Robert Parker’s forum was one of the excuses for my trip to the United States, with two organized tastings of the wines of Trimbach and Lynch Bages. This forum is led by Mark Squires, who openly professes his doubts about ancient wines. I wanted to change his opinion, as I had done for members of another forum. This was also an excuse for bringing to Paris a Belgian friend from Antwerp, an Englishman, a Frenchman and an American. A friendly and joyful gathering at the Laurent restaurant, where wines of all origins are there to be enjoyed. Table in the beautiful garden by a beautiful spring evening, always perfect service, quality menu, everything was assembled for Mark Squires to be bewitched by the old wines.
We start with a Meursault Les Narvaux Domaine d’Auvenay 2000 Lalou Bize Leroy. A nose of a unique intensity. A deep wine, of rare length.
The 1964 Riesling Spätlese Niersteiner Kranzberg Franz Karl Rheinhessen is corked. The Trimbach Frederic Emile 1983 I tasted in California is perfectly suited to giant shrimp.
The Château de Beaucastel 1962 Châteauneuf du Pape should not have been opened. He had suffered from the journey to London.
Then come my wines: Nuits Saint Georges Les Cailles Morin Père et Fils 1915, which I have already used widely when I want to convince, is by far the star of the wines of the evening. His youth astonishes everyone. Mark Squires, who obviously has a palate made for other wines had the honesty to say that he liked.
And the nail was going to be hit by my second wine, the Chambertin Jules Regnier 1913 which is of an implausible structure and a youth similar to that of 1915. The Chambertin is obviously a bigger wine, but the Nuits Cailles gives more pleasure. I had taken my chances with two wines over 90 years old. And I won. Mark squires had the elegance to give the testimony on the site of the forum of Robert Parker. I know it will not change his habits. But a milestone had just been laid.
The Marcassin 2001 Pinot noir immediately shows it is of another world: pepper, star anise as in modern wines. In the context of the evening, I liked, like this absolute bomb incensed by Robert Parker, the Domaine du Pégau, Châteauneuf du Pape cuvée da Capo 1998 which has the bagatelle of 16 °.
The Domaine de la Janasse old vines Chateauneuf du Pape 1998 is also very interesting, but a little less than the solid Pegau. We finish with the White Riesling Navarro Late Harvest 2002 which is far too sweet for my taste.
Exciting discussions with great wine lovers. Tastes too resolutely modern are not for me. The idea of this challenge had seduced me. I succeeded with real ancestors. My journey of promoting the value of ancient wines continues. Moreover, my method of opening the wines, now known by a large number of amateurs, has proved its worth that evening.
It seems almost banal to open a wine of 1915 and to find that it seduces the most skeptical. When you think about it … .. What a questioning of all received ideas!
It is the object of my crusade.