There are wines whose names are spoken in hushed tones, with looks of wonder on the faces of those dorky enough to care (guilty as charged). They are on some manner of list, or perhaps several, be it 'Greatest Wines of the Twentieth Century' or 'Wines to Try Before You Die' or some such arbitrary honour roll of wines too expensive for normal wine geeks such as yours truly to be able to afford. Biondi-Santi Brunello 1955, DRC 1959, Mouton 1945, Palmer 1961, Yquem 1921... they're wines that billionaire collectors share with the upper echelon of wine writers in the name of hedonism and posterity. And validity. They need the writers there to assure them, to assuage their egos that yes, spending the annual wage of your butler on a case of wine was indeed worth it.
Well, the Naughton Dining Club managed to get a hold of one of these legendary wines. The only wine writers present were myself and Pete. No billionaire invited. Had they arrived their price of entry would have been one magnum each of the above listed wines.
The colour is luminous - vivid polished brass.
Quite closed on the nose to start with, but opens beautifully - hints of mint and dry grass, that musk of wild honey, roasted lime peel, honeysuckle, peach pits and apricots. Almost overwhelming.
Like the nose, the palate is slow to open. As it does however, all the nose promised comes through and more. The texture itself is remarkable - gripping and layered, providing structure for all the riot of flavours - roasted stone and citrus fruit, confit fennel, honey and mint. Incredibly intense and lasts forever. I don't know if it's a wine of the century, but it's fucking amazing.
Delighted we have another bottle in the cellar.
Tasted 1/1/09 at Naughton