Weekend Libations

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Gareth J Welch, May 17, 2019.

  1. Gigondas 2016 Chateau de Saint Cosme. I did not have high expectations tonight but how wrong can you be. This wine is made from 70% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 14% Syrah and 1% Cinsault and presumably comes from worthwhile terroir. Aromas of violets, black cherry, liquorice and earth come through on the beautifully balanced palate. The wine is full bodied and majestic but its structure is spot on with well integrated tannins and a pleasing acidity. What is surprising is the purity, the polish and the overriding sense of self assurance which seems to be the hallmark of so many high achieving wines these days. Alcohol is 15% but I have to say this splendid Gigondas even manages to hold its tummy in. Bravo!
  2. Bernard Metrat Fleurie la Roilette 2016.I don't really like this though it may be me rather than the wine, it seems too broad and dully flat in a Cotes Du Rhonish sort of way and I'm more at home with the Burgundian sort of Beaujolais.
  3. Thanks Gareth, might leave them alone for another couple of years.
  4. PYCM St Aubin 2017 1er cru cuvee Marguerite: Too young... but quite a good wine with a lot of tension, acidity... needs to calm down.
  5. Almost pulled the cork on a bottle tonight.
    Played safe & opted for Amiot-Servelle BB ‘15. Neat & tidy. Think I know where some more can be purchased.
  6. Major family celebration at home tomorrow evening and I have managed to find at least some of the wines I have been holding back in the cellar for this event.
    I am simply going to list them and would very much appreciate any comments from those that have had recent experience of any of them - particularly:

    1. the Cristal [the last bottle of 6 acquired many years ago from the cellar of our favourite hotel/restaurant on the Loire]
    2. the Trimbach CFE [the last of 6 enjoyed over many years but not in the last 5]
    3. the Edmond Vatan Sancerre. The first vintage made by Edmond's daughter Ann.
    4. the Chateau Angelus. It's a Bordeaux preferring group and the match will be to a Chateaubriand. The Haut Brion will of course have pride of place. My 1990s unfortunately gone.
    5. the Chateau Lafite 2002 which hopefully won't need to be opened because it will surely be very young. 1998 is the red year chosen because youth is preferred in this group and my previous recent experiences of 1998 e.g. L'Evangile have been very positive. In any case Susan will only be interested in the Champagne and the white wines.
    6. the Huet Cuvee Constance. I last had this some years ago and it was very good indeed. I am aware of cork issues with this and other Constance vintages and this of course right in the TCA minefield hence the Back-up.

    Louis Roederer, Cristal Brut 1995
    Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne, Blanc de Blancs 1996
    Krug Grande Cuvee
    Back-Up: Dom Perignon 2004

    FE Trimbach, Alsace Riesling, Cuvee Frederic Emile, 2001
    Edmond Vatan, Sancerre, Clos La Neore 2008
    Simonnet-Febvre, Chablis, Les Preuses Grand Cru 2009
    Back-ups: Simonnet-Febvre, Chablis, Les Clos Grand Cru 2009
    N&G Fevre, Chablis, Les Preuses Grand Cru 2014

    Chateau Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan 1998
    Chateau Angelus, St. Emilion 1998
    Vieux Chateau Certan, Pomerol 1998
    Back-Ups: Chateau Conseillante, Pomerol 1998
    Chateau Lafite, Pauillac 2002
    Henri Gouges, Nuits St Georges, Clos des Porrets 2002

    Domaine Huet, Vouvray, Cuvee Constance Moelleux 1989
    Back-Up: Chateau La Tour Blanche, Sauternes 2001
  7. I hope the 1998 HB lives up to expectations, Nigel. IMNSHO it is an outstanding wine, better than the 1990, if not quite the equal of the 1989. Some commentators say the 2000 is better still, but I haven't had it, so don't know.

    What I do know is that the1998 has been quite stubborn in recent years, having been sublime a few years ago. I would give it at least 3 hours in a decanter, and pray for the very best. At some stage it will be truly outstanding, so let's hope it's this weekend.
    Chiu Lin and Neil Holland like this.
  8. Nigel,

    A few comments:

    Cristal should be excellent, although there is some variation. Comtes 1996 is one of the most solid and best 1996's.
    CFE 2001 is well into the premox period of Trimbach. Recent bottle was ok. It may still be fine.
    Lafite 2002 has started to be a lovely wine with a wonderful scented aroma. There is an edge of youth, a bit of untrimmed new oak, but it has real Lafite perfume. Consider risking it!
    VCC 1998 is an ok vintage for VCC but not quite as exciting as might be hoped.
    Constance 1989 as you note is a bit bumpy. Halves are drinkable but not great, a bottle may be better. Probably not the six star wine we all hoped for.


  9. Thank you Mark. All the Bordeaux will certainly see a decanter first and I was considering a minimum of 4 hours although an early taste of the L’Evangile 98 a while ago suggested it was not necessary.
  10. Have not opened any of my 98 Bordeaux yet so will be interested to learn how they show
    Suspect the Trimbach CFE will be white wine of the dinner. Absolutely gorgeous.
    Congratulations Nigel,whatever the occasion may be
    Nigel Groundwater likes this.
  11. Thanks Paul. Perhaps I will swap the VCC and the Conseillante although it’s the Angelus that I have not had before.
    Fingers crossed for the Constance. It has been great in the past although, if sadly required, the LTB will be a decent makeweight.
    I kept the CFE simply as an experience since the others have not had it before. If it’s poxed there are plenty of othe Chablis and Sancerres to choose from.
  12. Thanks Keith. I hope you are right about the CFE since it was kept for this occasion.
    I will report on the 98s.
    Keith Prothero likes this.
  13. Bethel Heights Estate Pinot Noir 2014 this eve, with a pork chop hastily marinaded in red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and fresh oregano.

