Gareth's Magnum Dinner, part 1

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Tasted June 24, 2021 by NickA with 35 views

Flight 1 - Gougeres and sourdough (2 notes)

White - Sparkling
1998 Pol Roger Champagne Vintage Brut France, Champagne
92 points
Magnum. Really enjoyable start to the evening: gentle, lifted, a nice tang to the finish. Scarcely any bubbles left but I didn't mind that. Maybe a tad too sweet, and not the most complex, but very happy to get multiple top-ups.
White - Sparkling
1996 R. & L. Legras Champagne Grand Cru Saint-Vincent France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
93 points
Magnum. More stuffing and complexity than the Pol we had alongside it, although no more lovely. Lemon, ginger and herbs on the nose, and a buttery (although not too rich) experience on the palate. Deep, smoky and pulsating with energy. Excellent.

Flight 2 - Parmesan-crusted stone bass, creamed fennel barley, lemon and caper jus (1 note)

White
1995 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
94 points
Magnum. Delighted to sniff this and immediately conclude it was in excellent condition. Seemed in a great spot, with plenty of evidence of the tropical, grassy, blackcurrant leaf notes of its youth, plus the waxy lanolin sensations that come with age. Loved the mouthfeel, the bitterness and the long finish.

Flight 3 - Cep ragout tagliatelle (2 notes)

Red
1970 Château Léoville Las Cases France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
92 points
Magnum. Still pretty dark (as you'd expect from a mag of LLC, I guess). Not an assertive wine though, just very classic: juicy, smoky, red-fruited and with a touch of barnyard - very far from completely tertiary. Mature and well-balanced but lacked the impact for greatness.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1974 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
92 points
Magnum. I seemed to be in a minority in not loving this: I respected it, but found certain unusual notes that I couldn't quite get past, so the wine seemed to me a bit of a curiosity rather than delicious per se. Caraway, mint chocolate (Matchmakers, to be precise), plenty of deep dark fruit. Nice mouthfeel and clearly lots of life left.

Flight 4 - Roast suckling pig, pommes cocotte, creamed parsley root (1 note)

Red
1990 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
93 points
Magnum. Delicious and piquant. Very classic in feel: serious and structured, and still with a good amount of juicy red fruit. Aromas of lavender and smoke brought complexity. A fine match for the food. Middleweight, but felt authoritative.

Flight 5 - Roasted breast of pigeon, poached cherries, celeriac puree and bitter leaves (1 note)

Red
1993 Faiveley Corton-Clos des Cortons Faiveley France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru
92 points
Magnum. Plenty of fruit and acidity here, and attractively aromatic, so another good match for the food, but a bit straightforward - missing a je ne sais quoi. Maybe better with more tertiary development?

Flight 6 - Farmhouse cheeses (2 notes)

White - Sweet/Dessert
1947 Moulin Touchais Anjou Blanc France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Anjou
94 points
Divine. Well-developed of course, with brown bread, wet wool, saffron and coffee as well as some tasty apricot fruit. Age and the inherent acidity of Chenin made this seem not particularly sweet, thus rendering it an excellent pairing with the cheese. Full of finesse - a real treat.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
1983 Moulin Touchais Anjou Blanc France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Anjou
92 points
Much sweeter than the '47, but gorgeously so: full of barley sugar and stem ginger along with the wet wool. Lacked the complexity and the weightlessness of the older wine, but still very good.

Closing

No truly great wines tonight, but consistently strong performances throughout, plenty of interest, and some really delicious food. Big success!

part 2 notes here https://www.cellartracker.com/event.asp?iEvent=46712

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