Monday, July 4, 2016

De Grandes Dames | Vins d'Anthologie

De Grandes Dames : Vins d'Anthologie 

Wines of the night | LeDomduVin  © 

About a few weeks ago, on June 21st, prior to the 1945 horizontale (read it here), I had another dinner where I had to prepare, condition, decant, taste and serve some amazing wines.
A selection to dream of (once again) for a Sommelier like me!

In the order of the picture above from left to right:

Haut-Brion 1986
La Mission Haut-Brion 1957
Ausone 1962
Anglus 1989
Mouton Rothschild 1970
L'Evangile 1989
Margaux 1982
Lafite Rothschild 1961
Latour 1959
Cos d'Estournel 1968
Cheval Blanc 1990
Yquem 1990

The dinner occurred at a famous Hong Kong Chinese restaurant, but I need to admit, the food was not up to par with the wines selected for that occasion.

So no point to talk about the food pairing, and let's go straight to the wines, shall we?

Here they are in the order they were served.

La Mission Haut-Brion 1957 | LeDomduVin  ©

La Mission Haut-Brion 1957
It was amazing (no wonder the Haut Brion wines are my favorites) so smoky and earthy, balanced and harmonious and so flavourful... I could have stayed minutes just on the nose. Very much alive and kicking. Earthy nuances of underbrush, mushroom, game, figue, plum, spice and liquorice lingered in the lightly structured yet complex palate up until the finish. Loved it.

(DN-LDDV | 21.06.2016 | Average Retail Price 5,350 HKD | 620 Euros)

Haut-Brion 1986 | LeDomduVin  ©

Haut-Brion 1986
It was succulent and so youthful, but no surprise there as HB is my favorite wine. Almost a shame to open it so early. Earthy, smoky, red and dark berries fruit aromas and flavors with asphalt and stony nuances, so characteristic to Haut-Brion emanated from the glass and coated the rich, structured and textured palate, up to the full and generous finish. Harmonious and balanced by great acidity, quite common to most 86 Bordeaux Left Bank i tasted in the last 20 years, this wine is promising a bright future and still quite a few years in the bottle. Beautiful.

(DN-LDDV | 21.06.2016 | Average Retail Price 3,640 HKD | 425 Euros)

Latour 1959 | LeDomduVin  ©

Latour 1959
What a stunning wine! It had been quite a few months that I had not tried it and previous bottles were good, but this one was far much better than previously tasted and still so vibrant. Complex, long, rich, structured and textured, beautiful nose and stunning palate. Rich, generous, balanced, harmonious and solid enough to age quite a few more years in the bottle. Game, underbrush, mushroom, spice, wood and earth flavors mingled beautifully in the expanding palate and the lingering finish.

(DN-LDDV | 21.06.2016 | Average Retail Price 20,570 HKD | 2395 Euros)

Margaux 1982 | LeDomduVin  ©
Margaux 1982
A beauty, smooth and delicate, fragile but still very much alive and racy.  A ballerina as I like to call it. Floral, earthy nose leading to a velvety palate nuanced with dark berries, sous-bois and earthy tones balanced with great acidity and freshness tending to the gentle, silky finish. Margaux has always been feminine for me, and this 82 confirms it. A great example of what Margaux is all about, more especially in this classic Vintage. Great silhouette.

(DN-LDDV | 21.06.2016 | Average Retail Price 7,910 HKD | 915 Euros)

Lafite Rothschild 1961 | LeDomduVin  ©

Lafite Rothschild 1961
It worried me to begin with as the level was low and the overall conditions acceptable but not great, confirmation came with the cork being totally damp and friable.. color was dull and tasted a bit flat... this bottle was not a good example, though the wine was not bad but has suffered due to the oxidation and eventual old seepage. To bad. I tasted some tremendous examples of Lafite 61 before, but this one is not one of them. The problem with these old vintages of top tear wines, which traveled all around the world and passed from the hands of a collector to another via Auction Houses, is that it is very difficult to define the quality of the wine inside and more especially the conditions in which it has been stored all these years prior being opened. Even with my knowledge and experience of inspecting countless amount of old bottles for more than 20 years, it is always a difficult task. Difficult to prevent bad bottles from time to time despite obvious signs to the eyes of a seasoned Sommelier like me boasting a certain expertise on the subject.

(DN-LDDV | 21.06.2016 | Average Retail Price  13,568 HKD | 1580 Euros)

Ausone 1962 | LeDomduVin  ©
Ausone 1962
What a nice surprise as I never tasted it before and was not sure what to expect, but it was well behaved, on the light side but still complex enough to be really enjoyable.

Angelus 1989 | LeDomduVin  ©

Angelus 1989
Good and youthful but still felt to impress somehow despite its complexity.

L'Evangile 1989 | LeDomduVin  ©

L'Évangile 1989
Pretty good, consistent and well structured, and thorough till the end.
Too young somehow and slightly restraint somehow but still very elegant.

Mouton Rothschild 1970 | LeDomduVin  ©

Mouton Rothschild 1970
Much better than expected for a vintage that was not so great... but then again was not that up to the par for a wine pretending to 1st growth position a few vintages later...

Cos d'Estournel 1968 | LeDomduVin  ©

Cos d'Estournel 1968

Château Cheval Blanc 1990 | LeDomduVin  ©

Cheval Blanc 1990

Yquem 1990 | LeDomduVin  ©

Yquem 1990

Corks of the night | LeDomduVin  ©

Trouble | LeDomduVin  ©

Corks of the Night | LeDomduVin  ©

Standing by the ladies of the night | LeDomduVin  ©

...... till next time Ladies

Dominique Noël | LeDomduVin


  1. This article gives a lot to think about.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Much Appreciated. and sorry I never finish writing my tasting notes for these wines... one day I will...