By: AJ McClellan

Last week I had one of my favorite people stop in for a glass of wine with his wife for their anniversary, and boy what a glass of wine it was! A five year anniversary is a very special occasion but it was made all the more special for everyone in attendance as a bottle of 1982 Cheval Blanc was plunked down on the table and the cork was popped. I have had this bottle a handful of times but it surprises me every single time with how fantastic it is!


Once the cork parted ways with the bottle I could smell the beautiful aromas of autumn with sweet black currants and dried cherries. My excitement built as the wine slid from the bottle into the glass like liquid velvet reveling a deep chestnut red moving to a ting of rust at the edges. When I finally put the glass to my nose I cherished the complex aromas for some time trying to unwind all of the intermingling nuances. I discovered subtle violet notes with dried leaves, forest floor, cedar, crushed vanilla bean, dried cherries, blackberry extract, and pipe tobacco playing in the background with shaved graphite. The wine was no less complex on the palate showing an intricate puzzle of earth, fruit, minerality and spice. The real fun was the texture of the wine, like a silk clad dancer playing across the palate teasing all the senses and tantalizing the taste buds. I savored the finish for a full two minutes before taking the next sip letting the perfect balance linger until I couldn’t stand it… Needless to say, I am a big fan of this wine!

As is the Graileys way Simon pulled another favorite wine of mine from his secret bag of goodies – a 1993 Colgin Herb Lamb! As I have said time and time again the Herb Lamb wines from Colgin are some of my all time favorite bottles. The 93 is no exception to the rule showing bright blueberry and raw tobacco on the note. The palate was sweet and full with notes of cooking spice and ripe plums seasoned with a hint of fresh seasonal flowers. It was a tight race between the two gorgeous wines but in the end we all agreed that the Cheval Blanc was indeed the more stunning of the two but just by a hair. All in all what a great night! Happy anniversary my friend!