September 27, 2007

Wednesday 26th Sept Dinner Party

Last night I hosted a small dinner party at home to celebrate a friend's birthday. Click on the above photo to have a closer look at the menu.

We made a few last minute additions to the night: Courvoisier VSOP, Grant Burge 20-yr old Tawny Port, and a Penfolds Grange 1980. Unfortunately we were having too much fun to concern ourselves with being too analytical about the wine, so unfortunately there are no notes for last night's wines. However, I'll provide some brief comments based on what I can remember:

Voyager Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2006 ($25) - third time I have tried this wine, and on all three occasions I did not think highly of it. It's not bad at all, but it definitely doesn't have "oomph". If you like citrus whites, then this is probably the white for you. (88 pts).

Grant Burge 'Meshach' Shiraz 1995 ($150) - This label is my favourite wine of all time. I have tried several vintages of the Meshach: 1990, 1995, 1996, 1998, and I think it was 2000 and/or 2002. Consensus has it that the '98 is the superior vintage (though two occasions of having this wine I did not enjoy it immensely for some strange reason, though my company certainly did). My favourite is the '96, then '90, then the '95. An excellent wine, and definitely better than the Grange 1980!!! (95 pts).

Cape Mentelle 'Trinders' Cabernet Merlot 2004 ($30) - This wine had at least 2 hrs to decant, it finally opened up and softened up a little, but it proved not to be overly exciting. Upon opening the wine, it displayed a considerable amount of green/leafy characteristics, which settled a bit once the fruit had come out of the woodwork as a result of breathing the wine.

Jardim Do Bomfim Shiraz 2005 ($10/RR$30) - One of Mike's popular cheapies. I think he got it from Get Wines Direct? $10, otherwise $30 retail. It is definitely good value for money at 10 dollars, most definitely capable of giving the 'Trinders' a good run for its money. A very sound wine with good structure. The next day it was holding up better than the Grange. Yes, I'll be getting to the Grange shortly; you can probably predict that I don't have very nice things to say about it!! (92 pts for the Jardim).

Grant Burge 20-yr Old Tawny Port ($30) - can't remember too much at this point, but it was quite nice. Mike will post more detailed notes for it later. (93 pts).

Courvoisier VSOP ($65) - as always, bloody fantastic! I have had some of the World's best Cognac's, this VSOP may not be as "refined" as some of the World's best (eg. Remy Martin Louis XIII), but I have had both right next to each other, and I must say I enjoyed the Courvoisier more. If I had a billion dollars, yeah, I would probably drink Louis XIII every day, but for the difference in price, I would rather drink Courvoisier VSOP any day! I find that a lot of the very expensive alcoholic beverages tend to be so "refined" that you lose the essence of what that drink is all about. Cognac is supposed to be intense! (93-94 pts).

Penfolds Grange Hermitage 1980 ($290/RR$450) - So much for waiting for Wine Clinic to visit mid next year! Drunkenness got the best of me. We opened it, and the corkscrew went in, and came all the way back out again leaving the cork in the bottle. Michael immediately operated on the cork. The wine immediately had an unappealing bouquet (I must also mention that this wine showed no signs of being tainted). This wine was a big disappointment, and I take back everything I said about Grange being legend, and an experience. But I am at least content in knowing what all the fuss is about now, and finally suppressing my desire for such wines, when I know other wonderful wines are available at much more affordable prices. The wine was extremely rich, reminded me immensely of the Chateau Reynella Vintage Port 1982 - it just tasted of vintage port!! Yes, it was holding up very well for a 27-yr old wine, but who gives a crap when it does not bring you pleasure!! The wine displayed notes of mocha, liquorice and vintage port. It was a difficult wine to drink, and I did not enjoy it much at all. It's now no surprise that Jeremy Oliver gave this vintage only 90 pts, and others even less. It is very surprising that Penfolds regards it as an outstanding vintage. Grange is definitely an example of opulence, but you have to enjoy that to begin with. (89 pts).


Edward said...

Sounds like a great night. The food looks excellent and the wines very good. Pity about the Grange, there's always 1990, 91, 96, 98 . . . :)

Phil said...

I don't think I will be buying a Grange again!

Mike said...

was quite a good night.. thanks bain for that opportunity.

Bought another 2001 Voyager Cabernet Merlot today.. haven't even tried the buggers yet but I keep buying them... they put the last 3 aside for me, but the missus
and her disapproving eyes were upon me so I just got the one. Probably be back tommorow for the other 2.. hehe gotta get stuck into one of them soon.

only had one glass of the grange before things got very very fuzzy.... and your notes on it is pretty much what I can remember. It was quite a smoky/dusty wine.. I personally think its past its best - I would have liked to see more fruit intensity out of it.. it kind of feels "middle-aged".. lost the freshness of its primary characteristics but not much complexity in its secondary.. just bold, smoky, porty characters..

meshach anyday mate..