Last Hurrah before lockdown at The Red Lion, Hinxton with some Musar buddies…
These are my vague recollections, slightly augmented by sampling of dregs later on.
White 06 was relatively tame, kind of appley in weight and style. It will take on weight with age, I’m sure. Outclassed by the 98, but perfectly enjoyable and with the classic Musar oxidative honeyed character.
White 98 was superb. Quite Bordeaux-like within the context of white Musar. Full and rounded with a lovely orange peel bitter edge.
Rosé 1994 - generally a bit tame. Subtle honey notes and elegant. If you had this blind, it would be hard to place, and perhaps you’d think it was a fairly average Italian white of some sort - although Charles said it was a bit like a very light and old Bourgogne rouge. Actually thinking about it now, I know what he means.
Red 05 - very elegant, in a Bordeaux style. Red and dark fruits, low VA, no Brett. A little reticent to begin with, and perhaps would benefit from more air, but a lovely wine you could take home to show your parents. A keeper with plenty of future.
Red 01 - a bit more ready to go and raunchy. Maybe Mediterranean/Southern Rhône influences here. More lively than 05, more VA (but still mild). It’s a vintage that is emerging from its shell and I’m excited to see where it goes. Generally preferred to the 05, if memory serves.
Red 99 - a little muted compared to other 99s I’ve had, and quite cloudy - perhaps recently shaken a little? But this is another classic Musar with decent levels of fruit, spice, Balsamic VA, mildest hint of Brett. Long on the palate (which also possibly lacked focus). Slightly reminded me of a Brunello in some way - maybe an element of a ragu Bolognese about it? Still plenty of life in this.
Red 91 - this has been delivered that morning by Lay and Wheeler from my Vinotheque store. Quite low ullage (mid shoulder, I think) also a bit cloudy. It had been opened (but not decanted) about 3 hours earlier. Similar in style to 99 but older, sweeter, mature meat and some oxidised tertiary notes. Not that it was devoid of fruit, just that it was slightly stewed fruit. I think this was probably the favourite among those on my table. I was a little disappointed compared to what this vintage can do when you get a full bottle, but it still gave a glimpse of that excitement even if a little faded.
These notes are from memory. I forgot to take a pen!