1955 Chateau Brane-Cantenac (Margaux, Bordeaux)
1934 Chateau Pichon-Longueville (Pauillac, Bordeaux)
1953 Cotes du Rhone
Today is my birthday. I was just getting ready for bed last night, about 11:30 p.m., my wife had just come home after a concert with her choir. I heard my wife come in and then I heard another voice. We hadn't talked about anyone coming after the concert as sometime happens, so I was curious. I came downstairs and there was my German friend with a box of wine. He had spontaneously decided to come by to help celebrate my birthday. What a pleasant surprise.
We started with the '55 Bordeaux, which is my birth year. We have tried many 1955 wines and for some reason they were all over the hill or otherwise undrinkable. My friend was born in 1959 and we have had many nice wines from that year but the '55s were always bad. Finally we found one that was drinkable, the wine was not great but not bad, still some fruit, nice round tannins and plenty of old wine taste, leather, cedar and cellar funk (in a nice way). Then my friend opened the 1934 Bordeaux. The fill was good and we had high hopes. The color was a little brown, the first sniff revealed lots of cellar funk, a hint of oxidation and alas a whiff of Brett. There was still some fruit, the tannins were rounded almost out of existence but the acid was good. I didn't mind the hint of brett on the finish but my friend found it to be too much and after a glass we put the decanter aside. Altogether amazing that a wine that old was still drinkable, sad about the brett. The last bottle was the Cote du Rhone. You don't usually think about a Cote du Rhone that is 60 years old but this one was remarkable. The color was bright red with a tinge of pink and the nose revealed some very nice spice notes that were present in the taste as well and some nice hints of pepper. The wine didn't have the complexity of an old Bordeaux but it was quite pleasant to drink and a nice way to end the evening. To paraphrase from Forest Gump; Drinking old wine is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. All in all a wonderful surprise to start my birthday and a pleasant evening. As my older sister told me, nobody likes getting old but considering the alternative, everyone likes getting older.
My friend has extended an open invitation to any wine wooters that happen to find themselves in the Berlin area for a night of wine tasting. We can arrange transportation (from Berlin) and accommodation, food and wine at no cost, you just need to show up. I can guarantee it would be an evening you will never forget. Yeah, I am looking at you in particular D & B from Buffalo, but all are welcome.
My dogs like me, that is important.