72 wines drunk recently from 1896 up to 2008 (disgorgement) and my opinionlundi, 19 janvier 2009

Here are some wines drunk recently. As it covers the period of Christmas and Sylvester’s Eve, many were drunk in family or with friends, but some were drunk also within my dinners.

For once I will use the tool : PIME, PAME, PUME, which I find appropriate but that I do not use enough.

I am reluctant to give an “absolute” note for a wine, and I prefer to give a “relative” appreciation. It means that to say that a wine deserves “91” supposes that I know what is a “91” wine. Contrarily to that, for every wine, I have an expectation because my experience has given me the opportunity to approach many wines of every period. And to check how a wine performs comparatively to what I was expecting has – at least for me – a signification.

To make the tool even more efficient, I will use the sizes for clothes to describe how big the difference with my expectation is : S, M, L, XL and XXL signs which are very familiar for everyone.

I have listed the wine by difference with my expectation, and ranked by age.

Let us begin :

1 – 19 wines were PUME, under what I expected

1 XXL, 1 XL, 2 L, 4 M, 11 S.

Château Monbousquet Saint-Emilion 1982 : PUME, XXL. Corked.

Puligny-Montrachet de Moucheron Tasteviné 1955 : PUME, XL, almost dead

Château Coutet Barsac 1934 : PUME, L. Interesting, certainly, but it had not the perfection that such a wine should have.

Champagne Ruinart 1955 : PUME, L. Even if we enjoyed it, it was really tired.

Château Pibran 1928 : PUME, M. Not enough life in this wine.

Château Cheval Blanc 1962 : PUME, M. Lacked of consistency.

Pavillon blanc de Château Margaux 1988 : PUME, M. A certain lack of imagination, even if highly enjoyable.

Champagne Taittinger non millésimé : PUME, M, shows a lack of imagination

Château Suduiraut 1928 : PUME, S. I loved this wine, but the people around the table did not get the message, which explains why I downgrade the appreciation.

Vega Sicilia Unico 1941 : PUME, S. Good, but it has not the rhythm that a VSU should have.

Château Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 1947 : PUME, S. This wine stank so much vinegar that I declared it dead. And it performed wonderfully. But anyway, it was not as flashy as it should be.

Clos de Vougeot Leroy 1949 : PUME, S. The wine had a level of 5 cm under the cork. The danger was big, but the wine performed well. Anyway, it had not the level it should have.

Champagne Perrier-Jouët 1964 : PUME, S. Great champagne, but largely under the Louis Roederer 1966 which we had for Christmas.

Champagne Salon 1982 : PUME, S. I adore this wine, but this one was more mature than other 1982. The maturity is elegant, but the pleasure is not as great.

Côte Rôtie La Mouline Guigal 1984 : PUME, S. Great wine, but obviously it has lost a part of its youth.

Opus One Napa Valley 1988 : PUME, S. It is good, but it lacks emotion. Performs under what it should.

Champagne Krug 1988 : PUME, S. It did not perform as I wanted, due to a bad combination with spinach wrapping an oyster

Château de Fargues Lur Saluces Sauternes 1989 : PUME, S. I love this year for Fargues, and this one had swallowed its sugar. Pleasant, but not as great as I expected.

Clos de Vougeot Méo-Camuzet 1992 : PUME, S. I was in love with this wine, and I find it more quiet than explosive. I expected more, even if the wine is good.

2 – 25 wines were PIME, performing as I was expecting

Jurançon 1929 des caves Nicolas : PIME. Pure natural pleasure without any question.

Château Suduiraut 1944 : PIME. Very pleasant Sauternes, with not any problem. Straightforward.

Château Léoville-Las-Cases Saint-Julien 1945 : PIME. Perfect as I expected. A great and solid wine.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape Paul Etienne 1955 : PIME. Performed well, exactly as I expected.

Chambertin Grand Cru Pierre Damoy 1961 : PIME. Total serenity. This wine is always at the top. I use it as I use the Nuits Cailles 1915 when I want to have a secure perfection.

Chambertin Clos de Bèze Pierre Damoy 1961 : PIME. No surprise, the perfection.

Chambertin Clos de Bèze Pierre Damoy 1961 : PIME. No surprise, the perfection.

Vega Sicilia Unico 1964 : PIME. Exactly what I expected from a very nice year of Vega Sicilia Unico.

Château Haut-Brion blanc 1966 : PIME. Good, not incredibly complex, but solid.

Nuits-Saint-Georges les Fleurières Jean-Jacques Confuron ca 1970 : PIME. It began to be tight and then expanded in the glass, to offer a very nice set of tastes.

Chambertin Clos de Bèze Domaine Armand Rousseau 1982 : PIME. Exactly as I hoped it would be. Not the greatest year, but a perfection of realisation

Rimauresq Côtes de Provence rouge 1983 : PIME. Lovely wine, I knew it, and i twas purely lovely, full of life.

Champagne Dom Ruinart 1986 blanc de blancs : PIME. Absolutely charming and full of grace.

« Y » d’Yquem 1988 : PIME large and powerful with suggestions of what Yquem is

Château d’Yquem 1988 : PIME. No worry, performs as it should.

