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1990: Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Cos D’Estournel, Opus One & 1991 Dominus & 1962 Montrose

August 7, 2020

CHS threw a wonderful birthday dinner at Otto Ristorante on 30 July 2020 for a few of the usual suspects from Gleneagles under socially-distanced conditions. A 1990 line-up was mooted which also threw up a couple of other lovely surprises. Thank you and many happy returns, big bro!

2016 Domaine du Roc des Boutires Pouilly-Fuissé Aux Bouthires. Poured from magnum. Light delicate citrus and fresh dew on the nose, drawing one in with gentle seductiveness. Displays tremendous mouthfeel right off the blocks, exuding a tingling teasing acidity that imparted lovely presence, developing greater weight and agility with understated intensity by the end of the evening, topped with refined crème de la crème. Most satisfying. Excellent.

Franciacorta Satèn Brut, a magnum from the restaurant list. Pale. Produced from 100% chardonnay from the Franciacorta region and bottled at lower pressure (5 bars instead of 6 for champagne), supposedly to produce a sense of silkiness (hence “satèn”), this wine lived up to expectations with quite an effusive bouquet of yellow citrus replete with sexy dense smoky overtones whilst the fullish palate is endowed with a lovely expanse of sophisticated fruit laced with very fine acidity amid highly understated minerals, evoking a smooth dryness with an enticing sweetness. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to tell apart from champagne. Very lovely.


1990 Château Cos D’Estournel, a pair courtesy of CHS and Vic. Dark crimson, exuding a superb glow of mature red fruits and cherries amid earthy tones. Medium-bodied. Rounded with fleshy chewy pliant tannins, supremely harmonious. Almost velvety in its lovely layering with a deep tangerine core, displaying seamless transition between the fruit, acidity and intensity across every dimension as it coasted to a confident finish with a bit of charred overtones. Consistent with another tasting note last year. Truly Cos at it’s best. Outstanding.

1990 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, a pair courtesy of John and moi. Dusky red. This wine is supremely open with very fine presence of red fruits on a bed of ferrous tones that exert understated intensity. Highly harmonious, traversing the palate with fine linearity to its lasting finish, developing greater immediacy over time though it appeared somewhat feminine and diminutive beside the more structured Cos D’Estournel.

1990 Opus One, courtesy of MH. Soft focus of rose petals and cherries. Medium-full, exuding a measured intense fragrance with a lovely velvety warmth. Superbly harmonious, finishing with traces of green capsicum.

1991 Dominus, courtesy of LF. Tasted blind. Deep garnet red, proffering notes of mature red fruits and dark currants with a gentle fragrance. Medium-bodied. Open, softly rounded and fleshy. Highly harmonious and elegant, teasing the palate with fleeting intensity. Not flashy at all. Finished quietly, again with that lingering perfumed fragrance. This wine was so Bordeaux-like in every aspect that I thought it was a 1990 La Conseillante. I was close…in a way. Superb!

1962 Château Montrose, courtesy of Sanjay. Still rather darkly coloured. There was some funkiness on the nose that blew away, revealing characters of mahogany, cedar and dark plums with a tangerine core, still imbued with superb acidity and fine detail with a lovely suppleness. Holding on well though notably a notch below the 1961 Château Montrose tasted last month. Nevertheless, what a privilege!

2015 Allegrini Amarone Classico Della Valpolicelia Classico, courtesy of Jimmy. Very dark in colour and tone. Undoubtedly a big wine, still shut and tightly coiled though burnt ember and charred elements are discernible from the intense depth and concentration of dark fruits.

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