Saturday, January 5, 2008


1979 is the year of my birth, and since I can name the number of wines I have tasted from this watershed year on one hand (ok, on 3 fingers) I figured I should treat myself and get something special for my birthday. So while the Walt Clyde Frasier leather pumas and Onitsuka Tigers comprised the gift to my wardrobe, the '79 Ducru was the gift to my palate and continuing wine education.

It was a good gift. The nose was full of currant, blackberry, rich, spicy dark cherry fruit. Secondary aromas of lead and very subtle green peppercorn emerged after some air. I decanted the wine right before serving it as it seemed so fresh, lively and primary at first. Probably not a necessary decant, though, as the tannins were almost completely resolved and the wine was fairly uniform; it didn't change much. It was elegant in that mature claret sense: silky smooth, intense and pure fruit with a suggestion of roasted meat. But really more fruit on this one. Elegant wine, and it did its job with my simple dinner prep: boneless leg of lamb with sauteed hedgehog mushrooms. It made the lamb more gamey and lamby and the mushrooms more earthy and shroomy, if that makes any sense.

Mature Bordeaux is still really good....