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2007 Peter Michael Ma Belle Fille & 1999 Chateau L’Evangile

August 5, 2011

These notes were taken from a customised dinner at Garibaldi on 20 July 2011, the final instalment of a series of serious dining that month. I’d deliberately kept the wines simple, just an exquisite chardonnay and a Bordeaux red that ought to be drinking well. We began with an identical pair of 2007 Peter Michael “Ma Belle Fille” chardonnay, purchased some time ago from Asia Pacific Fine Wines. Light golden, opening with creamy floral notes, highly complex. The minerality was rather subdued on the palate, less flinty than expected for a young chardonnay, but notably heavier and deeper at the rear. With time, it became lighter in texture, opening up with layers of craggy minerality and a splash of tropical fruits, melons and pineapples, greater in intensity, superb in delineation, eventually developing a slightly opague sheen. However, as excellent as this was, I still don’t think you could mistake it for a Montrachet Grand Cru, which is infinitely more profound in depth and expression.

We followed with an identical pair of 1999 Ch L’Evangile, from a half-dozen that I’d brought in from Bordeaux Index, London. Rather deep in color still, with a very impressive bouquet of red and dark berries, well-extracted and suitably dense with a touch of soy and the inimitable glow of aged claret giving off notes of dry leaves, herbs and mushrooms. Not a great vintage, of course, but I always believe every wine has an optimum drinking plateau that’s capable of providing a good experience. This wine is a good example at this stage.

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