Fifty in France with Friends and Family

It was my 50th Birthday this year, so our usual 3 weeks stay at our house in Provence featured more friends and a touch more Bacchanalia than usual. I apologise in advance.

2002 Domaine Coche Dury Bourgogne Blanc
I cannot imagine a finer BB. Light gold with green flecks. A touch of struck match, but this is subsumed by a beautiful citrusy lime, chalky nose. The palate is wonderfully clean, razor sharp with only the slightly abrupt finish betraying the wine’s lowly appelation. Dare I say it, but this almost worth the current asking price.

2000 Domaine Ramonet Bâtard-Montrachet
Summer 2016. The first of a clean sweep of oxidised or advanced Ramonet 2000 grand crus. At least they were consistent that year. This bottle was probably the most effected and went straight down the sink. Given it had travelled no more than 350kms in its life and it was in my company all the way, storage and provenance can’t be blamed.

2006 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet
Summer 2016. A travesty of a Chevalier. Too fat and lacking definition. Also, the colour is worryingly dark. What is wrong with Leflaive nowadays ?

2009 Hubert Lamy Saint-Aubin 1er Cru en Remilly
Lovely but too young. No hurry

1998 Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste. Hune
From the list at Oustalet. Summer 2016. I often forget how great Clos Ste Hune is. This reminded me. I (we) spend so much time chasing great bottles of white Burgundy that i forget that this can be bought easily at a far lower price point. This bottle was just getting going and probably needs another 10 years. Note to self… Buy more.

2006 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Bâtard-Montrachet
A very soft buttery style. Lovely wine but not quite what I look for in a PYCM grand cru. Shows the vintage signature more heavily now than 2 years ago

2011 Yann Durieux Bourgogne Les Grands Ponts
A bizarre melange of bilge water, strawberry juice and capsicum. Awful

2013 Coche-Dury Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrieres
An irresistable bargain from Beaugraviere’s list. Summer 2016. We gave this a one hour decant and shook vigourously. All the classic Coche elements are there however the intensity and cut make this almost painful to drink. Will be brilliant and underscores for me for good the '13s are. Happy to have some stashed away to revisit in 10+ years.

1964 Château Mont-Redon Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Drunk at Beaugraviere, Summer 2016. A beautiful looking bottle from superb provenance. Wonderfully elegant. Sous bois, cherries and strawberries still showing on the nose. Needed an hour to really blossom but by then the bottle was almost gone. A great bottle much in contrast with today’s monsters.

1993 Domaine Michel Niellon Bâtard-Montrachet
Drunk at Sablet Summer 2016. Better than my earlier bottle, this is showing beautiful secondary development, still framed by lovely orchard fruits. No hurry for the rest.

1998 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes
Summer 2016. Last drunk 10 years ago at my 40th, when it was too tight but showed potential, this is moving in the right direction but is still in need of a few more years. Should be a good bottle, but lacks fireworks.

1949 Château Haut-Brion Blanc
Summer 2016. From a magnum at Baumaniere. I’ve had my eye on this for some time. Luckily on this visit, we had the requisite number of participants to enable us to open a magnum and still enjoy a few other bottles. No label, but a lovely looking colour and cork. We gave this 30 minutes air which which proved transformational changing from somewhat skeletal and tertiary to a magnificent melange of mushroom, melon, grapefruit and honey. It got better and better, filling out over the course of the evening, with once again the last glass being the best. It will hold for many more years if given the chance.

1934 Moët & Chandon Champagne Brut Impérial
Summer 2016. At Baumaniere. Not a vintage I’ve seen before, but on this showing it must have been pretty good. Opened with a slight hiss, this was a lovely deep gold wiith noticeable effervescence. Quite sweet and truffley this avoided some of the heavy oxidative notes seen in some older Champagnes. Few at the table had had such an old sparkler. To them it was a revalation. For me, this was not in the same league as the 1911 and 1914 drunk side by side the year before, but still, it was an honour to drink.

1978 Mongeard-Mugneret Grands-Echezeaux
Summer 2016. This brought back very happy memories of a bottle shared with my parents at Le Pont de la Tour in London in the early 1990s. This was off the list at Oustau de Baumaniere, so the label was almost non existant but the fill and cork were perfect. I haven’t had DRC’s version in a few years, but I doubt it would match the perfect sense of balance combined with remarkable complexity that this showed. This made me very happy.

