My birthday celebration carried over into Sunday and we had dinner at my parents’ house. A soon as we walked in the door, a 1995 Pol Roger, Champagne, Sir Winston Churchill was popped open. The light gold colored wine was firm and powerful, but also refined. Sir Winston Churchill is one of my favorite tete de cuvees made in Champagne and the 1995 was outstanding, but still very young. My mother made a pork loin stuffed with prunes and a side of sweet potato. Two Burgundies were served simultaneously. A 1999 Dominique Laurent, Morey-Saint-Denis, 1er cru, Clos Sorbes was dominated by strong, gamey aromas that I suspect were from Brettanomyces (a spoilage yeast). The wine was medium bodied and elegant on the palate, but the nose made it hard to drink. Much better was a 1990 Faiveley, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Les Lavieres. We drank a bottle of this wine at Ma Cuisine in Beaune during a family vacation in 2004. The wine had just been sent over to the restaurant from the estate and seemed very tannic at the time. My father purchased the restaurant’s only remaining bottle and threw it in his suitcase for the return trip. The wine was not as tannic on this occasion, but it still had a firm backbone. Faiveley has apparently adopted a more approachable style in recent vintages, but I have really enjoyed the rustic, slow to mature wines traditionally made by the domaine. This bottle represented what I think of as classic Nuits-Saint-Georges.
A 2001 Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Sauternes was served with a cheese course, which was followed by an assortment of desserts. 2001 was greatly hyped upon release and my father and I both stocked-up on the vintage. Thankfully, the wines have lived up their advanced billing. The Lafaurie-Peyraguey was very aromatic, with white flowers and honey. Despite being a dessert wine, this Sauternes was not very sweet. The intense acidity of the vintage made the wine seem well balanced and focused. While delicious at this stage, it will only continue to get better. My birthday weekend is now officially completed and it is back to drinking left over Cotes du Rhone samples.