Birthday Wines

Every year I try to celebrate my birthday with a wine from the year that I was born. It is fortuitous that this was 1961 but unfortunately no one had the foresight to lay down any Claret at the time! Instead I have a small stock of Rioja and Port from the said year and this year I added  Red Burgundy from the fine 1990 vintage (just in case the other wines were a let down):

Vina Pomal 1961, Bodegas Bilbainas ***

Still retaining good colour, garnet centre, tawny-brown rim; old fashioned woody, casky aromas, leathery with some fruit underlying, recognisably Rioja in style; retaining some strawberry sweetness, firm, fully mature and quite elegant though delicate, dry and rather dusty on the finish, a good bottle (others have been more brittle and dry) which survived until the next day.  15   

Pommard, Grand Clos des Epenots 1er Cru 1990 (Domaine de Courcel) ****

Good, bright mid-deep colour; fine, seductive aromas, ripe fruit refelecting the heat of the vintage, still holding together very well, just a touch gamey; fine, firm, dry tannins and tight-knit fruit underlying, well structured, verging on austere towards the finish (I think it was ever thus) but standing up very well. 17.5  

 Quinta de Vargellas 1961

Scoring

19 - 20 An outstanding wine (*****)

17 – 18 An excellent wine in its class, highly recommended (****)

15 - 16 A good wine, with much to recommend it (***)

13 - 14 An enjoyable but simple, straightforward wine (**)

10 – 12 A very ordinary wine without faults but with no great merit (*)

8 - 10 Disagreeable (no stars)

Below 8 Faulty