I visited Amélie Berthaut in Fixin today and tasted her very lovely 2013s. I mentioned that I’d some 92s from the domaine that I bought at auction and they tasted rather good. At the end of our tasting she disappeared into the cellar and came back with a tissue-wrapped bottle – “You did say 1982 didn’t you?” she inquired. “Oh well, I’ve got this now!” Wax topped, labelled and with only about 1cm of level-loss, this most perfect of provenance wines looked as good as any 30+ year-old wine could. We had a quick taste and Amélie wasn’t impressed – I said it would almost certainly improve with air, so she said “Take it with you and let me know…” Well, it seemed rude not to!
1982 Vincent et Denis Berthaut, Fixin
Opened ~18h15 – almost no colour on pouring, but it looks fine in the glass. The nose starts a little cheesy but it’s rounder and riper in the mouth than I expected. Driven back to the apartment and put in the fridge at about 19h15 without the cork. Removed at 22h00 and poured at 22h30: The wine’s still cold but the cheesiness of earlier is gone, to be replaced by slightly blurred red fruit and something more ‘brown!’ It’s not super-inviting, but still, no Epoisses! In the mouth it’s a lovely bright attack but the acidity has a slightly balsamic/metallic impression/flavour. Take a chance and swallow and there’s good intensity to the slightly sweet finish. Wait one more hour with the wine in the glass and the nose is a little bit cleaner and has more depth – the brown note is now almost brown sugar. In the mouth the acidity still has a sharp-ish edge but is clearly a little more drinkable – twist my arm, and I might even say tasty! This is a bottle that’s ‘hanging on,’ one that was almost certainly better 10 years ago, maybe 15 – but the next bottle may be gorgeous, who knows…
Rebuy – No Chance!