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Matteo’s Dinner 06/02/12 – Bring A Bottle Night

One of the highlights of the year is Patrick’s Bring A Bottle Night. Not to take away from his hard and inspired work of assembling wines of a theme and quality suitable for our demanding palates, but on this night everyone pulls out all stops to bring a bottle of incredible quality.

We did have a few corked/NQR wines this night. However, in the past, we’ve had an unbelieveably good strike rate.

The rules are simple:
* Each person brings one bottle.
* This bottle is least 10 years old and from a classic European Region.
* Each wine is served blind. Only the convener of the night knows all the wines.
* Each wine is guessed using the ‘options’ game.
* A good night is had by all.

This night we indulged in…

Larmandier Bernier Brut Tradition NV Champagne Still my go to Champagne when I have the luxury to drink it. Floral, good stone fruits, plenty of chalky/minerally/stoney notes. Great balance on the palate. Opens up with time in the glass as it gets warmer. Delicious. All hail the king of the growers!

Josmeyer Pinot Gris Vieilles Vignes 1997 Alsace Smells lovely. Floral, lime, pure, crystalline, talc, banana skin, dry and savoury.
The palate is lean with nice mouthfeel, very clean, hint oxidised on the finish.  A great drink.

Muller Caroir Haatdter Burgergarten Riesling Trocken 2000 Pfalz Spice, peaches, melons, floral and lime. Just a whiff of liquid paper (but in a good way if that makes sense?).
Zesty, dry, citrus icypole. Less body than the Josmeyer but really refreshing.

Dr Burklin Wolf Ruppertsberger Geisbohl Riesling Spatlese 1970 Pfalz Really rich. Crab meat like, peppermint, toasty, minerally/stoney, buttery.
A lot of richness on the palate. Hints of botrytis, honey, creme brulee and spice. Looking really good for its age.
Incidentally I tasted this wine with Patrick about 9 years previously as a young, timid and beardless wine sales assistant. It tastes better than I remembered then.

Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape 1999 Rhone Valley This was my wine. I smelt it in my initial run through and thought, “Gee I hope that isn’t mine”. D’Oh!!!! It was stale, that is all I can say. It wasn’t corked. Didn’t seem oxidised. It was just stale. I have tasted this wine previously and it was stunning. As James Halliday once said, There are no great old wines. Just great old bottles.”

Rayas Pignan Chateauneuf du Pape 2001 Rhone Valley Stoney, red fruits, floral, compost, zesty. Perhaps a hint of brett? (what is brett?)
Silky, meaty/bretty, vibrant fruits, dry leaves, pickles. A really enjoyable wine from a great producer.

Sassacaia Bohlgeri 2000 (update 26/3/12 thank you anonymous) Tuscany The initial offering of a Barolo was corked. So our generous donator went and sourced a bottle of Super Tuscan to fill in our line up. Frustratingly, I did not write down the vintage. I shall find it and correct this error!
Bananas, vibrant, liqueur fruit compote, caramelly oak.
Rich, ripe, vibrant, jelly fruits, very firm tannins. Young, dense, tight, syrupy fruits and tar.
Impressive wine, very young though and has a lot of time ahead of it.

Hammand-Geoffrey Gevrey Chambertin La Bossiere 1er Cru Monopole 1998 Burgundy Dry, minerally, stoney, tea leaf, zesty.
The palate was rich, light, mineral laden clean and fresh.

Chateau Ferrand Lartigue St-Emilion 1996 Bordeaux Beautiful nose. Pure, rich, lifted, cheesy. Lovely.
Light, pretty, fresh, aromatic. A very Burgundian Bordeaux in a lot of ways.

Chateau Cos d’Estournel St Estephe 1993 Bordeaux Pea, straw/grass, red fruits, smoke, minerals.
Dry, stoney, silky, pepper and jelly fruits.
This is one of my fav Bordeaux Chateau. It is always a pleasure to taste this wine!

Chateau Lagrange St Julien 1995 Bordeaux Corked. Sadly. It happens. What did James Halliday say again?

Chateau Soutard St Emilion Grand Cru 1989  Bordeaux Pure, dry leaf, herbal, minerals.
Silky palate, dark fruits, meaty, jelly fruits,
currants, dry tannins. Resembles an old Coonawarra Cab.

Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou 1989 Bordeaux Pure, dark, steak, plums, currants, floral/violets.
Silky, pure, dry spice, seamless, clay notes, tobacco.
Another of my fav Bordeaux. It was looking spectacular!

Fonseca Vintage Port I missed the vintage of this wine too. However, it was young, vibrant and rich. Like any of the charming Grand Marque Port houses.