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2000 Grosset Polish Hill, 1986 Chasse-Spleen, 1990 Pape Clement, 2000 Beausejour Becot & 1988 Rieussec

March 25, 2012

A theme of “mature wines”, whatever that means, was mooted for an impromptu dinner called at short notice on 13 March 2012 at Jade Palace. We started off with a 2000 Grosset Polish Hill riesling that Prof M Horowitz had presented to me back in 2010, which I’d carried back from Adelaide. I’ve never had such an aged riesling before, and was rather apprehensive about how it’d fare. But I needn’t have worried, for it lived up to its reputation as Australia’s best riesling. Time had imbued upon it a dull golden hue that exuded effusive aromas of diesel fumes and other petroleum-like quality, supported by a halo of stony minerality that was entirely consistent with the character of a superb riesling. It came across initially as being somewhat lightweight (not to be confused with thinness) although the fruit within was still fresh and lively, ending in a slightly austere and steely finish. The bouquet grew in depth and complexity over time, absolutely captivating in its creaminess and buttery character, far outstripping its impression on the palate and it was only until the end of dinner that the latter managed to match up in weight and complexity. Superb.

We drank the three reds simultaneously. The 1986 Ch Chasse-Spleen (courtesy KP) was initially dry and dusty, medium-bodied and obviously soft with overtones of undergrowth and fruit that threatened to recede. However, it gained in weight and intensity after some time, developing some intensity amidst lively acidity before settling into a very lovely mature claret. Not at all backward. At its drinking best. Wonderful.

The 1990 Ch Pape Clement (courtesy John) was the second time we’re having the exact same wine at the same restaurant with the same group of people in less than six months. Deep, clear lively purpple, absolutely glowing with an abundance of mulberry and the classic terroir of Pessac-Leognan, characterised by notes of tangerine citrus and kumquat amidst deeper notes of ripe blueberries, deep and seamless with superb focus and delineation, the passage of time having imparted further notes of leather and some tobacco. One could argue that it has yet to peak in spite of all the had gone on before. Great stuff.

The final red, a 2000 Beausejour Becot (courtesy Hiok), as expected from its deep dark impenetrable red, was saturated with notes of soy and plenty of raspberry and redcurrant in the background, fresh, lively and deep, barely showing a trace of its twelve years. Clearly one for the long haul and I don’t expect any kind of development anytime soon. Best to forget about it for the next ten years, at least. The 1988 Ch Rieussec (half bottle) that brought up the rear was a disappointment. Dull deep golden with a relatively thick swathe of preserved peach and jackfruit, almost port-like in texture, lacking in verve and acidity and not much of apricot.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 24, 2012 22:48

    how come never call me???

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