For a number of years now Michele and I have been trading holiday meals with Tom Maresca and Diane Darrow. We do Thanksgiving and they do Christmas. Tom is a wine and food writer and Diane is a food writer and they both have excellent blogs.
For this year’s Christmas Day dinner, we started with Champagne Palmer & Co. 2009.
With it we had our first red wine, Chateau Les Ormes de Pez 2000 (Saint Estephe) made from 50% Cabernet, 40% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. The average age of the vines is 35 years and the plant density is 9,000 vines per hectare in accordance with the traditional Médoc planting ratio. 80% of the wine is aged in one-year-old oak barrels and 20% in new wood. The wine was showing very well and will age for a number of years.
The next wine was Baron de Pichon-Longueville 1978 (Paulliac) made from 77% Cabernet and 23% Merlot. This was classic old Bordeaux with hints of cherry and tobacco. It was the wine of the evening and only 12% alcohol.
Chateau Gruaud-Larose 1966 (Saint Julien) made from 57% Cabernet Sauvignon 31% Merlot 9% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. One could not ask for more from a wine that was over 50 years old and it went very well with the cheese.
The final wine of the evening was Broadbent Madeira “Sercial” 10 year old made in strict accordance with traditional methods. Aged in old oak casks in the traditional Canteiro system. It is one of the driest types of fortified wine. It has hints of dried fruit, orange peel, almonds and a touch of caramel.