WOW! Our dinner group had an unbelievable evening with an epic WOW factor as in a Wonderful Outstanding Wines.
Seventeen of us dined at the Plow & Angel restaurant located on the luxury resort property of the San Ysidro Ranch. As usual, we were seated in the classy outdoor patio dining area.
The initial wine theme request was for top tier white Burgs, Champagnes, and Guigal La Las as well as any Rostaing and Delas for those who actually had these for comparison.
One of our members has an extensive collection of Guigal La Las and other serious wines from this producer and offered to bring numerous gems. As a result, many others jump onboard and the wine theme expanded into a massive exploration of fabulous N. Rhones with an emphasis on the Guigal La Las.
Also as usual, we had many more wines than people, in this case, 7 champagnes, 6 white Burgundy and 1 white N. Rhone, 10 red N. Rhone and 2 dessert wines= WOW as in wow! The wines:
7 champagnes with the last 2 drunk at the end:
NV BOLLINGER BRUT ROSE- pleasant bubbly with fresh toasty red raspberry and strawberry notes delivered in a frothy mousse; relatively dry, refreshing and nicely balanced; a consistently fine rose that I cherish.
NV FALLET-DART BRUT ROSE- high dosage with fresh red raspberry, red cherry and strawberry in a medium body with nice length; in good balance with bright acidity; very tasty and a perfect segue into the lighter fruit style of red Burgs/ Pinot Noir [on another night].
1996 VEUVE CLICQUOT la GRANDE DAME BRUT- nice bring unfortunately it was DOA.
NV EGLY-OURIET les VIGNES de VRIGNY BRUT 1ER CRU- 100% Pinot Meunier; minimal dosage; from the nose on, this was a big bursting bubbly; the fruit profile was mostly of stone fruit with a touch of saline; it had a huge amount of spritz and provided a mouthful of explosive flavours; it was quite a contest to the other champagnes.
NV PIERRE PETERS CUVEE de RESERVE BLANC de BLANC- magnum; nice bubbly with balanced acidity to support the apple, pear and citrus fruit accented with a dose of minerality; it held on with consistency as we went back much later on in the evening and re-tasted it with similar notes, an advantage of magnums; great bring.
NV RUPPERT-LEROY FOSSE-GRELY BRUT NATURE- as implied by the name, this was dry and as such for me I found it to be very pleasing with more pure notes of fresh citrus and light red fruit, seemingly the finer expression of both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
2006 LOUIS ROEDERER BRUT NATURE- my first exposure to this was last year while attending a champagne tasting put on by Louis Roederer in conjunction with caviar from Black River Caviar; I found it to be quite pleasant then and this was consistent; it had dry [no dosage] spicy citrus with lemon zest especially, along with fresh pear and a streak of minerals; I loved the frothy mousse and clean notes; 55% Pinot Noir, 25% Pinot Meunier, 20% Chardonnay.
6 white Burgs:
2014 MOREY-COFFINET BLANCHOTS DESSUS CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET 1ER CRU- this really hit all of the spots for me and my sensory receptors went crazy good ; it was beautifully balanced and gave up generous amounts of mineral laced citrus, apple and pear notes; the creamy texture carried all of the attributes to the back end and held on for a long finish; I actually voted it white WOTN.
2013 DOMAINE HENRI BOILLOT CLOS de la MOUCHERE PULIGNY-MONTRACHET 1ER CRU- another fabulous wine, this one having some mineral infused fresh citrus notes set upon a fine structure and possessing nice acidity; it was rich and luscious on the palate; assured to evolve over time with a bight outcome.
2010 LOUIS LATOUR CORTON CHARLEMAGNE GRAND CRU- this was an atypical bottle with more of a Chablis like character; it had a flinty nose and a streak of minerals running throughout; there was mild lemon notes in the perfume and beyond; light in weight, it had an elegance and finesse abut it; missing the expected power of this GC, I`m wondering if this as an example of a corked wine prior to the wet cardboard notes?
2010 LOUIS JADOT BATARD-MONTRACHET GRAND CRU- this wine had some mature notes of butterscotch, peach and caramel suggestive of early pre-mox; the colour was yellow gold; it had a lot of viscosity; I could only imagine how wonderful this could be when it`s in the perfect place.
2013 ETIENNE SAUZET la GARENNE PULIGNY-MONTRACHET 1ER CRU- loaded with minerals, this full bodied beauty had nice citrus flavours with a touch of flint coming in late; it had a creamy rich texture and a long finish; sooo good.
