Our wine dinner group usually holds it biggest event of the year, called the Millennium dinner, in December, but the local fires and related horrible issues led to deferring this until January.
Sixteen of us enjoyed a fabulous dinner in the Cork Room of the restaurant bouchon. This room is dedicated to featuring wine events and has been the perfect venue for many of our Millennium dinners.
Everyone steps up a notch from an already unbelievable high level of wines we share biweekly thoughout the year. Here`s what this one had:
2003 KRUG VINTAGE BRUT- ID# 214029; although 03` was a hot vintage, Krug declared this vintage naming it “Vivacité Solaire” (Vivacious Radiance) as they were surprised to find really good fruit with freshness, balance, expressiveness, vivacity and finesse; I acquired 3 bottles with a little trepidation although I have such great respect for the house and trusted this had to be worth the purchase and I was not disappointed with this first bottle; following its gold yellow colour came fresh apple and citrus fruit joined by slightly toasted brioche, mild hints of caramel and almonds; it certainly had finesse and charm and was on the more lean side of vintage Krug; the acidity was also on the lighter side; 46% Pinot Noir, 29% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Meunier.
MV KRUG GRAND CUVEE 162eme EDITION BRUT- ID# 414082I; I just had to throw this in to compliment the 03` and I was also curious to see where this edition is not having had it previously; glad I did as it stood head and shoulders above the 03` with lots more of everything; it was full bodied and full of rich and luscious flavours and yet had that MV Krug grace and charm; with bright acidity, it had generous amounts of toasted brioche, stone fruit and citrus with ginger and spice accents, all in perfect balance; received its cork in the winter of 2014, made from a blend of 142 wines representing 11 different years with 1990 the oldest and 2006 the youngest.
2004 DOM PERIGNON “SPECIAL CUVEE” BRUT- According to the one who brought it, this bottle was a special release; the neck foil was silver, not the traditional black for regular Doms; the label was not helpful in identifying what it was nor was any research I made; I`m pretty sure it was not a part of the extended Plentitude series as `I`ve seen it noted on the label and shown as P2 [P3 requires at least 25 years of age]; nonetheless, this was very elegant and light in weight and flavours with mild acidity; citrus especially lemon and grapefruit notes along with a mild spicy component highlighted the taste profile; in time, layers unfolded and additional nuances were revealed; overall it was enjoyable, interesting and intriguing.
NV BILLECART-SALMON BRUT ROSE MAGNUM- this consistently lovely rose champagne worked perfectly for the transition into the next lineup of wines; it was redolent of spicy fresh strawberry, red raspberry and red cherry fruit served up in a medium body along with a sustained long fruity finish.
We now moved into 1er Cru and Grand Cru white Burgundy heaven with numerous offerings from the tribe being passed around the table as singles, pairs and flights of like and kind:
2007 DOMAINE des COMTES LAFON CLOS de la BARRE MEURSAULT- one of my fav bottlings over many years from this producer, this bottle shined as bright as many before it; spicy, mineral infused lemon, lime, pear and white peach was carried in a distinct texture all the way to the back end for maximum tactile and taste sensory pleasure.
2010 LOUIS JADOT MONTRACHET GRAND CRU- minerality dominated this wine from the nose through the tail after an initial sulphur blow off; flint and smoke gave an assist to the nice lemon zest, pear and apple notes, but the minerals persisted and almost overwhelmed my feeble palate.
2006 LOUIS JADOT MONTRACHET GRAND CRU- fortunately, the minerals in this wine were much more integrated and in balance to support the mild toasty pear, apple and citrus notes which were enhanced with a hit of chalk, flint and steel.
2014 JEAN-NOEL GAGNARD BLANCHOTS DESSUS CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET 1ER CRU- as a friend stated, this vineyard is about 8 feet away from Montrachet and the quality is close to its big brother; this had a lot of goodness going for it with nice acidity, liquorice, anise and lemon, citrus flavours abounding; it had a so pleasing viscous texture that served to lengthen the satisfying finish.
2013 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY LES CHENEVOTTES CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET 1ER CRU- the nose was very skunky; minerals,
steel and flint dominated the citrus, mostly lemon flavours; the notes were pretty blatant and with time, seemed to mellow out just a bit.
2013 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY EN REMILLY CUVEE NICHOLAS et MATHIS ST. AUBIN 1ER CRU- creamy lemon lime carried in a creamy texture placated the palate and all sensory receptors graciously; this was nicely balanced, full bodied and has significant acidity to allow for this to age well for a long time and yes, it had a lot of minerals, flint and steel.
2013 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY MEURSAULT-CHARMES 1ER CRU- this had spicy, mineral laced citrus with orange peel, lemon and lime being most prevalent; it`s easy on the palate with a medium weighted body, has a touch of saline coming in late and finished nicely with all of its essences finishing on an uptick.
2014 DOMAINE FRANCOIS RAVENEAU VALMUR CHABLIS GRAND CRU- from one of Chablis`s finest; yellow gold colour; this winner had it all with rich, concentrated flavours including honey dew, lemon, orange and pear fruit with the minerality in the background; it is full bodied, long and suggestive of the thought “what will this be like upon maturity?”
