Bordeaux: Dinner with Friends

A marvelous night dedicated to the wines of Graves, in particular, Haut-Brion, with the ringer being the 1947 La Tour-Haut-Brion. After a disappointing beginning with a slightly corked magnum of 1989 Krug Champagne (ouch!), the evening improved immensely with the two most sumptuous recent vintages of the rare white Haut-Brion, the 1994 and 1989. The 1994 is a classic white Graves. The 1989 is somewhat of a freak, with the texture of a great Bâtard-Montrachet from Burgundy. Both are spectacular, young, vibrant wines, and life is too short not to taste the 1989 at least once. This amazing wine is one of the greatest dry whites I have ever tasted from Bordeaux. It has 20-25 years of life remaining.

The stunning free-range farm-raised chicken with truffles under the skin was accompanied by the gloriously opulent, viscous, tour de force in winemaking, the 1989 Haut-Brion. This wine has been delicious from birth, yet shows no signs of age. It is a quasi-immortal classic that should continue to offer perfection for another two decades. It is the modern day version of Haut-Brion that comes closest to the renowned 1959. That was followed by a delicate, nuanced, classic 1955 Haut-Brion. It has been fully mature for many years, but still reveals a complex bouquet of wood smoke, melted asphalt, blackberries, cherries, and scorched earth. It is seamless, soft, and fully mature. Following that was a pristine bottle of 1947 Latour-Haut-Brion. Not rustic like many old vintages from this estate tended to be, it was dense, powerful, and concentrated, with tremendous thickness. The finest 1947s continue to possess a vibrancy, opulence, density, and richness that is largely unequaled by any subsequent vintage. Not a bad vintage for humans ... either!

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