What I Drank Last Night
Good Booze. Good Food. Good Company.

Petrus 2001 vs. Cheval Blanc 2001

Quality gear.

The White Club is run by Danes Rene Dehn and Malene Meisner with sponsorship by Swiss watch company Parmigiani, membership by invitation only and limited to 50. Dinners are arranged around the world featuring the world’s best wines and on Saturday I was a guest at one of these events at the Taj hotel in Cape Town (normal price: R15 000).

Six South African wines are currently included in the White Club repertoire these being MR de Compostella 2008, Vergelegen V 2007, Villafonté Series M 2009, Waterford Estate The Jem 2007, Epicurean 2006 and Columella 2009 and the flights on Saturday were as follows:

High Constantia Clos André MCC 2008

G. 2011 barrel sample
Sine Qua Non Atlantis 2003
Waterford The Jem 2007
Ornellaia 2009 (my wine of the flight)

Clos Mogador 2005
Torbreck RunRig 2003
Columella 2009 (my wine of the flight)

Vergelegen V 2007
Vilafonté Series C 2005
Pavie 2000 (my wine of the flight)

Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2007

Petrus 2001 (my wine of the flight)
Vilafonté Series M 2009
Epicurean 2006
Cheval Blanc 2001
MR de Compostella 2008

Mouton Rothschild 1996
Lafite 1995 (my wine of the flight)
Lafleur 1999
La Mission Haut Brion 1986
Latour 1991
Haut Brion 1986

Vega Sicilia Unico 1998
Penfolds Grange 1998
Margaux 1998

Insightful to see the South African wines in this sort of context. Columella and MR de Compostella more than held their own while I found the others a little off the pace for various reasons. That said, I though the Aussie stuff was pretty unappealing, both the Torbreck RunRig and the Penfolds Grange appearing super-ripe and heavily oaked…

Some strange food and wine pairings – Waterford The Jem appeared particularly green but wasn’t helped by being matched with a poached yoghurt dumpling.  Columella, meanwhile, impressed despite being served next to yellow corn soup.

Good fun comparing the likes of Petrus 2001 versus Cheval Blanc 2001 but at no point was it lost on me that I would never have been there but of the largesse of Dehn and Meisner – this is wine geekery for the super-rich.


  1. Christian says:

    It seems we were all taken for a ride: http://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/a20140511.html

  2. Good heavens… there I was thinking myself lucky on Sunday to drink Waterford Cab. Sauv. 2008 next to Pape Clement 2007 (dare I admit). Interesting that you found the Jem so green as that was exactly my thought about the Cab. although a very ‘pleasant’  green with sufficient stuffing in the right places to compensate.

  3. Lucky fish!  

  4. Kwispedoor says:

    Oh, man. I just don’t want to see stuff like this on a Monday morning. I ended up reading it with my eyes shut. Now I’m both sick and thirsty. 

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