An exceptional experience: 8 guys drinking 13 bottles over 4 hours at Union Square Cafe thanks to @rklin

I knew we were in for a special treat, but I understimated how good it would be. The ever generous @rklin had suggested it was a goodtime to test out the 2003 Bordeaux that had been aging in his cellar, and 7 lucky friends joined him at Union Square Cafe Friday night to see what how this vintage, which is considered to be one of the finest in the past quarter century, was shaping up almost 10 years after it was bottled.

We prepared our palates by starting with a couple of bottles of 1990 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Damek, but the main event was the 9 wines from 3 nearby regions within Bordeux: St Julien, Pauillac, and St. Estephe. We did a flight of 3 wines from each region and tasted them blind, distinguishing each glass by a different colored dot. 

Bordeaux

To test our future as sommeliers, Rich provided some tasting notes on each bottle from Robert Parker and Neal Martin. No one will be hiring me anytime soon becuase in the first flight from St. Julien, I only identified one of the wines, and I was hopeless for most of the rest. What was interesting in the first flight was that my preference, and that of one or two others, changed as the wines breathed and opened up more. The 2003 Leoville-Poyferre was my clear favorite at the start, but by the time we finished those bottles the 2003 Leoville-Barton took the lead.

In the 2nd flight for the wines from Pauillac, Rich added a 4th wine, a 2003 Seavey Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, for comparison. I managed to pick it out and it actually was my favorite of that flight. The 2003 Cos d’Estournel was my preference in the third flight from St. Estephe, but they were all delightful.

The 13th and final bottle Rich pulled out that evening was a 1983 Climens Sauternes. I usually don’t care for dessert wines, but, oh my, was that delicous. And of course, the food throughout was splendid.

Rich, I think we’ll need to keep checking the wines every few years to see how they’re holding up…

Wines

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