And so normal service tentatively resumes.
I arrived back in London after a weekend away a couple of weeks ago, very much looking forward to having lunch with G and D who was over for one of his biannual visits. I wasn't disappointed.
We kicked off with a bottle of Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru Folatieres 2008 from Domaine Bzikot, provided by G. This continues to be a great example of the genre and is drinking perfectly now. We had a bottle back in March when G voiced doubts, but he seems to be converted now.
Then it was on to the main event. D had informed us that he'd be bringing "a couple of reds". It turned out that he meant two different vintages of Chateau Lafite. I couldn't believe it!
In particular, a bottle of 1966 and a bottle of 1975. It would have been a privilege to drink either, let alone both!
We started with the 1975 which was drinking extremely well. It was very smooth and the tannins had softened. The finish was amazing and I got some heat which I eventually worked out reminded me of black pepper. There were also notes of liquorice, chocolate and leather. It was supple and complex, not majestic like Latour, but more feminine.
The 1966 had a more classic "claretty" nose - that cedar, lead pencil, cigar box thing going on. Again it was very smooth and was more classic all round. G thought it was richer than the 1975 and to me it felt like there was more cabernet sauvignon in the mix. Again, it had a great structure and finish. We loved the $29.95 price tag. Those were the days...
Here you can see the difference in the colour - the 1975 is on the right and the 1966 on the left.
If we had to choose between them, I have to admit the 1966 was my favourite, but it has a price differential to match. It was great to be able to compare them and both went very nicely with G's shepherd's pie.
With our cheese course, we had a bottle of 6 puttonyos Tokaji from 1996. This had a heady nose of dried apricots and figs, and extraordinary exotic, tropical fruits on the palate - pineapple and mango. It had a lovely gloopy mouthfeel. I enjoyed it very much.
Finally, we had some of G's latest acquisition, some old navy rum in a terrible wicker basket! My shoes are included in the photo to show the scale of the thing.
This rum dates back to the 1950s and has acquired the smooth characteristics of an old spirit, but is nevertheless immediately identifiable as rum. Like whisky, it benefits from the addition of a little water. An animated conversation ensued about the possibility of doing an old spirits tasting, which is a great idea.
Lunch lasted 6 hours, a new record, I think. Thanks very much to D for providing such amazing goodies from his cellar, and to G for the others and for doing the cooking.