Retirement classics

At my retirement lunch with the rest of the Berry Bros & Rudd buying team, I pulled out a few bottles from my cellar, some expected to be classics, others a little more speculative.

Two whites in the latter category are worthy of mention: a 1990 Macon La Roche Vineuse Vieilles Vignes from Olivier Merlin, still a joy to drink, in pristine condition apart from the label on which snails had feasted; and a 1987 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay, regular bottling. This wine allegedly received just about the lowest score ever in the Wine Spectator (58 points from memory?) shortly after release. But it was a decent wine then and I bought a case, of which this was the last bottle – a full yellow in colour like some of Jim Clendenen’s hair on his Wild Boy label, still full of fruit along with some custard-cream notes, and balanced acidity. A real pleasure to drink, even at 30 years old.

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