1967 M. Chapoutier Hermitage La Sizeranne
Summer 2016. Drunk at Baumaniere. The last bottle served at dinner. A strikingly dark colour and an almost too sweet nose of damson. With air, this calmed down and offered up lovely leather saddle, pepper and rose hints. I prefer La Chapelle in 67 but this was an intriguing counterpoint.

1985 Marquis de Laguiche (Joseph Drouhin) Montrachet
Summer 2016. One of the most memorable and superlative wines of our trip to France in 2015 was '85 Laguiche. So I was very happy when we returned to Noves this year and the bottle we’d asked them to set aside was still there. Once again, the whole table was silenced by the ethereal beauty of this wine. I’ve been lucky to have many great Montrachets over the years, and this joins their ranks (twice over !). I tend to overlook Laguiche, and have had a few poxed bottles from more recent years, however this and an 82 consumed a few days later place it in the top echelon of 1980s Montys.

1966 Domaine Marion Chambertin-Clos de Beze
Low ullage but breathed up well. Very good

2002 Louis Carillon Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Referts
Oxidized. 6 bottles poured away

1981 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve
Summer 2016. At Noves. A classic Rayas now entering its twilight years. Before the 88-90 trilogy came along, this was a revered vintage. A CNP for burgundy lovers

1982 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut
Summer 2016. Drunk at Noves. Perfect vintage Krug. Embarrassed a Salon 85 served alongside

1985 Salon Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut
Summer 2016. Drunk at Noves. Drank alongside a perfect 1982 vintage Krug. This suffered in comparison. Perhaps I’m unlucky, but I never seem to have earth shattering bottles of old Salon (past 1995 and 1996 which are for me benchmark)

2015 Château Sainte Marguerite Côtes de Provence La Symphonie
Based solely on the packaging, this wine has all you need to impress in the bars and beaches of the South of France. Each magnum is clear glass and almost identical to Krug bottles in shape. The name of the wine is engraved on the base and around the neck. It’s easy to see why the QPR is somewhat deficient. What’s inside the bottle is perfectly pleasant, in fact quite good, Provençal rose, which is probably all that matters. I’d rather be drinking Tempier’s rosé which has the advantage of aging rather nicely.

NV Philippe Jambon Beaujolais Le Jambon Blan…chard
Summer 2016. A curiousity. Apparently an NV Chardonnay from Beaujolais. A cult producer as well I’m told. And difficult to acquire. Well, it wasn’t poxed, which places it ahead of quite a few grander whites on this holiday, however, as for inherent qualities, we struggled to find any. Simple, refreshing chardonnay, nothing more

1966 Pierre Ponnelle Musigny
Another in a long line of brilliant old wines from Ponnelle. I was told that is was likely the fruit emanated from de Vogue. This was all you could ask for in an old Musigny. I opened the bottle 3 hours before dinner and it added considerable weight and richness over that time. On the nose, an extraordinary range of red fruits, truffles, star anise and cinnamon. The palate was quite rich for such an old wine, however it was so such pure Pinot, I doubt it had been ‘fortified’. For many at dinner, the wine of the night. As often happens, the last sip was the best…perhaps I should buy more magnums instead !

1967 Château Gilette Crème de Tete
Summer 2016. Alongside Yquem 66 and 69. This is a beast of a wine. Like a glass of the finest Seville marmalade. Oranges, grapefruits, lemon, honey and a hint of soapiness. The fruit was which much more evident than the botrytis, hence it lacked some of the complexity that the great terroirs offer.

1966 Château d’Yquem

Summer 2016. Alongside the 69 and a 67 Gilette CdT. A lovely, mid weight Yquem, this was the lightest coloured of the three. While not a great Yquem vintage, this showed the greatness of the vineyard. The botrytis and honeyed fruit were much in evidence and combined to make a more complete wine than the other two. While many preferred the exoticism of the 67 Gilette, it was this that got my vote.

