Another great night with MP and the boys at HDV

HDV

 

The Taittinger Comtes 2000 from a limited edition anniversary bottling celebrating 800 years of Reims’ Cathedral, was a bit of a surprise for me, seeming more youthful than the previous tasting of this excellent Blanc de Blancs. It’s character was not lost mind on the boys, MP picking up on the baby sick and Dave hedging for the smoky woody character which are probably the same traits expressed differently. Cal found lemony character prevalent, Jerome admired the tension and structure in the wine. It was certainly a winner, a wine that grew in confidence. And confident shouts were heard too; Dave was erring towards Comtes and Mark nailed it, with the vintage to boot.

The white was quite a welcome contrast. Diesel and Riesling like adjectives bounded about early on but this was a wine built to throw you a Googly, and soon the table was thinking about mature Sauvignon and Semillon blends, MP finding elements of Ygrec, Cal picking up on the significance of the minerality and its alignment to Dagueneau’s famous Sauvignon Blancs’s. Jerome perhaps expounded the off-piste character best, his nose deep in the glass picking out flat Irn Bru! This was a wine that also needed careful food matching, MP thought it interesting but hard work and was on top form; picking it correctly as Clos Saint Hune (1999) from the nineties. Overall a wine that leaves an unforgettable expression of the noble Riesling.

For the Reds it was a battle of the ‘banks’ with classic Pauillac vs Pomerol. To add to the drama the 1990 Pichon Lalande is not a heralded vintage for the estate famously only receiving 79/100 pts from Robert Parker. But recent commentary from various sources had this underdog fighting above its weight, so I pitched my loan bottle (in perfect condition) against the superstar Chateau Clinet 1990 97/100 RP.

There was silence for an inordinately long time. Both wines were on song and very representative. Cal picked up on the classic Cabernet of the Haut Medoc, St Julien and then precisely claiming it Ducru Beaucaillou which wasn’t far off the mark, as Pichon Lalande is adjacent to the famous walled vineyard of Las Cases. MP was enticed away down under briefly, the eucalyptus strongly associated with Cab Sav down there, but also for me often associated with Pauillac particularly Pichon Lalande. Jerome was impressed with both wines quite rightly picking up on their strong similarities suggesting they could be different vintages of the same wine, Cal agreed thinking the second wine possibly a more youthful and superior vintage than the first wine. Dave was clearly and correctly disposed to a left bank, right bank split preferring the kirsch like depth in the Pomerol which certainly had the stamina and probably overall came out the victor.

 

The Wines:

Taittinger Comte Blanc de Blancs 2000

There is surprisingly little colouration, pale gold, tiny bubbles. The nose is delicate, with faint cappuccino and a meaty edge, marine too, there is definite elegance and purity. The tension here admirable with fine citrus, towards grapefruit which hits you and then drifts off into a rippling effect, tantalising the taste buds. Not sure I would get it blind it’s less evolved than the first release bottle tasted last year, where softer more honeyed notes appeared. There is precision here like a youthful white Puligny it definitely grows on you, with hints of ginger and marine carried into the finish. A good life ahead here.

Drink now – 2025+, 94/100.

 

Clos Saint Hune Riesling 1999

This has quite a rose gold colour, though the light in the HDV is not great. It is noticeably deeper in the decanter in comparison to the Taittinger which is pretty much the same age. There is the tell-tale slight diesel nose with honey and biscuit, sweetness too. Good texture on the palate, freshness here too. It is volumous, a big wine, not delicate. The length is noticeable. It keeps changing in the glass with every sip. It doesn’t work well with the poached egg and Frisse salad unfortunately, clashing severely with the vinaigrette. It could do with something salty, a spicy sausage or a cheese board. On its own after a few minutes it comes back again, the sweetness on the nose is impressive, with a touch of botrytis coming though. Creamy up front, very dry at the back of the palate with bitter orange. This is a roller-coaster of a wine. A wine of ambiguities. It gets there in the end. Really quite delicious.

Drink now- 2020+, 93/100.

Chateau Pichon Lalande Pauillac 1990

This is slightly lighter in depth of colour than the Pomerol. A touch of amber at the rim but not of any concern. Deep horse hair nose, edge of rusticity even over maturity as per the vintage, ripe black fruits even pruney, though it doesn’t inhibit the overall aromas which are very Medocaine, mature, classic cedar notes and an edge of orange. Nicely silky on the palate, with a good mid palate, ample red cherry and spice here too. It is definitely brighter red fruits than the Pomerol with a savoury element. White pepper on the finish. Fading rather quicker than the Clinet but certainly giving it a run early doors. Drink up.

Drink now-2018+, 93/100.

Chateau Clinet Pomerol 1990

This second red is a little fuller in colour also a little duller with maybe a tad more brown at the rim. The nose is exquisite here, but very ripe with a pruney edge, but bright black cherry and earthy notes fighting to come through too. This is a richer, perhaps more satisfying wine for me, than its partner with very impressive texture, it is luxurious with an almost mature Port-like character to the core fruit. The finish is long and grippy with spice and white pepper at the back, and the balance is fine. It is fully evolved with almost fully integrated tannins, but it’s got life a head so no need to hurry, but why wait?

Drink Now-2022, 94/100.

AdministratorAnother great night with MP and the boys at HDV

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