LONDON - I have had fun constructing my perfect dinner party wines, especially in the run-up to Christmas when we were putting this catalogue to bed. By the time this sale takes place in London on, it would be as stimulating to create ideal dinner scenarios, but this time for Chinese New Year.
There is the Dream Ticket Dinner, with Mouton 1953 and 1959, followed swiftly by Mouton 1982 and 1986, a real glimpse into the heart of this blackcurranty, majestic Pauillac. A good lead-up to this would be Bollinger R.D. 1982 followed by their Grande Année 1988, one of their finest ever vintages.
The all-time St.Estèphe Dinner might juxtapose Montrose 1970 and 1990, two stupendous wines, with Cos d’Estournel 1970 and 1990, a tremendous comparison of style and character. I would need to complete this with some Taylor 1977!
Another stimulating exercise would be a succession of different St. Emilion terroirs, involving Cheval Blanc 1975 (maybe the best wine of the vintage now), 1982 and 1995, Figeac 1982 and 1995, plus Angélus and Valandraud 1995 for good measure.
Or try the Pomerol jackpot, with Pétrus, Trotanoy and La Fleur Pétrus 1982, La Fleur Pétrus and Latour à Pomerol 1988, finishing with a flourish on Le Pin and Latour à Pomerol 1989, just to ring the changes.
The possibilities are endless and I am now so thirsty that I am off in search of some Margaux 1953, one of the wines that marked me for life. Decades ago, when I lived in Finland, the Swedish Monopoly divested itself of some stunning wines, including a stash of this magical Margaux. I mortgaged everything to get some and lapped it up at a comparatively young age, an indulgence that I have never regretted. It is still wondrous – and here it is in this sale!