Silly Tasting Dinner

The Naughton Dining Club met last evening and drank some extraordinarily fine wines and cognacs.

Krug 1995

Colour: A deep, dark gold. Darker than expected, considering it's a new release.

Nose: The nose is dominated by pinot noir - beautiful and luscious but focussed, tightly knit. There's toast and scones on the edges with notes of sweet citrus.

Palate: Possibly the best young Krug I have ever tasted (at eleven years!). Beautifully structured - luscious and sexy but with elegance and poise. The mouthfeel is superb and the mousse is in perfect balance. The table agrees - this is a great wine. Pete C is doing grannie impressions. Very long, lingering finish. Brilliant start to the evening.

It's so good now - I'm not sure what it will age like. I don't even know if I want it to age well. Because I don't want to wait to drink it.

Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1997

Colour: Fitting of its age - still deep, but not impenetrable - slight lightening on the rim.

Nose: There's just so much one can take. The nose is remarkable, almost sensory assault - it justifies the reputation and status as a first growth. Powerful, yet elegant and boasting remarkable purity - piercing blackcurrant and blueberry wrapped in cedar wppd. cigar box, forest floor and hints of mint. The table's in rapture.

Palate: After the nose, the palate's something of a disappointment. The wood's a bit more aggressive and the secondaries overpower the fruit. But this is nit-picking. There's beautiful stuff here, the palate carresses, the fruit comes forward with air and it's lovely. Just not quite up to what the nose suggests. Perhaps it needs another five or so years?

The nose is five stars, the palate's three and somewhere with age they might meet.

Solengo 1999

Colour: Beautifully brilliant - deep ruby though slight lightening at the rim.

Nose: Rain on hot asphalt, tar & charcoal with dark, candied cherries.

Palate: Incredible with the bolognese. This is a food wine in spite of its super tuscan status. Rustic in the most wonderful way. Old school but not overbearing. Rich, toasty cherry fruit with some spice notes as well. Brilliant night, meal and company.


Hennessy XO

Nose: Big, gooey and caramely (yes, that's what I wrote)

Palate: Big dark & sticky and quite nice with the chocolate - burnt butter & butterscotch, though slightly hot and untempered on the finish.


Hennessy Paradis

Nose: Soft roasted caramel and butterscotch with cloves and allspice.

Palate: Elegance with sexiness. Brilliant with choc and far superior to the XO. Poise, balance and beauty. The heat is soothing. Christmas spice and fruitcake. Gloriously supple. I love this. Lingering, gentle finish.


Richard Hennessy

Nose: Candy spiced cloves with cinnamon - perfumed and elegant with a hint of citrus

Palate: Massive but totally in control. Far bigger and brasher than the Paradis. The component parts, large though they are, are in perfect harmony. Very fruity on the mid-palate. Extraordinary complexity. This is remarkable, but very, very expensive. Hence it loses a star.


We drank an excellent oloroso as well, but my notes for that are almost illegible. Then Kirsty D made gin & tonics, distracting us from raiding the cellar in a state unsuitable to appreciate any more fine wine.