Our merry band approached the longest day of the year with thoughts to savor a special experience from the most distinguished area in the world of wine, Bordeaux. The 1982 vintage started Robert Parker on the road to become a singular powerhouse in the domain of critics and that heralded vintage was the focus of our event as we sampled examples from six different châteaux. The reception started with a dry white wine from Château Guiraud, better known as a producer of Sauternes, and endive leaves adorned with different savory toppings. This attitude adjustment put us in the proper frame of mind to appraise some esteemed wines of remarkable longevity.
Our lineup included Canon, Lynch Bages, Ducru Beaucaillou, Montrose, Cos D’Estornel, and Léoville Las Cases. Perhaps a few of these are more famous names but there was no slouch in this crowd with all having aged beautifully to show nicely alone or with food. The Canon had a soft delicate body and aura of lightness that revealed its origin in Saint-Émilion. The Las Cases reminded one of a regal old gentleman that has lived well with some vitality in reserve. This contrasted with the Montrose that seemed so youthful that its true potential may still be years ahead. At the lead of these champions was the Cos D’Estournel which held great fruit aromas, full luscious body and balanced tannins for an impression of timelessness. To get lost in a glass, this was a first class ticket to an ethereal vinous Shangri-la.
A fun little quiz was then distributed with a list of château names in one column and photos in a second column where the goal was to match the name to the picture. Those familiar with Bordeaux wines know many have an image on the label so used that familiarity to help. Nevertheless only a few got all seven choices correctly. Notable among these was Chevalier Chris Steuri who had also been a high scorer at a previous Mondiale blind tasting of seven red varietals.
Coaxing us back to more gustatory pleasures was a culinary presentation with a vast array of tastes courtesy of Chef Michael “Funky” Forgus, a former restaurateur turned private caterer. To assist in enjoying the meats, fish, salad and other constructions was a Château La Grâce Dieu 2002 from Saint-Émilion to provide a coda to an all-Bordeaux event. With assorted fruits covered in chocolate to conclude our evening all agreed that 1982 had stood the test of time embodied in these rare and profound wines.
J.T. Mayer, Vice Chargé de Presse