Sometimes, I just have to shake my head at my good fortune.
Or maybe it just pays hanging out with restaurant folk.
Whatever the case, it came to be that a pristine bottle of the above wine was gifted to my wine tasting group, by a patron of a local restaurant. Said patron is one of a group of collectors who dine there monthly, and when he heard about our group, he offered some interesting bottles to one of our members, who works there. This bottle was among them.
So we decided to have a get together, and feature the bottle. We settled on some foie gras dishes - a bread pudding, a torchon poached in sparkling wine, and foie and white bean ravioli.
There were also a few dozen fresh oysters, some Champagne, a few Rieslings, and other wines, but you didn’t come here to read about those, did you?
The wine was given to me to open. I was a bit nervous, hoping the cork wouldn’t fall apart. It didn’t. I eased it out slowly, and it remained intact. I took a sniff, and things seemed in order - no off smells evident.
The wine was almost bronze - more the color of bourbon than Sauternes.
I poured some into a glass, and took a whiff. It was very much alive. I could just tell.
I got aromas of caramel, for sure, but also some nutty notes. Honey. Wax. That unmistakable botrytis nose. Layers of things I have difficulty describing. There’s some citrus pith - wait, it’s gone, replaced by something else. Just incredible.
In the mouth, the wine was just short of viscous, but not at all cloying.
We tried it with all the dishes, but frankly, this wine was best savored on its own.
It was in a 750 and all of us got healthy pours - the wine remained vibrant and did not fall apart at all.
This was an unbelievable treat for me, one I will never forget. A birth year wine that just rocked the house.
Thank you, nameless benefactor. I am forever in your debt.