jamie goode's wine blog: Press tasting with ODI cricket and Beaucastel 1983

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Press tasting with ODI cricket and Beaucastel 1983

Berry Bros' press tasting today was very good. As well as some superb wines, a thoughtful soul had decided to put the Sky coverage of England vs. Sri Lanka on the plasma screen in the Pickering Cellar, so as we tasted we could watch some of the cricket.

Highlight for me, in a tasting that included gems such as the 1996 Vega Sicilia Unico, was the magnum of 1983 Beaucastel that was shown alongside the 1998 in a regular bottle. Beaucastel invariably ages very well, and the 1983, at almost 25, is deliciously mature, spicy and warm. There's just so much earthy, leathery, spicy complexity to this wine - it is also supremely elegant, and dinking perfectly now. BBR still have some of this left, but it isn't cheap at 179 per magnum.

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At 9:07 PM, Blogger Paul Tudor said...

I used to be a big fan of Beaucastel and especially the 83 which I remember tasting many years ago in a vertical line up presided over by Michael Brajkovich, who had just become New Zealand's first Master of Wine.

I went large on both the 89 and 90 Beaucastel as a result, buying a case of each and even a few magnums. Unfortunately both wines (but especially the 90) were marred by excessive brett. Now I am a fan of brett-y wines, but it has to be in harmony with the fruit and tannin. Haut-Brion 90 is a classic example - I know some people hate that wine, but I think it is gorgeous. Palmer 83 is an even better example - everyone I know loves the wine, despite its unmistakeable brett "twang".

So how was the 83 in this context - was the wine clean?

At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Alex Lake said...

But there has always been a great secondhand market for 90 and 89 - which I think are both fantastic.

At 1:04 AM, Blogger Salil said...

Can't comment on the Beaucastel as I'm yet to taste one, but I'm stunned to see England winning in Sri Lanka (in fact, until this tour, they hadn't won a single ODI in Sri Lanka in the lifespan of that Beaucastel). Very impressed by the way they've approached the tour, and Sidebottom's bowling has been superb.

At 2:58 AM, Blogger Paul Tudor said...

I do not like selling wine at market - because I generally bought it to enjoy with friends. But I did end up selling most of these two vintages and made a small gain on them (as I say, that was not the point of buying them...)

The secondary market is not well developed down here. In that same auction I had some classic Bordeaux that I also sold (again, because I had decided my tastes had changed and I no longer enjoyed the wines). But these took two or three auctions to sell and even then went for under the starting reserve (i.e. I lost in that case), while some possibly dodgy, yet cult NZ wines went for ridiculous prices alongside them.

89 and 90 were fantastic - I do not go out on a limb for anything that I have not tasted. But they are fading beauties now, I feel.


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