Monthly lunch notes (wines tasted blind):
2003 Ch. Tour de Mirambeau Cuve Passion
– a white Bordeaux to start off seemed fitting. This one was certainly not trumpeting it’s origin, mind you. The SB was muted and it was a bit hard to tell where this was from, although the fruit was quite good both in the nose and on palate, and it had a smooth tasty presence, finishing reasonably long.
Went well with sable fish and black beans
1996 Chopin Bourgogne Pinot Noir
– certainly a good choice to be next up. Obvious pinot nose, decent fruit in the middle, perhaps a bit overwhelmed right at the end by the tannins which suddenly assert themselves. Pretty good length.
1929 Ch. Margaux
– this was to say the least a big surprise. I thought maybe 60s, but when told it was older, wasn’t surprised to find a 28 or 29 despite the considerable depth of colour it exhibited. The nose was the best thing about this wine – mature fruit with some cedar, road dust and a sweetness peaking out from under, and it developed for quite awhile, even after the wine had faded on palate. In the mouth it was slightly flat but had a nice feel to it, losing fruit on the palate over about 10 minutes and then doing a quick fade. Amazing to think that when this wine went into vat, it was raining stockbrokers in New York and Chicago…. This wine lingered on the tongue – and in our thoughts.
1990 Lungarotti San Giorgio
– guess whose wine got to follow the 77 year old first growth? Yup, yours truly. I tried to tell them it needed to sit in the glass for a half hour, but they plunged in anyway. This blend of cab, sangiovese and cannaiolo from Umbria impressed me in it’s youth. It now shows good fruit, a fair bit of acidity, and enough Bordeaux character to fool most of the attending into thinking it another wine from that region. My only concern with it is that the tannins are still a bit hard and the fruit is not as abundant as it was five years ago. Nevertheless a pleasant bottle and a wine I’ll follow for a few more years.
With quail salad
1995 Ch. Cantenac
(St. Emilion) – this merlot based wine had a big if simple fruit nose, with hints of burnt sugar and dill. Slight bitterness at the end which didn’t bother me, but a bit short on fruit on palate, which did.
2001 L'Ecole 41 Merlot Seven Hills Vineyard
– big sweet blackberry nose with some obvious oak, jammy on the tongue and a nice long sweet finish.
With smoked rabbit tenderloin in pasta (bunny spaghetti)
1998 Vieux Donjon
– always a favourite. My friend’s last bottle sacrificed for our luncheon pleasure (psst – Bruce – I’ve got you covered – I have a couple of cases of this I haven’t opened yet….) This wine is no longer hiding it’s charms. The nose was doing the herb and anise thing and it has lots of fruit in the middle with a nice long finish. No rush at all on this one – it is just getting into prime time.
1998 Cascabel Shiraz, Fleurieu Peninsula
– an obvious Ozwine, but harder to place within Australia. Dark in the glass with heavy legs and nose to match, lots of flavour intensity and sweetness in the mouth, but not to excess as so many recent wines have been. Good length, not much in the way of tannin, and a nice little tickle of cinnamon that shaded the finish briefly. Probably best over the next 5 years or so.
A lunch we won’t quickly forget.