Grand Dinner at the Glasgow Festival of Wine



This was the closing dinner for the Glasgow Festival of Wine (something of a reprise of earlier Glasgow SuperBOWL weekends - see here, here, here, here and here).  Some great wines and company, and great to catch up with people I've not seen for a while.

My wine of the night was the 1966 Pichon Lalande
Disappointment of the night were two corked wines, including my 1966 Max Ferd. Richter Mülheimer Sonnenlay 

Credit where credit is due, some of the wines were shared by other tables. The wine list for our table was as follows:

1996 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Coeur de Cuvée

1982 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne
1995 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne
1990 JJ Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese
1966 Mülheimer Sonnenlay, Max Ferd. Richter

1966 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion
1966 Chateau Pichon Lalande
1996 Chateau Pichon Lalande
1980 Henschke Cyril Henschke
1973 Chapoutier Hermitage Le Pavillon Cuvée Spéciale Numérotée
1990 Chateau de Beaucastel
1990 Domaine Tempier Bandol Cuvee Spéciale Cabassaou
2000 Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol
1976 Remoissenet Pommard Clos des Epinots

NV Mullineux Olerasay
1996 Huet Le Mont 1ier trie Molleux
1996 Lafaurie Peraguey
2000 Albert Mann Pinot Gris Altenbourg SGN Le Tri

You'll notice that there aren't notes on all the wines: we didn't get round to opening them all, missing out on the Olerasay and the SGN in particular, as the evening ended rather sooner than we were expecting, and so our careful pacing of the evening let us down.


Highland game terrine with plum chutney and oatcakes - I liked this. Though I suspect game terrine starter followed by game terrine main, maybe with a middle course of game terrine would have been just as good a menu.


Braised daube of beef with bubble and squeak, carrots and fondant potato Dry beef. Nice fondant. Bubble & squeak had turned into very minty peas. Meh.


2011 Núria Claverol Finca Peretes Gran Reserva Brut Cava, Bodegues Sumarroca, 12%
Crisp, fairly concentrated, citrussy nose.
Seems straighter, lighter than some cavas on the palate. Very frothy-foamy in the mouth. I get no impression of 5 years of maturation.
I'm guessing from the fancy pants bottle that this is a fancy special cuvéé, but I wouldn't guess it.

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1996 Coeur de Cuvée, Vilmart, 12%
Very big, hefty, rich nose. More earthy than toasty.
Very full palate, with some deep flavours.
But overall, while it's very good, it's somehow falling short of impressing me.
Does it need more time?


1982 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Bonneau du Martray
Very, very elegant nose. Very much belying its age.
Grace and elegance on the palate too.
Fantastic stuff.

No photo, as the label had completely disintegrated. The cork confirmed the wine and vintage though.

1995 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Bonneau du Martray
Lovely fresh nose - remarkably fresh. Ripe white flower elegance.
Very good, very elegant palate. Just so open and fresh. Really good balance, with just a bit of minerality adding depth.
Lovely wine.


2007 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Bonneau du Martray
A remarkably slight nose. 
Rich palate - so much richer and fuller than the colour and nose would suggest. There's a nice spice towards the finish. With time and aeration the concentration fades a little, and a creamier feel takes over in the mouth, and then the acidity builds, giving it a more grassy, green fruit/veg feel.
Possibly lacking structure, particularly to give it the longevity of the older vintages. Can't really make my mind up about this one. It's certainly not impressing like its older siblings.


1990 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese, Joh. Jos. Prüm
Wine Society Neck label. Forgot to note the AP Nr.
Quite a rich golden colour.
Fabulous petrol spill on slate nose. Lots of rich vaguely peachy fruit on the nose too.
There's a sweetness, of course, but it's very balanced. Lovely mouthful.
For me, an ideal aperitif.


1966 Max Ferd. Richter Mülheimer Sonnenlay Riesling 
Even more annoying, it took about 10 minutes of careful cork wrangling to get in it with Screwpull and Ah-So working in unison.
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1966 Château La Mission Haut-Brion
A remarkably young appearance, or at least not looking anything like as old as it should do.
Real cedary cigar box classic nose. A cigar box with some of the tobacco left in it. A tiny touch animalistic on the nose.
On the palate, this does feel 50 years old, particularly in comparison to the Pichon-Lalande. But that's not to denigrate it. There is some really lovely fruit still going strong in here.
There's so much character in this. A touch masculine and big boned.

1966 Ch. Pichon Lalande 
I would never have guessed this was 50 years old from the colour and the nose.
Lovely nose with remarkably fresh blackcurrant and blackberry fruit.
Amazingly vibrant, lively palate.
Bright, clean. Remarkable.
Silky texture. Astonishing palate. Such a perfect bottle.

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1996 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
Quite a youthful colour.
Very full, ripe nose with poised black fruit.
Very youthful palate. Lots of juicy black fruits give it an inky black texture.
Fairly integrated tannins though.

1980 Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon, Henschke, 12% (Henschke Museum Release: released 1997)
From the days when Australia could manage to produce wines below 14% abv.

On first opening, there was a real whoosh of blackcurrants rushing out of the bottle, as though it had been trapped in there desperate to go to the Ribena loo for nearly two decades.
Two hours later, that blackcurrant fruit has all escaped, and the nose has much more of an old claret feel, with leathery, mushroomy, cigar box notes.
On the palate, it seems fully mature, though certainly not dead and is full of excellent character. But definitely ready to drink. I'd even say - at this point - that it's time to drink this up.
But then, returning to it 10 minutes later, and with some aeration, it starts to come round again, and starts to develop in a way that makes me imagine what a cabernet sauvignon made by a traditional Burgundian winemaker might taste like.
This is really coming back to life again now. What utter tosh I wrote about 15 minutes ago about this needing drinking up! It's developing a richness on the nose, while on the palate, there's now a bit of cabernet franc-like leafiness. And now that richness has come through on the palate, and there's almost a bit of a chocolate note, as the wine coats the mouth much more now.
With the last taste, maybe 30 minutes after the first taste, I'm picking up a spicy note on the finish, and the tannins are coming out more now.
God, I wish I had more of this. Absolutely fascinating development in the glass.

