Since this article has taken me well over a month to write, let’s just get to it. The Grand Finale, indeed.
We left off with some 1969 Leroy Musigny, and picked it up with a 2011 DRC Montrachet. I love 2011 whites right now, and the DRC didn’t disappoint. It was sweet and tasty, more delicate than I expected but admittedly an adolescent. It was still abundant in its usual, sweet fashion, but it needed more time than most 2011s (95+).
A magnum of 1971 Dom Perignon Rose continued our palate cleanse with its ‘strawberry sundae with caramel and apples,’ per Hollywood Jef. It had a curds n’ whey palate and was super zippy, but a bit sharp as well. I fluctuated between 95 and 96 points, but the old Roses always get a little dirty for me, keeping it at (95M).
A 1975 Dom Perignon Oenotheque was disgorged in 2007. It was wafery and spiny, more Oenotheque than 1975 (94).
And now it was time for our main event, eight great wines from 1961, and from Bordeaux. It was only right, since our host, The Rev, was born in 1961. 1961 Mouton Rothschild was first, and it was served a bit cold, to be honest. There was still nice mint, that old, signature mint that develops in great Moutons, just like a great, old Heitz Martha’s Vineyard. It’s palate wasn’t perfect, though, and this bottle was a bit mature once it warmed up (93A).
The 1961 La Mission Haut Brion that followed was spectacular. There was typical gravel and chocolate in the nose, with aromas of stones, smoke and black fruits. This was a rich and decadent wine, sexy juice that was absolutely delicious. It doesn’t get much better (98).
The 1961 Haut Brion put up a good fight. It, too, was delicious, super nutty with sweet peanut butter and honeyed flavors. This was also rich and decadent, very long and stylish, keeping pace with the La Miss (97).
A 1961 Palmer was good, but weird. The Punisher found it ‘vitaminy,’ and I wasn’t sure about the bottle (93?)
There was no Lafite or Margaux tonight, but there were four extraordinary bottles of Pomerol. The 1961 Latour a Pomerol was a honey bunny of a wine with a super sexy nose. This had the 1960s all over it in Hugh Hefner fashion. There was a pudding and gingerbread edge to this kinky wine. Smooth, creamy and tasty, this was yet another decadent ’61, but even more so. It had that almost Zinfandel-like decadence, typical for this wine and vintage, similar to 1982 Lafleur for some. There were maple syrup flavors to its finish (97).
The 1961 Petrus, as usual, was the top of the pyramid. This was a classic wine in every which way. This was a lot of people’s wine of the night, including mine. While my notes were waning, I did find it ‘rock solid with enough fine chalk and stone for a quarry,’ and its fruit was ‘absolutely perfect.’ It also got a ‘longggggggg’ (99pts).
1961 Trotanoy held its own quite well with its usual chocolate city party. It was like George Clinton performing in a glass of wine. ‘Great,’ ‘tasty’ and ‘solid’ were semi-legible, and other notes weren’t (96).
There was still one more Pomerol power display, the 1961 L’Evangile. Someone found ‘something extra’ here, and I found the usual chocolate, but this bottle was a little dirtier than previous memories. It had a little wheaty funk to it, but it was still an outstanding wine (95).
The Punisher hailed the last flight as his favorite flight of the weekend, and The Bulldog gave it two woofs. And there were two wines to go, a couple of 1978 Rhones, beginning with a 1978 Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape. The Punisher thought this was a great bottle, and Andy was ‘smelling marijuana.’ There were lots of kirsch and strawberry aromas and flavors, along with hot stone and provencal herbs. This was a tasty left turn to exit the building (96).
But the 1978 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle was even better. I have had mixed experiences with this wine, but this bottle was superb. This wine was black as night with bacon, chocolate and that Rhone hot rocks action. It kept getting bigger, longer and better, and its acidity crackled. I finally felt the ’61 comparison thanks to this bottle (98).
What can I possibly say, other than eternal thanks to The Rev for hosting us all, and sharing in the biggest way imaginable. Sharing is what makes wine great, to experience it with friends, to taste, to explore, to learn again. It is continuing education in one of its greatest expressions, and The Rev is as good a teacher as any. Thank you, brother.
Oh What a Weekend
In Vino Veritas,