Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 1996 vs. Kanonkop Paul Sauer 1997
By Christian Eedes, 1 January 2012
When Olive Hamilton Russell tweeted an image of herself with actress Lee-Anne Summers at Preston Haskell’s New Year Eve party in Fresnaye last night, I had the briefest moment of regret that I’d turned down my invitation to attend.
Eedes family tradition, however, is a multi-course meal with the best wines that can be mustered. The menu as follows:
Trout tartare in an Asian dressing on a bed of dice avocado with Louis Roederer Cristal 1995|
Chourizo, haricot bean, red pepper and rocket salad with CWG Meinert Scholtzenhof Grande Chenin 2000
Cauliflower soup with mushroom concasse and white truffle oil with Huet Le Haut-Lieu Sec Vouvray 1992
Slow-roasted Karoo lamb shoulder with asparagus and potatoes roasted in duck fat with Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Pauillac 1996 and Kanonkop Paul Sauer 1997
Lemon tart with Château Lamothe Guignard Sauternes 1981
The Cristal was big and rich but perhaps a little more advanced than might have been hoped. The Scholtzenhof Grande Chenin made by Martin Meinert and essentially the maiden vintage of The FMC was in great nick, showing pure white fruit and an intriguing hint of leesy character. The Le Haut-Lieu was fantastic on its own with intense apricot flavour and driving acidity but mismatched with the cauliflower soup, which was too creamy and earthy – my bad, as the hipsters say.
Wines of the evening were the Pichon Longueville and the Kanonkop Paul Sauer, both excellent, both entirely true to type. The Pichon showed red fruit, tomato cocktail, oyster shell and earthiness. It was medium bodied with fresh acidity and fine, powdery tannins. The Kanonkop Paul Sauer was relatively richer and riper and had more punch – dark fruit, firmer tannins and more moderate acidity. Both worked gangbusters with the lamb.
I fear the Lamothe went a little under-appreciated given all that went before it and the fact that midnight was almost upon us, but what I do recall of it was that it was pretty damn smart. Complex and intense with plenty of that mushroomy, savoury character that is the trademark of good Sauternes. All in all, not a bad way of seeing in 2012.