What to drink when it is your birthday and you happen to be born in The Greatest Vintage Ever? Three bottles from the year in question seems adequate. And a bottle of 739 Jacquesson to start with - great as ever (93p).
1964 Château Houissant
This St Estephe displays a mature, rough-around-the-corner nose with notes of dried black currants, cranberries, scorched earth and dry tobacco. Stilll hanging in there but a tad hollow in the middle.
The taste is dry and linear with notes of tobacco, leather, autumn leaves and earth. A sturdy backbone, still delivering a fine mouthfeel. Went well with the food.
83p (tasted 2017/11)
1964 Brunello di Montalcino, Fattoria Poggio Alle Mura
I have had great bottles from Poggio Alle Mura, the 74 and 75 for example (Banfi bought the estate in 1983). This bottle however wont join those ranks. I am pretty sure that this bottle have been stored too warm for too long, resulting in notes of cooked fruit and a dry, one dimensional finish.
70p (tasted 2017/11)
1964 Barolo Cascina Luciani, Alessio Grasso
From Annunziata, La Morra, this Grasso saves the day. It needs some time in the decanter and glass to wake from its 53 year slumber but when it does it delivers a great, deep nose filled with scents of dark roses, dried up strawberry jam, licorice and sweet tobacco. Very, very fine. Still lots of sweet fruit. A very fine intensity and warmth.
The taste is mature of course but with a tight core of ripe red fruit and notes of sugared coffee, mushrooms, undergrowth, raspberry licorice and roses en masse. A long, structured finish with velvety tannins. Really, really good.
93p (tasted 2017/11)