TN: LP Grand Siècle Clape Cuchet d'Arche

My (very) small group of wine friends assembled (at a suitable distance) to my place this week to open some interesting bottles.

Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle - although they weren’t marking this on the label in this time range, my friend found out that it was assemblage 23 which consisted of wines from 2002, 2004 and 2006. It had a citrus element in the nose (lemon, but also lime hints, (I thought that it elevated the impression) over a foundation of yeasty fresh bread with hints of lightly toasted pine nut. On palate it was silky smooth with a crisp finish and abundant fruit. Long dry clean finish. A really excellent showing.

Served with gazpacho.

1996 Auguste Clape Cornas - my offering. Still dark in colour and very youthful with a lovely nose that encompassed black olive (tapenade?) with a little thyme, lots of dark fruit and with excellent flavour intensity. Long dry finish. Brilliant wine that just kept improving in the glass over a couple of hours. Maybe the second bottle I’ve opened (the other some years ago). Glad I have more!

1996 Cuchet Beliando Cornas - I am not familiar with this domaine’s wine so was interested to see what it was about (voulez-vous cuchet avec moi?). The colour was clearly more advanced than the Clape, with lightening edges, and it seemed a tad closed at first, before revealing a bice high toned syrah nose of tapenade and perhaps more red than black fruit. While there was good depth of flavour, it faded more quickly which makes me think that it was an off bottle.

Served with porchetta sandwiches and broccoli salad

As we were still not sated and I had a jar of foie gras that one of the attendees had brought from France for me, we opened the jar, spread the FG on toasted epee slices and opened:

1989 Château d’Arche Sauternes - dark in the bottle and glass now - what I’d call a medium amber, though some might opt for even darker. Toffee nose with a little sharpness (not in a bad way - if it hadn’t been present the wine might have seemed flabby) and now presenting almost like a PX Sherry. Not a great Sauternes, but a decent one that acted as a foil for the FG very nicely.


That sounds like a tremendous night for wine and fine cuisine! I’ve always been an LP GS fan. I had an '88 last month. I’ve had the 23 iteration and loved it, but felt it would benefit from another 5-10 years. The Grand Siecles always show much younger than their actual age.
Hopefully, the border will open someday, and we can share a glass again sometime.


You bet! (I wouldn’t count on it being this year, though)