Vintage Pairs Events

Join us for our "Vintage Pairs" Blind Tasting on Monday 22nd October 2018

In this session of Vintage Pairs, we served:

1st Pair: 2015 & 2010 Corton-Charlemagne, Domaine Dublère

Everything you really need to know about Domaine Dublère, you can ask him yourself. Really. He’s standing next to you – Blair Pethel, the man who made these wines and who owns the vines from which they came is here at Vintage Pairs tonight. So I will say little here except that Blair hails from North Carolina. He isn’t one of those vanity-type producers who merely owns and maintains an impeccable manicure. Blair does everything, and can tell you better than me about the experiences of 2010 and 2015. We’re fans, so I’m glad you got the chance to taste these blind, and to meet the man behind them.


2nd Pair: 2016 & 2010Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru ‘Les Charmes’, Domaine Hudelot-Noëllat

The name « Charmes » is a pretty big clue to the long-term reputation of a vineyard for a forward, round, seductive style, whether it hails from Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault, Gevrey-Chambertin or, in this case, Chambolle-Musigny. Did we find that here in this pair? Charles van Canneyt took over from his grandfather Alain Hudelot in the 2000s and makes tender and expressive wines. He has an enviable selection of vineyards to tend to.


3rd Pair: 2001 & 2000 Kistler ‘Hirsch Vineyard’ Pinot Noir

I’m always interested in testing assumptions that build up over time reputationally. In this case I’ve always thought Kistler produced some of the more ‘Burgundian’ of California’s Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. That’s of course a whole can of worms, but least to say, blind, sometimes they get mistaken for “Burgundy” rather than “California”, if not from one village or other in particular. Did they tonight? I don’t mean the game of how I select these wines, but the actual wine in the glass? The vintage 2001 was the last one from this source bottled by Kistler. Clonal material was mostly Pommard as well as cuttings from California’s Pinot genesis – Mt Eden, Calera, and Swan, and from a complex blend of soils from various blocks – sedimentary and metamorphic rock mixed in sandy loam, clayey loam, and so on.


4th Pair: 2004  Ornellaia  & 2004 Sassicaia, Super Tuscans from Bolgheri

Cue Francis Ford Coppola and the clash of two families. Founded by two noblemen - Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta (Sassicaia), Marchese Lodovico Antinori (Ornellaia) at two grand estates, both offering a latin nod to the Médoc. Both 2004 Sassicia (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc), and 2004 Ornellaia (60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot) enjoyed Bolgheri’s perfect growing season this vintage. Was it the French music or the Italian performance that came through?


5th Pair: 1978 Château Pichon Lalande & Château Haut-Brion

Made a world ago when alcohol levels were routinely low anyway, 1978, even in that context – described by Harry Waugh as the ‘miracle vintage’, a poor summer saved by a sunny autumn, an October harvest – offers the sort of lithe elegance we see far less often in modern wines from Bordeaux. The Pichon, a Pauillac and about three quarters Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Haut-Brion, a Graves, about half Cabernet Sauvignon have much to distinguish themselves one from the other, yet both share the advantage of their respective prime, gravel-rich sites.

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View our past Vintage Pairs wine selection

Vintage Wine Bottle size Score
2015 Domaine Dublere - Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 750ml BH90-93
2010 Domaine Dublere - Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 750ml --
2016 Domaine Hudelot-Noellat - Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru 'Les Charmes' 750ml --
2010 Domaine Hudelot-Noellat - Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru 'Les Charmes' 750ml BH91-93
2004 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia - Ornellaia 750ml WA95
2004 Tenuta San Guido - Sassicaia 750ml WA90
1978 Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 750ml WA92
1978 Chateau Haut Brion 750ml WA86
2001 Kistler Vineyards - Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir 750ml --
2000 Kistler Vineyards - Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir 750ml WA90

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