2015 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY LA COMME SANTENAY 1ER CRU- another treat from this consistently fine producer; it hits all of the right spots with an inviting nose, great mouthfeel carrying fresh citrus flavours and an extended finish; it had elegance and exuded class; loved it.
1 white Hermitage:
2013 DELAS FRERES DOMAINE des TOURETTES HERMITAGE BLANC- 100% Marsanne; this was outstanding with its honeyed citrus, mineral laden flavours delivered in a full bodied texture; ginger and spice also join the taste treat as well as some herbal and apple notes.
1 red Hermitage served alone:
1990 PAUL JABOULET LA CHAPELLE HERMITAGE- another outstanding bring and a wine I`ve treasured over many years; this was a good bottle with dark, vibrant still viable colour representative of the wine itself; there`s liquorice and spice accents to the plum, blackberry and cranberry fruit; it was full bodied and long; sooo good.
And now for the other stars of the show. First flight of 2:
1995 E. GUIGAL BRUNE et BLONDE COTE ROTIE- 2% Viognier blended in; this was the classic taste treat I`ve always known it to be with its pepper and spice accents to the plum and blackberry fruit; it had wonderful mouthfeel and the spicy fruit just kept on lingering, one of my favs of all the reds/ wines; it was better than my notes state.
1995 E. GUIGAL CHATEAU d`AMPUIS COTE ROTIE- this nicely balanced wine gave up numerous treasures including pepper and liquorice flavoured blackberry with a touch of chocolate; it`s in a great lace now and can hold up for years to come; another big time winner.
Second flight of 3 1995 La Las:
1995 E. GUIGAL LA LANDONNE COTE ROTIE- 100% Syrah, as usual; the nose had an unexpected burnt wood component, but after that it was all good and as expected; it was spicy and peppery as I like it complimenting the plum, blueberry and blackberry fruit; it had wonderful texture and a long satisfying finish; outstanding and one of the WOTN IMHO.
1995 E. GUIGAL LA MOULINE COTE ROTIE- 10% Viognier; this was a mellow version of past bottles with a degree of elegance and a lighter weight and body with mild fruitiness and an abbreviated finish.
1995 E. GUIGAL LA TURQUE COTE ROTIE- I believe this got the consensus WOTN and rightfully so; it had all of the requisite pepper and spice laden blackberry, plum and blueberry notes being delivered with a fantastic mouthfeel; it was perfectly balanced and kept unfolding with time in the glass; this was the epitome of power and finesse.
3rd flight of 4 extraordinary red N. Rhones:
2004 E. GUIGAL LA TURQUE COTE ROTIE- so easy on the palate, this was soft and silky with understated peppery cranberry and red cherry; as such it had a degree of elegance and charm which I found delightful; others might say this was somewhat closed and not fully expressive and I would not argue the point, but wish I had it in my cellar.
2005 E.GUIGAL LA MOULINE COTE ROTIE- unlike the 04` La Turque, this was big and bold with fully expressive and not yet in balance fruit, acids and flavours; it was a pubescent highly energetic wine; it had depth and complexity of red and black fruit even though its colour was a deep, dark ruby; I`m not sure decanting would have helped, but leaving the cork in tack and waiting for a few years is recommended.
2003 E. GUIGAL EX VOTO ERMITAGE- 15.5% abv. which may be about 2% low; this was a serious challenge for my palate; it exuded extreme power and little finesse; following the spicy hot nose, came more spice laden sweet blackberry and black currant aided by liquorice and dark chocolate; a strong oaky streak ran though the entire experience; it finished very hot; it was majorly concentrated and struggled to reach a certain level of balance; I presume it will reach that point and will be all that it is reputed to be; it certainly has all of the stuffings.
2011 ROSTAING LA LANDONNE COTE ROTIE- young and yet approachable, this had sweet blackberry and blueberry fruit with a hit of liquorice; it was easy on the palate and had some finesse and charm; this is not to be confused with the La Landonne from Guigal which is a very different animal.
We had 2 champagnes noted above and 2 dessert wines:
2007 KLEIN CONSTANTIA VIN de CONSTANCE- 500 ml.; 100% Muscat from South Africa; yellow gold colour; apricot nectar deluxe; a little sip will do you just fine; it`s very rich, thick and syrupy and would be great on pancakes.
2001 SCHOFFIT CLOS SAINT THEOBALD RANGEN de THANN TOKAY PINOT GRIS ALSACE- syrupy spicy pineapple and orange flavours abound in this dessert in a glass taste treat.
What else can I say other than WOW!
Please excuse typos and unintended auto-corrects