ch Leoville Lascases 1985 (still dark in colour, very healthy looking indeed. Sweet, long, youthful, fresh and balanced. “Easily 18/20” – Jamie Strutt). This was followed by a very classic, if slightly disappointing and one dimensional magnum of Les Forts de Latour 1990.
That’s what we had planned and decanted but the team was still thirsty so we popped down to the cellar for some wild cards. First up a magnum of Vosne 1er Cru Les Rouges 2000 from Grivot (savoury on the palate but very muted on the nose. It was neverthless quite Grivot-esque, very mineral, still youthful and needed time) which was followed by a lovely, sweet, balanced yet still quite mineral Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Les Meurgers Hudelot Noellat 2002.
We then changed pace and headed to Italy for a very impressive Barolo Giachini Revello 1998 and a La Gioia Riecine 2003 which was beginning to show the vintage’s age.
The team had slowed down considerably by now so we decided to have one for the road, a Leoville Barton 1995. This wasn’t really showing that well, fresh and mineral but a bit lean and green with notes of cedar, black fruits and dark cherries. We therefore decided that as this is a wine we know well and usually like very much it was a case of some very jaded palates rather than poor wine and decided to call it a day.