Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Tasting Dinner With 12 Bottles Of 1964 St Emilion

As I noted in my previous post it was time to almost evaporate my stock of 1964 St Emilion. Friends were invited, food was prepared and this is how it went.

We started with some foie gras de canard and a truffle tapenade and a bottle of
1964 Blason de France, Perrier-Jouet
A rich, mature nose with a lovely scent of an old apple cellar alongside notes of almond paste, model clay, dried flowers and a touch of ginger. There is a whiff that reminds me of a fine Manzanilla, but ever so slightly. Perfectly mature.
The taste is gorgeous with tiny, tiny bubbles and notes of dried flowers, fudge, sweet minerals and a cold Tarte Tatin. Long and rewarding. Fully mature and drinking great.
92p   (tasted 2014/10)

I had split the twelve bottles of St Emilion into four flights. All wines got one hour breathing time in a decanter before the first pour.
To go with the first flight I served a terrine of sweetbreads.
1964 Château Cadet-Piola
The Cadet-Piola has a mature, round nose with a fine coffee scent paired with notes of dried plums, stable leather and autumn leaves. Very good but lacks a bit of definition.
The taste is mature, dry and medium bodied with notes of red currants, plums, tobacco and iron. Soft tannins. The finish is on the short side. The taste of iron gets more pronounced with air. Very good.
85p   (tasted 2014/10)

1964 Château La Dominique
A rather big, warm and mature nose with notes of ripe red currants, dried strawberries, tobacco and a rich earthiness. A very fine warmth. Some cold coffee scents with air.
The taste is medium bodied with a nice warmth and notes of red currants, tobacco, old leather and warm tiles. A long, finely tuned finish. Fully resolved tannins. Drinking fine tonight.
88p   (tasted 2014/10)

1964 Château Grand-Mayne
The winner of the first flight. A hedonistic, deep nose with notes of black plums, cherry chocolate, sugared coffee, aurumn leaves and some funky stable scents. Really good.
The taste is big, warm and steady with notes of black plums, pipe tobacco, worn leather and a warm earthiness. Very long and structured. Mature but there is no hurry to drink any remaining bottles. Very, very fine.
92p   (tasted 2014/10)

Flight two was served with a chanterelle risotto.
1964 Château l'Arrosee
As good as flight 1 is, the seconf flight is even better! The l´Arrossé opens with a stunningly ripe, intense nose with notes of sweet plums, Cohiba cigarrs, coffee powder, leather and a touch of mint. This is a beauty. Deep and complex.
The taste is tighter than the nose leads you to believe with lovely notes of red and black currants, graphite, cold coffe and iron like minerality. Long and taut with some sandy tannins. Very, very good. Mature but not overly so.
93p   (tasted 2014/10)

1964 Chateau Pavie Decesse
And it keps getting even better! I can´t say that I have tasted many older Pavie Decesse and if the 1964 is anything to go on, I have missing out!
The nose is delectable with aromas of dark tobacco, plums, sandelwood and coffee. With air a stunning combination of meat and flowers rises from the glass. Really something special. Feels old viney. Great!
The taste is as good as the nose with creamy fruit, a fine tannin structure for support and long, long warm finish with a upliftning freshness. This bottle has faired well over the years. A treat.
94p   (tasted 2014/10) 

1964 Chateau Troplong Mondot
The last one this flight didn´t match the previous two, but was still a decent drink. The nose is mature, dry and a bit foursquare with notes of cooked plums, red currants, chocolate biscuits and autumn leaves. It evolves with air and becomes a bit softer and less squary (if that is a word...).
The taste is dry and mature with a rich plum fruit, some not so finely sanded tannins still present and a nice warmth. Notes of cigarr ashes, red currants, hot earth and coffee. A bit barnyardy. Hanging is there but after reading several reviews, I would guess that there could be beter bottles out there.
84p   (tasted 2014/10)

