This wine was $100 for a magnum at K&L. Yesterday was my birthday, and since I'm guessing that wines from 1982 are only going to get more rare as I get more old, I decided to seize the day. It helped that I love Chinon too. This wine was comparatively cheap compared to any Bordeaux from 1982 that K&L stocks. Although this wine wasn't as good as the 82 Chateau Margaux Pavillon Rouge that Sarah got me a couple of years ago, or the port from 1982 that I had with my parents last Christmas, this wine was still pretty great. An asinine comparison, probably, since this is Chinon and not Bordeaux, but oh well. I've had this wine one other time, but it was from the freakshow 2003 vintage. I believe that the wine I had was the Crescendo though, which is a little different thing then the Clos de l'Echo, since it's a more severe selection from the vineyard. The Crescendo was first made in 1995 though, so I guess there's no equivalent. Wine Doctor has more info and insight than I could ever muster here.
I'm surprised at how well both of the magnums of 20+ year old Loire Cab Franc I've had have fared. I think that I actually liked the 89 Taluau better than this wine by a hair. This wine is/was more mainstream and far less esoteric than the Taluau. This means that I'll be on the lookout for more older Chinon's in a magnum format. They clearly can age, and are clearly interesting older wines. Plus, they're about a quarter of the price of cheap 82 Bordeaux (I am always on the lookout for a good deal). It's really too bad that Bordeaux is so expensive now; more or less, I'm priced out of the market. I would love to have a iconic First Growth from 1982, but I don't know that I am willing to pay north of $1000 a bottle just for that experience. Maybe for 30 next year? We'll see.
I'm quite thankful this wasn't corked! Pulled the cork out--what an old looking cork. It's kind of fun that it even has 1982 printed on it. Immediately apparent that this is Chinon. At first quite shy, with herbaceous, tomatoey aromas. As the wine opens up, it reveals more cherry, blackberry character, as well as some leafy, peppery aromas. Very typical Cab Franc. 29 years has been kind to this wine, as the tannins have fully resolved and left behind a wine that is silky smooth, but still has lots of grip, presence, and balance. Pretty trippy for me personally to drink a wine that is as old as I am, and a fun experience. K&L has a few more of these available; I don't know that I will grab another bottle; it's a fun wine to drink though, and if you're a 1982 baby like me, it's a lot cheaper than Bordeaux. Sarah and I cooked dinner and had our friends Ricky and Diana over--deconstructed rack of lamb (I like to buy racks of lamb and cut off the tenderloin and roast the ribs separately because they always have so much fat. If you don't separate them, you're left with fatty ribs and perfect tenderloin, or dried out tenderloin and perfect ribs. Cooking them separately allows you to cook both of them perfectly.), with a cauliflower saffron sauce, roasted Weiser Farms Romanesco cauliflower, and Weiser Farms peewee heirloom potatoes from me, while Sarah made a beet salad with avocados, pistachios, and oranges (awesome...we jacked that idea from Gjelina restaurant in Venice Beach), and she also made me a peach pie. It was quite the pie: Sarah made a real old school pie crust from scratch with just butter, flour and salt. I'm sure it took a while, but it tasted awesome. Diana brought some chocolate chip cookies that were awesome too. Allow me to indulge my inner chick for a second: I feel fat today. Haha.