Now this was an evening I had been looking forward to for quite some time. A genuine once in a life time occasion! For background here are a few Previous Petrus BLOGS – I would also 100% recommend Neal Martins chapter on Petrus in his book “Pomerol” as a great bit of writing (the whole book is a must have – albeit hard to find now). Jordi deserves so much credit for making this happen, 15 years of work in sourcing. The venue was the Hide & Seek room at Hide Restaurant and the date was Wednesday 23rd January 2019. Twenty of us sat down for this feast.
The food as outlined above and below was very good, working well with the wines and being inventive without trying to dominate!
Vegetables, bread & Broth
Cured goose with fenugreek
Hand-cut pasta with black truffle, butter & parmesan
Herdwick lamb with violet mustard & Jerusalem artichoke
Slow roast Goosnargh duck; tarte fine of quince, red wine & tobacco jus
Cheese fondue with black truffle
Miyagawa sorbet with prickly ash
Celeriac with pine & cobnuts
Chocolate & burnt cypress bark
I am not a massive fan of scoring per se. But when you have so many wines and you do want to try and come up with some sort of pecking order it is needed to keep on top of things as the flights come along thick and fast. I find 100 too much so in this I scored out of 25. Having a magnum of Krug and three Montrachets before the main attraction was rather out of the ordinary!
Krug 1979 en magnum Toasty, has life in its full maturity, elegantly rich but not heavy, almost totally vinous now. 18.5 / 25
Montrachet 1988, Drouhin Gorgeous, full but also very elegant. Superb length! No botrytis, not heavy, delicious. In-line with another 1988 Montrachet that I will write up soon. 21 / 25
Montrachet 2004, Vincent Girardin Quite closed on the nose but so rich on palate, a latent power. A special wine, Has so much promise. 2004 seems to really suit Montrachet. 20 / 25
Montrachet 1977, Lafon Quite a tangy wine, oranges and opens up with air. More ‘matter’ to it, a slightly chalky texture that does not detract. More rancio too. Fully mature but good. 18 / 25
And so to the “Grand P”…
Petrus 1998 Full colour, poised, rich, primary but with savoury notes. Leather and iron, very firm but so much potential. Quite simply incredible to think this is into its 19th year. 21+ / 25
Petrus 1995 Delicious colour, a slightly cool nose, superb, again some strong coolness, rich, but comfortable in it’s own skin. Good acidity. 19.5 / 25
Petrus 1990 Showing a tiny bit of age on the rim, good nose for the age, but a wonderful degraded palate. Decadent, supple. Mouth coating. Not as outgoing as some Petrus 1990 I have had. 20 / 25
Petrus 1989 Bit degraded but higher octane than the 1990! More lift, more definition. 1990/1989 lift reminds me of 2009/2010 in so far as 1989 and 2010 just have more extremes. 21.5 / 25
Petrus 1987 en magnum Broad plum, iron, savoury. More lean on palate. A good wine for sure. There is a slight capsicum, green pepper, delicious, moreish. A little more vegetal. Great effort for an undeniably difficult vintage. 17.5 / 25
Petrus 1986 Delicious nose, really, has a tiny bit of dryness on palate, but this is very fine for right bank 1986. A tiny bit of toffee. Very impressive and the standout “over-achiever” in the tasting. 20 / 25
Petrus 1985 Tiny bit of swimming pool on the nose. Good, fresh, has a good core and a very balanced wine. Gently elegant! 20 / 25
Petrus 1982 Superb nose – very refined but lifted. Extravert. So tropical. Delicious wine! So Petrus. So high octane but totally resolved. More mature expressive red fruits with air. 22.5 / 25
Petrus 1981 Swimming pool and a tiny bit of toffee. Less ripe fruit, a little dry. A little green. Nice enough and good for the vintage but drink up. 16.5 / 25
Petrus 1980 Supple, has a bit of ease about it. Did tire a bit. Drink now, a nice wine. Soft palate. Tertiary. 17.5-18 / 25
Petrus 1979 Iron, saline, has a good nervous edge. A shade lean, Has quite a neutral palate. 17 / 25
Petrus 1978 Opulent but no more than medium bodied, soft, supple, degraded but very ‘P’. Gently decadent. Tertiary. Tea aromas. Pretty. 18.5 / 25
Petrus 1975 en magnum Slightly stripped. Not a true example. More a bad cork than corked. No score.
Petrus 1971 Superb nose. So supple, so expressive. Almost a perfect nose. Almost creamy fruit. Splendidly complete with medium body combined to richness. A real favourite of mine. 23.5 / 25
Petrus 1970 Super, very good, if in the shadow of 1971 but that’s unfair. Juicy and I can imagine there are days when this outshines the 1971 (which is it more masculine than). 22 / 25
Petrus 1969 (one bottle corked, this note is the second bottle). A little red fruit and some caramel. Mushroom notes. Sweet dried fruit! Loved this, however quirky it might be!! 19-20 / 25
Petrus 1967 This was too savoury to be a true bottle but interesting. Iron (turning to dried blood), ferrous. Inky. A brute. Savoury. Bruised. No score.
Petrus 1966 Asian spices, brilliant. Love the core of this, so moreish. So chewy but superb. Very fine. Brilliant wine. 22 / 25
Petrus 1964 So special. Very fine. Amazing youthfulness. Very fresh. Almost red fruit. Stuck in time. Lovely. 21 / 25
Petrus 1961 en magnum Amazing drive. So pungent. A bit like the 1971 but with more savoury grit. Special. Has lift. So latent. It didn’t quite have the weighless poise of the 1971 but that’s me picking holes. 22.5 / 25
Petrus 1959 Fresh, swimming pool. Very very fine. I love this, special. Power of 1961 but with freshness and less grunt!! So fresh but so powerful. Supreme 24 / 25
Petrus 1955 A little herbaceous, demerara notes, has a savoury part. Very good! Delivers. 21 / 25
Petrus 1953 Degraded; a dash of empty swimming pool. Like it though. Very much aged but not faulty. Has a sort of chemical drive. Loose but whole. 17.5-18 / 25
Petrus 1949 (two bottles tried)
- 1 – Caramel, mushroom and fungus. Not quite right, but tasteable. No score
- 2 – More energy and more clearly a 1949. Straight. More complete. Good, has red fruit. Tender but with acidity. 21 / 25
Petrus 1928 Rose petal. Has a lighter feel and is a possible brother/sister to the 1978. Is light but tastes elegantly far younger than expected. 19 / 25
Petrus 1945 (blind) A tiny bit stripped but enjoyable. 18 / 25
Petrus 1897 ? (blind) en magnum A little mushroom. This is not really score-able and as the picture suggests is a real mystery magnum. The gentleman who brought it was both generous and sensible in opening it as there seems to be no real background to exactly what it is! He has tried to find out more and more but without getting anywhere so therefore the best thing is to open it.
With the pudding we had two vintages of Yquem (as you do!)
Yquem 1967 (blind) Faded caramel colour with a hint of tawny. Delicious palate with the components in great balance. Richness of age with enough freshness. 20 / 25.
Yquem 1893 (blind) Deep caramel, far darker, so crème brulée. Amazingly impressive, if to my taste, less obviously enjoyable than the 1967. Neal Martin got this one blind! 19 / 25.
A truly wonderful evening. The chance to have a full look at Petrus is just a privilege. Thank you Jordi!
Thanks to also to “Tree” who kindly embarked on deciphering my hand written notes (not easy).