A good lunch with some lovely old wines
I attended my first ever lunch at Berry Bros & Rudd's historic St James' St premises today. I was invited by Jasper Morris, the occasion being the visit of Californian winemaker Douglas Danielak; also present was fellow wine writer Margaret Rand.
We began by tasting through the Paras Vineyard wines that Douglas makes (you can read my review of these here). Then we went through to lunch, where we drank some rather interesting wines. I should lunch like this more often!
All the following were BBR bottlings/own labels. First, a white Burgundy, and then three reds from the 1960s, the first of which was served blind. Drinking older wines like these is a total gamble (sometimes they can just be nasty), but today, they all showed really well.
Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatieres 1983
From Prosper Mafoux, a negociant-eleveur in Santenay. This is deep coloured, and initially it seems a bit nutty and sherried. But after a while it reveals lovely fresh mineral notes under some richer, apricot and barley sugar notes. An interesting, rather evolved wine. 89/100
St Amour 1964
From Thorin, this was served blind. It was a revelation. Lovely aromatics: pure, a bit spicy, with wonderful purity of fresh red fruits. The palate is really elegant with sweet, pure fruit, a hint of sappiness and a little spicy structure. Beautiful balance here - you'd never expect this from an old Beaujolais. So elegant. 93/100
Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Combes aux Moines 1964
This came via Reid, Pye and Campbell and is from Maison Lupe-Cholet. BBR paid £122 for the hogshead. It's a rich, dense wine with some meaty, soy sauce and herb notes on the nose, as well as just a hint of musty earthiness. The palate is dense and rich with dark fruit and some structure. Not totally pure, but deliciously rich and still drinking very well indeed. 92/100
Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru 1966
No information on who this is from. It's fresh and spicy with a dark cherry fruit nose. Well defined on the palate, this is almost youthful, with just a bit of earthiness. Really well defined, and ageing beautifully, this will continue to drink well for some time I reckon. 92/100