Even though I've had some old wines, a 29 Pommery and 1937 Hospices de Beaune Cluvee Blondeau, I just don't get to do this very often. That's why Twitter can bring out the beast in me. I hate that green beast showing its face, but when I see what other colleagues, like Mike Steinberger get to drink, damn, it sneaks out. And so why am I so blessed that for some reason Mike Martin decided to take me under his protective wing, I have no idea, but I bow to him. Drinking older wine is essential to put wine today in perspective.
Older wine of some sort is open to almost everyone. It takes patience, foresight and self-control. Buy cases of muscadet, beaujolais, cornas, chinon, buy the best bourgogne rouge you can buy, and lay it down, trying one every year, other year, to watch it's progression. Or just plunk a few away, and keep your hands off of them for eight years at least. It will be revelational.
So, the wines; In a perfect world, I'd have these just with some food on the table, some cheese, so I could focus on each wine, when I'm socializing, and eating delicious food, I take nasty notes.
82 Lanson Brut •Magnum --more pleasant than I'd have expected, not too complex, rounded, weak finish.
'21 Ch. Rauzan-Gassie-- tomato dust
'37 C. Vienot Charmes Chambertin- now we're talking, I'd bet my DuBouef samples that there's syrah in there.
'49 Seguin-Manuel Beaune "Clos de Mouches"- powdery, old lady, intriguing. Then it became chunky, muscular, whisper. Really liked this.
'57 Jadot Corton Charlemagne: Impressive. Intense. Salty. Caramel. Fresh. Lemon. Zing.
'62 Laville Haut Brion Blanc: Corked
'67 Domaine de Chevalier Rouge: Boring.
'78 Confuron-Cotetidot Vosne Romanee, Les Suchots: Yes! Loved this. I wrote hearts all over my page and then wrote STEMS!! I know that note is totally useless but the wine seemed authentic, had some rose petal and ink and exoticness.
'89 D'Angerville Volnay "Clos de Ducs": Not half bad. Funky. Firm. Cranberry. Flat finish.
'90 Leroy Meursault "Les Charmes": sorry. delicate yet four-square.
'03 Rouget Vosne Romanee "Cros Parantoux": I kept on thinking confabulation, california.
'53 Ch. Doisy-Daene: no comment.
The actual dinner was amazing. Marc's food at Five Points has never been better. If you haven't been, go. The food has an immediacy that I find lacking in so much of food these days. And as far as ettiquette, two people cancelled ten minutes before the dinner was to start. I don't get this. How can you do this when you know two people couldn't come because you had their seats, and those who were there would have to cover your costs?
I don't get it. As it turns out two people did not mind getting invites ten minutes after Mike's show started, so it worked out. But folk, it's just not right. Here's the drill. Cancel if you must but say, I'm sending a check.
Okay, lecture over. Many thanks to Mike, the angel, and for his amazing generosity. Old wines are a crap shoot: they can be spoof with other crap, they can be failing, they can be ghosts, they can be brilliant. But wine is history, even if it is tampered with, and there's so much to learn in an old bottle.