I'm odd about birthdays. They can run hot or cold for me. Regardless, it's nice that people want to do cool things for you on a given day of the year. Especially when one of those things is handing you three different glasses of splendid wine and asking you what they are.
Volnay 2006 Domaine Michel Lafarge
Quite perfect brilliance with that light, bright Burgundy translucence.
Fresh strawberries, cranberries and raspberries on the nose but with dark, woody spice as well. There's savoury roast ham that comes out with a bit of time. Bit of dried herb. Cinnamon.
Bracingly dry on the front palate - gripping but not rasping and incredibly tightly knit structure that releases those brilliant red berries right in the middle. That is serious stuff with a long life ahead. The sinewy bonds between the fruit, the tannin and the peripherals coat and grip the mouth. Then, as it finishes, it lifts. Very long.
Sean Thackrey Andromeda Pinot Noir 2006
Quite a deep Pinot tint, with crimson and maroon.
Intense, exotic nose of stewed rhubarb, confit strawberries, cinnamon and vanilla pods. There's something very pleasing on a primal level about it. It makes me smile.
Quite hedonistic on the palate, with pithy confit red fruits and soft, supple, layered tannins. All of the exotic spice from the nose comes through as well, and the impression is one of a rich, beautifully rounded wine. I would say this will keep, but I'm not sure how much better it will get. I think it's made for now, and I'm happy to oblige.
Flowers Andreen-Gale Pinot Noir 2006
A little more rusty than the other two. Not by any means looking mature, but in relative terms, the oldest looking of the three. Still very pretty.
There's some lovely red fruit on the nose, but it seems a touch mute.
Not so the palate. In many senses, it is the reverse of the Lafarge - ripe red fruits arrive first, practically bursting still in their bunches. As that bright, juicy fruit fills the mouth, then comes the grip, not as firm as the Lafarge but still quite serious. Superb texture right through to the finish.
I guessed the Volnay correctly, but went against my gut instinct on the following two and thus got them mixed up. Ah well.