A friend of mine recently turned 35 and I hosted a small dinner featuring a big horizontal of the best 1982 Bordeaux. These wines also turned 35 this year, and are right in the zone. Superstar Chef Jeffrey Nimer (HautChefsLA) cooked an incredible feast featuring Truffle Poulet and Prime Rib (with mashed potatoes) — it was insanely good. I will start with a full list of what we tasted, then make some comments.
CHAMPS: Magnum 1996 Krug Clos De Mesnil; 1996 Cristal; 1996 Salon
GRAVES: Haut Brion; La Mission Haut Brion; La Tour de Haut Brion
ST. EMILION: Ausone; Cheval Blanc*; Chateau Canon; Figeac
POMEROL: Trotanoy; Vieu Chateau Certan; La Fleur De Petrus; Conseillete
PAUILLAC: Mouton; Pichon Lalande; Latour
SAUTERNES: 1983 Rieussec; 1983 Climens
PORT: Grahams 30 year Tawny Port
BONUS: 1962 Latour
What surprised me with the champagnes was that my favorite tonight was the 96 Cristal. I love Salon and I love Krug Clos De Mesnil (so vibrant out of Magnum it almost knocked my teeth out), but tonight the Cristal was singing.
Usually, the Mouton and Latour (along with Lafleur, which we did not have) win the night; not tonight, however. The Latour is still a powerhouse, and certainly has another 35 years in it, but tonight, on the whole, the Pomerols took the prize for best overall region. They are so unctuous, rich, chewy and delicious, with such deep fruit, sublime acidity and well resolved tannins — a friend used to say that “Pomerol is the Burgundy of Bordeaux,” and I have to agree.
However, my wine of the night, and this may be surprising (to some but not all of you) was the Cheval Blanc. This may be the best Cheval I have ever had — it is a perfect wine in every way and you must try it — it is a textbook example of Cheval Blanc and one of the best Bordeaux i have ever had the good fortune to try.
We had Grahams 30 year tawny port with 25 year old Partagas Lusitanias, which tasted like honeyed cream.
At the birthday boy’s request, I opened a bottle of 1962 Latour — here is a top secret tip: 62 Lafite and 62 Latour can be absolutely fantastic if you get a good bottle. While not as rich, thick and unctuous as the 61, the 62 Latour was still a delicious way to end the night.