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Bordeaux Dinner


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Notes from a recent dinner with friends:

With amuse-bouches:

1996 Pol Roger Blanc de Chardonnay – nice and yeasty, with a fresh lemony presentation. I tend to prefer Champagnes made with the usual red varietals as they tend to have more character, but this blanc de blanc was very good and drinking well now.

With potage de moules:

1999 Pavillon Blanc de Margaux – this wine always seems to have a fair dollop of oak and this was no exception. Showing some age now, it has reasonable balance but finished a touch tired and flabby, the lack if acidity no doubt a symptom of the vintage.

With black farfalle with prosciutto, prosciuttina and green asparagus tips:

1989 Branaire Ducru – unfortunately this bottle was slightly corked, but what was showing was good – medium body, smoother than the next wine and with paler edges, and also a bit leaner. Sadly, when you detect TCA, you just cannot use the tasting results as they may not be (and usually are not) a true representation of what the wine can be.

1989 Leoville Barton – darker wine with a classic cedar nose and sweeter fruit, very harmonious.

With duck confit:

1982 Gloria – a lovely mature nose and mellow, smooth and mature on palate, still with a little tannin, but the wine has peaked and drinks as well as it ever will. I drank my 1983 up early on but this vintage has aged much more gracefully and continues to offer significant pleasure.

1982 St. Pierre – this wine, also a product of Henri Martin’s is a bigger weightier wine with a bit more wood evident in the nose and a bit more tannin. Classic structure. This producer doesn’t get much attention but I have always enjoyed it. I can’t recall when they dropped the Servaistre from the name, and I’m not going to go cellar-diving to find out, but I think it was in the late 70s.

With poached pears and sauce Anglais:

1988 Guiraud – good Botrytis nose with coconut, medium sweet on palate, good length. Slightly the sweeter of the two.

1988 Suduiraut – darker colour, clean and balanced with less obvious Botrytis, and more weight. Really a toss-up as to which was more enjoyable on that night, but I think I’d take this one for current drinking and the Guiraud for long haul cellaring.

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