So this a was a dinner, a few weeks in the making, with two friends/customers who have appeared on the blog before as “Lions” and “Mersey” and the place we convened was 67 Pall Mall. It was the night of the Italy vs Spain semi final in the 2020 (2021) Euros. The formation of the wines was an enjoyable 2-2-1-2. And that is where the football (hockey in my case) analogies will end.

First up was IDIG GG Riesling 2018 by A.Christmann – a wine I love, zesty and fresh but with a real depth behind it. Very much a youngster in this company. Having had 2012 and 2014 recently it is a wine best enjoyed, to my mind at 7-10years. It couldn’t have been much different, in a positive sense, from what followed.

And that was Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 1992 from V.Dauvissat, served blind this was very tricky. Burgundy was not the hard part. The age was but especially when trying to combine appellation with vintage. The two of us who didn’t know the identity were “wrong for the right reason”, well that’s what I am saying. We equated the intensity to the site not the age and were in Montrachet 2005 territory. A good place to be. The wine has a lovely richness with a maturity that was still focused – it opened up and still had a fleshy mineral element, not flint and brine, more ripe citrus. A real treat from a stonking vintage.

Then it was time for two legendary properties in Pomerol to strut their stuff. Served blind side by side they were a real treat from first nose to last sip. Trotanoy 1970 is a more masculine expression in a wonderful place now with deep fruits but a complex savoury side as well. the length was enticing, it managed to be moreish and yet complete at the same time. Simply delicious.

Lafleur 1982 is a wine on many peoples desert island list. It deserves to be. This is more primary than the Trotanoy, a function of both the vintages in question and the age of the wines. The Lafleur has a vivaciousness, the fruit is more lively and red than deeper of dark. This is a vibrant lively wine. As you would expect of the hour of so in glass the wines became more different – settling into themselves. Sometimes two wines like this side by side can almost be a shame as it becomes a competition – not the case here at all – both emphasizing each others strengths. A real experience.

Chambertin Grand Cru 2002 from Domaine Trapet was up next on its own. A luscious and serious vintage from a property that always, wrongly, seems to be slightly under (or off) the radar. This had depth and expression so very pinot noir. The balance was (as in all the wines so far) spot on. It is no waste to drink it now but it has legs for sure. The precious and focus is good this is an elegant Chambertin. Anyone looking for value Burgundy should certainly look at the Marsannays that Trapet produces.

Next and last we had a pair of Barolos – Barolo Monprivato 2001 by Giuseppe Mascarello and Barolo 2008 from Bartolo Mascarello. Two producers who’s wines I know pretty well. The specific point in Lions choosing them was an interesting one – that of perception. G.Mascarello seems to be in something of a slump from a critical perspective and Bartolo Mascarello is quite the opposite. Again served blind I was intrigued and found the Bartolo 2008 a lot more foursquare and “masculine” while the Monprivato has more finesse. Some of this will be down to age but the factor most interesting to me is how the Bartolo has changed. I remember buying and drinking several bottles of the 2008 off the list at Zucca back in the day. It was always succulent and even pretty. It is certainly, on this showing, in a bit of a deeper more “sulky” phase. I am sure it will be back. The 2001 Monprivato by contrast had an ease about it, nothing forced, a sort of timeless structure. A fascinating “taste-off”.

And with that we were done – what a real treat! Thank you both – especially Lions for unleashing a pair of legendary Bordeaux.