For my birthday at the beginning of May, Germaine prepared chicken in a "vin jaune" sauce (actually it was a dry sherry), so naturally I got out a Jura vin jaune to go with it. She also had the good idea of inviting a couple of friends without warning me, so at the last minute I had to pull out bottles of Champagne and port to improve the occasion. Ultra rapid cooling of the Champagne could have been a contributor to my slight disappointment. I had laid on a bottle of Langoa-Barton 1990 as a precaution against our guests' not liking the vin jaune, which they had never had previously, but in the event it was not needed because the vin jaune went down well.
Champagne Egly-Ouriet Ambonnay grand cru Blanc de Noirs – Alc.12%. I think that this bottle was past its best. I could no longer read the disgorgement date which the grower helpfully provides. There seemed to be a loss of bloom compared with my memories of bottles drunk younger but there was still plenty of structure. Maybe it was misplaced as a starter and would have shown better with food. Just good 15/20.
Côtes du Jura Vin Jaune 1998 – Château d’Arlay – Alc.13.5%. This was smoother and more refined but less characterful than my last vin jaune from Puffeney. There was an attractive bouquet with typical “voile” sherry like oxidative notes and a quite full and complex palate with attractive minerality and roundness. This was, I think, a good introduction to this wine type because it is less extreme in its taste profile than some. Very good 16/20++.
Cockburn’s Quinta Dos Canais 1991 Vintage Port – Alc.20% - was a nice vigorous and quite youthfully fruited vintage port with good tannic backbone. Very good 16/20.