Kent Life's resident wine columnist on a memorable 2012

PUBLISHED: 09:37 05 February 2013 | UPDATED: 22:41 20 February 2013

Kent Life's resident wine columnist on a memorable 2012

Kent Life's resident wine columnist on a memorable 2012

Tasked to choose his top five wines and finding it pretty well impossible, our Stuart McClosky instead names those wines he felt honoured to have drunk in 2012

View from a glass

Tasked to choose his top five wines and finding it pretty well impossible, our Stuart McClosky instead names those wines he felt honoured to have drunk in 2012

My top fine wines (in no particular order)

1959 Chteau Lynch Bages (Pauillac, Bordeaux)

Recently, I was lucky enough to have procured six bottles from a private collection - 1959 is a magnificent Bordeaux vintage and all six bottles looked in impeccable condition. With surgical precision I managed to remove the cork, intact, and I unlocked the Pauillac, which had lain dormant for the past half-a-century. I wondered, as I unhurriedly decanted the wine, if the cellar was its tomb; had time and oxygen taken much of the wines life away? The colour was still impressively deep; rich nose offering aromas of cedar and tobacco. The wine was still alive, thank God! The palate was showing some nice concentration, soft, charming rather than a blockbuster with sustaining tannins and acidity. It was beautifully balanced with a dry finish. Note to oneself: drink the remaining five bottles this year!

1989 Chteau Cheval Blanc (Saint Emilion, Bordeaux)

Generously served and gifted while I was visiting one of my clients in Mexico City. What a lovely wine too so elegant, charming with perfect harmony. Honestly, an absolute pleasure as one had to focus and concentrate on all the delicate, myriad of flavours. The palate was medium-bodied although the tannins from the cabernet franc were clearly evident. I feel this wine is close to, if not at, its best. Stunning!

1989 Chteau Palmer (Margaux, Bordeaux)

Again, generously served and gifted while I was visiting the same client in Mexico City. It had incredible depth of colour (as one would expect) with autumnal aromas of leaves, cedar and leather galloping out from the decanter. Six hours passed and I had my first tasting which disappointed somewhat as the tannins dominated what was obviously something very special. Patience rewarded as half the bottle was left and re-tasted the following day. A deep, sweet entry leading to a fleshy mouthfeel and the wines richness now masked the majority of the tannins. It had incredible length and is the best 89 I have ever had the pleasure to drink.

2010 Vieux Chteau Certan (Pomerol, Bordeaux)

Un-bottled at the time of tasting nonetheless, this is the greatest En-Primeur sample I have ever tasted to date and fully justifies its place here. The blend is dominated by 86 per cent merlot with both cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon adding some backbone. Truly, the concentration is extraordinary opulent, wonderfully ripe, rich fruit, sensuously exotic to the point whereby this wine leaves you actually speechless. The balance is perfect; tannins evident but not intrusive and the acidity adding some welcoming freshness. I adore the poise of the 10 Vieux Chteau Certan and I cannot wait to sample my first bottle. This is one wine which you really should treat yourself (or grandchildren) to. Utterly superb!

2008 Chteau Petrus (Pomerol, Bordeaux)

I held a very special tasting for a select and very lucky group of clients in London last year. I served (non-blind) the following chteaux all from the 2008 vintage: Lafite Rothschild, Mouton Rothschild, Margaux, Latour, Haut Brion, La Mission Haut Brion, Cheval Blanc, Petrus and dYquem. I will return later this year with a full article as this was a truly exceptional evening. Chteau Petrus steals the show for this year and deserves the final spot. In truth, I rarely get to drink this great Pomerol as most bottles exceed 1,000 therefore I have limited reference points. Understandably embryonic as this wine really needs another 10 years to knit together and consume some of the oak characteristics but you cannot help take your hat off to this wines incredible breed. 100 per cent merlot leads to a soft, fruit-driven style with tannins more akin to cashmere. The fruit is pure and I adored the wines incredibly poise. Wow what length too as the wine just went on and on and on. Sadly, my only bottle!



More from Food & Drink

Kent Life’s 2019 Pub of the Year, the Three Mariners, is living up to its top award by helping its community during these difficult times

Read more
Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The farmers’ market has scooped a prestigious award again

Read more
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

‘Kent, sir, everyone knows Kent. Apples, cherries, hops and women,’ proclaims a character in Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers. We have gathered some traditional dishes from around the county that were borne of the fruitful orchards and seas of Kent

Read more
Friday, May 1, 2020

These Kent restaurants are offering delivery and takeaway services during the lockdown – so keep supporting local businesses while enjoying delicious local food

Read more
Wednesday, April 15, 2020

A new small batch craft gin called Cantium, the ancient Roman name for Kent, truly honours its origins

Read more
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

If The Game Changers is on your self-isolation playlist, you may need to delve into the detail before making any life-changing decisions.

Read more
Monday, March 23, 2020

Recipe by kind permission of Karen Reynolds of Kincott Dairy

Read more

Under new management, The Marquis of Granby has changed its name, transformed its look and brought a fresh, exciting approach to ‘pub classics’

Read more

Focus on producers, makers and growers who have all been helped by Kent Farmers’ Market Association

Read more
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

What better way to spoil those special ladies in your life on Mothering Sunday than to prepare a delicious afternoon tea? Our award-winning food writer prepares a pretty table of delicious Kentish goodies

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Latest Competitions & Offers

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life