Our fine wine dinner group held its annual “Millennium” dinner recently in the Cork Room of the local restaurant, bouchon. This room is a dedicated private dining room with a perfect ambience for wine related dinners with a ceiling made of wine corks and large special [empty] bottle formats scattered around and framed wine themed paintings from a local renown artist on the walls.
This evening is the highlight of a year`s worth of great dinners held every 2 weeks and everyone steps up a notch and brings even greater wines.
The restaurant compliments our special occasion with attentive service and a pre fixe menu with multiple options in addition to numerous appetizers that are served at the outset.
As usual, we prefer to do our own wine service and with 24 wines and 14 people, it requires some serious coordinating for not only when to pair and serve, but preparing each bottle at the proper serving temperature and state for that time.
The first flight of 3 champagnes:
2004 LOUIS ROEDERER CRISTAL BRUT- such a start; I`ve found the 04` to be showing pretty decently of late even though its acidity ensures it can age for a long time; this bottle had wonderful full on spiciness with toasted brioche and bread dough to support the intense and yet at the same time elegant citrus and toasted apple flavors; complex, balanced and opulent.
2003 LOUIS ROEDERER BRUT- in magnum; after Cristal, I questioned the order we poured these, but I recognize they were opened upon arrival and I got there earlier than most; as it turns out, this fine bubbly stood on its own merits and shined so brightly; I loved the crisp acidity along with medium/ full on body lending to the significant mouthfeel which carried concentrated citrus notes all the way to the back end and I had officially left the Cristal.
2000 GASTON CHIQUET BLANC de BLANC- in magnum; having an entirely different profile than the first 2, this also gave wonderful treasures to enjoy; the lemon lime fruit had a sweet, but not offensively so accent along with some honeysuckle; it had ideal weight with a medium body and finished with all coming together for a grand finish.
The second and third flights of 7 white Burgundy:
2007 PIERRE MOREY MOREY-BLANC LES COMBES SAINT AUBIN 1ER CRU- this was very good giving up a light hit of minerals along with more focused pear, apple and honeysuckle and was served up in an oily like texture which aided in the welcomed length; a very special treat and on its own, enough, but there`s a lot more.
2008 DOMAINE COMTE GEORGES de VOGUE BOURGOGNE BLANC GRAND CRU- this was an amazing bottle that immediately spoke out with class and sophistication; it had a hit of flint, straw and herbaceousness in the nose that was overwhelmed by oncoming saline influenced lemon zest; there were many smaller parts and by mid palate, all came together in perfect balance and just worked miracles; after a long pleasing finish, I marked my notes, WOTN candidate.
2004 PIERRE MOREY MOREY-BLANC CORTON-CHARLEMAGNE GRAND CRU- on the heels of a big time winner, not to be pushed to the side, this also held its own and gave and gave; I liked the mineral infused lemon dominated citrus notes that graced my palate all the way through; good mouthfeel, nice balance and bright acidity.
2004 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY BATARD-MONTRACHET GRAND CRU- Oh my gosh, another winner on top of so many already and we have a long ways to go yet; this bottle had intense, concentrated acids with a lemon accent, a bit of smoke and then more lemon with a zestiness that took it up another notch; this is a pretty serious wine with years to go.
2004 DOMAINE HENRI BOILLOT BATARD-MONTRACHET GRAND CRU- well, we get another in this lineup of fine white Burgs with this bottle providing great joy and pleasure; layers and layers unfold with progressive spicy citrus and stone fruit notes coming on and hanging around to the end; some toast and minerals show up and join the party; what a celebration!
2006 DOMAINE BOUCHARD-MONTRACHET GRAND CRU- this was creamy rich and full bodied with a bit of nuttiness suggesting an onset of premox; the color did not necessarily confirm such, but the nose and taste were fairly evident it was going down.
2009 DOMAINE MICHEL CAILLOT BATARD-MONTRACHET GRAND CRU- no mistaking Batard in the nose with its serious flinty, steely, wet stone mineralality; it had decent acidity and a carried a load of citrus notes all the way through; good texture, long finish and a palate pleaser albeit in a youthful, exuberant place.
The fourth flight of 2 Sauternes:
2001 CHATEAU `d`YQUEM SAUTERNES- 750ml; to match the foie gras course most had, these 2 wines were paired up and righteously so; 2 big consistent winners that have graced our table for many a time and now for one last time on this year; fabulous d`Yquem with honeycombed mint lime, apricot and peach which later on received a sprinkle of coconut and toasted almond; it was very concentrated and the texture was viscously thick; great balance is a hallmark here; this could be considered a meal course in itself.
2001 CHATEAU SUDUIRAUT SAUTERNES- 750 ml; this is a very serious sweetie, syrupy thick, rich and creamy with concentrated toasted brown sugared ginger apricot flavors; I forgot to bring my tongue depressors to scrap off the residual from my tongue and palate.
