TN: poor Palmer, sweet CdP, and delicious Napa chard

Saturday night we had some dear friends over for dinner. Betsy made a
roast capon with lemon, roasted Brussels sprouts, and a salad. Jim
prefers red and Dana prefers white, so we served both:
2003 Pierre Usseglio Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Ripe and powerful., kirsch and framboise with an overlay of herbs and
pepper. Big ripe modern CdP- impressive at first, but the sweetness of
the (over?)ripe fruit made it less attractive to me the more I drank. A
1975 Ch. Palmer (Margaux)
This is a wine I've liked a lot in the past, but when I saw it for a
good price at a Westchester store the owner warned me that he had some
bad bottles from the case (though it was an OWC that his usually
dependable source had owned since release). He said he would credit if
it disappointed. So low expectations. On first opening wine seemed
dead- browning color, stinky nose, acidic, thin cooked fruit. I tried
the slow-oxygenization method for several hours, and it did help some-
the fruit filled out a bit, and the stink mostly blew off. But the
fruit maintained that cooked/pruney edge, and it remained acidic. I'll
call for my credit tomorrow.
1999 Ch. Montelena Chardonnay (Napa)
I was initially paying more attention to the reds, but this was my
favorite of the evening. Fresh crisp pear fruit with a hint of Meyer
lemon, good acidity and a nice sense of heft. Not much in the way of
oak, just pure clean fruit. After some time and as it warmed slightly
the fruit tasted riper and sweeter, and a light nuttiness appeared on
the finish. Not for the buttery crowd, but one of the nicest most
food-friendly (since the capon was roasted with lemons it was a divine
match) California Chardonnay (FOR MY TASTES!) I've had. A-
Good times with good friends.
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't
drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no
promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of
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