Helsinki Airport's wine bar should receive a medal of some sorts for the wines they offer for travellers. This time around I had the opportunity to taste the oldest wine I have ever tasted, 1947 Barbaresco from traditional producer Bourgogno, as well as the Chateau d'Yquem's 1985. What a treat.
The Yquem was beginning to reach its drink window at 25 years of age, still being some 5 years shy. These wines are for the very long aging. The wine looked in the glass like liquid golden, intensive colour. Nose was beautiful with exotic fruits and truffle honey, pineapple, with some "green" or herbaceous notes.
The taste was quite astounding, the mouthfeel of a young wine with high acidity, however more mature feeling in the aftertaste. Sweet aromas of pineapple, grapes, roasted almonds in the finish as well as some oxidation feeling. The aftertaste could have been longer, separating this vintage from the better ones. However excellent quality from a challenging year. The 1985 Yquem can be kept for a long time, supported by its really nice acidity.
The 1985 vintage in Sauternes is not listed among the better ones while this vintage is the only Yquem ever made of grapes picked as late as in December - it took very long for noble rot to develop that year. Some of the herbaceous feeling in the nose, which was much less evident in the taste, could be the result of a challenging vintage. Sauternes' 1985 vintage scored 79/100 points in WineSpectator, however they gave 94 points for this vintage of Yquem in 1999. A good effort.
The 1947 Bourgogno Barbaresco was really interesting in finding out how well a 1940s nebbiolo of a famous producer ages and what elements of the wine is still present today. Barbaresco has in some instances been considered the "little brother" to the king of wines and wine of kings, Barolo. However the little brother showed that it can, too, age beautifully, however naturally having a small issue with fruit which was already somewhat dissapeared:
The wine's colour was totally brown with medium intensity. Wonderful nose of coffee liquer, black tea, sweet fruit and cappuccino. Taste was in union with the nose in respect to the coffee liquer and black tea however also introduced Asian exotic spices. It still had brilliant acidity, together with mature wine's liquer-like characteristics. However fruit was already passed away, showing that the wine was well in decline in its life cycle. Tannins could still be felt in the mouth.