When I am 70, I would still love to drink this well.
A couple of months ago, we celebrated a dear friend’s 70ish birthday during one of the regular wine group dinner gatherings that I am a member of. My bad, I must have drunk too much or had too much fun, I forgot his exact age. But I know he is in the 70s.
Nothing start a party like a Champagne.
And so to adhere to the rule of starting from light to heavy, this became the obvious first red:
The grand dame has aged rather gracefully. Sure, she has lost some of her rosiness and she should, but she was still interesting. Like a classic, there was dried rose petals sweetness laced with savoury notes, stewed plum, well-worn leather, and cedar shavings, slightly medicinal. Gently fading, not faded.
The next few Bordeaux were younglings by comparison, but full of potential with patience.
Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste 2009
By comparison, it exuded bright ruby hue with youthful purple tint. It wore a brand new leather jacket offering just ripen dark fruits and smoke of a just lighted cedar shavings. It was not quite ready with firm acidity, notable hard tannins, and tight fruit structure. I would have love to taste it 18 hours later.
Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou 2005
It was ravishingly bright of deep ruby hue. Wonderful aromas of savoury spices, game, floral perfume, caramel, jammy red fruits and smoked meat. It took a while for me to taste the wine because I was so in love with the aromas. Then it embraced me at first sip with fleshy just ripen red fruits, and smashed plum and baked sweetness. Beautifully round and lush. Took me a while to put the glass down.
Chateau Pedesclaux 2005
Bright ruby hue with inky core. Revealing a conservative aromas of leather, rubber, sweet ripened cherry, blackberry, forest floor, and blueberry jam. Spices made its presence upon sipping showing firm and vibrant dark fruit acidity. Very enjoyable now.
Chateau Margaux 2002
The wine was aptly opened about 4 hours before we got to drink it. 14 years of cellaring was not not long enough to fade the dark youthful hue. First whiff revealed musky, wood, sweat, celery stalk, and savoury spices with a firm sense of masculinity. Gaminess made its first impression on the palate, followed by fleshy meatiness, savoury, sweet nuts, and steamed fruits. Seemed to have dulled out with weight or still tight, not quite ready to be drunk maybe?
Chateau Haut Brion 1995
It showed some ageing with amber hue on the edge. Barnyard like aromas with notes of game, musk, wax, cedar chips and baking spices. Flavours were more revealing with notes of spice, red fruits sweetness, oak, and leather. The finish was slightly bitter of medicine and graphite. Every time, I revisited, I was getting rather different flavour notes. Quite a chameleon.
Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1995
Compared to the Haut Brion, this looked more youthful with tint of deep blue core. Aromas were quite tight with hints of violets, nut, dark fruits such as blueberries and blackberries, firm leather, dusty minerality and austerity of tar. The flavours echoed the aromas with notable firm acidity, restrained sweetness and texture that seemed rather aggressive, firm and chewy.
Definitely needs at least 10 more years for it to give.
Chateau Petrus 2004
It showed impressive bright ruby hue. It presented itself at first whiff of graphite-like minerality, mint and lead, accompanied with warm tone of burnt rubber and bullish approach (not sure why I wrote this in my notes?). Flavours came through brighter with red sourish sweet cherries, lip-smacking vanilla cream, and racy acidity (rather fast and furious type). This was my first Petrus, fingers cross that it will not be my last.
Chateau Y quem 2004
My view on Y quem has always been DO NOT DISTURB FOR AT LEAST 20 YEARS. The sweetness of a dessert wine should not be too upfront and make you cringe. This didn’t quite did that, but I thought it would be perfect in about few more years. It revealed notes of melon, honey, vanilla cream, nuts such as hazelnut and almond, nougat, oak and citrus rind like bitterness on the finish. There is a sense of effervescence and bite. For me, everything just needed to mellow out a little more, but very delicious nonetheless.
I left this alone from the collage because for me, this was THE WINE of the evening, not just for me, but for several of others as well.
At 15 years old, it showed density in colour with brilliance. Fruit notes didn’t stand forward, but leather and sweat made its presence first (without swirling). Aromas of blackberries, dusty blue fruits, mint, cedar wood and game came through with a little agitation. I could not stop smelling the wine because it was simply divine and intoxicating. When I was finally done smelling it, I sipped and found taste of black and red fruits, savoury spice, and stewed like sweetness (was thinking of bacon and egg with splash of worcestershire sauce). As expected, the tannins were still firm but elegant.
I am working towards a luxurious morning of Cheval Blanc with Bacon and Eggs one day, preferably before I turn 70.