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Ric’s 53: 1998 Krug, 1996 Dom Pérignon, 2017 Bouchard Montrachet, 1990 Margaux, 1962 Guadet, 1994 Haut-Brion, 1986 Angelus Ausone 1998, 1990, 1983 & d’Yquem 1983

December 19, 2020

My fellow vino sisters and brethren showered me with some of the best drops of God throughout the day of 10 December 2020 when I turned a little older and, hopefully, wiser. My deepest gratitude to all for your wonderful company, friendship and generosity.

1996 Champagne Dom Pérignon, courtesy of Russ. Light golden. Superb balance right off the blocks, its even tone of delicate complex citrus and pomelo casting an almost ethereal quality without calling attention to itself. Completely understated, poised with utter refinement and sophistication that very few others can rival. Outstanding.

1998 Champagne Krug. Deep greenish golden hue, exuding a gently reductive yeasty nose. Medium-bodied. Open with fine clarity and lively presence of dense yellow citrus and lime tinged with a trace of austerity. Fleshed out evenly with superb expanse and balance, imparting some bright minerally overtones within its mid-body, oozing with sweet gentle intensity at its lasting finish. Excellent.

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2016 Domaine Coche-Dury Bourgogne, courtesy of Stephen. Pale, proffering glimpses of cool icy tones at first with fleeting tropical fruit that became more pronounced after some time. Gently layered with white fruits that impart refined intensity and acidity, yielding fine precision with an open crystalline quality on a bed of subdued chalk. Distinctly feminine. Excellent.

2011 Domaine Jean-Claude Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet Les Ruchottes 1er, courtesy of Kieron. Pale. Rather restrained though the quiet intensity of white tones on the palate is evident, gradually warming up in the glass to yield a glowing mouthfeel of the classic dry Ramonet signature, displaying fine precision and elegance with early notes of nutmeg. Lovely.

2017 Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet Grand Cru. Double decanted for eight hours prior and aired in bottle again for another two hours. Pale, proffering delicate white tones on the nose, almost faint at first. Quite ethereal on the palate with a lovely seamless presence of white flowers and nutmeg, almost aloof, gaining some mild intensity as it gradually opened to reveal excellent detail and precision, beautifully proportioned with everything in place. Distinctly feminine. Far from ready, of course, but a wine that is already so complete at its infancy can only be destined for greatness.

1962 Château Guadet. Ex-château, a bottle specially sent over by winemaker Vincent Lignac himself. In spite of the cork being completely soaked through (proof that it had never been re-corked), this wine is still quite deeply crimson, exuding a gentle delicious glow of mature red fruits with a soft supple presence of dark plums on a very fine graphite base, its tannins having melted ages ago. Very fine. Just shows how good a non-classified Saint-Émilion can be.

1986 Château Angelus, courtesy of Dolly. Still rather dark. Beautifully mellow, showing fine presence of ripe wild berries and darkish characters. Still imbued with good intensity even as its tannins have begun to recede, finishing a tad short with traces of cordite. Very fine.

1990 Château Margaux, courtesy of Russ. This supposed 100-pointer is absolutely gorgeous on the nose, opening with a deep dark intensity that led to a broad fleshy expanse of mature dark fruits and currants, structured with pliant supple tannins that extend a lovely mellow presence, still remarkably lively, layered with an even tone that took on greater intensity and fine minerally detail over time. Seemingly ageless. Truly wonderful.

1994 Château Haut-Brion. Somehow, this vintage of Haut-Brion has gained a certain cult status, and little wonder. Still showing a deep garnet red with a lovely bouquet of red fruits, kumquat and tangerines, this wine has mellowed beautifully as a fleshy seamless whole, exuding superb lift of mature fruit with fine depth, inner detail and acidity without calling attention to itself. Drinking superbly, reminding one again that there is no such thing as a bad Haut-Brion.

1998 Château Ausone, courtesy of Kieron. Rather darkish in tone and character, this wine opens with an astounding bouquet of luxuriant black fruits and currants that delivered rich layers of delicious ripe fruit and earthy minerals across all dimensions on the palate, exerting a vibrant high-toned complexity with lively acidity, much more open than before, displaying early secondary nuances. Still yet to peak. Superb.

1990 Château Ausone, courtesy of Sandy. Still deeply coloured though surprisingly restrained on the nose, almost haughty. The palate displays a great abundance of dark fruits and currants imbued with refined acidity and very finely detailed graphite elements that impart superb verve and supple intensity, trailed by overtones of cordite and capsicum all the way to its lasting finish. Still youthful after thirty years. Outstanding.

1983 Château Ausone, courtesy of Stephen. Displaying an evolved crimson, this medium-bodied Ausone has an open relaxed character, basking in delicious red fruits that carried a certain sur-maturite, poised with rounded suppleness. Has an air of rusticity in spite of all its elegance.

1983 Château d’Yquem, courtesy of Russ. Deeply coloured. Layers of mature tangerines, nectarine and apricots dominate with superb vivacious presence, almost luscious though never in danger of being cloying, still imbued with youthful concentration and sublime acidity that ensure there is still plenty of life ahead. Outstanding.

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