Notes from a casual evening of wine, tunes and searing foie gras.1990 Chapoutier CNduP La Bernardine
– came across this in my cellar while looking for something else and worried that I might have left it too long. Good colour, some olive and dark fruit in the nose, the wine now elegant and the tannins resolved. Good terminal weight and acidity. Still drinking well so the other 5 bottles will make their way out of the cellar in the next couple of years.1989 Chapoutier Hermitage La Sizeranne
– brought without collusions by another guest, this wine was also fairly dark, and has a slightly funky syrah nose with smoky notes and some leather. Drinking well with smooth feel and good balance, this is another one that should be drunk soon. Amazingly high fill level, and a really crappy label probably means it was from a moist cellar. I’ll trade high fills for pristine labels every time.1997 Drouhin Cotes de Beaune
– this wine made from the product of young vines is often good value, and this was no exception. Good colour, and briary red fruit in the nose, medium body, pleasant wine ready to drink1995 Santa Duc Gigondas Les Hauts Garrigues
– I’ve been slowly and happily working my way through a case and a half of this wine, and aside from a corked bottle it never fails to please. On the ripe side and fairly extracted, the nose was dark fruit and spice and the wine had good mouth feel and very good length, as well as possibly a little heat. I sense it is hitting stride and should be moved to the current drinking list!
An attendee had brought a half kilo of foie gras, so I had to go into the cellar to dig out something to go with it. Pulled this one with a bit of trepidation as it was pretty old for a second wine (of Rieussec).1988 Ch. Mayne des Carmes
Sauternes – fairly dark colour, but we knew instantly that we were in luck and it hadn’t tanked on us. Nice coconut nose with orange hints, fairly full in the mouth and good balance. I realized looking at my cellar list this morning that I’d blown a chance to do an interesting comparison – I also have a sixpack of 1988 Rieussec and to drink them side by side might have been instructive. Nonetheless, this inexpensive wine stood up beautifully with the foie gras.