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Eighties Bordeaux Tasting

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When wine geeks think of the Eighties, it’s not only Madonna, Top Gun or Miami Vice coming to their minds, but also the rise of modern winemaking in Bordeaux concurring with such great vintages like ’82 ’85 ’86 or ’89.

Thus, tasting some wines from that decade is always something special and I was thrilled when Oskar invited me to his round of friends when he was once again sacrificing some of his treasuries he had gathered over the years. It hurts him just a little bit, but it is certainly for a great moment of fun. Read the rest of this entry »

Excellent Dinner and Wines in the French Countryside

Not only has the Mayenne region an incredibly beautiful landscape of green pasture and small hills, its people also know what true hospitality is and they make their guests wish they would stay longer.
How lucky did we feel on the first stop of our road trip through Europe when our friend Antoine and his wife Azuka received us with a delicious dinner and lots of good wines. Among those was also a really incredible sweet wine discovery for me. Luckily I didn’t lose the notes I’ve taken that night and am now able to report a bit. But first of all, thank you for the warm welcome and copious dinner.

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After we quenched our thirst with excellent Champagne (Pol Roger was it?) – which also reinvigorated us after 2 hours of traffic jam around Paris – we were amazed to find out we would have freshly seared Foie Gras as a starter, plus an incredibly perfect wine match . Read the rest of this entry »

Pichon Longueville (Baron), Cos Labory and Batailley: all Châteaux’ and all from 85’

1985 was one of the big big years in Bordeaux. I was only 6 years old at the time, but I’m sure of it! Well, “officially”, opinions are a little diverging: some sources say it is an excellent vintage, other source just say it was finally better than announced in 85’. But what really counts in the end is our opinion ;-).We had 3 Grand Cru’s from the Médoc Area, 2 Pauillac’s and one St-Estephe (but adjacent to Pauillac, Chateau Cos Labory is jut 500 meters away from Lafite-Rothschild). Thus we can say it was a Pauillac-centered tasting of the ’85 vintage.
We started with the Baron Pichon-Longueville 1985 since a source said it would be the least best of the three. The Chateau which has a long lasting rivalry with its neighbour Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse-de-Lalande (the two are 2nd Grand Crus; a good description of Pichon-Baron can be found here) delivered very inconsistent qualities until the AXA insurance group bought it in 1987 and modernized it. Unfortunately our bottle was from the pre-modernization time so we tried to rely on the quality of the vintage to surprise us positively… But fate didn’t want us to unveil anything since our bottle was… corked! Nevertheless we tried to sniff behind the cork and believed the nose Read the rest of this entry »

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