From left to right: 1919 Clos Blanc de Vougeot, 1957 Bonnes-Mares, 1959 Echézeaux
Sometimes opportunities to taste nice wines (maybe I should say exceptional wines) pop-up without expectation. This week I was to taste a fine producer’s 2006 range of Chablis, however, as an aperitif I had the opportunity to drink wine from three other bottles that just happened to be open:
1957 Berry Bros & Rudd, Bonnes-Mares
Medium colour – both alive and interesting – looked super in the glass. The nose was fecund, with interesting if not all-encompassing depth and slowly became sweeter in the glass. A sweet entry, predominantly resolved tannin and just about middle-weight flavours. Slightly warming in the mid-palate with a length that just went on and on. Wonderful length – if not complexity. Not a phrase I would expect to associate with Bonnes-Mares – even one that was more than 50 years old – but this was rather a charmer.
Rebuy – No Chance
1959 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Echézeaux
Medium-plus colour, both deeper and younger looking than the Bonnes-Mares. The nose also has much more depth of an obvious oak note. Soft and concentrated with just a slight lift of the acidity. Apparently much more compact in the mid-palate than the Bonnes-Mares but with equal length. This is clearly a ‘younger’ and more powerful wine but just a little less enticing and balanced than the Bonnes-Mares today. Re-reading this sounds harsh, but it was a very good wine indeed that I’d be happy for you to open for me 😉
Rebuy – Yes
1919 Jules Regnier & Co, Clos Blanc de Vougeot
Jules Regnier was a Dijon-based merchant, interesting then that there is some mainly illegible text referring to Vosne-Romanée on the label! Medium-pale amber colour. Depth and width to the aromas – mainly that wet wool / lanolin that you get with old whites over a creamy base, occasional meaty elements and a faint volatile lift. It’s intense and super despite the occasional hint of mustiness, but a quick swirl and that dissipates. The leading edge of the acidity has a slight tartness which over time became more obvious. Neither the nose nor the flavours show any oxidative notes – what an achievement! – and the wine offers a wonderful creamy length. You occasionally taste that musty element, but not with every sip. Despite a less than perfect wine, this is a stunning experience in a glass.
Rebuy – No Chance