Corton Charlemagne Bonneau du Martray 1990 : PIME. Extremely great wine, not as great as the 1986 that we drank in magnum, but an immense Corton Charlemagne

Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Joseph Drouhin 1992 : PIME. A wonderfully powerful wine, corresponding to its reputation. 1992 confirms that for white Burgundies, it is a delight.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape Château de Beaucastel blanc 1993 : PIME. Very enjoyable wine, consistent with its definition.

Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot Domaine Ramonet 1994 : PIME with a nice complexity

Champagne Delamotte 1997 : PIME. Very easily drinkable and gentle.

Champagne Delamotte 1997 : PIME. Very drinkable and fresh.

Champagne Charles Heidsieck mis en cave en 1997 : PIME. Gentle and very agreeable champagne.

Château Rayas blanc 1997 : PIME. It performed exactly as I wished, with the fruit of the youth.

Champagne Dom Pérignon 1999 : PIME. This wine continues to improve by every try.

Champagne Substance de Jacques Selosse disgorged in March 2008 : PIME. Totally perfect as I wished. An extreme personality, despite the young age.

3 – 29 wines were PAME, performing above what I was expecting.

10 S, 11 M, 4 L, 2 XL, 2 XXL

Château de Rolland Barsac 1929 : PAME, S. Surprised me by a strength which such a wine should not have.

Château Trottevieille Saint-Emilion 1943 : PAME, S. It performed very well. Extremely precise wine.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape Bouchard et Cie probable 1959 : PAME, S. Very great Chateauneuf. Full of grace and gentleness.

champagne Dom Pérignon 1969 : PAME, S. Absolutely perfect. Even if I was ready for that, I am always under the charm of such a complexity.

Château Brane-Cantenac 1978 : PAME, S. Very comfortable, better than what I expected.

Domaine de Mont-Redon Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1978 : PAME, S. A wine of pure pleasure, absolutely convincing. Great year and great pleasure.

Champagne Charles Heidsieck 1982 : PAME, S. I did not expect that it would be so good, extremely fresh and lively.

Champagne Salon 1988 : PAME, S. Great as usual, but gave me a special pleasure that time, at « les Ambassadeurs » of Le Crillon, with my wife.

Corton-Charlemagne Bonneau du Martray 1989 : PAME, S. Better than the 1990 and a little less than the 1986. It is an immense white.

Champagne Dom Pérignon 1993 : PAME, S, improves with time. Becomes more and more elegant.

Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 1904 : PAME, M. I did not expect this wine to be so lively. A really enjoyable wine. I adored it as I would never have dreamed such a performance.

Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 1945 : PAME, M. Largely above the Léoville Las Cases 1945, it touches perfection.

Clos René Pomerol 1950 : PAME, M. I adore Pétrus 1950, but I did not expect a not highly ranked 1950 Pomerol to be so great and delicious.

Vega Sicilia Unico 1960 : PAME, M. It is certainly one of the greatest possible VSU drinkable now.

champagne Louis Roederer 1966 : PAME, M. Absolutely adorable, ands largely above the Salon 1982. Immense champagne full of sexy appeal.

Champagne Taillevent (Deutz) rosé 1988 : PAME, M. A taste that I would never have imagined.

Champagne Bruno Paillard Nec Plus Ultra 1990 : PAME, M. I did not know this champagne and I had a nice surprise.

Champagne Philipponnat Clos des Goisses 1991 : PAME, M. More and more I love this champagne of a great charm. I expected that it performs, but it surprised me.

Côte Rôtie La Mouline Guigal 1995 : PAME, M. A bomb of pure pleasure.

Côte Rôtie La Landonne Guigal 1996 : PAME, M. It is what I expected, which means glorious, but it was even more than that. The total luxury.

Chevalier-Montrachet « la Cabote » Bouchard Père & Fils 2000 : PAME, M. I am in love with La Cabote. So, even if I was expecting its glory, I was touching paradise.

Château Lafite-Rothschild 1900 : PAME, L. I took for a try one of the low levels of this wine. It was wonderful, racy, noble, and I did not expect that much.

Clos des Lambrays 1915 : PAME, L. I did not wait for such a strength and a real emotion. A unique wine, having the grace of 1915.

Champagne Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial 1953 : PAME, L. I am in love with such a genrous champagne, with an incredible length. Living, lively, complex, this champagne

Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Domaine Armand Rousseau 1999: PAME, L. I fell in love with this wine, full of a feminine soul and purity.

Corton Cuvée du docteur Peste Hospices de Beaune Protheau 1953 : PAME, XL. An immense wine that I would never have imagined. I voted for it as first in one dinner.

Hermitage L. de Vallouit 1978 : PAME, XL. I would never had bet that such a wine could perform so well. Of a great year, it was of a great and opulent generosity.

Château Sigalas-Rabaud 1896 : PAME, XXL. I was expecting to drink a Guiraud 1904 (written on a small label), and the cork said SR 1896. A purely great Sauternes full of grace and life.

Château Laroze Saint-Emilion 1947 : PAME, XXL. I would never have thought that this wine could perform so ideally.

This report shows that for some very old wines I am impressed by their performance. But the repartition between great and bad surprises is normally balanced.