Now this was a real bargain wine

Gone are the days when one could get a good Engel Grand Cru in Selfridge’s for £34 a bottle. Luckily, we stocked up.

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Grands-Echezeaux Grand Cru 1999, Rene Engel

A lovely nose of dense, exotic, expressive fruit that really charms my tired nose. This smells superb. There is plenty of fruit, plenty of minerality and this is framed by the most subtle of oak treatments one could wish for. Serious complexity here. The palate is smooth and silky, with real Grand Cru definition of flavour and complexity. The fruit is utterly lovely. This is seriously stylish but, if I am honest, this is too young to be drinking this wine. There is clearly bucket loads more complexity to come from this wine over the next 10-15 years (if your cellar is up to the challenge). I’ve had plenty of evidence that Rene Engel wines are completely lovely, and this just adds weight to that case. It is a shame I never got to meet him I love his wines so; when I faxed to make an appointment I got a reply saying he had died brutally on his yacht in Tahiti. Seems a bit of a drastic step to avoid presenting one’s wines to an enthusiastic audience…

  • Ed Tully

    How much? the cost of pleasure has never been so high as it is now. I pity anyone who has not already started a cellar.

  • David Strange

    How much? The clue was where I said the price we paid for it, “one could get a good Engel Grand Cru in Selfridge’s for £34 a bottle”.

  • Ed Tully

    Yes, yes. The how much was merely a rhetorical device to indicate rueful acknowledgement at the cost of pleasures in times past. As we march towards a blue-tinted future one can only imagine that joys will be even more ruinous. Even pol roger 1998 (much nicer than it used to be) costs nearly twenty six pounds now. And I paid an absolute fortune for Krug 1996.

  • Peter

    Ed, Why on earth were you buying krug? I thought the trick was to sponge off others, or are you losing your touch.

  • David Strange

    Oh come on, Peter, buying Krug is a lot better value than all of the god-awful Claret that Mr T buys. I would pay an awfully large amount for Krug 1996; an unbeatably good year from a producer who knows how to make the best of such vintages.

    I’m looking forward to my mag of Gratien 1996 that I have planned for my birthday extravaganza this winter. That was great value for what is a truly lovely bottle of fizz.

  • ed tully

    Ah, sadly the freeloading ended more ore less at the same time as my first salary cheque. Oh well! All good things and all that. The major problem now is finding people to help me drink the wine I have bought. In short, I need some spongers to help me out!