December 27, 2010

The dirty dozen

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Pineapple hosted the final MNSC dinner of the year tonight, at the Hong Kong Club.

Seared quail breast salad with leek and truffle terrine, Champagne and walnut vinaigrette - not impressed at all.  The quail was kinda bland.

Angel hair with lobster and shellfish bisque - the lobster was tasty, and there was a lot of butter on the angel hair.  Yummy.

Roast rack of lamb with lavender honey and red wine sauce, Sarladaise potatoes, selected vegetables - really, really fatty and yummy lamb.  A shame that it's a tad overdone and not as succulent as could be.  Potatoes were fried in duck fat.  I still don't understand why people over-boil their veggies...  I guess it is a place for old fogeys...

Assorted cheese platter with condiments - this really must be a place for boring old geezers.  I don't remember the last time I was served anything as boring as Emmental and Cheddar...  They might as well have given me packets of Kraft or cubes of La vache qui rit...

We were all pretty full, but for some reason Pineapple insisted that we share some corned beef hash.  He was apparently a big fan of the Club's version.  I, on the other hand, am not.  After they've scrambled and mixed the egg in, I found the whole pile too mushy.  For corned beef hash, I prefer my hash to be browned and crispy, but this looked like a pile of mashed potatoes...

This being a Pineapple MNSC dinner, for the rest of us it meant another lesson in very old wines.  For the main blind-tasting segment, the theme was to be a horizontal of 1950 Pomerols.

1990 Salon - absolutely lovely.  Caramel, a bit of toast, straw, citrus, sweetness, a hint of vanilla, almost marzipan.  Later plenty of salty plum (話梅) and minerals.  Very few bubbles left.  Golden hue.  Dry on the palate and finish.  Very complex and really enjoyable, but we all thought it was a couple of decades older.  Curious...

1980 Ramonet Montrachet - huge nose of toasty popcorn, a bit stinky, a bit sweet and buttery, minerals.  Deep golden hue.  Ripeness is there on the palate but the wine was acidic on the finish.  Absolutely beautiful.  97 points.

First flight:
1950 L'Eglise-Clinet - dusty, smoky, minerals, very bretty, lots of black olives, savory, soy sauce.  Velvety on the palate with a coat of tannins.  95 points.

1950 La Fleur-Petrus - smoky, farmy, tea leaves, a bit sharp, a bit pruny, salty.  89 points.

1950 Le Gay - sweet fruit, sweet grass, grilled meats, smoky, minerals.  Acidic on finish.  92 points.

Second flight:
1950 L'Evangile - pruny, a bit of stewed fruits, minerals, salty plum.  Grippy with lots of tannins.  87 points.

1950 Vieux Château Certan - rosemary, herbs, mint.  Grippy on the palate.  94 points.

Third flight:
1950 Petrus - mint, herbs, a bit farmy, sweet, almost caramel.  91 points.

1950 Lafleur, not bottled at château - a little cloudy.  Smoke, brett, pine needle, sweet, honeydew, black olives and minerals.  90 points.

Extra bottles:

1920 Brane-Cantenac - the wine was clearly much older than what we've been drinking before, both from the light and cloudy color as well as the tired palate.  Nose of coconut butter, sweet, straw, actually a little sharp, honeydew.  Very light and acidic on the palate.  

1970 Giscours - floral, sweet, tropical, kinda lychee, rose, and pandan.

1990 L'Evangile - toasty, smoky, popcorn...almost like a white Burgundy.  Sweet and a hint of floral.  Dry on the palate.

What an unbelievable evening!  All of the 1950s tasted incredibly young, with really dark and inky colors as well as tannins which were still evident and - in some cases - a little chewy.  All the corks were original.  This was yet another showcase of the importance of provenance.  For wines with very good provenance and in good condition, even something that's 60 years' old can taste like a wine half its age.  Only Pineapple among us has enough breadth in his cellar to pull out this lot of wines... Very generous as always.

1 comment:

scubagolfer said...

my goodness...that's one heck of a 'dirty dozen'!

Happy New Year


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