Ch. Clos du Mont-Olivet, Chateauneuf-du-Pape Dinner

The Conrad Hotel, Hong Kong

Tasted November 3, 2009 by Goldstone with 832 views

Introduction

A dinner hosted by the current winemaker, Thierry Sabon.

All the wines were provided directly from the Chateau and were in first-class condition and decanted several hours in advance.

Flight 1 - Bland Salmon and Tuna Tatare with Not Quite Fresh-Poached Scallop and, apparently, Gaufrette Potatoes (1 note)

White
2008 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
82 points
Light silver green. Nose of granny smiths apples and nettles with some grass and a bit of fresh spearmint. Palate is white peaches then an odd cloying back end like turpentine. Unimpressive, but I am not a fan of white Chateauneuf -du-Pape.

Flight 2 - Insipid Double-Boiled Chicken Clear Broth without Much Chicken and Almost No Lobster and Herbs (2 notes)

Red
2007 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
84 points
Beautiful totally translucent red Burgundy-like colour. Very young and simple nose of fresh sawn box-wood and some strawberries. Very tannic but friendly-fruited palate. Nice dark cherries on the back end. Too young.
Red
2000 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
83 points
Similar Burgundy-like translucent light red colour to the 2007. Fresh and still young light Burgundy style nose that is fresh, light and unevolved. Is very tart and bitter on the palate. Simple and unmemorable.

Flight 3 - Unmemorable Risotto with Wild Mushroom Garnish (2 notes)

Red
1995 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
85 points
Light translucent red colour. An attractive touch of sweat and undergrowth on the nose but not much fruit. Distinct nicotine on the front palate turning into nice cherry stone fruit in the mid-palate but finishes on a harsh tannic note. Not much length. Disappointing.
Red
2004 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Cuvée du Papet France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
88 points
Young translucent more purple red. Very young primary nose of boxwood and cold tar. Very mouthfilling and quite velvety initial palate before the tannin jumps in with both it's boots on. Very attractive deep and pure sweet but fresh dark fruit at the back end which promises a great future. Harmonious but not quite fully integrated yet. Could develop into something special in 5+ years but is too young to drink now.

Flight 4 - Pan-Roasted Beef Fillet with Limp Red Onion Confit, Garlic Mashed Potato and Overcooked Vegetable Creation (2 notes)

These two wines were a textbook example of undisturbed cellaring at the Chateau.

Red
1978 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
90 points
Still youngish colour that is very bright and attractive. The first "gosh" nose of the night with a touch of freshly-strawed stable yards, white mushrooms and some leather. A light palate of dusty attic rooms with leather trunks in them. High acidity but not too much. Lovely back end on the palate of old cigar box and actual cigar leaf. Moderate length with some in resonance in the head on the finish. Very elegant.
Red
1966 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
94 points
Drank from a magnum provided from the Chateau library. No bricking, totally transparent light Burgundy red colour, completely clear at the rim and very bright and fresh-looking. Quiet but charming perfumed nose with fried smoked back of bacon in the background and a touch of sous-bois and wild woodland strawberries.....a very complex if feminine and chiffon-esque nose.....lovely. Palate is burnt caramel and milky toffee rolling into creme brûlée (or the brûlée anyway), Madras coffee with condensed milk, framed in taut acidity. Asian spices, sandalwood and temple incense emerge on the finish and reverberate in the head on the finish .....almost Musar-like. Great length. Very special and quite captivating.

Flight 5 - Fine Selection of Supermarket French Cheeses (1 note)

Red
1990 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Cuvée du Papet France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
91 points
Deep transparent red colour. Still has a very young nose of black tar and dried creosote, with cedar resin in the background and pure cocoa black chocolate. Very nice tightly framed and balanced palate of resinous new French oak, taut acidity, tart stewed plums that get sweeter in the mouth. Still quite young but shows great promise.

Closing

There is no doubt that the two oldest wines benefitted hugely from being straight from the Chateau's wine library. As Jean-Paul's wife pointed out, they had a brightness and a stability that is very rare to find in bottles of that age.

........ and the Chef at Brasserie on the Eigth did a great job to make sure that the food didn't overshadow the wine.

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