A Saint Emilion Grand Cru of a vintage nearly thirty years ago, one of the last of my Father’s cellar. It’s a long time ago: in 1995, John Major was Prime Minister, the €uro had not yet been introduced and the UK enjoyed a long summer heatwave. My Father would have been just seventy, still contributing research papers to the academic journals of biology. Me, I was lighting television studio programmes in London.
The cork pulled cleanly. The wine had a deep damson colour rather than tawny. Not that much nose. This Ch. Puy-Blanquet 1995 tasted very tannic at first taste, indeed we feared it had gone too far. That moderated rapidly as the wine aired, these old wines are so fragile. And then we enjoyed a quite specific and refined, aged Saint Émilion wine, so smooth and pleasant. It’s a very specific taste, just pure essential Cabernet Sauvignon as all the other flavours have matured away. A perfect accompaniment for pheasant which Terry roasted in a pot with Provence herbs from his garden in Brighton.
So we enjoyed a very fine wine at its height, nearing the end of its useful maturing and ageing; another year and it will go from being essential, concentrated Cabernet to being just thin. Hurrah!