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.
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!
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.
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.
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