WSDC Event - Pauillac Dinner

What: Pauillac Dinner Event Sold Out  
When: 14 Nov 14 ,19:00 -22:30
Where: The Drapersí Hall EC2N 2DQ map
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Speaker: Mr Stuart Goldsmith

For our autumn dinner we have some exceptional claret in the splendid surroundings of the Drapers’ Hall. We are privileged as a club that previous secretaries purchased several vintages of Chateau Lafite for our reserves when they were still affordable. We had two of them at our Lafite Dinner in 2011 and tonight we will revisit the 1997. Our guest speaker is Stuart Goldsmith, a former Chairman of the Dining Club.

We kick off proceedings with a glass or two of the Wine Society’s Champagne Brut. We have given this some extra bottle age, laying it down just over a year ago. The blend is 45% chardonnay, 28% pinot noir and 27% pinot meunier and is made by Alfred Gratien. Many reviewers seem to have tasted it at breakfast using terms such as brioche, toasty, and croissants, as well as fruit and nuts.

Once we are seated for dinner, our white wine is Clos Floridene Blanc 2010 from Graves. This is fresh, elegant and fruity and is made by Denis Dubourdieu and his family. Denis is a professor of oenology and has advised Cheval Blanc and Yquem amongst others.

The theme for our red wines is Pauillac. This appellation has 18 classified growths of which three are now 1st growths. All are produced from gravelly soils which drain well, but the bases vary from sandstone to limestone giving styles ranging from decadent and fleshy to subtle and aromatic.

First is the Wine Society’s Exhibition Pauillac 2007, made by Lafite-Rothschild, blending wines sourced in the commune with declassified wines from their own properties. It has a clean nose with blackcurrant and hints of cedar and spices. Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste 2003 is made by Francois-Xavier Borie whose family acquired the property in 1978. It was classified as a 5th growth but now deserves better. The chateau is on the ‘big hill’ (Grand-Puy) overlooking the village. Using mainly cabernet sauvignon, with merlot and cabernet franc, and aged in predominantly new oak for about 18 months, this vintage has black fruit flavours and integrated tannins. Our final red is Château Lafite-Rothschild 1997. This is one of the original four Premiers Crus (1st growths) in the 1855 classification of about 60 wines, all bar one from the Médoc, which was based on reputation and prices. Lafite indicates ‘little hill’ (la hite). The Rothschilds acquired the estate in 1868. This is described as an exceptional, full-bodied wine with a lovely, silky long-lasting flavour, a rich middle palate, and a long finish.

The port is Smith Woodhouse 1994. This is balanced and mature in the opulent style of the house. The firm was founded in 1784 by a Lord Mayor of London and is now part of the Symington family stable.

We price our dinners to reflect the cost of replacing the wines we consume with wines to lay down for future events. If I had used the current cost of either Lafite 1997 or Lafite 2010, the ticket price would be north of £200. Instead I have based it on Pontet-Canet 2010 which we recently bought for our reserves. This dinner is thus a bargain and I look forward to seeing many of our members there.

- Nigel Black

Dress Code: Black tie

Guests: £145
Members: £135

Forthcoming events:
9th December 2014 – Christmas tasting and raffle at 1 Carlton House Terrace

Booking Form

Vintages available from The Wine Society:
Clos Floridène Blanc, Graves 2011

The Society's Exhibition Pauillac 2006

Smith Woodhouse 2000