1969 Château d’Yquem
Summer 2016. Served alongside the 1966 as well as Gilette Creme de Tete 1967, this was the driest and darkest of the three. It was quite dry and savoury with a pleasant acidic backbone. On its own, it would have shone, however the other two, in their own ways, outclassed it.

1999 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Château d’Ampuis
Drinking very well. A beautiful Cote Rotie vintage. Bodes well for the single vineyard wines

1966 Château Latour Grand Vin
From magnums. 50 years old and could probably do with another 50 ! Remarkably young and forceful, this is the finest 1966 Bordeaux I’ve drunk and is probably 20 years behind the 750ml in terms of evolution. We all admired this, however we all shared the same view that it had much more to show.

1999 Domaine Brusset Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne Cuvée Hommage à André Brusset
From a magnum. Wow this punches well above its weight. One of the finest CDRVs I’ve had. No rough edges or heat, this all about elegance and refinement. I have a few more left I the cellar but no hurry to drink them.

1966 Château Margaux
Flawed. Cork had fallen into the bottle

1996 R. & L. Legras Champagne Grand Cru Cuvée St. Vincent Blanc de Blancs
2 Jeros. One of the best grower 1996s I’ve drunk. While not quite 96 Salon, a very impressive (large) bottle. Luckily I still have a few magnums which deserve to be kept for a few more years.

1990 Philippe Leclerc Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Combes aux Moines
Summer 2016. Jeroboam. Corked. B*gger

2009 Jean-François Ganevat Côtes du Jura Cuvée Marguerite
Very exciting wine from a rare clone of Chardonnay. This reminded me of a perfect Japanese musk melon, wrapped up in a flinty coating.

2009 Hubert Lamy Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Derrière Chez Edouard Cuvée Haute Densité
Summer 2016. Lesson to self, only choose friends with good eyesight. 6 bottles opened by mistake at my 50th birthday party. This was meant to be the ‘regular’ 2009 cuvee, which is drinking well. Instead, a large percentage of the year’s prouction was consumed many years too early. I had a bottle last year, and even after 6 hours of air, it was tight as a drum. This year, we splash decanted to try and open it up, however, we all agreed that while this has enormous potential, the combination of extreme minerality and rapier like acidity wasn’t what we were after.

2010 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Saint-Aubin 1er Cru en Remilly
From a magnum. A stunning St Aubin. A mini-Chevalier that would hold its own with quite a few of its more illustrious neighbuors. PYCM excelled in 2010.

2004 Domaine Georges Vernay Condrieu Coteau de Vernon
Summer 2016. In order to prove or disprove the old saying that you drink Condrieu young and Ch Grillet old(er), I served blind Verney’s Vernon 04 next to Grillet 04.

The contrast could not have been greater. To think these wines were made within 5 kms of each other from the same grape in the same year. On the colour alone, one looked 20 years older than the other. The Grillet shone brightly, the Vernon was a mess and clearly well past its peak.

2004 Château-Grillet (Neyret-Gachet) Château-Grillet
Drunk alongside a 2004 Coteaux de Vernon, this proved the adage that you drink Condrieu young and Grillet old. A stunning, stunning bottle of Viognier. Far removed from some of the oily fruit bombs of today emanating from Condrieu. This would convert any Montrachet fan to the Chateau. Now to find some more.

1996 Domaine Jacques Prieur Montrachet
Not premoxed but much blowsier than the early bottle. For lovers of old style Aussie Chardonnay

1990 Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste. Hune
Perfect aged Riesling from one of the greatest vineyards. Words fail me

2013 Domaine des Ardoisières Altesse Vin de pays d’Allobrogie Quartz
A fascinating comparison with Beaucastel’s VV Rousanne from the same year. Both are the same grape however, the Beau shows the Southern Rhone and Garrigue while the Quartz is much more floral and minerally. Both lovely wines

1989 Domaine Rabasse-Charavin Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne Cuvée D’Estevenas
From a magnum bought at the Domaine in 2005. Holding up well, a lovely cooler style of CDRV. This won over many at the table who had been assaulted by younger, higher octane grenaches.

