Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Big Day™

I have been waiting for this day for as long as I have ever waited for anything. In 2001, I and a group of my friends at the Gästrike-Hälsinge Nation (a student club/union in Uppsala) pooled our meagre resources, and bought one bottle of each of the five premier grand cru en primeur. That is, the three houses that produced the best wines in Medoc in 1855, Chateaux Haut-Brion, and Chateaux Mouton Rothschild that was elevated from 2'me Cru in 1973.
But first we had lunch, and to said lunch we had a collection of not-quite-as-illustrious 1999s. First out was Chateaux La Fleur-Petrus, the second-wine of Ch. Petrus (which was too expensive for us already 2001). Second was Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, then Cos D'Estournel, Ch. Ducru-Beaucaillou, and the odd-man-out Opus One.
As we always did in 2001, we voted for the best, and worst wine. The least smashing of the lunch-selection was the Ch. Pichon Longueville, and won did Opus One. It wasn't my choice, but it had a clear majority.

The main event, as you have already figured out, was the following wines:
Ch. Haut-Brion 1999
Ch. Margaux 1999
Ch. Lafite Rothschild 1999
Ch. Mouton Rothschild 1999
Ch. Latour 1999
Tasting this kind of mature (they have all reached their maturity-plateau) high-quality wines is very interesting because they change character so quickly when they are exposed to air. At first tasting, I tought Ch. Margeaux was going to be a clear winner. After some fifteen minutes I had changed my mind to Ch. Latour, but when it was time to vote the initally closed Ch. Lafite Rothschild had opened up and received my vote. I was wrong again, and Chateaux Margaux was voted best of the 1999 premier cru classé.

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