One of the great things about wine is the range of people that you meet who share the interest, from all age-groups and walks of life. In the last few weeks I have had the pleasure of attending the birthday parties of friends turning 30, 40 and 50!

The Egon Muller and the Giacomo were served blind to me and I knew the identities of the other wines in advance.

J.J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese 1993
The youthful light golden colour was a promising start. Petrol, smoke and a bit of honey on the nose. The palate is rich in fruit sweetness, but the balancing acidity makes it delightfully refreshing. Good carry of flavour, but lacking in points of interest. I enjoyed this a great deal regardless.

Chave Hermitage Blanc 1995
Served a bit too cold to begin with, but as it warmed in the glass I found it beguiling and captivating. So incredibly perfumed with floral high notes and pineapple, nectarine, smoke, passionfruit and light butterscotch and honeysuckle aromas. Oily and luxurious mouth-feel without any hint at broadness. Complex texture and even a slight element of tannin to it. Powerful and complex, yet elegant and entirely balanced at the same time. Unique and compelling, I’d love to encounter it again in 10 years time.

Giacomo Borgogno Barolo Riserva 1982
Opened with dark raspberry and cherry, earth, grilled red meat, tobacco and lifted violet aromatics. After some time in the glass it took on an intriguing grassy and oolong tea aroma profile. First impression is that of the tannins still being prominent and while these remained in play throughout, they became much less obvious when consumed with food. Great texture and layered, persistent flavour to the palate. In great shape for the age, and really lovely to drink now, I think it may be at its peak, but it will still be drinking very well over the next 5 years.

Tua Rita Perlato del Bosco Rosso 2001
Deep ruby colour. A nose of ink, barbequed duck in hoisin sauce, beetroot, cherry and toasty oak. Rasping tannin across the palate, but the length is good and there is rich fruit lurking. I feel that this has the potential to improve over the next 10 years as the tannins soften and it takes on some complexity.

Chateau Rieussec 1983
Dark golden in colour. The nose is emphatic – burnt sugar and caramel, apricots, botrytis and honey. There is a strong sweetness to the palate that is tempered by a core of moderate acidity. Finishing long and clean, this was a nice note to end the evening on. This bottle was drinking at its peak.

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