With some friends of the same age, we meet every two months. One of my friends asks me to find a pleasant restaurant, as he was the one whose turn was to invite the others. So, I make a reservation by the Bistrot du Sommelier. I arrive first in the restaurant, and I say that I would like to say hello to Philippe Faure-Brac, owner of the place, and former best World sommelier in 1992. The chief waiter, whom I know well says : “he is making a tasting in the private room, so he is busy”. I ask : which wines is he tasting? And the answer is : “Domaine Schlumberger”. So, I declare : “I will go there to say hello”.
I arrive in the room where I find many journalists that I know, and Philippe welcomes me by saying : “some people have a great nose : why did you reserve the precise day when Schlumberger presents its wines to the press?”. I shake the hand of a woman whose name is Schlumberger, and wanting to parade, I say : “in my cellar, I have some 1945 Schlumberger”. And the woman, with a smile, answers : “it’s a good thing as you will taste it today”. I was so amazed, and bluffed! A booklet was given to me, and I began to taste as the journalists around me, thinking anyway that I should hurry, as my friends should come. To be polite, I begin with the youngest wines.
Here are some notes made in a hurry :
The Kitterlé Riesling Schlumberger Grand Cru 2005, put in bottle for a few weeks only is really very drinkable, which is remarkable. It is classic that a very young wine is charming, then shuts itself before expanding again.
The Kitterlé Riesling Schlumberger Grand Cru 2002 is magnificent. Smoky, with a little taste of almond. I like it as it is round and pretty.
The Kitterlé Riesling Schlumberger Grand Cru 2001 is more strict, closed.
The Kitterlé Riesling Schlumberger 1979 has a superb nose, very friendly. It is mineral but joyful. The mouth is more closed than the nose. I feel it as a wine of great gastronomy, promising complex combinations.
The Kitterlé Riesling Schlumberger Grande sélection 1955 has a nose which is more discrete. The mouth pleases me. It is not a typical Riesling, a little evolved, but I like it. It is refreshing, easy in mouth, and a great wine for gastronomy. I know that I will surely love it more than the journalists around me as they will report on more conventional Rieslings as the 1971 that they adored and that I did not try.
The Kitterlé Riesling Schlumberger Grande sélection 1945 has a nice golden colour. The nose reminds me of someone who smokes a pipe. In my mouth, it is a nectar. It is round, fruity, expressive. The length is great. It is a great wine.
I rapidly join the table where my friends wait for me, and, as it happens, I am asked to order the wines.
I order champagne Lenoble, Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs 1995. I like this champagne, very expressive, well designed. It is pure and gives pleasure.
The Bâtard-Montrachet Domaine Leflaive 1998 is powerful and generous. It is a bomb. It is very difficult to associate any meal, as the wine invades the palate. But on a foie gras in terrine that I had ordered, it went very well.
The La Mission Haut-Brion 1997 is absolutely passionate. The advantage of this year is double. First, it is less expensive on the wine lists. So, ordering for a friend, he forgives me. The second reason is that the supposed lightness of the year helps to reveal the real charm of the wine. And I adore such a tasting. This wine has a very dense structure which is the signature of a great wine. On a fish (bar), it was a nice combination. I ordered then Trotanoy 1997, chose by me to have another bank for the same year. The two wines are absolutely charming, full of grace. And while sipping the Trotanoy, I think that I would be unable to say which one is the best, as they are completely different, Mission being velvety and charming, and the Trotanoy winy, fruity. I would anyway vote for Mission due to the density of the structure.
Then, Philippe came to our table with for each of us a glass of Schlumberger 1945. More opened, more tasty, more fruity, this wine was a delight to conclude a nice friendly lunch.
Old wines are younger than what is generally considered