1992 Les Comtes de Cahors, AC Cahors
I'm embarrased that I haven't properly written about this wine, and the dinner it accompanied. Last weekend was a great, extended drinking/eating session. Two photoshoots as well! Friday, had friends over, and we continued the party on Saturday at PYeung's place, to give a proper send-off to her house before they move. Awesome.
This is her bottle, which she purchased in 1995 and has been storing ever since. Cahors. And you know how much I love Cahors, here and here. An older wine, which is always exciting. And I feel very honoured that PYeung decided to pull the cork for this dinner.
Tasting and evaluating a wine requires a complete divorce from all sentimentality, no? I kept that in mind as I was drawing the cork. This wine was stored under less than ideal conditions - on the kitchen counter, under light and heat. At least it lay on its side. The cork was predictably quite dry, and broke in the middle. No worries - I had my decanting funnel. As you can see, a browning colour, with lack of luminosity and brightness. The dull, almost amber colour, permeates the entire robe, with a clearing saturation at the rim. But the nose shows us something more. A bit reticent at first, but opening up to show an iron minerality, almost a meaty character. Red fruits linger, with an almost sweetness. Then, devolves into dried fruits, to an astringent hollowness. We saw its gradual decline over about 4 hours. While I had my doubts, the bouquet remained vigorous, showing much better than the heat-damage I thought the bottle had sustained.
Palate was a different story, as these older wines often are. Lean, with a caved-in middle. Curt, highly acidic finish, showing a bit of volatility. But drinkable. Clearly, the nose was infinitely more interesting. Temper your expectations with these older wines, and your enjoyment will be greatly enhanced. In other words, don't expect too much.
Dinner was spectacular. Authentic Cantonese cuisine, with the freshest ingredients. Started with a sweet soup seafood/herbal. Duck in a taro, soy sauce reduction. Traditional clams, sauteed in ground meat, live and savoury. Scallops, bought live in the shell, butterflied, and served with chili sauce. The skirt on the scallop was absolutely delicious, with a wonderfully firm texture. Then, an earthen pot of dried mushrooms, abalone, and sea cucumber. Decadent. Just delicious.