    Some really impressive aspects to this wine. Evidently good raw material made with care. Bags of complexity and not even remotely closed down which I imagine a red burg might well be at this age.

    Although really rather engaging, the style was not entirely to my taste. Would prefer more acidity and a little less new oak influence (I presume that's what was producing the great impression of sweetness on the nose). I would still say one of the best pinot efforts outside of Burgundy I've had.
  14. I've had a six pack of the CFE 01 375eme (different wine I realise) over the last few years. In my opinion, well stored, good bottles of this cuvee are at peak and fabulously rich but precise. There is bottle variation though; some are on the downslope. I am not sure about any connotation of an 18 year old cork stoppered wine with 'premox' though. Some have just aged faster than others?
  15. 58F83705-67A7-4543-8C4A-2D0CB2645952.jpeg

    2005 Domaine Henry St Georges d’Orques, Le Mailhol. This is drinking very well this evening, a savoury herbaceous wine, great balance and a lithe 12.5% abc.

    I wish I had more wines like this in my cellar, the sort of stuff I used to buy before I become boring a predictable in purchasing mainly Bordeaux and Burgundy.
  16. Nigel,
    Whatever it is you are celebrating, do have a fine time.
    Susan will surely be delighted with the section of proceedings that I am tremendously jealous of.
    The 95 Cristal is rightly recognised as a supremely elegant representative of a very great vintage.It has been in the news lately as they have released the Oenotheque(or whatever term Roederer use) at eye watering prices.
    As Paul says Comtes 96 is the closest thing to a sure bet that 96 affords, and when we had a 20 years on tasting it was a clear winner as WOTN.
    GC Krug, well I have come to the view that this is the true representation of Krug magic, and I do not intend to get involved in vintage Krug going forward.
    If the reserve is called for then I expect 04 DP will confirm it is the consistent excellent wine that 02 DP never was.
    Whenever you can get around to notes do share and whilst others will be interested in still stuff do give an account of a champagne line up that is truly full of promise.
    Above all
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    Nigel Groundwater likes this.
  17. Petit Eglise 2001 last night, which showed rather better than recent reports in the 2001 offline thread.

    Initially starting rather beeswax-y (oddly more so on the palate than the nose) and a bit of vegetable water/cabbage, hopes were not high. However the beeswax attenuated with air and the cabbage blew off to reveal a cool fruited, classic, resolved claret. Fruit, acidity and tannins there and balanced. Not massively complex but a decent wine, probably now on it’s downslope, and very enjoyable with some lamb chops. Probably around the 88-89point mark for me.
  18. Thanks for the note.That’s been my experience with an en primeur case of this wine too which has largely disappointed over past years (too thin and vegetal) until bottles in recent months when my experience has been very close to yours.
  19. Thanks Ray - 50th wedding anniversary with close family at home. I will do my best to describe the wines . The previous 5 bottles of the Cristal have been used over the years to celebrate special occasions with this last one saved for the past 6 years just for this day. Similarly the Comtes (there will still be one left).
    We have loved many more of the 95 over much longer period finding the earliest of the 96 still spiky with its SO2. Subsequent more recent bottles have been excellent.
    I am not the greatest Krug fan but have found the Grande Cuvée has never failed in a celebration.
    My only cautionary tale is that I opened a Veuve Clicquot 2008 yesterday (to get some practice in ahead of today) and it was the most thoroughly ‘corked’ wine I have had. I will be taking it back today.
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    Rainer Guntermann likes this.
  20. Sounds wonderful Nigel, I hope the wine gods shine on you tonight.

    A golden wedding anniversary is something to celebrate indeed, congratulations.
    Nigel Groundwater likes this.
  21. We managed to find a fine pair of Comte Lafon’s In Lyon at well under retail. An 07 Santenots and a 14 Clos de Barre. I suspect the latter would benefit from a decant.

    We’re off to the Bocuse market to pick up goodies for dinner chez Powell. Will report back on the wines.
  22. Nigel to add to what Paul and others have advised, I would agree with Mark’s advice to give 98 HB an as long as possible decant. We had the 1998 VCC at Christmas Wimps and it is very good, and well into the drinking zone. It is virtually all merlot and as Paul notes perhaps not as complex as the best 1998 right bankers, but rich delicious and fruitcakey none the less. Conseillante is a more cerebral and complex wine than VCC in 1998, and somewhat more backward; but it is top drawer. Angelus is likely to be superficially attractive but at the same time backward and ultimately unfulfilling. But others may beg to differ because I am not generally a fan of this Chateau.
    Nigel Groundwater likes this.
  23. Anyone had the 98 L’Evangile recently ?
  24. Nigel,
    have a great day with your family and congratulations to 50 years of maturing together.

    P.S.: our VCC 98 about a year ago was beautiful, not at Peak but we enjoyed it a lot. Esp. the ladies
    Nigel Groundwater likes this.
  25. Thanks Ian
    Angelus is the odd one out for me too but I think I will still open it out of interest. I will stick with the VCC and keep the Conseillante and Lafite for later as originally planned unless we are unlucky. All opened will have up to a 4 hour decant.

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