Our monthly lunch group met recently at our distinguished venue, the Santa Barbara Club. Our wine theme was first growth Bordeaux with some other allowances [see list at bottom]. It was one of our best ever since 1988 for this theme.
The menu paired by our highly esteemed Chef Humberto and served by our wait staff headed by devoted Tina was:
Chanterelle mushroom bisque
Beef tenderloin Rossini
Triple cream and blue Stilton
Poached pear in red wine with home made eggnog
Our wines in order of pouring:
First flight of 2:
2005 CHATEAU d`YQUEM “Y” YGRET BORDEAUX BLANC- this was a fabulous Y as all others have been to date and a real treat to start off a glorious day of fine food and wine; this bottle had the hallmark of very bright acidity to compliment the nice fresh citrus notes with lemon zest dominating along with pineapple and even some stone fruit joining in; it had a somewhat vanilla honeyed taste and texture and my palate was well prepared for all that was to come.
2013 PAPE-CLEMENT PESSAC-LEOGNON BLANC- I loved this wine; it had such fine palate appeal from the nose throughout offering fresh upfront grassy lemon lime and baked apple notes along with such a pleasing creamy texture; more flavors kept coming in with honeysuckle and vanilla joining by mid palate; it was a complete package made from 54% Semillion, 36% Sauvignon Blanc, 8% Sauvignon Gris, 2% Muscadelle.
Second Flight of 4-
1962 CHATEAU LATOUR PAUILLAC-this was an absolutely stunning bottle with a color that denotes a wine with much less age and yet the taste profile denotes a wine that is beautifully mature and offering numerous treats along the way; the aromatics first showed a bit of earth, then spice, then cigar box and a hint of smoke along with dried black fruit; early in the taste, there was some dried currant, cranberry and black cherry notes that also had a somewhat sweet accent; it was in great balance, had a soft and silky texture and phenomenal length; the finish also retained some of the smoke character, not to a fault, but notable; an amazing 54 year old wine with much more to give in the years to come.
1971 CHATEAU LATOUR PAUILLAC- this splendid wine had a deceiving dark, youthful purple color, a nose redolent of dusty, spice box, sweet sandalwood and more that was easier to detect in the taste; mint, pine and licorice embellished the tertiary black fruitiness; it was easy on the palate and held on for a sensational completion at the end.
1979 CHATEAU LEOVILLE LAS CASES ST. JULIEN- showing a still youthful color, the nose had some earth, smoke, spice and a touch of Brett as well as some tertiary dried black currant and blackberry; once tasted, it gave up nice flavors of sweet black cherry; this was medium to full bodied, held on for a grand finish and there was still a hint of Brett in the cloud.
1994 CHATEAU LEOVILLE LAS CASES ST. JULIEN- this was a good bottle from a tough vintage where few stars shined and fortunately this was one of them; it had lots of saddle leather accented cranberry cherry and sweet black cherry coming in about mid palate; it was vibrant, spunky and complex and overall, a good drink and one of the best I`ve had from 94`.
Third flight of 4:
1995 CHATEAU PICHON-LALANDE PAUILLAC- I bought a case of this and other 95`s and have yet to open one, so I thought this might be a time to discover where this one is and judge accordingly; to my consternation, it is way too early and has a ways to go before being fully integrated although it showed enough brilliance to serve to confirm this is a great wine to be enjoyed many years later on; it had very youthful, vibrant ripe dark fruit with firm tannins serving to provide a backbone for longevity; with time in the glass [this was double decanted initially], some spice and cedar came in and pleasant sweet black cherry became more discernable; I`ll give this another 6-8 years before retrying and I expect it to take many more years before it`s even close to peaking.
1986 CHATEAU PICHON-LONGUEVILLE BARON- PAUILLAC- an interesting bottle in that there was a strong suggestion of TCA and still some redeeming qualities coming in; I hesitated to verbalize the corky finding as this group seems to be somewhat sensitive to such revelations; I withheld making any statement and was surprised when my guest, who is IMHO a wine major wine aficionado with a particular emphasis on Bordeaux among other high end old world wines, asked me what I got and concurred when I shared corked; even at that, there was some tasty fruit and a decent structure; I got sweet dark chocolate covered black currant, but past mid palate, the corkiness re-occurred, the fruit dissipated a bit and I moved out.
1990 CHATEAU PICHON-LONGUEVILLE BARON- PAUILLAC- this bottle shined beautifully; it had real inviting aromatics and a taste profile to back it up; there was substantial fresh, ripe black fruit with cedar and licorice accents, youthful exuberance, good mouthfeel and nice balance; definitely a winner and a wine to be treasured for many years to come.
2000 CHATEAU PICHON-LONGUEVILLE BARON PAUILLAC- very young and many years ahead of its time, this showed why one would want to cellar and open it many years hence; there was nice leather, spice and earth complimenting the fresh, vibrant dark fruit; it was full bodied, rich and long and has a structure to hold it on track for a long eventful lifetime.
Fourth flight of 4:
1982 CHATEAU PAVIE ST. EMILLION- this had an amazing youthfulness from the color though the taste profile with absolutely no bricking as did the last bottle I had; there was a bounty of aromas and tastes with a predominance of cedar, spicy and earthy accents to the somewhat tart blue and black fruit; the substantial tannins are mostly integrated with more to come with evolution; made in the “old” Pavie style, it`s not to be confused with the more recent wines from this Chateau; this has that serious significant structure to go for decades upon decades.
1990 CHATEAU L`EVANGILE POMEROL- of all of the wine heretofore, the color on this bottle was the lightest having a light ruby color that one could see through; this was the antithesis to what the aromatics and taste profile displayed; there was an abundance of fresh licorice and cedar flavored dark fruit and a mouthfeel of silk and softness that highlighted the experience; in a perfect place now, this has all the stuffing to please way on down the line, some power, lots of elegance.
1998 CHATEAU TROTANOY POMEROL- another winner from the Right Bank, this bottle gave and gave with resulting joy and pleasure; there was such enticing aromas of leather cedar and talc infused blue and black fruit; by about mid palate, the fruit showed more of the dried tertiary notes and it finished a bit dry with bracing tannins coming in; nonetheless, the taste and texture were enough to make this a worthwhile experience, but if I had more of this in my cellar, I`d try another bottle soon to see if it`s time to drink up or was this just a bottle variation?
2001 CHATEAU LA CLUSIERE ST. EMILLION- I got this as having been made more in the new world style and it has a lot of maturity to achieve; the nose is full of toast and a hit of mint; the taste had more mint chocolate cherry flavors; this is full bodied and pretty intense with its richness, depth and complexity; as serious as it is, there was still a smooth mouthfeel along with a somewhat mellowing finish; lots of power and some finesse.
Fifth flight of 1 dessert wine:
1990 CHATEAU SUDUIRAUT SAUTERNES- 375 ml; sweetened honey flavored apricot and nutty almond flavors abound in this creamy rich delightful treat.
As usual, a friend forwards pictures of each bottle and it`s at that time I get to discover which wines I`d had and which ones I missed. There was at least one wine that failed to make it around which probably can be easily explained by all of the everyone`s delight for all of the trophies just consumed. We had a good lunch.
FYI, here`s the list of acceptable wines for this occasion: