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1982: Figeac, Leoville-Poyferre, Montrose & 1975 Haut-Brion

December 27, 2012

An impromptu Bacchus dinner called at extremely short notice as a final push before the New Year ended up being a 1982 Bordeaux horizontal to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this great vintage, vindicated amply by the wines we drank this evening, 26 Dec 2012, which all displayed great longevity, complexity, vigour and freshness in spite of the bottle age. White truffles with eggAnd to make things even better, chef Michele of Otto Ristorante rose effortlessly to the occasion with a selection of his signature creations, topped with shavings from his final lot of Alba white truffles.

We began with a 2002 Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne (courtesy Li Fern) that was popped and poured. Served a tad too cold initially, but notes of melons, pears, fig and traces of nectar were already readily apparent along with substantial fat in the mid-body, highly perfumed and glowing with delicate minerality, gaining further depth with a thrilling complexity, staying the course throughout dinner, finishing on a slightly ferrous note. Don't forget to say "Stop!"Much preferable than the 1999. An excellent start.

The four reds that followed were drunk simultaneously. I can still remember when I last had a 1975 Ch Haut Brion, which happened to be the occasion of Hiok’s farewell dinner at Moomba in early March 2006 before he left for sabbatical. It was quite fitting, therefore, that he brought the same wine (decanted on-site) for dinner this evening, but what a difference! Whereas the previous tasting seemed to indicate a premier cru on its last legs, the current bottle, in spite of its dull dusty red, was still remarkably robust with powerful aromas of earth, old leather, camphor and sweet incense that morphed into intense medicinal aromas, but in a positive sense, almost full-bodied and grippy on the palate with a tinge of licorice and a final note of tangy citrus without fading away. Most memorable.

Table full of wineThe 1982 Ch Figeac (courtesy Kieron, decanted on-site) displayed initial full-throttled earthy aromas of wild berries and damp forest floor with an attractive ferrous quality, no doubt from the cabernet sauvignon which is the predominant component of the wines of this estate. It gradually evolved with emerging red fruits of excellent depth and concentration, just a tad angular and austere on the finish before finally hitting its stride after two hours, turning into a warm, homogenous and feminine wine. Very lovely. Next to it, the 1982 Ch Leoville Poyferre (courtesy Danny, decanted on-site) possessed the powerful unmistakable Saint Julien signature of a highly complex bouquet characterised by a graphite, ferrous quality married to a strangely attractive pungent note that hinted at substantial fat, but the wine was distinctly medium-bodied on the palate, outdone entirely by the highly seductive bouquet, its beautiful, complex and high-toned glow continued to entice the olfactory senses throughout the evening. Suckling pig...the skin is to die for.Too beautiful to be drunk, and I suppose this estate never diasappoints, regardless of vintage. Finally, the 1982 Ch Montrose, still remarkably deep in color, was wildly exuberant with powerful dank earthy aromas (old socks ??) amidst notes of violets, cedar and dark currants with more than a touch of greenness on the palate. It gradually settled into a quiet complex harmonious whole, the leafy notes eventually disappearing totally, displaying great structure and delineation. A classic Left Bank, bringing an outstanding dinner to its conclusion. Enjoy the pictures.

1982 Bordeaux & 1975 Haut Brion

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