For the whites we did an Old World/New World Chardonnay comparison.
2000 Chassagne Montrachet's nose was closed, but on the palate it was creamy and toasty, with lemon meringue and marzipan. 2012 Hamilton Russell Vineyard Chardonnay from South Africa had the more Burgundian nose, with almond cookie, lemon zest and apricot.
Moving onto Pinot Noir, the 1990 Pommard 1er Cru had a classic barnyard nose with spice and meat, and on the palate it evolved beautifully, with subtle cherry and cranberry, cinnamon, and nice acidity. This wine was not going to get any better. 2007 Volnay 1er Cru was earthy and bright with baking spice and refined fruit, another Burgundy win. Next to this we tried a 2007 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, CA, which unsurprisingly was jammier with more pronounced oak but still a good representation of California Pinot.
We went back in time with Bordeaux, from 2006 to 1985 to 1982. The 2006 Chateau Malmaison from Baronne Nadine de Rothschild had a brambly, beautiful nose, with lavender and eucalyptus, a big wine that needed time to open up. It could definitely go another ten years in the bottle. Cousin Anna was kind enough to share a bottle of her birthday wine, 1985 Lynch-Bages, with its spicy tobacco nose and smooth, silky fruit. The 1982 Cordier Chateau Gruaud Larose Grand Cru took some time to open up but once it did it showed warm spice and mature fruit with surprising tannic structure. A Bordeaux blend from Paso Robles, Justin Vineyards 1989 Isosceles surprised us all as one of the best wines, evolving over the evening with great complexity and balance.
We finished with Tokai - a Hungarian dessert wine. Its luscious peach cobbler and caramel apple flavors made the perfect end to an epic tasting.
I'd say the trip was a home run....
Thanks Uncle Dave, Aunt Madeleine and Anna!