We hosted a vintage Bordeaux wine dinner last week. It was designed it such that our guests could “travel” through five decades (1960s-2000s) and “visit” six appellations from this most important wine region of the world.
To kick off ad pair the appetizers, we had a classic Pauillac white and Sauternes dessert wine.
Blanc de Lynch Bages 2001 (Pauillac) was creamy, lightly honeyed and medium-bodied; reminded us of a nice Burgundy white. This was certainly a pleasant surprise as some would have thought the wine to have way passed its peak. Remember to serve this chilled and let it breathe in glass for 15-30 minutes.
La Tour Blanche 1988 (Sauternes) was opened earlier to go with the foie gros appetizer. The wine had developed very well but probably passed its peak as it lacked a bit of the acidity to balance the overall structure. It did go well with the foie gras and the chesse cake dessert at the end of dinner.
For the six red wines, we didn’t use any decanter. Ducru Beaucaillou 1966 was opened at 6pm and remaining ones were opened at 630pm. Very luck for us is that the conditions of all the wines were simply excellent. They all further evolved throughout the dinner and lasted well past 1030pm.
Brane Cantenac 1975 (Margaux) really captured the crowd with its floral and earthy aroma, which lasted till end of the dinner. It was elegant and smooth as one would have expected from the Margaux appellation.
Domaine de Chevalier 1978 (Passac-Leognan) delivered a classic Graves – light tobacco, smoke and cedar on the aroma with generous fruit and concentrated palate. This was another lovely example from from our favorite vintage from 70s - great quality but reasonably priced.
Leoville-Las-Cases 1983 (St. Julien) delivered a wholesome experience for St. Julien lover. Honestly, this is a wine that you can hold on for few more years or allow it even more time to enjoy. This would be our pick of the vintage from early 1980s (who could afford to drink 1982 all the time…)
Clerc Milon 1986 (Pauillac) was “surprisingly young”. The tannins were already well-resolved with a solid structure and plenty of fruit on the palate. With no doubt, this would definitely be a great cellar candidate.
Ducru-Beaucaillou 1966 (St. Julien) could easily “pretend” to be a wine from late 70s/early 80s. It was very well-balanced on all dimensions, thanks largely to the excellent storage condition all along. The wine continued to develop and no sign of downhill even till the end of the dinner!
Le Fleur Petrus 1970 (Pomerol), similar to the 1966, demonstrated the true potential of this 45-year-old wine with its impeccable condition. The flavors were subtle with attractive nose and mid palate. We just wish there were more of this wine for everybody to taste.
Which was wine-of-the-night? Well, Ducru 1966, La Fleur Petrus 1970 and Las-Cases 1983 would probably be up there. All wines pleasantly surprised everybody at the dinner for their conditions and longevity. Nobody would dispute the fact that Bordeaux oldies are truly amazing and charming!