Ridge Petit Syrah 1974, Pichon Lande 1985

Friends came for lunch and we ate steak au poivre, some tasty garlicky spinach, and new potatoes. The potatoes came in a bag and can be microwaved, and were delicious.

Started with a split of Krug MV, and oysters. I have owned this for some time, at least fifteen years, and it might have preceded the numbering system, as we could not find anything on the bottle. Crisper and less brioche than usual. Pleasant rather than profound. 92

A run of bad luck, a premoxed Chablis followed by Domaine de Chevalier 1966 which was corked.

So we moved on, the Ridge Petit Syrah. I bought a case in the late eighties, and early on it was hard as nails. It began to shed some of the tannic hardness a decade later, and and was finally fully mature around 2010.
it is glorious now; there is red fruit still, but the aromatics of stone, leather, spice and mint are seamlessly mixed in. Balance is nigh on perfect, and the finish is extremely long. No rush to open, but so good, I might rush anyway. 96

While clearly the Ridge was superb, I love my Bordeaux, and although I scored the Pichon the same, my preference was for the gorgeous 1985. A half bottle double decanted by my friend. Stunning. Absolutely archetypal Pichon Lalande, That lovely streak of herb running through solid fruit, anise and clove. Finishes as strongly as the Ridge. 96


Sounds nice, despite the tough luck.

Best bottle of PS I’ve ever had. Complete and complex.
The '85 Pichon Lalande in half (Mark is correct in text, but subject line should be '85) is for me pretty much the definition of what elegant can mean in claret. With the delicious steak a slight edge to the Ridge for me.
The Chablis was a 2012 Piuze Chichee, I was lucky with a previous bottle, this showed oxidation, but I wouldn’t necessarily call a 11 year old Chablis AC premature. Disappointing after other bottle though.
Thanks Mark for wonderful lunch.



The 1971 and 1974 Ridge York Creek PS are the greatest wines ever made from that grape variety.

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Sounds amazing Mark!! Thanks so much for the note!

Not sure if of interest, but starting looking for the Pichon Lalande 1985, and picked up six beautiful bottles from a UK merchant Tom Mann. He has a few left over at around $300 a bottle.
Nice guy, sometimes posts on the board.