These magnums used to litter the wine merchant I worked for: they were everywhere. Not just from 1991, but spanning the whole of the decade, from 1990-99. Grand looking labels but shoddy cardboard boxes that disintegrated as though the inevitable entropy of the universe focussed the entirety of its attention on that sad packaging. A forage around the warehouse would result in the discovery of yet another '94, bin soiled and draped in corrugated cardboard that had been soaked and dried so many times that a light breeze would most likely reduce it to dust. Stock-counting was never easy.
Their ubiquity, for some reason, counted against them. I never tried one, in spite of some really lovely vintages laying around. Our director swore by them, and bought them every year without fail, and every year without fail we would attempt to stack the new boxes in the hope they would not collapse, releasing an ocean of Grand Cru Chablis.
I never sold one. I don't think any of us did. But someone must have drunk them, because they all disappeared, but one. Bin-soiled, but great levels and no sign of premox. That's not a bad sign for a 21 year-old Chablis.
Nice, rich gold with still a touch of green edges.
Peach Wensleydale on the nose. Soft and gentle. Whiff of beeswax.
Bright, rich, lemony citrus with a hard, honeyed wax to it as well. Powerful stuff and still with loads of life. Opens incredibly with the food (smoked haddock fish cakes). Fleshy and gentle with a texture that gets silkier as it opens. What an eye opener. I was expecting it to be harder; more bracing. Instead it's savoury, soft and decadent. Brilliant.
Tasted at Naughton, 29 April 2012