Did I mention the Mouton?

Inevitably when you taste a series of wines, you judge them against each other, as well as on an absolute scale. Thus it is that I have arrived at a new concept: quaffing Mouton. Oh yes. Ridiculous though it may seem, when measured against its older siblings, the '99 (scored at a solid 16/20), cried out from the depths of its concentrated juicy goodness to be glugged, gulped, necked, walloped (whoah, there's a radical notion: wassailing Mouton; mulled Mouton I didn't say that!. Don't tell anyone I said that!). But enough of such nonsense.

The Big Egg had six fairly recent Mouton-Rothschild for our delectation. Starting with the quaffer and working back to the '88. Equal top were the 96 and 95, the rest crowding in behind, and the 98 really rather disappointing.

What all six wines share is a concentrated character, a very strong bouquet and palate with every element of the wine balanced against the others. The flavours are complex: it takes time to tease out the strands of mocha coffee, green peppers, candy floss, paprika, the little hints of violets, occasional savoury bursts of aubergine and mushroom. But I can't think of a better way to pass two hours.

The scores: '95 = a solid 18; '96 = 18?; '88 = 17-18; 97 = 17+(18?); '99 = 16; '98 = 14.


d'Yquem and Roquefort, again. (I wish)

From (approximately) "Monseigneur le Vin", a guide published in 1927 by Les Etablissements Nicolas, who these days are, you might know it, found at www.nicolas.com:

...the flavour of a vintage red wine blending with the taste of a paste of fermented milk ripe for the eating is the very key to paradise.

The author's preferred wine is not Sauternes, but I know what he means.


Just say Noé (and Please, and Thank You Very Very Much)

All hail The Big Egg, for he has found treasure. More to the point, he has shared it with us.

Gonzalez Byass Noé Pedro Ximénez Muy Viejo is quite the wrong colour for wine. In fact, it has no colour, being black. And not see-through. It coats the glass, then waits a couple of minutes, then consents to send down slow legs for the next few minutes.

The nose is very strong, treacle-ish, boozy, headily sherried, then after a while almost briney. Smiley got figs, too.

On the palate it is a thick as cough mixture, and as strong and sweet. It is a luscious, chocolate-y, molasses drink, not remotely boozy or wine-y, with an absurdly long finish which, strangely, did not die away, but built up somewhat, with an increasing spiciness (like five-spice powder). 17+/20.

The Big Egg reckons he paid 0.67GBP for each year of aging of the Noé. Your only response to this act of charity on the part of Gonzalez Byass should be to go and buy some. Oh, and remember to get toothpaste.