Some golden oldies at Noize

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Ian Hampsted, May 11, 2018.

  1. Nicos and I met for dinner at Noize last night. We agreed that he bring the whites and I bring the reds.

    The first wine was the highlight of the evening and was sensational. It was a 1964 Meursault Charmes, see the picture below. I will let Nicos explain a bit more about it.


    The colour was deep golden, delivering a smorgasbord of hazelnuts, nougat, praline, mocha, coffee, truffles, then menthol, fennel bulb and wild herbs, then later apricots. The wine had a superb texture, vibrancy and overwhelming richness of a Grand Cru, and will easily last another decade.

    Next up was a Dr Burklin-Wolf Wachenheim, Kirchenstuck, Spatlese, from 1971. This wine was initially cocooned then began to unfurl with caramel notes, honey, apricots, and tropical fruits, underpinned by fine acidity. Played out in lower key than the Meursault, but a lovely wine nonetheless.


    The first red was the Calon Segur 1970. It was like walking into an old country house or an old church with carpet bag, old leather sofa, pew cushion, mouse droppings and similar tertiary notes, and a smoky spiceness on the mid palate. It has an old fashioned austerity and buttoned down claret correctness that I find so alluring but others less so. It went ever so well with the lamb main course.

    The last wine and the youngster was a bottle of Tignanello 1985 which I picked up at auction very recently. It is a wine I love. However this bottle had an oxidative note that we couldn’t get past and got worse as the evening progressed. The cork was very dry. I hope the rest of them are OK.

    Still three out of four hits isn’t bad for wines averaging 45 years of age.

    Last edited: May 11, 2018
  2. Interesting serving order, I would have switched the whites with the Riesling as a bit of a loosener.

    But then you had such a hit with the Meursault so clearly correct!
  3. I asked for the whites to be served in this order due to sweetness/richness. The German was richer and sweeter, so I placed it second. It worked very well. ;)
    Alex Jagger likes this.
  4. Ian,

    Thanks for posting your notes and photos. It was super to see you again for a most civilised evening...

    I agree with you on your notes, and we agreed on the order of the wines in terms of enjoyability. Aside from your Bordeaux area of speciality (amongst other areas), your notes convey the wines very accurately and with emotion. You are certainly my go-to Bordeaux expert, unless Neal Martin is in the immediate vicinity... :)

    1964 M.G.Lafite & Cie. - Meursault Charmes 1er Cru 'Les Dessus'
    Specifically on the Meursault, it has an interesting story. This is a Belgian negotiant bottling by M.G.Lafite & Cie, who were based in Brussels. It is a 'Les Dessus' lieu dit bottling from the Charmes 1er cru vineyard in Meursault. The bottles had been bought by a restaurant in Nice in the early 1970's and kept there for decades until the restaurant closed around 2007. I managed to buy a number of bottles around 2008 from the source that bought them from the Nice restaurant. Every single bottle has been very good or better. I remember being told to decant the bottles when I first bought them, and literally laughing. Astonishingly, this proved accurate at that time. Some of the bottles have been stunningly good. All of the bottles had been stoppered with top quality corks which have helped preserve the wine. I fondly remember a brilliant bottle I took to The Ledbury a few years ago for a casual and most civilised Saturday luncheon with Wine Pages members. This bottle was in the excellent category. 1964 Burgundies are quite hard to find as they have probably mostly been drunk. I don't believe this style of wine is being made in a similar way nowadays. The grapes could well have been picked at a level of ripeness that was not fully ripe by modern standards. The way the ripeness was underpinned by a freshness throughout the time we drank it, including with the cheese course, was a masterclass in white Burgundy. One of the best old wine purchases I have ever made, zero regrets.

    The 1971 Spatlese was imported into the UK by John Harvey & Sons, which is shown on a label on the neck. A pristine bottle with the fill level just below the cork. I tried the same wine from 1976 last year and it was also in good shape.

    The 1970 Calon-Segur was enjoyable on its own, but worked slightly better with food. The 'old school austere style' was enjoyable for both of us, but is not for everyone. It worked well with the lamb dish.

    I had been looking forward to the 1985 Tignanello. It may have been stored less than optimally, which was a real shame.

    A comment on Noize, as it was my first time. The staff were helpful and attentive without being intrusive. The plates of food were all solidly enjoyable. I look forward to my next visit.

  5. The amazing thing from our current perspective is that it is quite normal for white burgundies from the 60s and 70s to have survived quite intact when the cork remains sturdy, an observation that is true whatever the quality level.
    On the other hand, while one very occasionally finds a red that has survived a failing cork this simply never happens with whites.
  6. Thanks for that Nicos it was good to see you again. To civilised I would add cerebral and convivial. It was a pleasure to mull over these bottles with you. The Meursault has a fascinating history and had a timeless quality. It reminded a bit of a Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne 1970 supplied by Tim McCracken, which was my white wine of the year in 2017. We will be trying the 1969 next week at an event in Paris. It was also another good show from Noize. Having Mathieu there adds to the occasion because he analyses and critiques the wines ever so well.
  7. Hear Hear x 1000
    Nicos Neocleous likes this.
  8. We've had a few old bottles from M.G.Lafite and jolly good they have all been.
  9. Louis Latour and Cedric Margaux are not at all bad either.
  10. After that disappointment I pulled out another Tignanello 1985. Visually, tonight’s bottle was in by far the worst condition of the batch. The ullage was down into the shoulder, and there was significant seepage.

    It had a whiff of VA initially, which mercifully blew off. After that it just got better and better: savoury, full, grippy, vibrant, fresh, saline; exhilarating, grippy Sangiovese fruit, with wonderful combination of just ripe figs and piped tobacco, truffles, herbs and flowers; hints of more tertiary notes of cured meats and leather, but these are not to the fore, which suggests this wine still has so much more to give over coming years; after two hours bournville; it has superb length, thrilling bottle.

    Tignanello - the original and best ‘super tuscan’ - given all the other Cabernet and Merlot creations (interlopers) we lose sight of how good this wine really is. I would say if anything it is undervalued in today’s market.
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
    Nicos Neocleous and Alex Jagger like this.
  11. Hi Ian,
    Happy to read that this bottle was so much better! Well done!

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