Flight three was the creme de la creme of St Emilion, and they proved their part.
1964 Chateau Ausone
The most willful and yet fantastic nose of the whole line up. And that is spectacular, given that this bottle had the lowest fill of the all. If you look at - länk - the Ausone is in the middle with a mid shoulder fill. And yet, it performed. The nose is deep and complex with notes of pipe tobacco that have been lying in the rain, smoked sausages, warm earth, plum marmelade and cold coffee. Impressive, different and just gorgeous.
The taste is tight, intense and also different from the crowd with notes of cranberries, smoke, hot earth and some dental notes! Long, long and impressive in structure and complexity. This I would love to drink every day. Well almost.
95p   (tasted 2014/10)

1964 Chateau Cheval-Blanc
Aaaaaaaah! On paper the best. Beforehand the expectations were, of course, sky high. Did it fulfill? Oh yes...
The nose is to die for - a deep, complex, hedonistic nose with notes of sweet plums, smoke, mint, expensive leather and the best chocolate money can buy. Soo deep. Soo complex. Soo beautiful. And still young. Keeps on evolving all night long.
The taste is the proverbial "iron fist in a velvet glove" with its structure, sweet plum fruit and its long, long finish full of finesse and backbone. It doesn´t get much better than this.
98p   (tasted 2014/10)

With flight four I had prepared lamb filets baked in puff pastry with a red wine sauce.
1964 Chateau Beausejour
The last flight started with a return to reality. A mature, nice going, mature Bordeaux. The nose is cool and lean with notes of ripe red currants, old leather, autumn leaves and some iron. Good.
The taste is mature, tight and warm with notes of red and black currants, fresh stables, old leather and a nice warmth. The finish is medium long and dry. Has kept well. Good.
86p   (tasted 2014/10)

1964 Chateau Belair
This is strange - good but not in a Bordeaux kind of way. The nose is big and expressive with notes of sugared coffee, animal scents, rubber and lightly peppered meat. Given this blind I wouldn´t have guessed Bordeuax... And still it is good.
The taste is warm, caressing and fine with notes of black fruits, smoke, old leather and tobacco. The taste is more restrained than the nose. Very good. Maybe not the most St Emilion poster child, but I like it.
88p   (tasted 2014/10)

1964 Chateau Figeac
This kept on growing in the glass all night. Offers up gorgeous aromas of ripe plums, dark chocolate, tobacco and forest floor. Very rich fruit. Deep, dark and profound. A high density. This is very, very good.
The taste is opulent, velvety and perfectly mature with dark, creamy plum and black currant fruit and some additional notes of sugared coffee, leather and fresh stables. Very long and mouth filling. A lovely drink.
94p   (tasted 2014/10) 

1964 Chateau Pavie
The last wine is surely not the least. On the contrary, besides Ausone and Cheval Blanc, the best wine in the line up. Deep, complex, mature notes of red and black currants, cigarr smoke, moist autumn leaves and expensive leather oozes up from the glass. Layers upon layers of sweet, ripe fruit. Some warm tiles. Stunning!
The taste is rich, velvety and focused with notes of sweet lingonberries, red currants, tobacco leaves, iron and graphite. A very finely tuned finish. Ends with a nice dry twist. Very refined. Mature but could live on for many years. Grand Vin!
95p   (tasted 2014/10)

Last but not least
1964 Boal, Blandy's
The two Boal´s were decanted three days before the tasting, to really open up. The Blandy version has a high pitched, interesting, complex nose with notes of molasses, old chocolate, detergent, saw dust and assorted nuts. Very, very good.
The taste is powerful and intense with notes of nuts, figs, candied orange peel, black tea and nuts. The acidity is high and mighty and the finish can be counted in minutes. This is a stunner!
93p   (tasted 2014/10) 

1964 Boal, Justino Henriques
The second Boal doesn´t have the power and intensity of the first one but offers up a fine enjoyment nevertheless. The nose is deep, rich and medium sweet with notes of roasted nuts, nougat, chocolate and some band aid scents. Very good.
The taste is big and mature with dried black fruit and notes of chocolate biscuits, nuts, molasses and the same band aid note as on the nose. Long and fine. More mature than the Blandy.
89p   (tasted 2014/10)

More impressions here.


  1. This was truly an evening to remember. Not only for the wines, but also for excellent companion and food (as always)
    I wonder if there are any cheap Ausone's out there. I would need a case or two
    / Roderick

    1. Thanks Roderick - glad you were there! Cheap Ausone? That would be a first... :-)