Thursday, September 13, 2007


I am at a loss for words. How do I properly describe my experience last evening? How do I do justice to the wines that I tasted? What words would be sufficient? Or is it something that can only be experienced? Last evening, I attended a Champagne Reception & Pre-Auction Wine Tasting at the Skinner Gallery in Boston. It was held in collaboration with Lower Falls Wine Co.. This was a two-hour event and what an event it turned out to be.

You could start with a glass of Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne, a very nice wine without any overly yeasty taste. While you then meandered through the room, you would come across the primary wine table.

It was here that you could taste 12 exceptional and expensive wines, spaced in three flights.

Flight One:
1997 Chateau Lafite Rothschild
1994 Opus One
1970 Chateau Mouton Rothschild
1985 Dow Port

Flight Two:
2002 Opus One
1999 Chateau Lafite Rothschild
1974 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
1989 Chateau Rieussec Sauternes

Flight Three:
1991 Opus One
1995 Araujo Cabernet Sauvignon, Eisele (Parker 98 Points)
2000 Chateau Lafite Rothschild (Parker 100 Points)
1977 Taylor Fladgate Port (Parker 96 Points)

So, how do I do justice to this exceptional wines? I find that I cannot. At best, I can sum these wines up as "Sublime."

I admit I have little familiarity with such high-end wines. I don't have them stored in my wine cellar. They are a bit too expensive for me. But, I certainly can tell that they are outstanding wines. Even if I do not understand all of their nuances which someone who knows these wines well would. I was extremely pleased to have this opportunity.

These are generally more subtle wines. You must pay attention to their complexities, savoring the ever-changing flavors. The long, lingering finishes. Each is different as well, varying in the amount of fruit, spice or tannins.

I could try to explain each wine in the usual wine jargon, describing the different flavors and such. But that cannot present how these wines make you feel. It is something that generally cannot be conveyed in words.

We tasted them under less than ideal conditions. We did not have a meal to accompany them where they could truly excel. Yet their quality shined though anyways.

I must once again simply state it was Sublime.

I am torn between the 1970 Mouton and the 2000 Lafite as my favorites. Just pure bliss. The only wine I did not care for was the 1974 Mondavi. It seemed too harsh, almost with a zoo smell. I am not usually a Port person, but enjoyed both Ports very much. They were smoother than the younger Ports I have had before. The aging certainly makes a significant difference.

There was a table of cheese and breads to nibble on between tastes of wine. In addition, there was a short presentation by Andree Robert, co-owner of the renowned Maison Robert restaurant as well as Executive Chef. She spoke upon food pairings with older Bordeaux wines. It was an interesting and informative speech.

Kudos must go out to Lower Falls Wine Co. for arranging another exceptional wine tasting. If you have never been to their store, then go. Sign up for their email newsletter as well so that you learn about their upcoming events.

Remember as well that the wine auction will be held tomorrow, September 12, and starting at 6pm. The wine auction will be held at Skinner's offices at 63 Park Plaza, Boston, MA.

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