Some Special Aged Wines

Our Breakaways group got together last night to taste through a line-up of lovely aged wines.


Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Champagne (disgorged in the 1960’s): Both bottles still were sound of colour but had just a faint prickle left from a couple of remaining bubbles. The wine itself was complex and quite engaging. There were notes of dried fruits and nuts and plenty of citrus. It was full with good intensity and a fresh finish.

White Bracket

1982 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru: Wonderful, mature white Burg. Has a subtle whiff of white peach and the most pure expression of white peach. There’s a touch of menthol and green melon too. It is complex and focussed in the mouth with great volume and definition. It still has the steely spine of Corton and has superb length of flavour.

1985 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru: This is dense, compact, tight and linear. It has laser like focus and possesses so much latent power. I reckon it is even more backwards than when I last saw it but it is splendid white Burg none the less. Needs time.

1986 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru: An exotic rendition of Corton that bursts with tropical fruit aromas and flavours. There’s guava, mango and rockmelon. You get a bit of lavender, honey and dried apricot from the botrytis. It if full and voluminous with a sappy mouthfeel and for all the riot of flavour the wine possesses excellent posture and has a fresh and inviting finish.

1988 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru: The wine is a cold steel blade. Sadly it is one affected by a little tca from this particular bottle. It has awesome salinity and is dense and linear.

Options Red Bracket

1922 Martinez Lacuesta Rioja Reserva Speciale: An incredibly fresh wine for its age. Must have been re-conditioned at some stage of its life and a splendid drink right now. Phil suggested we should ring the winery and tell them that they should keep doing that they were doing back in ’22. Smells of vanilla, smoke, tar and berries. Is full, sweet and vinous in the mouth with plenty of savoury nuance. The acidity is minerally and finish very long.

1955 Bilbainas Rioja Reserva Especial, Vina Pomal: Just a touch on the oxy side with a little too much chocolate. It has some notes of forest floor, tobacco leaf and sweet cedar and there’s a dank woodsy character to it.

1978 Chateau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf du Pape: Not as vibrant aromatically as the last bottle we had but great palate with just a hint of boot polish volaitility, some florals and a little black cherry on the nose. Dense, sweet and tightly wound in the mouth. Intense black fruits and liquorice flavours. Clean, detailed and persistent. Still bags of life.

1980 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru: Complex aromatics that have a root vegetable, mirepoix note to them along with sandalwood, smoke and Hoisin. It is direct and sweet in the mouth with a wonderful lacy feel. It has plenty of muscle and builds through the palate fanning out on the finish. A very happy bottle that was probably wine of the night for mine.

1985 Robert Chevillon Nuits Saint Georges, Les Roncieres, 1er Cru: A delicious, open-knit, sweet, fruity and succulent Burg. Still plenty of fresh red berry and cherry fruit character. There’s some earthy development and a touch of spice. It is gentle on the gums yeat has plenty of presence. The finish is fresh and sappy.

Barolo/Barbaresco Bracket

1958 Cossetti Barolo: Delightful old Barolo. Smells of celery salt, raisins, chocolate, Indian spice and earth. It is sweet and round in the mouth with liqueur cherry and chocolate flavours. It is elegant and light on its feet and flavours stay with you long after the wine is swallowed.

1968 Giacomo Conterno Barolo: Complex, ethereal and utterly engaging. There’s a myriad of savoury smells including tar, earth, chestnut, curry leaf and spruce. It is detailed, fine and earthy in the mouth. It has great drive and builds and fans out on the finish like a great old Burg.

1971 Prandi Barolo: Woodsy, rich and sweet. I have had better bottles and this was just a little affected by the cork.

1979 Gaja Barbaresco: Really polished, complex and classy, Fine aromas and flavours of dried flowers, rose petal and cherry fruit. It is direct and detailed with a glossy feel in the mouth. It has great drive and really powers on through the finish. Still very fresh and just an infant.

1990 Ceretto Bricco Rocche Barolo: Deeply pitched with blood plum, black cherry and liquorice notes. There’s some tar and cedar as well. It is dense and fleshy and there’s a suggestion of cranberry lightening things up. Tannins are buried just below the flesh for now and it is a modern wine that lacks no character and is a delicious drink with plenty left in the tank.

Sauternes and Port

1983 Chateau Filhot, Sauternes: Fresh and vibrant with tinned peach, apricot, honey and lavender notes. In the mouth it is clean and bright with a nice line of lemon-like acidity.

1938 Barros Port Special Tawny: A great way to finish. Rich chocolate and raisin aromas and flavours are cut by a powerful clean spirit. It is full, complex and harmonious with a lightness to it that invites another sip.

Some really neat wines there mate (especially that '22 Rioja - sounds amazing!), I bet anything that you were the host!

I’d like to try that '80 DRC, still haven’t had one, despite if being someones birth year…

Nice drinking. The whites sound intriguing. And I had to laugh as I saw the bolded 80 GE. I immediately thought to myself it would likely be my WOTN, and it was yours.
Paul, email next time you’re US bound. That 80 deficiency can be dealt with here!

I love the 85 and 86 BdM CC side by side.

With premox these days, it’s insane to think that the 85 still needs time (which I agree with).

Thanks for sharing.

Thank you for a wonderful note!

Cheers Brad,

You never know…the boys and I have been talking about doing a Monday Table in NY in 2017!


Hope you have a few more of those old BdM’s left…think it would make a great and interesting white bracket at MT (plus I love them!)