What I remember drinking on my birthday

We popped a few bottles for my birthday last Saturday. It was great to have dinner and some serious wine with friends. Sadly at the end of the evening my relaxed-status was too high to permit writing too much detail about the last two wines.

‘PR’ 1988, Pol Roger

The last vintage of the much-missed and much-loved prestige cuvee from Pol. A complex, biscuitty nose that smells properly mature. The palate had a good depth of flavour but remained an elegant dancer of a Champagne that skipped lightly across your palate. This was really stylish and was a great treat to drink.

Vintage Brut 1996, Alfred Gratien en magnum

This seems quite youthful on the nose, plenty of fruit and a sedate seasoning of oak. Good complexity here. The palate had the power and elegance of an Aston Martin; beautiful to behold but capable of generating deep excitement.

Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile 2002, Trimbach

Baked apple fruit on the nose, ripe with creamy minerality. There is also a vague hint of petrol on the nose. The palate has real complexity and more than a degree of rigor, serious acidity here. It has good, concentrated flavours and perfect harmony. Lovely.

Riesling Sommerberg Grand Cru ‘L31D’ 2002, Domaine Albert Boxler

Really ripe fruit on the nose, good citrus action with a really pronounced minerality. This smells like a really thrilling, lively drink. The palate has a good interplay between ripe fruit, acid and minerality. Excellent stuff, but I was in a minority preferring this to the CFE.

Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru les Cras 1997, Domaine G. Roumier

Ah, Christophe Roumier, his wines rarely disappoint. This had a highly attractive nose of fruit and earthy richness. Yum. The palate was really classy, with lovely ripeness, finely-balanced acidity and deeply pleasing earthiness. Really yummy++.

Chambertin Clos des Beze Grand Cru 1997, Dominique Laurent

The nose was very polished and refined, with only hints of Laurent’s fabled 200% new oak treatment; I expected it to be a lot oakier. Nice cherry fruit on the nose as well. The palate was silky, svelte and smooth, with plenty of interest. I think I preferred the Roumier les Cras, and the [link2post id=”844″]Lambrays[/link2post] too, come to think of it.

Pinot Noir ‘Jensen Vineyard’ 2005, Calera

This was a ripe, heady, juicy smelling wine, bursting with fruit and not short on its booze-quotient. There was a reasonable earthiness to the nose, which was most pleasing. The palate was also dominated by ripe fruit. It was soft and highly attractive. A really serious Californian Pinot, I loved it.

There were a couple of other bottles popped, but I am afraid to say at this point in the proceedings I was happy to drink and enjoy them rather than think too analytically about them. Hermitage La Chapelle 1995 from Jaboulet is always a treat and the mag of Riesling Maximin Grunhäuser Abtsberg Auslese 2001 was reasonably elegant and stylish.

Many thanks to James and Katie for hosting us all and cooking a rather nice stew. It was very tasty.

  • Ed

    With wines of such delight I think “preference” is unnecessary. It is lovely we live in a world where all of these pleasures exist. So I say “Get involved! These are the days!”.