Often in the course of a day or two, many fine wines come across your palate. So it was at the Ekim Pair’s Party over the course of two days. It’s a little unusual in their city, as the wine lovers are not hung up on a limited variety of wines, but have a healthy and broad acceptance of all the serious wines of the world. And they have long memories and good cellars too. It just happened a little medley of Bordeaux reds passed this way. I’ve noted four of the as they are, well, ‘notable’!
I was pretty impressed with the 2005 Ch. Leoville-Barton St Julien. A wine that’s absolutely British, or should I say Irish? Well, it’s what the English love. This has always been straight down the line with some serious sturdiness in it, without being robust in any way. Black in colour and aromas and tastes of ripe black fruits. Almost fleshy, but retaining enough dryness. Plenty of structure, but quite accessible and with no hard edges. Ripe but still cassis-like and blackcurranty. A smidgeon of funk but in reality clean. They’ve kept up with modern times here.
Then also a second growth from the same commune, 1982 Ch. Gruaud-Larose St Julien. In its youthful days, this was a Mr Parker super-scoring wine, a wine that soared above its station. The descriptors, comments and ratings were stupendous, and we all rushed out and bought some. Wow the succulence of frit, the ripeness and size stopped one in one’s tracks. But that was in the days that brettanomyces wasn’t recognised. It was called ‘terroir’. Nowadays, tasting it, we can see it was and is riddled with it. SWMBO could get near it. I tried and couldn’t. Some very forgiving souls did make allowances, and those not in the know loved it. Hmmm….
From the same year that gave Mr Parker the kudos as being one of the planet’s most astute tasters was the 1982 Ch. Trotanoy Pomerol. This at the time was rated second in Pomerol to the legendary Petrus. Same family, but different terroirs. It was and is much more refined and aromatic. Beautifully deep and aromatic with fruit and the finest structure. Not lacking in seriousness in any way though. It has gone through downs since, but it’s back up there now. Tasting it in its early days, packed with tobacco, plum and earth. Now, totally tertiary, but still the same signature. Wonderful stuff. But, wait for it, as the night went on, out came more and more horsey material. NAC, the Ekim Pair and I could manage it, but not the very sensitive SWMBO.
Then finally a special bottle, as it was gifted to NAC. At 50 y.o., the 1966 Ch. Montrose St Estephe was something not to take lightly. We were drinking history. Many of the 1966s show really well, even to this day. This bottle opened to show the dreaded greens. Less than fully-ripe fruit. Plenty of acid too, making it edgy. Still with vestiges of structure, and in reality quite alive. But not an enjoyable drop. Still, something historical is still memorable. Thanks for the journey to the past. I don’t recall what I was doing in 1966, but I’m sure it wasn’t of any real consequence…