Thursday, 17 February 2011

Celebrating 50 years on Planet Earth

I was honoured to be joined on Tuesday evening by some close friends and family at the Pretty Orchid restaurant in Nottingham, to help me celebrate my 50th birthday. My friend CY Choong did us proud with an excellent assortment of  fine food, whilst his wife Elsie made a rather wonderful birthday cake. And thanks to CY's unceasing generosity, we were able to enjoy a veritable feast of fine wines, brought from our own cellars. I made no tasting notes to speak of, as this was a night for drinking, not analysing. But, from memory,  (and I'm sure I've forgotten at least a couple) we enjoyed.........
  • Cave de Buxy Cremant de Bourgogne 2005
  • Piper-Heidsieck Brut Divin Blanc des Blancs NV Champagne
  • Joseph Drouhin 1992 Beaune Clos des Mouches
  • von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Riesling Spatlese (?) M-S-R
  • Trimbach Gewurztraminer 2007 Alsace
  • Rolly-Gassmann Pinot Gris 2008 Alsace
  • Michel Gros 1995 Bourgogne Haut Cotes de Nuits
  • Chateau Simone 1988 Palette
  • Clos de Gamot 1985 Cahors
  • Masia Barril 1987 Priorato
  • Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou 1995 Saint Julien
  • Chateau Leoville Barton 1985 Saint Julien
  • Domaine de Trévallon 1993, 1995 and 1998 Vin de Pays des Bouches du Rhone
  • Paul Jaboulet Ainé Domaine de Thalabert 1990 Crozes Hermitage
  • Chauvot-Labaume 1961 Pommard
  • Hain Piesporter Goldtrpchen Riesling Felsterrasen Spatlese 2009 M-S-R
  • Domaine de Montesquiou Grappe d'Or 2004 Jurançon.
I'm happy to report that there wasn't a single dud amongst the wines, although the 1961 Pommard was admittedly about 20 years past its best - unlike me, of course! That said, it did have some merit, and I found it curiously enjoyable, in a faded old dame sort of way. In terms of sheer quality, the highlights included the Piper-Heidsieck (a fine example of a classy non-vintage Champagne with some decent bottle age), Clos des Mouches 1992, Simone 1988, Leoville Barton 1985 and Thalabert 1990. All three Trévallons were right on the money, with the 1993 getting my vote, simply because it was at the peak of its powers, whilst the '95 and '98 still have plenty of evolution left in them. And, of course, the Grappe d'Or 2004 was as lovely as ever.

Of course, great food and wine is worthless without great people to share it with, and I can honestly say that those people helped to make this one of the most enjoyable and memorable evenings I have spent in many a long year. So, to CY and his staff, Andy L, David, Bernard, Peter, John, Andy G, Doug and Jenny, Roger and Ann, Richard, Ruth, Marj, Mum, TLD, Alex and Dan - thank you so much. I am truly blessed.

The Fab Four - Andy L, David, Bernard, Peter

Doug, John

Ann, Ruth, Richard

Roger, Andy G, Marj

Alex and TLD, with Dan, my Mum and me
(looking tired and emotional, as usual) at the back



Vinogirl said...

Looks like the party was a great success...nice line up of wines too!

AlanM said...

Holy moley that's quite a line up. And the wines look good too.
I'm surprised you can remember that much Leon. Looks a great night, well deserved.

Joe Fisher said...

Fantastic lineup Leon.

A very happy birthday to you.

Leon Stolarski said...

Thanks all. It was a great night, and almost made turning 50 seem worthwhile! Actually, Alan, my drinking was quite restrained - being drunk at such a lovely occasion just wouldn't have done! ;-)

Guy Dennis said...

Can't believe you're 50 - you don't look it! Glad you had a great birthday, Guy