Dinner with Dirk: Chave 1988, De Vogüé Bonnes Mares 1969 and Taylors Vargellas 1976

chave de vogue

Dirk Niepoort is one of my favourite people on the planet. Last night we dined at Noble Rot, and shared some very special bottles.

Chave Hermitage 1988 Northern Rhöne, France
This bottle was pretty much perfect. In beautiful condition and still a deep, primary colour. Lovely detailed black cherries, spice, tar, pepper and meat notes, as well as some tea leaves and citrus peel. It is fresh and light, but rich at the same time. Complex, and drinking so well now, but no need to rush to drink up. 97/100

De Vogüé Bonnes Mares 1969 Burgundy, France
This is spectacular. Decanted, and chilled down a little, this is a Wine Society bottling, but it was bottled at France, so I’m assuming it was domaine bottled. It’s fresh and bright, with a hint of malty richness on the nose but a pristine, silky palate. The texture is amazing: it’s rich and seamless with elegance meeting power, and the softest structure. Sweet black cherries and plums underpinned by smooth, fine-grained tannins. Ethereal, and 1969 isn’t supposed to be a great year. 97/100

taylors vargellas

Taylors Quinta de Vargellas Vintage Port 1976 Douro, Portugal
Elegant, fresh and supple, this reminds me a bit of 1970. It’s lighter than you’d expect from a Vintage Port, but it has such finesse and elegance. Burgundian! Sweet, fine redcurrant, red cherries and a bit of pepper spice, with a hint of raisin and nice sweetness. Pure and lovely. 95/100



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