John Commerford's 67th birthday dinner

Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand
Tasted Thursday, June 7, 2012 by Marc with 330 views


Good friends of ours made the trip up to Auckland and the dinner coincided with John's birthday. The menu was

Cured kingfish, horseradish-edamame pureé (Cuilleron Condrieu "La Petite Cote" 2009)

Milk poached calves liver, caraway glazed onion, sauce laurier (Chave Hermitage Blanc 1996)

Glazed pork belly, swiss chard, poached apples (Matassa Blanc 2007, Penfolds Grange 1982)

Braised beef cheeks, potato pureé (Ch. Talbot 1982)

Chestnut soufflé, prune armagnac ice cream (Ch, Suduiraut 1989)

Flight 1 (7 Notes)

  • 2006 Gatinois Champagne Grand Cru Brut Millésimé 91 Points

    France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru

    Intense, but currently very tight. Biscuity and mineral with a citrus edge to the acid. Very concentrated and long. This will be a fascinating wine to follow as I imagine the wine will develop and change radically over time. It strikes me as the kind of wine that will offer enjoyment at every stage of its development.

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  • 2009 Domaine Yves Cuilleron Condrieu La Petite Cote 92 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu

    Gorgeous rich and clean as a whistle Condrieu. Low acid, high alcohol but opulent and exotic - round vanillin scents . Long with a clear mineral not ewhich added structure and definition. Modern style but a wonderful wine that matched fairly well with a David Chang recipe of cured kingfish with edamame and fresh horseradish puree.

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  • 1996 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Blanc 95 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    A very great wine that has been at a particular mid-maturity peak for a number of years now. Honey suckle and deep and dark fresh herbs, minerals and a slight oxidative character are abundant but what sets this wine apart is its balance and depth. It is brilliant wine making and this is clearly a great wine of the world. Next in 4 years.

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  • 2007 Matassa Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes Domaine Matassa Blanc 90 Points

    France, Languedoc Roussillon, Roussillon, Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes

    Quite an unusual style of wine - very high acid cut and noticeable vegetative notes. Walnuts, green herbs and oxidative character, allied to the high acid add up to a very unusual styleIt has great power and a seamless mouthfeel - a good match with sous vide pork belly and Swiss chard (Keller recipe), where it came alive. Questions were raised about the wine's physiological ripeness. It is a savory style and is currently not at its peak. I would give this 5 more year to see where it will end up. This will age for at least another 10 years. 90+?

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  • 1982 Penfolds Grange 94 Points

    Australia, South Australia

    This bottle was in impeccable condition. Looked like a 10 year old and tasted fresh as a daisy. Fat, structured and very Australian. The toasted coconut and sweet American oak still fairly scream off this wine. I love the thick tannic grip of this wine. The food match was not ideal, but this wine still showed itself as an archetypal example of Aussie shiraz. It has endured and it certainly has developed, but I question if this wine will ever develop the complexoity of a great Hermitage...Last bottle at 40...

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  • 1982 Château Talbot 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    A brilliant 1982 drinking at a particular peak of development. Extraordinary claret aromatics - earth, cedar, oak, cassis - but in an evolved yet fresh palate profile. Bottles in this condition will last another 10 years, no problem. Outclassed Penfold's Grange 1982 - which is par for the course as I have always opened a Bordeaux 82 next to this Grange and each time the Bordeaux has come across as the bigger wine (not to mention more layered). Certainly an over achiever in this year - batting well above it's status. Classic claret.

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  • 1989 Château Suduiraut 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes

    Stunning bottle. Massive richness, glorious apricot, botrytis, vanillin and caramel notes in a voluptuous style that is kept in check by well judged acid. This was a knockout with a Chestnut Souffle and Armagnac Custard.

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