Last Saturday ACC and the Baron came round to my place for lunch and we jumped at the opportunity to open a couple of magnums, as not even G and I tend to consider a magnum a suitable bottle size for two...
First up, a magnum of champagne provided by G. This came from the Wine Society and was their Cuvee Millenaire made by Alfred Gratien from the 1995 vintage. This isn't something that they particularly draw your attention to in their list and we'd never noticed it before or never realised it was actually from the 1995 vintage, so a good spot by G.
I think it's fair to say that we adored it. It was fully mature, rich and briochey. We had it as an aperitif with some luque olives and also with the first course, some smoked sea trout which G had kindly procured from Borough Market.
I have to admit I was struggling slightly by the end of my third glass. I realise it isn't like me at all to say this but perhaps one can have too much of a good thing. However, I've ordered another magnum with a view to stashing it away for two and a half years as this would be just the thing for a major celebration. I notice that the Wine Soc think this will be over the hill by 2011 but I beg to disagree.
The main course was my famous beef carbonnade with Guinness and prunes which I'd made the night before and has never been known to let me down. It was even better than usual, she says modestly, which I attribute to the exellent stewing beef from the Ginger Pig. With this we had a magnum of bourgogne rouge from the Marquis de Mac Mahon. I picked up three of these in a recent bin end sale and when they arrived, they looked absolutely spectacular in a lovely wooden box which I intend to add to my wooden box collection.
It was from the 2007 vintage and therefore fairly light. The consensus was that it was still a bit young. Another one to keep for a couple of years then... this major celebration is looking promising already!
I hasten to add that we didn't drink all of the magnum, and moved on to the next wine which was a Volnay 2008 from Perrin provided by the Baron. We visited this domaine back in January which I blogged about here and I don't think we'll ever forget the charming hospitality of Vincent and that he let us sit in his warm kitchen on a freezing cold day. After that trip, the Baron bought some of this village Volnay while I opted for the white St Romain which is still in bond. Although young, the Volnay was delicious and in a relatively light and fruity style, but also very smooth. A reminder to me to seriously consider the Perrin Volnays in the 2009 vintage.
Finally, we had a vertical of Dow's port provided by ACC - the 1994 vintage in a half bottle against the 2004 late bottled vintage in a 50cl bottle. It was no surprise that the 1994 carried the day being both more mature and more complex, but they were both very good. As you can probably tell, I wasn't making tasting notes by this stage so apologies for my vague comments.
We had the port with some cheeses from the French cheese stall at Borough, including a fabulous Epoisses, in honour of the Baron whose full title is Baron McG of Croque-Epoisses. I do hope I get to try a croque-epoisses one day. I'm pleased to report that my hardcore home-made oatcakes went down well.
Needless to say, we finished off with coffee and Felettig marc, and finished off the bottle so I'm now anxiously awaiting further supplies - prunelle is no substitute! Lunch lasted five and a half hours which may be a record. A really enjoyable occasion.