An aspect of the three bottles series that I particularly like is that a bit of character tends to come through in the answers. I know a few of the subjects well, and I can see them behind the words. I can also see a bit of character in the correspondence that precedes the article.
Allen Meadows is probably the most important “critic” there is when it comes to Burgundy. On a personal level he not only filled the void left by Clive Coates, he took Burgundy “criticism” to a new level and, whilst I do know a few people who know a thing or two about Burgundy, there is no one else whose published opinion – i.e. whose published notes that I can read as a reference – I would trust more than his. In terms of character I think that it clearly comes through in the answers and I am very, very, keen to add that the man is an absolute gentleman.
I am very grateful to Mr Meadows for his answers:
1) What was the first wine that got you into it?
There are two wines in a sense. The initial epiphany moment that made me realize just how wonderful wine could be was a ’61 Château Palmer drunk in 1976. But the wine that literally changed my life was a ’67 Richebourg from the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti that I experienced in 1978. It was at that moment when I knew that I had to go see for myself the land, and the people, that had created such unimaginable beauty. I journeyed there in 1979 and in some senses, I have never left.
2) What was the first wine that took you closer to your maker?
While I have been blessed to drink quite a number of wines that in their fashion nudge you to acknowledge that there’s something bigger than all of us out there somewhere, the greatest wine that I have ever drunk bar none was the legendary 1945 Romanée-Conti. I cannot imagine a more perfect wine, a perfect sphere if you will where every element is in perfect proportion with the next. It is interesting when you drink such a wine because it’s the harmony of expression that blows you away, not just one aspect such as an incredible nose or superb finishing complexity or persistence.
3) What’s the best wine you’ve had this year?
The best wine to this point in the year on the white side is probably the ’89 Corton-Charlemagne from Coche-Dury; a monumental wine. On the mature red side, I had to really think about it hard but suppose I would nominate the ’90 Richebourg from Méo-Camuzet, a brilliant wine that is drinking perfectly now. For a younger red that just knocked me out with its upside development potential then I would nominate the ’99 Clos des Ducs from the Marquis d’Angerville, which is a stunner of a wine that is going to make wonderful old bones.
Mr Meadows, thank you again. www.burghound.com