Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Burgundy Rules!

Once again I was happy to be included at an impromptu dinner with JVE and friends, held on short notice due to a visit from afar of one of our esteemed members. JVE suggested Burgundy as the theme, putting up a bottle of DRC La Tache 1993 as incentive - needless to say there were not many no shows! In any case the crew dug deep and we tasted a great assortment of top notch wines that led to the dinner concluding with a call for a trip to Burgundy ASAP - I'm in!! Thanks to all for their generosity and camaraderie and especially to JVE for hosting yet another superb evening! Here are my rough notes, quickly taken and only slightly edited:
Paul Pernot 2007 Batard Montrachet - lovely! just opening and showing some complex tones of acacia, linden and apple. Softer and plusher than expected. Lovely core of solid fruit. Still young and primary but delicious! A few bottles available at 56 Degree wine.
Lamy Pillot 1993 Le Montrachet - Wow! Lush and complex and beautiful. Mouth filling, super-long. This was great out of the gate and just got better and better as it opened - improved significantly throughout the evening. Full, lush yet with great detail and underlying acidity. Acacia, linden, nutty caramel tones with good solid fruit. Outstanding wine!
Aubert Ritchie 09. Black spice. Ripe. New world saturated. Hint of petrol. Sweet. Alchy. Spiced black cherry liqueur. Some vanilla notes. Very saturated and dense. This opened nicely with an hour or so in the glass. Drink now, better in year or two and over 3-4 years thereafter.
Williams Seylem 04 Farrington vineyard. Earth. Mint. Some maturity. Touch rustic even. More mature. Leather and dried fruits. At its peak. Might have guessed it Burgundy if tasted blind. Starkly different from Aubert.
Volnay 2007 Cuvee Blondeau Simon Bize. Hospice de Beaune. Wow. Beautiful elegant red cherry, supple, Very detailed and fine. Drinking beautifully, will improve for 3-4 at least. Silky and pure, sexy Volnay on the lithesome side. Lovely wine.
Corton Bressandes 2005 Vincent Girardin. tight. touch reductive. Closed. Mineral notes, firm. Well proportioned and solid. Tight deep solid core of red cherry fruit. Opened and relaxed with some time in the glass. Great future ahead, 5 -10+ years. vg++

Vosne Romanee 1995 Latour dried leathery, a bit past prime.
Gevrey Chambertin 2004 Claude Dugat - Fresh turned earth. (merde was uttered, with some questioning the exact type) With time deeper cherry dark fruit emerged. Still earthy, a hint of green. Needs more time, 3-5 years minimum, to shed its youthful, compact attributes and whiff of 2004 greenness and for at least that long after.
Trapet Chambertin 2008 - Coolish. Tight. A touch greenish and herbal, with darker tones underneath. Med ruby. good. Young. Still closed and angular and young. Needs time! Drink in 10-15 years. Very Good+, just a bit young and tight right now.
Charmes Chambertin 1996 Perrot Minot. Med deep ruby/purple. A bit angular and high toned at first, closed a bit on the nose and palate, highish acids. Meaty leathery, dark cherry tones - seemed a bit awkward at first, opened with time. Very good+, but needs 4-5 years more at least.
Chambertin Clos de Beze Groffier 2002. Beautiful crushed cherry, spice. Still fresh and youthful but just out of its shell. Supple, harmonious. Balanced long, complex and intriguing. Silky. Beautiful. still young and somewhat primary, lovely mouth feel, ripe tannins, long, lingering persistent finish. Great wine! As good as it is tonight is still a baby, love to revisit this in 10+ years!

La Tache DRC 1993. Dark cool spiced. Intense. Porcini mushroom, black cherry, tight, structured and firm. Dark concentrated with tart black cherry fruit core. Wound tightly and while focused and firm not showing its stuff tonight. Highish acidity, went back to it after being opened for a bit not much change. This should have been rockin' and just couldn't figure it out tonight.

I looked this up when I got home as it was so perplexing, Burghound reports the following:
"Tasting note: (As noted in Issue 4, I have experienced a fair amount of bottle variation with the '93 but both this bottle and a second bottle that I had in early May were outstanding). ("severe, closed and understated but I am convinced it will be a great La Tâche" - AdV). This too evidences a slight floral quality, and a fascinating mix of earth, leather, tea and spice notes plus an interesting green bark component. The slightly austere, tannic, wonderfully rich flavors are dense, in fact extremely dense with excellent depth and terrific complexity and a finish that seems to go on forever. Though there are now hints of secondary aromas, this remains very young, structured and remarkably intense. When you get the right bottle, the '93 can be a real stunner. Note: the inconsistency of this wine continues unabated as a bottle opened at the Domaine recently was almost aggressively vegetal and awkward. In short, when it's good it's very good but I've now had too many disappointing bottles not to be wary." Not encouraging for a wine that trade well over the $1,000 mark!!
Clair Dau Clos de Beze 1962. another "WOW!" Hazy and a hint of brick. Nose mature yet vibrant and still fresh. Incredible! Earth. Sous bois, marmite. Magnificent from first whiff to last, lovely, lingering sip, with a finish lasted til the Jersey side of the Tunnel!
Thanks again JVE and everyone for a great night!

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