harto, riyang, lisa, rona, and pearline stood me dinner at chapeau! last night, a restaurant which is fast becoming a favourite. the table next to us was packed with people who were serious about wine, had found each other on erobertparker.com, and who had gotten together for an old cabernet dinner at chapeau. by the end of the night the table was covered with vast numbers of wineglasses of all sorts and there was an air of unsteady merriment over all. it was our good fortune to sit next to them, for they ended up passing over three bottles of the fourteen they were tasting, and we got glasses each of the mondavi oakville estate 1974 (light in the mouth but fragrant with vanilla and pepper, and blackcurrants. lots of sediment and the best of the three), the groth 1984 (lighter even, smelling a little of herbs and black fruit. odd, that the scent balloons up with every swirl and then vanishes again, almost instantly), and the bv georges de latour 1974 (smelled like a good old port, almost syrupy. full of sediment, but vanishingly light on the mouth). the tannins had oxidised over the last thirty years and, bound to the anthocyanin pigments, fallen to the bottom of the bottle in a gentle dark rain.


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