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Volnay 1er Cru Clos de la Bousse d'Or Monopole, La Pousse d'Or
Lovely colour - mature but not old.
All sous-bois on the nose. This feels very ready.
Lovely palate. In the mouth, there's much more life in this than the nose would suggest.
Nice and elegant, though with a certain masculinity, with good mature flavours.

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[1973] Hermitage Le Pavillon Cuvée Spéciale Numérotée LXXIII, Chapoutier
There is no obvious vintage on the label, but looking very closely right at the bottom of the label (escaping my phone camera's depth of field sadly in the image below) it says Cuvée LXXIII. Or something like that.
This is one of Max Chapoutier's cuvées numérotées non-vintage blends, which I have to admit I had never heard of before. Internet searching reveals only two people seem to have had much, if anything to say about these cuvées numérotées: one of whom is some bloke called Robert Parker, whose book on the Rhône, Google has helpfully digitised in part. In brief, these cuvées seem to be analogous to, say, Vega Sicilia's Reserva Especial multi-vintage blend, but it seems that nobody is sure what might actually be in this wine, just that Max Chapoutier thought this the best he could produce at the time. But as it's sort-of-dated LXVIII, it must be a blend of pre-1973 vintages.
It seems that when Michel Chapoutier took over in 1989, he ditched the idea of these non-vintage blends. Which seems a bit of a shame, although, as Parker suggests, sticking a vintage on the label does make it a bit less confusing. But who doesn't like a bit of mystery?

Anyway ... what was it like?

This has a lovely mature colour. The nose is completely fascinating, intriguing even. There's black fruit still, but overall it's very even and balanced, until occasionally something interesting, maybe floral, maybe fruity, maybe savoury comes along.
Really good on the palate. There's some high toned notes very much to the fore, and it is certainly feeling old. Certainly older than the two 1966 clarets! There's a sort of Musarey-intriguingness and -pleasure to be found in this.
Fully mature. If you happen to have one of the 10,540 bottles of this left in your cellar, I think now might be a good time to open it, as I can't see it improving much further.


1991 Hermitage La Chapelle, Paul Jaboulet Ainé
Lots of minerality on the nose, alongside chocolatey, intense black fruit.
Fab purity in the mouth.
Haunting length.

1996 Hermitage, Jean-Louis Chave
Big black fruits nose. Lots of leather and some bloodiness.
Huge poise and power on the palate. Great concentration.

96 Chave Hermitage

1990 Château de Beaucastel 
Initially a bit of an interesting nose. Sweaty. But there's also a hint of TCA.

Massive TCA on the palate.

Bugger. Second corked bottle of the night.

1990 Tempier Bandol Cuvée Spéciale Cabassaou
Lovely colour - even and fairly mature.
Meaty, sweaty horse nose with goaty and vaguely brie-like notes.
Really good mature palate. This seems completely à point to me.
Light, lots of dry red fruit. Good tannins persist on the finish.
Great length.


2000 Château de Pibarnon, Bandol
Sweet black fruits and leather on the nose.
Ripe, sweet black fruit on the palate. Lots of depth and character.
But also a pleasing freshness. Very soft on the palate.
Feels much younger than 16 years old.


1992 Ridge Monte Bello
Very dark, remarkably youthful garnet colour.
Very pure cabernet nose - it might be 20% merlot, but the merlot's hiding from me.
A sweet, pure cabernet sauvignon palate with lots of tobacco flavours. Hefty tannins on the finish.

2000 Shiraz Georgia's Paddock, Jasper Hill Vineyard, 15%, magnum
Bit minty, vibrant nose with very ripe black fruit. Very herbal and medicinal.
Very herbal palate. Big, full, powerful stuff. 
It's a very interesting wine, for sure, but I find the alcohol level a bit too dominant, and the overall style is not really appealing to me.
I wonder if it really needs a bit more time?


1996 Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux Première Trie, Huet, 12%
A very pure nose. Like sweet rainwater. Fresh and dewy.
So precise and elegant on the palate. Very fresh.
It hardly feels sweet at all in the mouth.
Lovely balance.


1996 Château-Lafaurie Peyraguey
A very coppery colour.
Wet fur and honey nose.
Very sweet indeed on the palate. But with decent balance.
Very deep flavours. But it lacks complexity.

Much improved by the apple frangipane tart they tried to take off me because I wasn't eating fast enough.



2007 Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinett, Egon Müller, 10%, AP Nr. 3 567 142 03 08
A very petrolly, minerally nose. Very zingy, lively palate, even after it's been open around three hours! Even after that time, and having come to room temperature, there's no particularly obvious residual sugar feeling separate. Great balance.
A very fine Kabinett that's developed and improved nicely since I last tried it in 2008.


2015 Noble Riesling, Riverby Estate
Delightful nose. Bright, honey aromas. But very fresh.
Very fresh, elegant palate.
Sweet, yes. But very elegant and balanced.

2005 Pinotage Pinodoux, Lammershoek, Swartland
, 16%, 375ml
According to the back label, "Pinotage dessert wine sweetened naturally, fortified with three year old Pot-still brandy and matured in 225 litre French oak barrels for 40 months."
Classic pinotage nose, with those rubbery notes we all, err...., love.
Rich, full palate. Hardly sweet at all, and it carries the alcohol very well indeed. Very interesting.
Good balance and character.


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Last updated: 23 September 2016