Back in May I attended a wine dinner, staged at 1907 Restaurant and organised by Shannon Noble’s Rare Wine Dinners.
Rare Wine Dinners is based in Sydney and I have been keeping an eye on previous dinners he has organised. I have always thought two things. First, the dinners looked well planned with amazing wines being showcased. Second, I wonder if they will come to Perth?
When I heard they were planning on doing a Perth Dinner, I hopped online to have a look and see what was on offer. Burgundy from 40’s and 60’s, Rieslings from 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, Barolo from ’71 and Bordeaux from 50’s and 60’s. Wow! Rare wines indeed. Looked at the price tag of $725 and thought, “Gee, I really hope these guys know what they are doing and have sourced the wines from impeccable cellars”. Thought about this for a while, got on the phone and convinced Mrs PWE that this would be a great birthday present for me.
The Dinner – 1907 Restaurant
So, was the dinner any good? Were the wines any good? Quick answer. Both food and wine were absolutely stunning! What has taken me so long to write this up? Been trying to work out how to accurately reflect in words, just how good the dinner and wines were. Food was delicious, excellent presentation and very well matched to the wines. The team at 1907 did an excellent job with their service on the night and in matching the wines. These wines really altered my previous understanding of aged wine and just how well some of them can age. I am now inspired to age my Barolo, buy more old German Rieslings and hang on to the Bordeaux’s in my cellar for a lot longer.
After lots of pondering, I have decided to simply state what I thought of each wine and the food we had with it. No point in trying to pad this out with theatrical ohhhs and ahhhs.
Are these Rare Wine Dinners “the ultimate wine tasting experience”? Best I have been to so far. Is it worth the bucks? My humble opinion is yes. I would struggle to get any of these wines, in such great condition, for a reasonable price.
Do I aspire to drink aged wine all the time? No. Just once in a while for something different.
For Rare Wine Dinners’ official write up of the event click here.
A total of 16 wines were tried with a collective age of 698 years on them….. staggering.
I have listed the wines together with the food we had. Pictures were taken of the wine in glass to show its colour and what such old wines can look like.
First up were two champagnes. Not being much of a champagne drinker, I was looking forward to being talked through them and hopefully learning to appreciate them a bit more. Notes are very brief here as I was listening to the conversations about these two. Served with an Amuse bouche of Orange & ginger scented carrots, Celery with Bloody Mary jelly, Vanilla glazed baby turnips and spiced popcorn. All worked very well with the fizz.
1985 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Rare Rose, Champagne, France
Strawberry leaf. Briouche. Clean acids. Hints of fizz and my preferred of the two. Happy to drink a glass of this.
1988 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Rare Brut, Champagne, France
Creamy & Vanilla. Fresh baked bread. Lemon peel. Leesy.
Next 2 wines were Chardonnays from Burgundy, served with Pumpkin & macadamia bavarois, brioche croutons, pumpkin seed crisp, garlic and sage foam.
1969 Hospice de Beaune – Delauney, Cuvee Lupin, Meursault, Burgundy, France
Nutty. Long on the palate. Bitter orange peel. Nectarines. Intense. Toasted nuts and hints of Za’atar spice. Wow! Immediately made me wonder what this would be like with some Roast chicken.
2000 Domaine Ramonet, Batard – Montrachet, Burgundy, France
Spicy. Lean in stature. Fennel. Butterscotch. Really changed a lot in the glass and lost its leanness and filled out fast. Had a tingle on the palate. Minerals with a waft of mint. Some vanilla and creamy texture in the background.
Following were 2 Spatlese Rieslings from Germany. Same producer, different vintages. Served with Spanner Crab salad, avocado cream & spiced watermelon soda.
1971 Schloss Johannisberger, Grunlack Spatlese, Rheingau, Germany
Honeyed and lush on the palate. Ripe mango. Crispy Jamon and good acid finish.
1979 Schloss Johannisberger, Grunlack Spatlese, Rheingau, Germany
Juicy fruits. Lemons and lemongrass. Hint of truffle. Long satisfying finish. Again, good acids.
Next up were 2 Auslese Rieslings, served with King George whiting, eggplant puree and crisp Israeli cous cous, brocollini, bouillabaisse.
1959 Hans Wilhelm Rautenstrauch, Eitelsbacher Karthauser Hofberger, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
High minerality & talcum powder on the nose. Dried lychee, truffled honey, mangosteens on the palate. Some overtones of gorgonzola chesse funk that made this an excellent wine.
1964 Joh Jos Prum, Zeltinger Wehlener Sonnuhr, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany
Had a strong nose of kerosene when first presented. Thankfully, this blew off very fast. Dried mango, spcied pineapple with candied ginger. Long, juicy finish. Mouthfilling flavours.
I had heard previously that German Rieslings can age exceptionally well. Was well and truly blown away at just how good and fresh these were tasting. What an education!
Onto some Burgundies next. Served with Sous vide venison, tomato terrine, basil & tomato mousse, béarnaise.
1949 C.Marey & Cte Liger-Belair, Musigny, Burgundy, France
Meaty, cherry compote. Some funky iodine and acetone notes. With a bit of time in the glass, sweet fruits emerge. Strawberries and cream. Touch of wet leaves. A stunning, seamless wine.
1964 Jules Regnier, Les Marconnets, Burgundy, France
I found this to be very musty on the nose and wondered if it was corked. Was pronounced as fine. Wasn’t a fan of this wine.
2 Barolo from the 1971 vintage were presented next, along with House smoked duck breast, black pludding scotch egg, porcini seared scallops, Madeira jus.
1971 Enrico Serafino, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
Think sautéed wild mushrooms on buttered toast. Touch of herb garden and earth. Soy. Firm tannins. With food, the tannins in this settled down and sweet, port like notes emerged. A powerful and silky wine. Loved this.
1971 Marchesi di Barolo, Gia Opera Pia, Piedmont, Italy
After the excellent Enrico, this appeared a tad out of balance. Underbrush, earthy scents of truffles and sweet fruits emerge with time.
Onto the pair Bordeaux’s and the star attraction of the night, Chateau Petrus. Served with Grilled beef tenderloin, braised red cabbage, sweet potato and warm truffle custard.
1953 Chateau Petrus, Premier Cru, Bordeaux, France
Volatile at first. Beefy, touch of red capsicum, lick of leather. Good acid in this. Effortless to drink. Good lift at the back of the palate. Could not find the words to describe this adequately. Well balanced and harmonious wine. An education!
1964 Chateau Leoville Las Cases (Magnum), Bordeaux, France
Cassis, earthy overtones, coffee, leather. A powerful wine that really exploded in your mouth. Eye poppingly good. Shows how well magnums can age. Excellent wine and my favourite of the night.
Onto the final two wines of the night, the sweeties. Served with “Chariot de Fromage” ~ A selection of farmhouse and artisan cheese from the trolley.
1959 S A Huet, Le Haut Lieu, Moelleux, Vouvray, France
Musky, oily dried apricots. Honey infused with herbs. Good cleansing acid that kept it from being overly sweet. Enjoyable.
1964 Langwerth Von Simmern, Hattenheimer Nussbrunnen, Edelbeerenauslese, Rheingau, Germany
Sweet Marzipan. Rich and luscious. Candied mandarin and cumquats. Liquid marmalade.
Curious to try some of these old wines? Rare Wine dinners are coming back to Perth for a series of dinners at the end of November & December. Check out their website for more details.