97 Yquem, 10 Croix des Rouzes, and 86 Palmer

Some friends were visiting from Australia, so my wife and I put on a wine lunch for them yesterday.

We started with Bollinger rosé. Two years ago I went with my wife to a Champagne tasting with some 30 producers. My better half decided to sample only the rosés. Her favorite with the Bollinger, so we bought a case. This is an elegant understated wine that cannot fail to please.

It is a well-known fact by Bordeaux lovers: the quality of red wines and sweet white wines can vary enormously in a given vintage. Such is the case with 1997 (and 2007). I have been lucky enough to enjoy 97 Yquem on several occasions. It is a lovely wine and, at age 20, gives us most of what it has to offer. The color is a beautiful amber and the balance superb. This is not your top-heavy viscous Sauternes. It went beautifully with duck foie gras and toast. It is difficult to find a more perfect food and wine combination (… perhaps Sancerre and crottin de Chagignol…).

We had two red wines with the rest of the meal (duck chops, new potatoes, and string beans).

I brought out the first wine because I wanted to share something that is not very well known. This was the 2010 Château Croix des Rouzes, Pomerol. I had tasted a more recent vintage that really impressed me, so I thought that the 2010 would be at least as good. Unfortunately, the wine was going through a dumb stage, even though Pomerol often shows well young. The wine was fruity and vital, but not together. Age will help, but this does not explain all of the disappointing performance.

We had 1986 Palmer with the cheese. This, on the other hand, lived up to my expectations. Tasted blind, my guests thought it was younger than its years. The nose was very good, but the wine was even better on the palate. I thought when it first started out that it would be on the thin side, but then it blossomed with a delicious richness. For my taste, the wine was a little past its best, but it was nevertheless a treat and valiantly defended the reputation of Bordeaux in front of my Burgundy-loving Australian friends.

Alex R.

The same friends as I met 3 years ago? [grin.gif]

I was fortunate enough to be one of the people who got to try one of Alex’ 97 d’Yquems at dinner at his house. That night is still very special to me, my dad and my friends Lynn and Jon. Brings back happy memories!

I’ve had it a couple times since then, the most recent at the “Insulin” OL in London back in May

"1997 Chateau D’Yquem

Concentrated bouquet, bits of pralines and cream biting around poached pear and coconut core. This is goody-good at start, if a bit forward. Delectable poached pear and some raisin tart. Tiny bit of bitterness when paired with the crème fraiche tart wild. But this is the first of the D’Yquem’s with a palpable ceiling, and this is solid and good, but not great."