Its just after quarter past one in the morning and weve just finished the Mouton dinner. Im sat at my desk, knowing that I ought to get home and into bed, but Im still kind of buzzing. The wines were every bit as exceptional as I thought that they would be, and the uunexpected star of the night was actually the jero of d'Armailhac. It rocked!!
This afternoon at about 4pm I opened the reds and started the laborious process of double decanting them. This was especially important for the jeroboams as they were going to be way too heavy to pour full, so we had to decant them all out. Rinse the bottle and clean it up. Dry it out and then refill it with the decanted wines about 2/3rds of the way up. It was still a bugger to pour and needed two of us to get it right. Me holding the bottle and Danny picking up the glasses and holding them under the neck as I poured. We actually managed to get the room poured quite quickly doing that!! Anyways the wine was really expressive then, with rich fruity character and a touch of barnyard like aromas at first that seemed to dissipate after a short while. By tonight, when it was poured the aromas were leaping out of the glass ripe juicy red and black fruits with a touch of tobacco and a hint of xmas spices.
The 96 Mouton was really tight when I opened it this afternoon, not showing much fruit on the nose, but quite flavoursome on the palate. After double decanting (decanting out of the bottle, rinsing the bottle and then decanting back into the bottle.) it was showing some signs of opening up a bit. Nearly four hours later when it was eventually poured it was only just starting to show some character on the nose. Think of Vimto like mixed fruits - some berries, brambles, all a little under ripe and youre starting to get there a bit. I confess I was a bit disappointed by this wine. Maybe it is just still a bit too young.
The 1990 was outstanding. In magnums it has aged really well, it was massively expressive on the nose when opened, and after decanting it just seemed to fill the room with its flavour. Again there was plenty of fruit, but a little bit more developed now, more stone fruit flavours, some damsons, prunes, jammy berries, and well seasoned cigar like aromas. This had some depth to it. It had lived a little, maybe seen a bit of the world, this was a grown up wine! And four hours after it had been decanted it still ruled the roost. Those mags were the steal of the century, we picked them up from a broking list for about £20 more than the cost of a bottle of 1990 now (www.wine-searcher.com)
The boss seemed to be really happy. The feedback from the guests has been great and its been a really good end to the years events. Only problem now is how do we top this next year. Well Im working on something!!