Monday, November 16, 2009

Château Faugères

I was invited for a dinner and tasting by the owner of Chateau Faugères, Silvio Denz, for 14 of his friends including Franz Wermuth, Peter Sisseck, etc…
Old, very old wines were served to celebrate the opening of the new cellar and a promising 2009 vintage.

The meal was prepared by the caterer who also works for La Dominique :

Amuse-bouches and oysters (Papillon et N°4)
Champagne Dom Pérignon 1998
Champagne Dom Perignon 1996
Carpaccio « Loup de mer », caviar d’Aquitaine
Château Haut-Brion blanc 2000
Meursault « Goutte d’Or » (Morin) 1886
Spanish tapas with Pata Negra jamon « Blazquez Admiracion », pimentos padron, small foie gras
Rioja, Castello Ygay 1934
Rioja, Castello Ygay 1925
Small cassoulet with poached egg and black truffles from Périgord
Château Ausone 1920
Château Ausone 1947
Beef filet « Robespierre », pommes allumettes, small vegetables with black truffles
Château Haut-Brion 1920
Pétrus (very old, unknown age)
Cheese assortment (sheep and others)
Château Cos d’Estournel 1955
Château Cos d’Estournel 1928
Château Cos d’Estournel 1868

Young wines but as rare
Small deserts (including crème brûlée)
Château d’Yquem 1928
Château Coutet, Barsac 1924

Petrus was not old, 1979, but as we were drinking very old wines, our brain didn’t notice the trap, except to be astounded by the youthfulness of this Petrus, and none of us were able to guess the vintage of this 1979! I said 1929 or 1948, having never drank any of them and wondering what miracle kept this wine so young.
Well, bad joke, which was not premeditated, wasn’t it Franz?
Haut Brion blanc : good, but over-shadowed by the Meursault : grilled hazelnuts, walnuts, xeres, dry but fat.
Ygay 1925 average, 1934 volatile
Ausone 1920 : old, over the hill
Ausone 1947 : woody, mushroom, a bit old but improved with the eggs and truffles
Haut Brion 1920 oxidized
Cos 1955 bizarre, nice wine but corked ?
Pétrus 79 incredible youthfulness. I said 48, but thought 84… this mistake was due to the other wines offered with the menu
Cos 1928 old, thin
Cos 1868 old, dry
Coutet 1924 acid and light, very good
Yquem 1928 very good

In the batch of young and rare wines, 2 series were tasted blind :
1st series : Harlan, Pingus, Valandraud 1995. I guessed the origin and style of these 3 wines and even recognized Valandraud, which I really found good (phew!). However, I didn’t find the vintage and made it 10 years younger.
Perhaps tasting such old wines made young wines tasted after even younger, I will try this sort of exercise at home…
2nd series : Cheval Blanc, Eglise Clinet, Léoville Las Cases 1995. I liked Cheval Blanc, pur elegance. Following and at the same time, Pavie 2000 which I guessed. it was simply great even if it is not a typical Bordeaux, but is that a problem?
At the end, (again phew !) Nardo Montepeloso 2007 (very soft, pure grape, fat, finish) I still have some 2000 in stock and even Eneo made by Fabio Chiapelotto, who was also invited. This good and original wine ended this nice tasting of rare wines.

We missed our friend François Audouze, who could have helped us with his knowledge of old vintages. In any case, these wines all came from a good cellar. In my opinion, except for the obvious pleasure of having been invited to taste these antiquities, it is rare that old vintages are able to compete with Petrus 1950, 1955, Ausone 1949, 1959, even 1849, Cheval Blanc 1947 from different bottling, and especially this extraordinary magnum of Mouton Rothschild 1945 I drank during a meal organized by Mister Hardy Rodenstock, and which “floored” us as this wine was so good (tasted blind – these tastings of great wines stay etched in my memory as exceptional moments)

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