It’s a while since I met up with Marc, so we decided to open a couple of ‘lunchtime’ bottles together.
I started at 7:30am by slowly easing out the cork from a 1972 Domaine du Clos Frantin Grands-Echézeaux – it smelled mighty fine. I popped in a stopper and then left it in a cool place for lunchtime. Marc’s approach was different, but just as effective: the 2005 Bouchard Pere Clos de Bèze was simply popped and poured. 80% of the way through the proceedings Marc suggested an interesting counterpoint – a 2004 Schubert Block B NZ pinot noir from the Wairapara.
1972 Clos Frantin, Grands-Echézeaux
A slightly porty fruit quickly, but not entirely gives way to beef, almonds, width and warmth – impressive and very complex. The acidity just has a hint of balsamic character, so probably best not to leave this for another 30+ years, but there is width and dimension on the perfectly textured mid-palate and it’s very long. This was savoured over about 3+ hours and it never faded. Super.
2005 Bouchard Pere er Fils, Chambertin Clos de Bèze
A precociously forward nose – it hits you before your nose even reaches into the glass. Ignoring the complex, spicy oak character – and there is a lot of it – the core of the nose is a trip through red, down to black fruit, lower down it is a mineral, coal-like effect. Very high quality indeed. Eventually it takes on coffee, chocolate and a subtle creamyness. This is just a little tighter and with less fireworks than last time, it’s lost a little of the buttery texture (a good thing!), but the frame and proportions of the wine are awesome. Perfect balance, mineral, multi-dimensional and long. It’s drinking fine now, but this will be more and more stunning as it develops – what price one of these when it nears its 40th birthday!
2004 Schubert, Block B Pinot Noir
An interesting counterpoint – gorgeously bright and enticing medium cherry-red colour. The nose is the weak part – it offers a lot of grassy, pyrazine type notes – a little coffee slowly adds to the mix. In the mouth this is rather good, particularly when you consider the company it is keeping today, there is density, good intensity of fresh fruit and very fine balance, there’s almost no tannin to find. There isn’t the complexity or length of the previous wines, but there are no ‘holes’. In its own right, this is a super drink.
Rebuy – Yes to all 3!