One of the older whites did make a point: how essential are fruit flavours in a wine. Ramonet's Chassagne-Montrachet Les Ruchottes 1993 was austere fairly lean stuff that I loved and thought needed yet more time. Others in the Group said it lacked fruit, but to me that wasn't the point: I love the steeliness of such wines and the nigh impenetrable slimline acidity. Two other white burgundies from Brocard and Domaine de Puligny-Montrachet from 1999 (possibly pushing the four year rule here) were sound and to my mind preferable to the bigger and more vegetal Art Series Chardonnay 1995 (Leeuwin Estate). A highly disappointing Pouilly Fume Pur Sang 1996 (Didier Dageneau) and a past it Bonnezeau 1976 from Chateau De Fesles made up the numbers.
The theme for the reds had, I think, been decided upon so that we could examine the similarities and in contrast the differences between Tempranillo and Pinot Noir. I think the evening was far from conclusive on this point even though we did manage by coincidence to have three of each. Of the Pinot Noirs I enjoyed the Gevry Chambertin Cazetieres 1992 (Armand Rousseau) and of the Tempranillos, Ygay Reserva Especial 1994 (Marquis de Murrieta). The V Pinot Noir 1998 (Valdivieso) did little to dissuade me that anywhere other than Burgundy will ever be the home of Pinot Noir and similarly the Champagne Demi-Sec (Veuve Clicquot) did little to persuade me that Demi-Sec is a style of fizz that has much merit.