A lovely birthday meal last night, with plenty of people present who I am lucky enough to count among my friends. We ate well and drank exceptionally well.
This was a seriously fine bottle of champagne. It was quite acidic and austere, but had plenty of weight and power. It was very ripe despite the acidity, so the balance was perfect making this a great wine. It was also a lovely drink.
Riesling Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese Lange Goldkapsel 1975, J J Prum
A wine the same age as four of us present for the meal. This was very concentrated, but ethereal, light and elegant. It had very balanced fruit and acidity. It was very long. A wonderful wine and I really appreciated drinking it.
Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru Folatieres 1995, Gerard Chavy
This started off quite subdued, but it opened up given time and blossomed into a lovely, complex, mineral Puligny. I was surprised it had aged so well.
Riesling Kellerberg 1999, F X Pichler
A linear, direct and focused Austrian Riesling. It had the typical white pepper nose and it was very mineral. Despite its focus and directness it did have a degree of fat and was very well balanced. I thought this slipped down a treat.
Grand Vin D’Altenberg 1997, Domaine Marcel Deiss
I bloody hated this. It was too sweet, with too little acidity and a weird melange of flavours that suggested the constituent components were ageing at wildly different rates. The loon Deiss has really gone from wine-making god to contemptible swine far too quickly. Bad show, M. Deiss.
Clos des Lambrays 1999, Domaine des Lambrays en magnum
Oh yes, back to the good stuff. This was a beautiful, earthy, very complex wine with great length and real style. It helped that it was decanted as it really was far too young, but it was clearly a great wine by any definition of the word and was a joy to drink. I loved it.
Chambertin 1993, Domaine Rousseau
Another stunningly good red Burgundy. It was very complex, with soft, charming, generally lovely fruit. The length was superb, as was the balance. It sang a song of beauty on my palate and I thought this was a candidate for wine of the night.
Echezeaux 1985, Domaine Henri Jayer
Corked, alas! Bugger, bugger, bugger.
Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion 1975 en magnum
Another great wine where the fantastic balance was the key to its greatness. It had lovely, voluptuous fruit, roundness and weight, but a backbone of acidity and focus that made it burst with life. This was an incredibly fine wine and a strong contender for wine of the night. It was great, and another one that slipped down a treat.
Quarts de Chaumes 1996, Domaine des Baumards
This was incredibly botrytic and ripe with lots of fruit. The palate had lots of good acidity as well as plenty of sugar, so the balance was good. I really enjoy Baumard Quarts de Chaumes and this did not disappoint.