2011 Domaine of the Bee Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes Les Genoux
This is made by a University friend of mine from his Domaine close to the Spanish border. Genoux is french for knees, hence the wine is ‘the bees knees’. It’s a single barrel selection of the most complex barrel in the cellar. This is full throttle southern French red at its best. A field blend of mostly very old Grenache, this isn’t a wine to drink in haste or in great quantity. While very weighty, it maintains a finesse and complexity which is often missing from Grenache heavy blends, and reminded me most of Barroche’s Pure cuvee. My friend also brought some barrel samples of 2015 from each of his plots and we had fun playing around with the possible blend for his regular Cuvee.

2002 Domaine Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Ruchottes
Unlike my experience with halves of this wine. Where 18/24 were oxidised, this was a beautiful bottle, with years ahead of it. Classic Ramonet cut, spearmint and minerality

1980 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche
Summer 2016. Archetypal La Tache from one of my favourite vintages. This now vies with Ponsot’s CdlR '80 as the finest wine I’ve had from this year, and one of the greatest Burgundies. After 60 minutes of slow-ox, this poured out to reveal a beautiful dark mahogany with flashes of ruby. A hedonistic nose of Asian spice, antique shop, cherry and iron. The plate was still quite rich however weightless. We pondered this wine all night and it only got better, revealing multi facets or fruit and sous bois. Possibly at its peak, I can think of few better DRCs for current drinking.

1999 Coche-Dury Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrières
Archetypal Coche. A wonderful expression of the vineyard and vintage. Needed a couple of hours to fully open up. Stunning

1982 Marquis de Laguiche (Joseph Drouhin) Montrachet
Summer 2016. This bottle of 82 was purchased earlier in the year, following the experience we’d had in 2015 with the 85 vintage. It didn’t disappoint. Whether it was better depends upon whether you prefer the style of 82 over 85. I preferred the 85 just, however the flamboyance and complexity (given by a hint of botrytis) of this wine was also remarkable.

1966 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle
An underwhelming showing. The bottle was bought at auction hence provenance uncertain.

2004 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Chevalier-Montrachet
I drank this a few days before PYCM’s 04 Montrachet, but for those few days, I think this was the finest wine from this domaine that I’ve tried. After some disappointing Ramonet and Leflaive wines, this was perfect Chevalier, drinking beautifully but with immense further potential. I kept half the bottle in a decanter overnight and the following day the wine had gained weight and complexity. I’m always astonished how WB evolves with air and must remember to give them the air time they need

2000 Domaine Ramonet Chevalier-Montrachet
Summer 2016. Compared with the other 3 2000 Ramonet GCs, this at least got drunk, although it was far from what it should be. Sad.

2000 Domaine Brusset Gigondas Les Hauts de Montmirail
Summer 2016. From a magnum. After the wonderful expereince with Brusset’s 1999 Hommage, we chanced our luck with this. I’m not a huge fan to Brusset’s top Gigondas nowadays, finding it frequently too full throttle, and not quite complex enough to be served a solitary contemplative glass. This wine however, combining a very good vintage and magnum format, was an instant crowd pleaser. Bigger than the 1999 Hommage, and much more Southern Rhone, this had saddle leather, cherries, garrigue in spades. No hurry to drink, in fact I’ll be keeping my remaining stash for a few years.

1978 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle
One of the best bottles I’ve had. Served at Regis Marcon in St Bonnet Le Froid, this amply lived up to expectations. A great looking bottle, this added weight over the evening and avoided some of the rougher edges of some bottlings. I still believe this vintage is a notch behind the 1990 and certainly the 1961 and 1959. Great nonetheless, just not the greatest.

2012 Pic & Chapoutier St. Péray Lieu-Dit Les Payrolles
Summer 2016. Old vine marsanne from near the original “Pic” restaurant. I must say this was not what I was expecting at all, in a positive sense. Typically, I’ve found young N Rhone whites from the lesser appelations to be quite flamboyant, sometime a bit too cloying. This was extremely mineral and taught, and needed a good few hours to soften and begin to show its softer side (yellow fruits, almonds etc). The wine needs time and one day will make a fascinating comparison with a 1er or Grand Cru Chablis

2004 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Montrachet
I was lucky enough to find 3 of these in the cellar, so didn’t feel too bad about opening one so young. This followed the otherworldly Chevalier drunk a few days earlier, and it slightly bettered it (although this might have been autosuggestion based on the label). There was more weight to the wine and slightly more fruit as opposed to rocks. It was less evolved (it came from the same part of the cellar so I’ll put this down to the wine not storage), and took longer to get going. I have a jero of this, God knows when that should be drunk ! Another stunner from PY. I cannot remember having anything other than excellent wines from him.

