Cooked dinner for PaulT, DaveB (down for a work-related overnighter from Sydney) and JamieL at my joint Monday night. Most enjoyable evening that went into the early hours with some utterly beguilling wines imbibed. No notes taken on the night - point scores below based on the consensus from around the table. All wines masked - mostly double blind.
Grosset Watervale Riesling 1996 - more developed than/not as good as the last bottle opened a few months back - looked the goods early (complex toast, honey, lime and honeysuckle) but lost some of the “plot” later with a little distracting phenolic/underripe pineapple character. Drink up. 89-90
Comte Georges de Vogue Chambolle-Musigny 1983 - very mature hue - opened very stinky (cabbagey/gym shoe) - but, eh, what a transformation with a bit of time in the decanter - completely cleaned up its act - incredibly complex tertiary characters on the nose and palate with a super red fruit sweetness on the palate. Terrific structure. Brilliant for a village wine from a difficult vintage (rot). 92-93 Drink up
Hudelot-Noellat Vosne-Romanee Romanee-St.-Vivant 1992 - gorgeous solid cherry red colour - for another supposed “ordinary” vintage this fantastic pinot’s still fresh with typical V-R elegance, purity and rivetting pinosity from go to woe. Beautifully honed in all departments - most notably “breed” - with plenty of potential for further improvement - ranks as the best ‘92 Red Burg I’ve tried. 93-94 Drink now-2016 My WOTN
Yves Gangloff Cote-Rotie “La Barbradine” 1999 - my first experience with this maker - apart from a most terrible label, this perfumed, decadently rich, robust wine, from the one of the very best vintages of Cote-Rotie of all time, looked very classy with plenty of ripe black-fruited extract, good carry and a rosy mid-term drinking/cellaring window ahead. Sorry for a lack of descriptors - too busy cooking at the time this was served. 91-92
Ch. Clerc-Milon (Pauillac) 1995 - Incredibly deep colour and inky, oaky nose packed with masses of black fruit and a distinctive tarry edge (like a McLaren Vale Shiraz) - very new worldish/extractive - followed by a similarly etched palate of high quality. After making a complete ass of myself in the COTB/options, this wine dropped some of the rawness to display more typical left bank qualities. A most successful result for this fifth-growth Chateau with at least 10-15 years of development to savour. 89-90
Zind-Humbrecht (Alsace) Pinot Gris “Clos Windsbul” Selection de Grains Nobles 2001 - 9% A/V! Quite probably 250g of residual sugar - a more developed colour than the exceptional bottle served by “the hawk” at Tetsuya’s. Full of honey, apricots, exotic fruit - rampant viscosity on the palate - adequate but excellent balancing acidity - immaculate finish, terrific length. 92-94 Drink over the next 4-5 years, but I’d drink it now.
Overall an excellent, high standard, eclectic range of French reds shared with an empathetic group of wine lovers.