Champagne, Burgs, Yquem and Rhum

Had our annual lunch in the Barossa with great friends from Adelaide at Otherness yesterday. Emily Thomas and Sandor Palmai were manning the pots and pans and put on a terrific spread for us. Each course complimented the wine perfectly. Emily is ex-River Café in London and Sandor is one of our great local chefs.


2002 Pol Roger Champagne Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill: Rich and complex, with a nose of toast, brioche, preserved lemon and biscuit. It was full, creamy and powerful and cut by a line of minerally acidity. The finish drove on and on. Still very fresh.

Course 1

Prawn Remoulade

1975 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne, Grand Cru : Some struck match to the aroma along with white flowers, wild herbs and crème brulee. The palate was direct and linear, with good fruit intensity and a light cheesiness. It was a tad lean through the mid and had bitter citrus cut to the finish. A remarkably good wine from a very difficult vintage.

1985 Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne, Grand Cru : This wine has been in the zone for the best part of a decade and this bottle was humming. Complex aromatics of white mushroom, truffle, preserved lemon and spice. It is quite elegant and silky, but has real focus and detail. Each sip reveals another subtle nuance, and the finish is precise and persistent.

2015 Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru : This is a powerhouse. Loaded with sappy orchard fruits, trimmed with wood spice. Rich, intense, and explosive. Great presence and drive and oozes minerality on the extremely long finish. So youthful!

Course 2

Gnocchi & Squash Flowers

2008 Etienne Sauzet Montrachet, Grand Cru : Developed, but certainly appropriately for its age. There’s a hint of brulee sneaking into an aroma and flavour profile that has ripe peach and guava fruits. It is rich and spicy, layered and long. You get power and elegance here and some lovely florals and minerals on the back-end.

2015 Bouchard Pere et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru : This is a huge, powerful white wine dripping with sappy orchard fruits. There are smoky mineral notes and some spearmint cream and aniseed too. It is full, layered and powerful. There’s so much wine here but it remains light on its feet. The finish is loaded with chalky dry extract and length imposing. This wine could liver forever under Diam.

Course 3

Crisp Skin Duck Breast, Beetroot & D’agen Plums

1988 Domaine Dujac Echezeaux, Grand Cru : Started off quite shy and tight. Breathed up beautifully to show a myriad of florals and Asian spices. There notes of beef stock, Hoisin and sandalwood too. It is so silky and elegant and balance is impeccable. The finish is fine, minerally and long.

1988 Mugneret-Gibourg Echezaux Grand Cru : Sadly, some tca robbed us of what should have been and would have been a great wine. Plenty of density and texture here but fat too dank to derive any pleasure.

Course 4

Hutton Vale Lamb Roast & Tapenade with Green Beans

1988 Domaine Bart Bonnes Mares Grand Cru : Some smoked meats and earth and chunky dark fruits. I have had better bottles of this and it was totally outclassed by the other two wines in the bracket.

1988 Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Musigny, Grand Cru : Elegance personified. Not a big Musigny, but so ethereal and one with latent power. Fruits vacillate between red and blue. There is a hint of earth and a scent of violets. It has fine detail and a cool, stony base. It builds through the palate and fans out and leaves a highly perfumed calling card. Great balance and fabulous minerally acidity.

1988 Domaine Trapet Chambertin, Grand Cru : Drinking at the top of its game. A huge nose of dark fruits, smoked meats, musk and earth. Rich and powerful, deep and long. Velvety of texture and finishes with some tannic chew.


Apple Tarte Tatin

1966 Château d’Yquem : A wonderful bottle. Some VA punches aromas of apricot jam, vanilla, coconut and lanolin into the nostrils. It is rich, sweet and heady. There’s so much going on and it is so luscious and sensual, The finish has plenty of orange rind bitterness and length is impressive.

We finished with cigars and a nip of Barbancourt Reserve du Domaine 15-year-old Rhum from Haiti, that was bottled in the 1950’s


That rhum sounds yum.

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That’s one of my defining Burgundy wines. Love that note as it brings back great heart-warming memories.

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Hi Karl,

I don’t drink spirits very often, but boy was it good.


Awesome line up!

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I’m disappointed you skipped the cleansing ales AFTER the Rhum. You’re slowing down! :kissing_heart:

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Getting too old.

love the BdM CC vertical. 85 and 86 were twin titans. Nice to see 85 doing more than just hanging in there. Would love to try it and 86 again, the latter with a touch of botrytis. Never had 75.

The other wines weren’t too bad either!

I’m sure you could have handled a cleansing ale. Many of us are disappointed. After all, you’ve been an inspiration for years.

I did have a cleansing ale at the cricket last night!

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That’s my mate. Would have liked to seen plural ales but I’ll take it! :beers:

Thanks Matthew. I just might have had more than one. Got a bit excited to see Maxwell make 120 off 50 balls.

I would need a few just to try and understand the rules of cricket.

I once asked an Aussie friend to explain the scoring and when a match was over and done. He started laughing. Almost 20 mins later we weren’t much further along in my comprehension than when we had started.

Simple really. This from the MCC.
And 120 from 50 balls is like watching a 51-50 Superbowl scoreline.

  • You have two sides, one out in the field and one in.
  • Each man that’s in the side that’s in the field goes out and when he’s out comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out.
  • When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in.
  • When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in out.
  • Sometimes there are men still in and not out.
  • There are men called umpires who stay out all the time, and they decide when the men who are in are out.
  • Depending on the weather and the light, the umpires can also send everybody in, no matter whether they’re in or out.
  • When both sides have been in and all the men are out (including those who are not out), then the game is finished