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Join us on "Vintage Pairs" Blind Tasting on Wednesday 7th March 2018

In this session of Vintage Pairs, we served:

Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Referts, Domaine François Carillon, 2014 & 2013

This, I hope, will come across as plausibly classic Puligny even if the wine led you somewhere else. Referts is typically elegant and mineral in style, like its neighbour Les Combettes. The 2014 vintage was a top classic year for Côte de Beaune whites, but that doesn’t mean it will have outshone the lovely 2013 tonight. Did it?

 

Graacher Domprobst Spätlese Auktion, Weingut Willi Schaefer, 2016 & 2012

This cuvée is a popular highlight at each year’s VDP Grosser Ring auction in Trier. Everyone wants some, but there is little to go around – just a few hundred bottles for the world. Christoph, Andrea, and father Willi’s (4ha) estate Rieslings are already amongst the more sought after in the Mosel (verging on cult status) anyway. The vineyards look like cliffs – a wall of green vines behind the village of Graach. Herrenberg is typically more charming, while Domprobst is more structured and intensely mineral. The “auktion” version is a selection of one cask deemed the most special, and it is sold by the bottle at auction in September the year after harvest.

 

Château Léoville Barton, 1996 & 1982

Well, it doesn’t get much more club tie and tweed jacket classic than this, and I really don’t mean that in the pejorative. St.-Julien is known for finesse and balance, and the three Léovilles (-Barton, Poyferre, Las-Cases) are at the power and longevity end of that spectrum. Léoville Barton is for long keeping, and for its quality and status (2nd growth) continues to offer comparative value. The vineyards are planted with approximately 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc. The two vintages here are both classic but opposite – 1996 being long, cool, and elegant, giving a regal sort of Cabernet with freshness and fragrance; 1982 is all about its hot summer, softness, generosity and touch of spice. Did they play that way tonight? Could you reconcile the two to find the estate, or perhaps bank?

 

Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, Perrot-Minot, 2011 & 2008

One of the most fastidious winemakers in Burgundy today, here is his take on Clos Vougeot. It can be a hard terroir to spot due to its size. There are 80+ growers, and perhaps I have made it tougher this evening, because these two vintages – 2007 and 2011 – are worth noting for their earlier-drinking charm. Christoph’s wines are also not known for Clos Vougeot’s more austere character, so good luck spotting the vineyard.

 

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Giuseppe Quintarelli, 2003 & 1998

I can’t hide the fact that I’m pretty excited to be able to include this pair. This Amarone Classico from Quintarelli is one of my favourite wines – not Amarone in general (which can sometimes disappoint), but Quintarelli Amarone, which is a deservedly exalted wine. This wine is made from Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella which make up 90% of the blend with Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo comprising the remaining 10%. It is made in the true classic method – bunches of Corvina and other classic Veneto grapes dried before vinification and ageing 7 years in traditional Slavonian oak. Of course, meticulous viticulture is, as always, the key secret. Giuseppe (“Beppe”) passed away aged 84 in 2012 – a true master. His family continue to produce the wines today, but these two were made by the master himself.

 

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View our past Vintage Pairs wine selection

Vintage Wine Bottle size Score
2014 Domaine Francois Carillon - Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru 'Les Referts' 750ml --
2013 Domaine Francois Carillon - Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru 'Les Referts' 750ml BH90-93
2016 Weingut Willi Schaefer - Graacher Domprobst Spatlese Auktion 750ml --
2012 Weingut Willi Schaefer - Graacher Domprobst Spatlese Auktion 750ml --
1996 Chateau Leoville Barton 750ml WA93
1982 Chateau Leoville Barton 750ml WA94
2011 Domaine Perrot-Minot - Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 750ml --
2007 Domaine Perrot-Minot - Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 750ml BH90-93
2003 Giuseppe Quintarelli - Amarone della Valpolicella 750ml --
1998 Giuseppe Quintarelli - Amarone della Valpolicella 750ml WA93

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