1978 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert
Summer 2016. After the brilliant showing by the '78 La Chapelle a couple of days before, I served this blind to the same friends to have some fun. All plumped for Northern Rhone and most were early '80s La Chapelle. One thought '78 La Landonne. It was a perfect looking bottle with a great fill that I’ve owned for years so the guesses were all pretty good. Suffice to say, a wine punching way above its weight and drinking at its peak

2004 Coche-Dury Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignères
Summer 2016. From the list at Pic. Classic Coche from a lovely older style vintage. Matchstick, white flowers, rocks and lemon zest. Nothing out of place, the only critique being a slightly short finish.

1995 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve
Summer 2016. Off the list at Pic. From what I can recall, this is the first time I’ve tried Rayas '95. It won’t be the last. A top drawer vintage, still on the young side, but immensely satisfying. Lots of cherries and damsons, without the Kirsch like heat of some newer style CDPs. Quite rich and earthy but beautifully balanced. Will keep well.

1993 Domaine Leflaive Bâtard-Montrachet
I have always loved Leflaive’s 1993s and this is no exception. Still on the way up, this shows the vineyard characteristics well, but also the impact of the cooler year. Lovely

1992 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre
Summer 2016. From a magnum. I was looking forward to trying this as I love Raveneau 92s, and MdT is my favourite of his 1ers. The wine was a perfect example of a top Chablis entering it’s tertiary stage. There was still beautiful acidity and minerality. The abundance of lemons and limes offered a hint of the vintage. After a few minutes, the wine calmed down and revealed a drier, earthier side. The next day, there was still an inch or so in the decanter, which had held up well and was still delightfully honeyed and mushroomey.

1990 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert
Summer 2016. This completed a wonderful trilogy of great Jaboulets drunk over the summer (I am excluding an out of sorts '66 La Chap). In contrast to the '78 this is still quite primary, lots of black and red fruiys, some dried blood and a hint of smoked salami. Very dense and surprisingly rich, this has a good few years ahead of it.

2000 Domaine Ramonet Montrachet

1985 Domaine Ramonet Bâtard-Montrachet
A stunning bottle. Almost made up for the poxed Monty 2000 opened the day before

1978 M. Chapoutier Hermitage Blanc Chante-Alouette
Summer 2016. Ordered off the list at Auberge de Cassagne together with '88 La Landonne. This proved to be most most spectacular surprise of the trip. The bottle was in perfect condition and poured out to reveal a glistening mid-gold. We decanted for 30 minutes and drank at cellar temperature. Everything I love about old Hermitage was present here. Beeswax, lanolin, almonds, honey, lavender, sous bois and a core of stone that went on and on. Shared with my Indian friend, we both agreed this was a highlight among many great bottles consumed over the previous few weeks.

1988 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Landonne
Summer 2016. This followed an otherworldly 1978 Hermitage Blanc, so the wine we expected to be the star of the lunch had a lot to live up to. Luckily, this bottle did that and more. Excellent provenance, having been owned since release (important given the number of fakes around as I discovered a few weeks later), this had an excellent fill and poured out a deep red with some mahogany towards the rim). 1988 is my favourite Guigal single vineyard vintage with La Mouline normally just pipping La Landonne when drunk as a pair. Perhaps we were still on cloud nine after having drunk the 78 Hermitage Blanc, however this bottle was perfect in every way and i would struggle to see how La Mouline could better it. Everything was in perfect balance. The alcohol was never intrusive, the acidity and fruit in balance and the bouquet and pakate evolved constantly. The combination of saddle leather, bitter chocolate, salami, white pepper, nutmeg and plums was everything one seeks in an older Rhone. It’s not often than one is lucky enoigh to drink a bottle of this calibre but to have two at the same lunch, with great food and family, was very special. I now need to try a Mouline 88 to compare !

