Notes from a garden dinner:
2005 Dourthe No. 1Rosé – a cabernet based wine from Bordeaux, quite dry, nice pink colour and very pleasant as a starter or whistle wetter.
2004 Ch. Tour de Mirambeau – an Entre deux Mers with a decent nose, a lemony presentation on palate, very clean and great with the cold cucumber soup opener.
2001 Ch. La Garde – this white Bordeaux showed far too much colour, being a dark straw, and the nose was (ahem) very mature. Some decent flavours, but thos bottle, at least was over the hill (and through the dell….)
1995 Ch. La Louviere – what a contrast – fresh lemony nose with a hint of caramel lurking, tasty and smooth on palate and drinking at peak. With tarte l’oignin.
2000 Ch. Bernadotte (Haut Medoc) – we moved into reds with this really nice little wine. Lovely nose, with fruit and actually a slight reprise of the caramel found in the previous white. On palate a friendly wine with tannins soft, good fruit and an elegant sweet finish. With duck sausages.
The main event with three vintages of Grand Puy Lacoste took place next. Served with grilled asparagus with orange mayonnaise, cold roasted beef tenderloin with horseradish sauce, red and yellow peppers in oil, and parslied new potatoes.
1982 – this was the class act of the flight. Wonderful claret still drinking so well. The nose was sweet currant and a smokiness backed by a herbal element, the mouth feel was excellent, smooth and sweet. It still has some tannins and is quite well structured, but while it will clearly last for years, it drinks so well now and I doubt it will get any better than this.
1983 – in any other company this wine would be judged perfectly fine, but it suffered here. The nose was a touch looser and had a strange iodine element to it. It showed decent fruit in the middle and became a tad acidic at the end. Drink up, and do it away from any 82 Grand Puy if you want to properly enjoy it!
1986 – this one was still somewhat closed. It was quite dark, and the nose was not yet very expressive, but the elements were present. Bit tight on palate but obvious good fruit promises that given time it will blossom. Not sure it will ever be the attractive outgoing wine the 1982 now is, but I am willing to wait and see.
With cheese, a comparison of two splits of Sauternes:
1997 Suduiraut – quite a bit darker in colour of the two, with a more mature and ultimately less interesting nose that featured fruit and a vanilla custard sort of thing (another taster came up with this apt description and it worked for me, both in the nose and on palate). Pleasant but unexceptional, and a tad awkward.
1997 Rieussec – wow, what a difference! Good coconut and lemon/orange nose excellent mouth feel and balance with god acidity. Classy wine with a long future.