It’s a new year, so I thought I’d start with something interesting from the cellar…
Another auction purchase, so no information on provenance, but despite never hearing of the producer and the fill being quite low, two bottles of 1964 Clos de Bèze for less then than 100 swiss francs (if I remember correctly) make for a good each-way bet. The labels are in poor shape, so at least I have the confidence that they have been cellared for some of the last 40 years!
A little digging shows a hint of confusion; the auction catalogue describes this wine as ‘Maurice Protheau / Château d’Etroyes‘ and indeed there is a gold label around the capsule saying Château d’Etroyes – but – the neck label which includes the vintage, shows ‘FP’ not MP and a François Protheau label is exactly the same as mine. I’ll go with the maker being François perhaps for a family member at Etroyes…
The screw-pull worm managed to pull the cork almost half-way out before it started to fracture – so the ‘ah-so’ came to the rescue – just a couple of small pieces of cork ended up floating in the bottle – with such a low fill there was no chance to retrieve them, so I pretended they weren’t there! I poured a small sample then stoppered the bottle, leaving it in the cellar for 6 hours before returning.
1964 François Protheau, Château d’Etroyes, Chambertin Clos de Bèze
The ‘sample’ was medium-pale and slightly brown looking, but when it caught the sun the colour was pure ruby-red at the core. The nose is superbly clean for an old’un; a little turned soil and beef stock against sweet, decaying leaves – much nicer than it sounds. Bright acidity (like every ’64 I’ve tasted) is on display, but somehow with ‘cut’ and focus. Linear, tannin-free, very mineral and subtly long – though it certainly won’t win any prizes in this area. Six hours on the nose has a faint but appealing volatile edge, otherwise it’s as steady as a rock. Texturally the wine fills out a little – perhaps it’s a (warmer) temperature effect – moderating the acidity just a little, it also seems just a little more intense and long, though certainly there’s now a metallic edge to the flavour. It didn’t fade a bit over 3 hours (so that’s 9 in total) of drinking.
Just a hint austere throughout, but vibrantly alive – a great fit to the DVD; Batman, The Dark Knight to which it was paired – wine and food pairing is so passé don’t you think?