The fifth flight of 2:
2012 PICHLER LOIBNER OBERHAUSER SMARAGD RIESLING- although its been a long, long time since I indulged this reminded my of 7 UP; lemon-lime notes and a tinge of spritz are evident along with a touch of minerality, it finished a bit hot.
2001 DOMAINE de la MORDEREE REINE du BOIS CHATENEAUF du PAPE- magnum; 85% Grenache, 15% Syrah and Mourvedre; I got a big hit of talc laced spice, pepper, licorice, blackberry, plum and almost raisin like notes with a big hit of astringency; the lasting taste seemed more like that of an Amarone; it kept opening up and evolving, but with this lineup and the constant passing of new wines on coming, there was not time to allow for extended air exposure.
The sixth flight of 3 red Burgundy:
2002 DOMAINE DENIS MORTET CHAMBERTIN GRAND CRU- this was initially a superb spice and fruit forward wine with plentiful amounts of red cherry/ berry notes jumping out and inundating early on palate entry, but it somewhat faded out a little by mid palate and finished on the dry side with goodness still prevalent, just less so.
2009 DOMAINE COMTE GEORGES de VOGUE MUSIGNY CUVEE VILLIES VIGNES GRAND CRU- the KIND; the nose is so inviting and no one is going to pass on the gems to behold from there on; it`s so tasty with cinnamon and spice accents to the fresh and wonderful red raspberry flavors that abound; in perfect balance, this just glowed with elegance and class; I`m good if we just call it a night here, but I`m not going anywhere.
2007 DOMAINE JACQUES PRIEUR CLOS VOUGEOT GRAND CRU- this was very fruit forward and that was good since the profile included fresh red cherries that I love; it had a medium body, nice mouthfeel and good length; very good red Burg not yet in balance, but worthy of time to allow for its maturity.
The seventh flight of 3 reds:
2009 FATTORIA PETROLO GALATRONA TOSCANA- I`ve had a fair amount of this consistent winner from many vintages and found this to be similar to past experiences; made from Merlot and considered a poor man`s Masseto, it gave up big and bold flavors with an emphasis on dark fruit especially black cherry while layers upon layers are being delivered in a creamy rich texture; way young and if one is to drink it now, decanting is strongly suggested.
1999 BRUNO GIACOSA FALLETTO BAROLO- also seemingly youthful, this is delicious with talc accented black cherry/ berry; it`s tasty, easy on the palate and long.
1996 CHATEAU LAFITE ROTHSCHILD PAULLIAC- great bring, but not a good bottle as it had an immense amount of earthiness and barnyard, band-aid aromas [4-ethylphenol] that also show up in the taste with the fruit subdued.
The eighth flight of 3 BIG BAD reds:
2011 SCHRADER CELLARS CCS BECKSTOFFER TO KALON CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA- a young and spry wine with a lot of pizzazz; even at this early stage, it`s in really nice balance; it`s big, bold and muscular; high energy abounds in this majorly fruity, complex and serious wine; there`s licorice, chocolate and cedar accents coming in and black currant rides on top of the black cherry/ berry notes; this is a wine to cellar for decades.
2010 ALBAN VINEYARDS SEYMOURS VINEYARD EDNA VALLEY SYRAH- intense, reductive, youthful exuberance, big, bold and masculine all come to mind after the first nose and taste; a trip to the dentist is now mandated to remove the stains; there`s a big hit of black fruitiness with some eucalyptus, cola and spice blending in; full bodied, long and forever; another to cellar and revisit in a few decades.
2010 SINE QUA NON “STOCKHOLM SYNDROME” SANTA RITA HILLS GRENACHE- which one of these 3 is the biggest, badest boy? I`m thinking SQN before even going here, but to my surprise and very atypically, this was actually pretty easy on the palate and that is a revelation for me with this producer`s wines; yes, it had an intense fruit profile, but it was approachable; with time it mellowed out and gifted us with pleasant licorice, spice, cedar and coffee infused black and blue fruit; full bodied, long and tasty; made of 75% Grenache, 22% Syrah, 2% Roussanne and 1% Viognier.
The night cap wine:
2004 Joh. Jos. PRUM WEHLENER SONNENUHR SPATLESE- light straw yellow color; stony minerality, nice fresh, youthful citrus notes with good balance between acidity and sweetness.
Our gang got it together on this evening with everyone bringing RGS. Fortunately, I can walk home from our venue since it`s only a few blocks. I did manage to stay on the sidewalk which was thankfully quite wide. I woke up the next morning with a smile on my face and yes, a glow around my body or was that just a vapor trail?
Oh, the WOTN? The voting went like this: 7 for the Bourgogne Blanc and 6 for the Mortet Chambertin. I voted for the winner and the Musigny as #2 with the Cristal #3, all clearly class acts.
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