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Bill S. Bill S. is offline
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Default Drappier, Beaucastel, Le Stanze, San Giorgio Palmer, Burmester

Notes from a wine dinner I did last weekend. Probably surprised my
guests a bit. I have a reputation for serving up great bloody slabs
of protein and neglecting vegetables except as almost garnishes. This
time, I did an almost completely vegetarian dinner with only one small
bit of protein, just to confuse them.

1995 Drappier Champagne Cuvee du Millenaire ‘2000’ - made for the
millennium celebrations (nicely avoiding the ‘real millennium, false
millennium’ issues as it could be used on either Dec. 31 1999 or
2000). Nice citrus and yeast in the nose, crisp and with a surprising
amount of flavour in mid palate.

Served with a chived Parmesan tuile.

1999 Ch. De Beaucastel Vielles Vignes Roussanne - I wanted a white
wine with some power behind it, and this one, the best white in the
Southern Rhone (IMO) fit the bill nicely. Made in very small amounts
(4-500 cases a year) with miniscule yields (often around 1 ton/acre),
it has never failed to imprss me. On this one I noted a fairly deep
amber colour, a sweet warm apricot nose that with air became peach
rather than apricot, weighty feel with a big body for a white, and
good balance.

Served with a thick autumn squash and leek soup on top of which I
floated pieces of seared foie gras.

Next up were an interesting Italian pairing.

2000 Poliziano Le Stanze – this IGT is a Bordeaux blend of cab and
merlot, and the nose showed some blood/meat and a faint hint of
nutmeg. Still fairly tannic, it was nevertheless very enjoyable, full
in the mouth with some vanilla flavour, through a medium long finish.

1988 Lungarotti San Giorgio – this mature cabernet was showing a more
‘cabish’ nose, mature and mellow, and it was also quite mellow on
palate, supple and smooth, though not without a bit of remaining
tannin, and excellent acidity.

For that pair I made mushroom agnolotti with a truffled cream, bacon,
and bail sauce.

1982 Ch. Palmer – good colour, deep nose of dark fruit and a hint of
anise, clean integrated presence on palate and a balanced lengthy
finish. Classic clatter.

1983 Ch. Palmer – there aren’t a lot of house where the 83 was better
than the 82, especially now that the 83s seem to have peaked, for the
most part, before the 92s, but Palmer is a classic example of a good
82 followed by a great 83. It had a big assertive, slightly animal
nose with tons of fruit, cassis, some cedar, in the mouth a fair bit
of extract, excellent weight and a really excellent long finish,
tapering off very slowly. We allowed as how this was the best
Bordeaux any of us had tasted in a long time. Wish I had a case of

I served this with an autumn mushroom ragout topped with a braised
quail and Pommes Anna, a strata of potatoes baked with heavy cream.

1970 Burmester Port – I probably bought this wine back in the late
1970s and it was my last bottle, chosen not because it was a top Port,
which it isn’t, but for it’s maturity. Hot nose, sweet and pleasant in
the mouth, with medium length, amply repaying the quarter century or
more of storage in my cellar.