The grand evening wine dinner
reporter: Andrew Stevenson
The evening dinner was an informal affair; the emphasis firmly on good food, great wine, and convivial conversation. The menu for the dinner was:
Roast Rump of Hillside lamb
Caramel Parfait in a Chocolate Cup
Cheese and Biscuits
Blimey, did we have some interesting wines or what? Many thanks to everyone for bringing and sharing such great wines.
2003 Grüner Veltliner Loibner Klostersatz Federspiel, FX Pichler
Reticent nose – light and fragrant (though a bit cold). Very full and spicy on the palate. Powerful but lacks elegance. Good.
1991 Chavignol La Grande Cote Sancerre
Light fragrant nose. Very rich. Refreshing. Good acidity. Very Good Indeed.
2003 Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Riesling Auslese Trocken “S”
Young ripe waxy riesling nose. Aggressively dry. Despite being rather too warm to appreciate it properly, this was rather good for a trocken. Very Good.
1999 Lorenzhöfer Riesling Auslese, Weingut Karlsmühle
Very light nose: crisp, ripe fresh riesling. Really nice rich full character, but with lots of balance and finesse. Very Good Indeed.
2002 Riesling Brut Sekt, Kurt Hain
Nice crisp appley nose. Very crisp. Very clean. Very nice. Very good riesling fizz.
1960 Riesling Réserve, Léon Beyer, Alsace (half bottle)
Very old, slightly oxidised riesling nose. Initially it seems merely a bit old and dried out, although far from dead. But tasted again, about two and a half hours later, it reveals a bright clean mature riesling nose hinting at sort of BA type levels of ripeness. On the palate it is more clearly a fine Alsace riesling. Very full, with nice balance. Excellent.
1988 Corton Charlemagne, Domaine du Martray
Very elegant, soft old white burgundy nose. Lovely and round. Very well balanced. But very even and a bit uni-dimensional. Rather good though. Very Good.
2002 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Kabinett, Kurt Hain
Lovely sherbetty appley nose. Spot on Hain PGT. Very Good Indeed.
1989 Chateau Mouton Rothschild
Slightly animalistic refined nose. Quite meat and rich on the palate. But not really sufficiently together on finish. Soft tannins with lovely structure. Very Good Indeed.
1987 Chateau Mouton Rothschild
Much more intense, less gamey nose than the ’89. Very elegant, quite light. Very well structured. Lovely soft tannins on the finish. Very Good Indeed.
1958 Marques de Riscal Elciego (Alava)
Mature ruby colour, but it doesn’t look anything like as old as 1958. Lovely old Rioja nose: nutty and slightly sweet. Going over the hill, but not gone. Touch of sweet fruit with the silkiest of tannins on the finish. Very Good Indeed.
1996 Petaluma Coonawarra Unfiltered 66% Cabernet Sauvignon: 34% Merlot
Next to the ’58 Rioja, this looks like Beaujolais Nouveau! – a youngish even ruby. Very clean blackcurrant and plums nose – quite sweet smelling. Lots of forward ripe fruit, but not at all OTT. This is a very good wine: not only complex, but also very enjoyable. Very Good Indeed.
1991 Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon
Good even ruby colour starting to mature. Intense minty blackcurrant nose. Lovely clean rich flavours. Very clean and pure. Lovely. Very Good Indeed.
1962 CVNE Imperial (I think this was from a half)
Mature looking with a touch of bricking. Animalistic VA nose but still some soft fruit. Light on the palate, with lots and lots of fruit still. This is really lovely. Excellent.
1994 E+E Barossa Valley Black Pepper Shiraz
Quite young looking (especially next to the ’62 Cune!) Very nice attractive ripe nose. Very ripe fruit on the palate. Possibly a bit simple, but enjoyable. Good.
1995 Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse du Lalande
To judge by the colour, this is just starting to mature. Very nice, attractive nose. Quite rich and elegant, but seems far too young. Good.
2000 Vieux Télégraphe
Very very young looking. Smells like a grenachey young Cotes du Rhone plonk. Soft, still quite grenachey, fruit on the attack, but for the rest it is totally dominated by tannins. Complete infanticide.
2000 Chateau du Trignon Gigondas
A youthful purple. Nice attractive nose. This is very nice. Lovely fruit. Lots of structure. Massive tannins on the finish. Very Good.
1995 Chateau La Tourette, Pauillac
Lovely nose – slightly goaty with a real sweet undercurrent. Very soft attack. Lovely fruit. Good structure. This is really very nice indeed. Very Good Indeed.
1999 Don Melchior, Concha y Toro, Chile
Deep and inky. Smoky, leathery nose. Lovely rich sweet ripe fruit attack. Builds into a really structured lovely wine. Very Good Indeed.
2003 Visner di Pergola, Marche, Italy. Tasted blind.
Youthful purple. Highly perfumed cranberry syrup nose. Highly fragrant sweet palate, still dominated by cranberries. Totally bizarre. Is this homemade or something?
2002 Bandol Cabassou, Domaine Tempier
Very young looking – a bright youthful purple. Rather closed violetty nose. Wow! What depths. Very elegant. Superb. Very Good Indeed.
1978 Ch. De Fonsalette Réserve
Nice mature colour. Animalistic and VA on the nose. The VA even comes through on the palate ruining it. Sweet and just a bit nasty.
1964 ‘believed Gevrey Chambertin’ No label other than the date slip. White capsule, no information on the cork. Very soft pinot noir nose, so perhaps not too much Hermitage in this! Golly, this is so alive. Lots of fruit, no VA and remarkably little ageing apparent. Still plenty of fruit on the palate and some good structure. Really lovely. Could easily put it twenty years younger. Very Good Indeed.
1999 Gravner Venezia Giulia IGT Ribolla Gravnera, magnum
Deepish gold. Very unusual nose, also a touch of oxidation. A certain dry sherryfied ripeness of fruit, but not entirely pleasant for me.
1995 Goldackerl Trockenbeerenauslese, Willi Opitz, half bottle
Rich coppery gold. Rich, elegant orangey honeyed nose. Rich and sweet, but just enough acidity to keep it good. Really lovely to drink. Luscious richness, but just saved from OTTness. Very Good Indeed.
1982 Hermitage, Chave
Lightish colour. Gorgeous nose, though with a touch of VA and oxidation. Rather old on the palate and a touch sweet from concentration. Very Good.
1996 Niepoort LBV
A rather simple nose. A straightforward decent LBV. Good.
1989 Bandol Cuvée Migoua, Domaine Tempier
Fabulous soft complex fruity nose. Feels nicely mature on the palate. Soft and very attractive. Loads of life left in it. Very Good Indeed.
1990 Ch. Guiraud 1er Cru Sauternes
Really nice elegant nose. Fantastic balance. Gorgeous, clean, fresh and totally lovely. Very Good Indeed.
1966 Pommerner Sonnenuhr Auslese Naturrein Riesling, Gebietswinzergenossenschaft des Kreises Cochem
Very even deep gold. Smokey, slightly honeyed old riesling nose. Even, clean old German riesling. No particular outstanding characteristics; old but very palatable.
The keenly anticipated result of the afternoon’s “mystery wine” competition was also announced. During the afternoon the superBOWLers had the chance to taste an unknown red wine and guess its identity and price. The one who came closest would scoop the prize. The wine turned out to be:
grape – Tempranillo
country – Spain
vintage – 1997
alcohol – 13.5%
price – £6.99
I am delighted to say the lucky winner of the competition was Geoff Der, who guessed three components out of five correctly.
All in all the superBOWL 2004 was an absolutely fantastic weekend, and this excellent dinner a real highlight.