You know when you walk into a dinner party and the reception wine offered is either Dom Perignon or Opus One that you are in store for a great night of wine….and indeed last Saturday night at a special dinner in the wine cellar of a friend’s home we tasted some unbelievable wine.
I started with the Dom, as I will always enjoy a bubble…everything from an $8 bottle of Cava to a $200 bottle of Cristal. The Dom was a treat though, and though I do believe there are adequate substitutes considering the price, but if it is not a question, enjoy the Dom. A perfect balance of crisp apple and bright citrus fruit with a lingering note of toasted brioche and nuts. The balance that is captured in the beauty of true Champagne.
Gary started with the Opus. I hadn’t had Opus in a while and remembered how good it truly is. the Bordeaux-style blend continues to maintain the structure and style that Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Robert Mondavi created in the late 1970’s. Inky red with big leather and cherry notes and a long finish.
Dinner wines included two big ones that were both so different, yet both so sublime it is hard to say which was better, the 1985 Mouton Rothschild or a 1999 Chateau Pavie.
Though not originally considered a First Growth wine, the Mouton-Rothschild finally earned that credit in the mid-1970’s. From the Pauliac region of Bordeaux, best known for their Cabernet Sauvignon based blends, and where sister first growth wineries Latour and Lafite Rothschild are based. This one was just right to be opened the other night as it was smooth, subtle and elegant with flavors of chocolate, spice, cassis and cherry with slight herbal green notes from the blending of other varietals into the wine like Caberent Franc. Medium bodied with a velvety like texture and finish.
The Chateau Pavie brought completely different characteristics in the younger wine, but different because of place and not age. Filled with licorice, cherry and cedar notes this St. Emilion Bordeaux blend captured heartier, earthier notes with a hint of dried fruit on the finish. A bolder, more full-bodied wine than the Mouton, yet still balanced and elegant, and always incredibly drinkable. Cheers to great wine!