Dinner with great wine
Last weekend I lived one of the most special moments regarding wine tasting. Just to briefly do a short review of the wines of the weekend, I started on FRI with an interesting wine from Cotes de Castillon made by the very same person that is behind the Enira and Alira venture: Comte Stephan von Neipperg and his Chateau d’Aiguilhe 2004. I bought this wine from a wine shop in Bucharest that had it on a big discount sale.
2004 Château D’Aiguilhe Cotes de Castillon
Deep dark red colored. The nose has a medium intensity with sweet aromas of black currant, graphite, a little bit leathery, there is even a salty soy sauce aroma with hints of green vegetables and eau de vie. A youthful nose in a fruit forward style. This concentrated medium bodied wine shows firm tannins with sweet black fruit, cranberry-black currant liquor mixed with some greenness but in a nice way, mocha and a touch of heat. The finish is medium and dry with chewy tannins and a bitter espresso aftertaste. The wine feels slightly unbalanced with the alcohol spiking on the finish. This wine shows great potential for aging and hopefully, with time, the heat will be balanced. 89-90 points
Last week I managed to buy a really special and old bottle of wine from a seller in Romania: a Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou 1966. I had some doubts about this bottle of wine not knowing its provenance, but the high fill level and the perfectly preserved label were very encouraging signs of a proper storage. Purchasing an old bottle of wine is always a risky business as you never know if the wine wasn’t corked from the get-go or the wine didn’t suffer from heat, cold or lack of humidity that dried the cork during its life. However, I bought it anyway together with my friend, Calin, and decided to drink it this weekend. Opening a special bottle of wine is a celebration in itself.
SAT evening, together with our better halves, we visited Escargot restaurant for dinner. I opened both red wines prior to arriving at the restaurant. I was a little bit nervous about opening the 1966 Ducru as, on the outside, the cork looked almost cemented to the bottle and I feared a regular corkscrew would prove to be inefficient.
So I tried to clean the top of the bottle as best as I could with some wet napkins and get all the dirt between the bottleneck and the cork before using the corkscrew. To my pleasant surprise I had no problem pulling out the cork in one piece. The cork was completely soaked in wine so the wet walls between the bottleneck and the cork made my life very easy allowing a perfect extraction without too much effort. I encountered more resistance uncorking the 2001 Tignanello which also came out in one piece but with harder effort. So having the wines uncorked, we went to the restaurant where both wines were put in separate decanters to allow them to breath and open.
We started the meal with appetizers and a white 100% Sauvignon Blanc from Pouilly Fume. While this wine has basic flavors without any particular complexity, it was a happy companion to the appetizers.
The wine has a pale yellow lemon color. The nose is clean with medium(-) intensity and aromas of sweet lemon,green apple and passion fruit. The taste shows a medium bodied wine with medium acidity, good freshness and flavors of lime, green apple and a pleasant fresh medium finish. 83-84 points
Our host, Razvan Exarhu, explained us a little bit about his new TV show: Romania delicioasa (Delicious Romania) and the trips he had while shooting it, about the experiences meeting different interesting people and the difficulties to broadcast it with an improper advertising. A very funny thing was the surprise everyone appearing in the show had, that after recording for hours, their moment of fame was no longer than just a few minutes. It is understandable considering the TV show lasts only 30 minutes and Razvan’s intention is to build a dynamic story. A show to watch.
As we finished the appetizers and the second course was about to arrive we poured in our glasses the first red wine of the meal: the Tignanello 2001, a Super-Tuscan, made by Antinori in an International style that has charm and it is already hard to resist not liking it.
The wine has a deep dark red-purple color. The nose is intense and developed, with some initial earthy aromas that shortly fade away and leave room for distinctive aromas of sweet black currant, licorice, asparagus, cedar wood, a rich layer of dark chocolate (our companion Calin suggested this aroma of dark chocolate reminds him of the chocolate made by Michel Cluizel) and plums. In the mouth the wine is velvety, full bodied, with intense flavors of black and red currant, blue berry, cedar, coffee bean and a firm backbone of ripe sweet tannins. Power and elegance comes to mind when drinking this wine. The finish is medium plus with a mocha and sweet blue berry aftertaste. Firm tannins on the finish suggest there is plenty of life ahead – 15-20 years easily. Exquisite structure and balance in this wine. 93-94 points
While having the main dish: a rare beef steak with grilled vegetables, the last red wine is poured. The 45 years old Ducru-Beaucaillou surprises everybody with its youthfulness and purity of aromas. The dish is a perfect choice as it allows the wine to fully shine and enhances its flavors.
1966 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou St Julien
The color is ruby red with a brick rim. The nose is mature, intense and complex, with pure aromas of cedar wood, generous black currant fruit, cigar box, pencil shavings and coffee bean. It is a very elegant and fully developed classic Bordeaux nose. In the mouth this wine is characterized by perfect balance. An amazing acidity makes this wine youthful, perfectly hiding its age: you wouldn’t say is older than 15 years. Flavors of black currant, graphite, mocha and some light greenness – asparagus cover the palate. It is an elegant and supple wine with great structure, developed tannins and a silky mouth feel. The finish is medium plus with a beautiful red currant and a salty mocha aftertaste. Elegance at its best. 95+ points
This is a classic Bordeaux showing a really amazing good shape today. While the wine had its peak, the acidity still gives this wine plenty of years to last and to pleasure the palates of the fortunate ones that still have some bottles left in their cellars. At 45 years old the wine shows a great personality.
We all felt that we lived a special moment when smelling and tasting this wine. We left the restaurant extremely satisfied and glad that we were able to share such an unique experience. Exceptional wine has the strange power to warm people’s hearts and bring the best in them.
Thanks for reading!