1993 Domaine Ramonet Montrachet
Summer 2016. In contrast to the Niellon Batard 93, this is only just getting going. This one was of the Ramonet highlights of the holiday…there were far too many low points however from recent vintages. Reminds you how great Ramonet can and should be, and how long they should last. No hurry, in fact probably wait another 5 years

1967 Paul Etienne Hermitage
Summer 2016. I’ve had a number of bottlings of old Rhones feom Paul Etienne, and I’ve either been extremely lucky, or this negociant used to source seriously good wine. On the strength of this bottle, I tracked some older bottlings, all the way back to the 1920s, so I hope my luck holds. Anyway, this is sensational Hermitage. A negociant bottling in superb condition. Would stand up well to Jaboulet’s '67 La Chapelle, which is for me, the sleeper of 1960s from La Chap.

2005 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Réserve
Summer 2016. This is beginning to enter that closed down, leave me alone phase. No reason it won’t blossom in 10 years or so, but for now, look elsewhere.

C’est tout. Now starts the planning for my 60th !

Typos are common but I can’t help myself on such a detailed post:

I don’t think you had a three week stay at a Provence outhouse!

At least I hope not …

And thanks for the notes

Great notes Stephen

1966 Pierre Ponnelle Musigny
Another in a long line of brilliant old wines from Ponnelle. I was told that is was likely the fruit emanated from de Vogue. This was all you could ask for in an old Musigny. I opened the bottle 3 hours before dinner and it added considerable weight and richness over that time. On the nose, an extraordinary range of red fruits, truffles, star anise and cinnamon. The palate was quite rich for such an old wine, however it was so such pure Pinot, I doubt it had been ‘fortified’. For many at dinner, the wine of the night. As often happens, the last sip was the best…perhaps I should buy more magnums instead !

I have had many Ponelle bottles. All briilianr as well.

Fantastic notes and congrats on the milestone.

I agree completely on your notes for the 04 pycm chev and Monty. While I think the chev is a better drink now the Monty has so much stuffing to go on for years.

Also unfortunate on the 00 ramonet batard. Too many apologists on that side of the Atlantic blame premox on transportation to the states, clearly it is not the issue

Whoops… Now fixed

The White Burgundy Premox Plague is just as widespread here in Europe.

NICE!!! Congrats on making it to 50 an you celebrated in style :slight_smile:.

the “new” unreliability of Ramonet and Leflaive is tragic, though price increases make the grand crus unobtainable–the combination of price and premox shuts me out.

What a great way to spend your 50th with all these great wines at some wonderful restaurants. Thanks for all the notes.

Great notes. What sounds like a wonderful celebration!

Thanks for the notes - some great wines there - and happy birthday. Interesting that so many WBs from the early 90s and the 80s have held up sooo much better than recent vintages.

Happy Birthday Stephen. Great way to celebrate!

Wow, incredible group of wines and wonderful notes; agree that PYCM 2010’s killed it, especially the value of the St Aubin en Remilly; thanks and happy 50th!

Some vaguely familiar estates :slight_smile:
Well done, a great way to celebrate.

Not sure if the title means 50 years old or 50 bottles of wine!!

67 bottles–including magnums!

Wow, what a great post. So, where did you get all of these wines? I know they are all French, but that is quite a collection. I’m guessing over the three week period, you must have hit quite a few wine shops…or did you sneak a few in from your home collection?

Those bottles consumed at restaurants, in all cases from their lists rather than BYO, which is pretty rare in France, have been marked as such. There are some great restaurant wine lists near my house, especially Oustalet in Gigondas and La Beaugraviere in Mondragon.

Of the others, a lot were bought on release in either France or the U.K. And some were sourced specifically for my 50th over the previous few years.

The more local wines came straight from the Domaines

Some great notes. I agree on the impressive 2004s from PYCM, but you could say the same about his 2005s, 2007s and 2008s as well.

By the way, aren’t you the same Stephen Williams who owns Antique Wine Company in London? Your signature doesn’t say ITB, but I seem to recall that the owner of AWC has a home in France too.

Fabulous way to celebrate the BIG 50. Great notes; thanks for sharing. I`m a big fan of many of these wines. The 2010 PYCM you had is one of my favs against all others.