Lunch at Perigord: Hudelot CV 1996, Vega Valbuena 1986 and Louis Martini Reserve 1974

30 years ago, we had our rehearsal dinner here, and the food has changed little. We did enjoy the first soft shells of the season, a magnificent boudin noir, then I had duck and a Grand Marnier soufflé.

The wines were interesting; we started with a white Chateauneuf can’t remember which, OK but slightly unbalanced from the alcohol.

The Hudelot was a Clos Vougeot 1996. I have aways thought that the Hudelot is one of the most successful of the CV producers, and again this was no slouch, but along with the producer signature, it also showed the higher acidity of 1996s. A gorgeous very perfumed nose, great fruit, plenty of that vintage’s signature acidity and a really solid finish, that unfurled into layers as the wine stayed in the glass. Lovely wine, suspect it will be even better in five years

For a time the Martini Cabernet reserve 1974 was the best wine at the table, with that wonderful rich spicy fruit cake character of great old Californians. After an hour it began to fade, and by the time lunch had finished, it was a shadow of what it was.

Finally the Valbuena 1986
Very rich, exotic and earthy. There was a slight edge of funkiness but overall, a very lovely satisfying bottle. Scored it the same as the Hudelot.