Monday 26 December 2016

A 1945 Bordeaux Dinner

A couple of weeks ago I arranged this tasting dinner att home. We were seven around the table. The theme and the bottles of 45 Bordeaux were known to the guests, but not the serving order.

We started the evening of with two bottles of bubbly.
2002 Brut, Henriot
This is a great Champagne, with a deep, racy nose with notes of lemon fudge, nuts, smoke and apples fried in butter. A hint of maturity. High and really fine.
The taste is creamy and rich with notes of butter cookies, dried flowers and crushed rocks. A very fine acidity. Long and velvety. Drinking great today, and probably for another 8+ years.
94p   (tasted 2016/11)

2002 Gentilhomme, AR Lenoble
A deep, spicy nose with lots of red apples and some additional notes of gravel, dry nuts and smoke. A tad restrained. Still quite young.
The taste is tight and focused with an almost hard acidity and mature red apples. Long and fine. Some smoky notes. Very, very good. Could still use some time in the cellar.
90p   (tasted 2016/11)

Flight I - which was served with a tartare of Wagayu beef with a variation of onions, parmesan and shaved truffle.
1945 Château Cantenac-Brown
A mature, medium deep nose with notes of freeze dried coffee, wet undergrowth, mushrooms and some dry chocolate biscuits. Nice enough.
The taste is compact and dry with notes of dried black currants, autumn leaves and old leather. A medium long, dry finish. Very good. Went very well with the food.
83p   (tasted 2016/11)

1945 Château La Tour-Marbuzet
A big, tight and open nose with notes of ripe red and black currant fruit, ash, dark earth and some stable aromas. Very, very good. Interesting enough, even better day two...
The taste is tight and focused with notes of dried black currants, warm gravel and a hint of mint. Long and dry. This has matured in a fine fashion.
90p   (tasted 2016/11)

1945 Barolo Riserva Della Castellana, Marchesi di Barolo
The dark horse in the line up... Could have been better, the bottle had leaked somewhat.
A restrained, acid nose with notes of dried rosehips, detergent and hard cherry candy. A touch of VA. Medium bodied.
The taste is dry and foursquare with notes of old spices, rubber and rosehips. Very acidic. One dimensional.
73p   (tasted 2016/11)

Flight II - a terrine of wild boar with a green salad and a garlic cream was served with this flight.
1945 Cru Cantemerle
A large scaled, mature nose with notes of sweet black currants, autumn leaves and sugared coffee. A very fine warmth. Round.
The taste is tight and mature with notes of dried black currants, a cool meaty note and old leather. Very good. There is still some tannins here.
86p   (tasted 2016/11)

1945 Château Senejac
Not corked, but this is not clean, rather the opposite...
53p   (tasted 2016/11)

1945 Château Belgrave
A deep, concentrated and sweet nose with notes of ripe black currants, asphalt, dry chocolate and some stables. Very deep and fine. A very fine warmth. A great maturity.
The taste is warm, tight and ripe with notes of hard black currant candy, tobacco, autumn leaves and a hint of metal. This is good. Still alive and kicking. Kept very well, almost identical on both the nose and palate on day two.
91p   (tasted 2016/11)

Flight III - which was served alongside a version of a Swedish classic - Beef Rydberg, but the beef was replaced with sweetbreads.
1945 Château Belair
A deep, somewhat meaty nose with notes of wet undergrowth, dried blueberries, tobacco and a hint of menthol. Very, very good. A fine warmth. Almost better on the nose day two but the taste is more dry and mute.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of seedy red and black currants, autumn leaves and dry tobacco. Still some sandy tannins. Very, very good. Really long.
92p   (tasted 2016/11)

1945 Château Cheval-Blanc
Lots of VA on the nose and dry and empty on the finish. Drinkable, but not in the least good. Too bad...
62p   (tasted 2016/11)

1945 Château Franc Maillet
A deep, intense, sweet nose with notes of corinthians, sugared coffee, forest floor and some wood. Very, very good. A very fine warmth.
The taste is seedy and warm with fine notes of dried red and black currants, raisins, gravel and tobacco. Medium bodied. This has kept very well over the years. Hadn´t budged at all day two.
88p   (tasted 2016/11)

Flight IV - with individual Beef Wellingtons with a truffle sauce
1945 Château Gruaud Larose
Hadn´t much hope for this one, the lowest level (low shoulder) of them all, but lo and behold! The nose rises from the glass with fine notes of dried up black currant jam, old leather, graphite and a hint of dried strawberries. Very, very fine. And again, as with most of the bottles, a very fine 1945 warmth. Day two - as good as day one with some added bonfire scents.
The taste is tight, mature and dry with a fine structure, dried black fruit and still some tannins lurking in the background. Dry, yes, but also has a velvety feeling. Really good. Day two it is like drinking cold coffee!
93p   (tasted 2016/11)

1945 Château Mouton d´Armailhacq
Well, this is probably as close as I get to the iconic 1945 Mouton Rothschild... But the quality most be close for this is a stunner! The nose oozes up from the glass with great aromas of compost, coffee powder, iron, wet autumn leaves and some animal notes. Very complex. Mature yes, but this still have places to go. Very fine.
The taste is big, steady and firm with notes of ripe black currants, warm tiles, graphite and some meaty notes. A long, aristocratic finish with some tannins shining through. Great wine! Held up well until day two.
95p   (tasted 2016/11)

1945 Château Lynch Bages
A deep, dark nose with notes of dried black currants, scorched earth, dry chocolate and old leather, A fine warmth. A tad hollow in the middle. Very good though.
The taste is tight, dry and mature with notes of dusty earth, dried black currants and blueberries, bakelite and dry tobacco. A medium long, warm finish. Held up well in to day two. Very good but has dried out some.
86p   (tasted 2016/11)

To finish the night of, I opened a bottle of Port, from the same vintage as the bottles above.
1945 Superior Port, Three Crowns
This old Port has a deep, sweet, multi layered nose with notes of white raisins, rubber, dades, sweet hay and a hint of malt Whisky. Interesting and good.
The taste is big and sweet with notes of white raisins, dried apricots, fried nuts and some sawdust. Ends on a half sweet note. Very good in a yummy sort of way but not a complex wine.
88p   (tasted 2016/11)


  1. A great big Thank You! for arranging such a wonderful evening. The food was no less than fantastic and the wines... a real treat to taste and drink! My favs were the Belgrave, Gruaud-Larose and of course the Mouton-Armhailac. Best regards - Peter

    1. Thanks Peter, always nice to have you over!