Earlier in the year, we had friends of ours over for dinner and I served a 1983 Chateau Latour that showed well, but not quite as well as a previous bottle at a different dinner party had. Well, several months later, these same friends returned the dinner party favor and one-upped us by serving a 1966 Latour. What a nice surprise!
N.V. Laurent Perrier Champagne Brut Rose. First, though, we started off with this rose, which sports a light, airy nose of strawberry, citrus and herbs, with a fair bit of sulfur still present. In the mouth, it is pretty similar—lighter-styled and strawberry and mineral-driven. It is a nice sipper with our homemade charcuterie, but ultimately a bit simple, in my opinion.
2010 Domaines Ott Bandol Rose Chateau Romassan. This wine has a light but serious bouquet of minerals, strawberry, and herb that are later echoed throughout the palate journey. There is a certain elegance and class here to the flavors of pink citrus, strawberry and minerals that I just wasn’t expecting. It is still young and in its formative phase, and worth holding a few years, I should think.
1966 Chateau Latour Pauillac. Given the age of this wine, we more or less pulled the cork just about 20 minutes before serving. It quickly became apparent that we weren’t properly prepared for just how sturdy and healthy this wine is. Indeed, it defied our host’s expectations and sang just beautifully—albeit in a rusty, bloody, savory sort of baritone that was Tom Waits-unique in tone. Specifically, I took note of aromas of bloody meat, iodine, pan drippings, black leather jacket, cigar wrapper, turned earth and jalapeno pepper that slowly yield to the damson, pomegranate, black currant and orange peel fruit lurking below. It is also in great shape on the palate—coming across as totally resolved of tannin but still showing solid drive and heft on a medium-bodied frame. It is dominated by black fruits, fine spices, savory earth and gentle green pepper flavors that have an effortless flow across the palate and lead to a lifted and surprisingly gutsy finish that is just delightful. It has a little wild streak that is really appealing but you have to love how smooth, balanced and delicious it is, as well.
2001 Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes. Served from 375 ml bottle. As always, the nose is exotic as hell, with tons of high-toned yet unctuous aromas of apricot, peach, crème brulee, botrytis spices, petrol and slate. It is rich and full and plump on the palate, but with wonderful flow and a very vibrant finish associated with its apricot, vanilla bean and honey flavors. Unlike past experiences with this vintage, I also detect a little streak of petrol in this bottle, which is really interesting to me. In the end, though, it is the exotic spices, the intensity of the vibrant fruit and the luscious mouthfeel one remembers most. I can never have enough of this.