Last night I opened a bottle of 1996 Mouton Rothschild for Giacomo Neri, the famous producer of Brunello di Montalcino. His 2001 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova was Wine of the Year a few years back. I recently scored the 2004 96 points in a blind tasting for the magazine.
Anyway, I wanted to pull out something special for him last night, even though we were just going to eat grilled chicken with a green salad in my kitchen. I was going to make some French fries, but the potatoes in my cupboard had sprouted! I was really in the mood for a French bistro-like dinner with chicken, fries and salad. Almost got there!
It didn't matter. The 1996 Mouton was gorgeous. Interestingly, we didn't like the wine at first – even more so Giacomo. I should have decanted it earlier, instead of just popping the cork and decanting it when he arrived at the door. The wine got some air while we were eating a first course of white beans over toast with tuna, olive oil and onions. We drank a crisp yet exotic a 2008 Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio Alto Adige.
We couldn't wait for the chicken to be on the table to try the Mouton, so I poured a glass for each of us. Yikes! It was herbal with some stemmy fruit and sort of green wood aromas and flavors. It was disjointed, too.
Giacomo didn’t like it at all. "This is not up to much," he said. "I thought you gave it a high rating?"
I was a bit worried myself. It did show all those green characters. And it was not fun to drink. Did I get it that wrong? I scored it 96 points on other occasions.
But then the genie came out of the glass. After about an hour, it completely changed and the currant, cassis, berry and plum aromas and flavors came out as well as lead pencil and minerals. The palate was fruity, soft and silky. It seemed to get darker in the glass as we sipped through the decanter. It was stunning juice. 96 points, non-blind. STILL.
We had great smiles on our faces the whole evening. Giacomo said it was one of the best wines he had drunk in years. I think he just loved the texture of the wine.
I love the way great Bordeaux change in the glass. It's what makes me a claret lover. And it's what made Giacomo love claret last night.
Andrew Bernardo — Halifax, Nova Scotia — April 28, 2009 3:44pm ET
Andrew J Grotto — Washington, DC — April 28, 2009 3:51pm ET
Jlpef@uol Com Br — Sao Paulo BR — April 28, 2009 4:05pm ET
William R Spencer — April 28, 2009 4:46pm ET
Neil Monaghan — NY — April 28, 2009 5:32pm ET
Jason Thompson — Foster City, CA — April 28, 2009 7:13pm ET
Matt Scott — Honolulu HI — April 28, 2009 8:15pm ET
Karl Mark — Geneva, IL. — April 28, 2009 9:23pm ET
James Suckling — — April 29, 2009 5:40am ET
James Suckling — — April 29, 2009 5:41am ET
Jlpef@uol Com Br — Sao Paulo BR — April 29, 2009 10:49am ET
Andy Chang — Taiwan — April 29, 2009 11:40am ET
James Suckling — — April 29, 2009 1:10pm ET
Mark Kontos — coeur d alene — May 1, 2009 12:47am ET
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