Sydney Rare Wine Dinner 2013

Sydney Rare Wine Dinner 2013

Relive the night

Relive the night

It’s time once again for the original annual Rare Wine Dinner. This time i have exhausted my contacts and searched some of the great private cellars open to me to present yet another dinner of incredible wine rarities from some of the greatest names in wine history. This eclectic line up of old, great and rare wines span some of the very best vintages of the last century including 1928, 1945, 1969 and 1978.

We will start the night in true Rare Wine Dinners style with two immaculate Champagnes from the house of Veuve Clicquot and their ‘Rare’ release program tasting a stunning 1985 Rose and 1988 Brut. These wines have been specially selected as some of the finest examples of the vintage house style and held back by the house of Veuve Clicquot for their ‘Rare’ program. They are extremely rare in this country and sought after the world over. From here we move to the white wines of the evening, 4 in total and each one as unique as the other. Firstly a rare 1978 white Hermitage(Marsanne) from the great producer M Chapoutier and his Chante-Allouette. Then we move on to a 1978 Italian Frascati DOC Superiore from well known producer Cantine Conti Zandotti. Traditionally a blend of Malvasia, Trebbiano and Greco these are a classic example of Italian white wine history with wine making in this region dating back to the 5th century.

Then we move to some well known friends, a couple of Riesling. The first a 1987 Erdener Pralat Gold Kapsel Spatlese from the Mosel Saar Ruwer. Its not often you see these wines under Gold Kapsel so this presents an unusual opportunity to try Dr.F.Weins-Prüm expression of this very famous vineyard in premium or reserve format. Now it is time to sit up and take note, the second Riesling is an incredibly rare and sought after 1945 Schloss Johannisberg Rosalack Auslese this is quite simply one of the most prestigious estates in German wine history. The 1945 vintage is one of the greatest of last century however production was so small after the war that today these wines have all but disappeared, this will be a  unique opportunity to try this uber rare wine treasure.

After savouring the 1945 moment we move right along, infact 2 years along with the first of the red wines for the evening a rare 1947 Albert Bichot, Hospices de Beaune, Beaune Cuvee Estienne which will be tasted along side no other wine than that of the house of Leroy and the great vintage of 1969. Both these Burgundies and respective vintages should need no introduction. Quite simply two stunning vintages and two very well known and respected negociant/producers. This is Burgundy Heaven! Next we return to the estate of M Chapoutier with 2 of their superb red wines, the first a 1964 hermitage and the second a 1979 Cotes Du Rhone, again i must emphasize one of the most important things to remember is all of our wines are sourced from cold European cellars because provenance and condition is key. Both these wines should prove very interesting drinking.

Now we have come to that point in the night where we raise the bar high, this year so very very high. There is no greater house in all of Bordeaux than that of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, from president Jefferson of the USA to the royal family of the United Kingdom, this estate and its top wine have been considered by many as one of the best in the world for over 300yrs. 1928 was the first of the so called great twin vintages in Bordeaux. Where else will you ever again have the chance to try a 1928 Lafite with guaranteed provenance? This will again tonight be another unique and possibly once in a lifetime opportunity to try an increasinly rare vintage wine. Sitting beside this wine tonight is a wine that is certainly no slouch, the great 1964 Chateau Cheval Blanc, the wine that is known as the wine of vintage for 1964. It is widely accepted as the very best Bordeaux for 1964 another strong and very good vintage for the many houses of Bordeaux.

Mesmerised and in awe is likely where we will be about this time, as the grins grow wider on all the faces around the room I again ask for your attention as we move to another rare high light in this evenings line up of rare wines with an S A Huet Moelleux. Not just any Huet Moelleux but the Le Haut Lieu, his very best Chenin Blanc wine in the sweet Moelleux style from the well known and great vintage of 1959. Described as an exceptionally hot but magnificent vintage infact the best in the Loire Valley since 1947 and truely one of the greatest of last century, this is a wine you very rarely see. With the food now all finished and only one wine to go i will present another of the great sweet wines of Germany, this time an Edelbeerenauslese from well respected producer Schlossgut Diel. These wines need no food for they are so powerful and rich you could almost call it a meal in a glass. Last years Edelbeerenauslese was considered by many as the very best wine of the night and certainly a wine high light in my wine drinking life. Will a German Riesling do it again this year and take out ‘Wine of the night’?

Arras Restaurant
204 Clarence St
Sydney, NSW


1985 Veuve Clicquot, Rare Vintage, Rose, Champagne, France
1988 Veuve Clicquot, Rare Vintage, Brut, Champagne, France

White Hermitage/Marsanne

1978 M Chapoutier, Chante-Allouette, Hermitage, France

Frascati White Blend

1978 Cantine Conte Zandotti, Frascati DOC Superiore, Tenimento San Paolo, Italy

Spatlese Riesling

1987 Dr.F.Weins-Prüm, Erdener Pralat, Gold Kapsel, Spatlese, MSR, Germany

Auslese Riesling

1945 Furst Von Mettinich, Schloss Johannisberg, Rosalack, Auslese, Rheingau, Germany

Red Burgundy

1947 Albert Bichot, Hospices de Beaune, Beaune Cuvee Estienne, France
1969 Leroy, Avenay, AC, France


1964 M.Chapoutier, Hermitage, France
1979 M.Chapoutier, Cuvee de Bellerouche, Cotes Du Rhone, France


1928 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Premier Cru, Pauillac, France
1964 Chateau Cheval Blanc, Premier Cru, St Emillion, France

Vouvray Moeleux

1959 S A Huet, Le Haut Lieu, Vouvray Moelleux, Loire Valley, France


1969 Schlossgut Diel, Dorsheimer Goldloch, Edelbeerenauslese Cabinet, Nahe, Germany

Once again the Arras restaurant team will be designing a specially matched degustation meal to compliment the wines and assist us on our food and vinous journey. Arras no doubt will again take the Rare Wine Dinners experience to exciting new heights.