2014 DOMAINE MOREY-COFFINET MEURSAULT-PERRIERES 1ER CRU- splendid wine here providing a taste treat and exhibiting character and charm; again, I got nicely integrated minerals supporting the pear, apple and lemon notes in a medium weighted body; loved the mouthfeel as well.
2011 CHATEAU RIEUSSEC SAUTERNES- 750 ml; this came in to the mix to pair with the foie gras course some ordered and obviously, it fit well; I got honeyed, ginger, almond pear, pineapple and papaya fruit served up in a creamy texture; 95% Semillon, 2% Sauvignon Blanc and 3% Muscadelle.
We now moved into the 1er Cru and Grand Cru red Burgundy with great expectations and a glowing aura already surrounding each of us:
2009 DOMAINE DUJAC CHARMES-CHAMBERTIN GRAND CRU- great wine here; the strong invitation issued by the aromatics were right on as this had a lot going on; it had luscious ripe fruit, wonderful mouthfeel, complexity and depth, balance and length; is there anything else we need for total pleasure in a wine?
2001 DOMAINE DUJAC CHARMES-CHAMBERTIN- badly oxidized.
2011 FREDERIC ESMONIN RUCHOTTES-CHAMBERTIN GRAND CRU- another big time winner; this had wondrous spicy red and black fruit served up in a velvety texture; it was full bodied, but had so much finesse; layers upon layers kept unfolding and the wine went from fantastic to stellar. I understood the wine was purchased for around $100 and if so, this is a GREAT QPR!.
2008 DOMAINE les LAMBRAYS CLOS du LAMBRAYS GRAND CRU- with some fabulous Burgs ahead of this, I was about to say it can’t get any better than this and it just did from one of my fav producers of yesteryear; spicy red raspberry gives way later on to black cherry in a nice transitional way; it was soft and easy on the palate and had a noticeable and easily tolerable tannic /steminess that I actually loved; the wine expended on the palate within a few minutes and held on for a long finish.
2010 DOMAINE de la ROMANEE CONTI ECHEZEAUX GRAND CRU- OK, so I`m in red Burg heaven already and this come next; I`m salivating and judiciously pouring a small taste knowing that I will sip ever so slightly to the last drop; the nose suggested an aura of elegance which is what followed as the taste profile had fresh rose petals, red strawberry, raspberry and red cherry with some dark fruit arriving by mid palate; spice and even a hint of pepper is just evident as well; the silky texture was the perfect medium to carry all of the treasures to the back end; even in its infancy, this is outstanding. Subjective? Probably. Objective? I tried just a little to be.
Moving on to other delights:
1985 TENUTA SAN GUIDO SASSICAIA BOLGHERI- 85 % Cabernet Sauvignon 15 % Cabernet Franc; about 60% Yugoslavian oak casks and 40% Tronçais casks were used for the ageing, with a smaller percentage of Allier; 65% of the wood was new while the remaining 35% had been used once or twice before; the wine remained in casks for 22 months because of its elevated polyphenolic content, although new wood was also employed; the nose was redolent of mint, eucalyptus, liquorice and blue and black fruit notes which continued on and was joined by distinctive plum, blueberry and black currant; it had a soft, silky texture, a long completely satisfying finish and a smile producing after effect; this was a good as any Sassicais I`ve had an even better than other great 85`s.
1998 LA RIOJA ALTA GRAN RESERVA 904 RIOJA MAGNUM- 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano aged in American cask for 4 years; this was delicious with mint, liquorice, clove, tobacco and wood spice accents to the black currant, plum and raison fruit; full bodied, deeply complex and great feel.
1998 CHATEAU de la NEGLEY CLOS des TRUFFIERS COTEAUX de LANGUEDOC MAGNUM- 80% Syrah, 20% Grenache; the serious dark, inky colour is only the tip of the iceberg with this intense, heavily extracted, full bodied wine; youthful exuberance is contained in this large bottle format as it is still evolving toward maturity requiring another decade or 3; the robust sweet oaky black fruit expands and envelopes throughout; I`m thinking this is a new world wine from an old world wine region.
2006 JAFFURS UPSLOPE SYRAH- 15.8% abv; the pinnacle of this winery`s fabulous line of Syrah is captured in this bottling which is sourced from the best of their best vineyard designates; with many years to go before hitting its apex, this showed beautifully on this night; smoke, pepper, spice and violets inundate the blueberry and blackberry fruit; it is full bodied, layered and long, thankfully.
2012 SINE QUA NON STOCK [CENTRAL COAST SYRAH BLEND]- 15.3% abv; 84% Syrah, 7% Grenache, 6% Petit Sirah, 2% Viognier 1% and Mourvedre; 32% whole clusters; 21 months in French oak, 52% new; vineyard sources are 47% Eleven Confessions, 27% Cumulus, 17% Third Twin and 9% White Hawk; I heard “wicked” used to describe the colour and have to use it here as that was so true; this big boy has super ripe dark fruit with lots of pepper and spice accents; actually, it might better be described as pepper and spice with accents of dark fruit; it seemed hot all the way through even in the nose and that led me to check the label for the abv.; it`s understated by a point or 3; in a word, this wine is BIG.
After doing an extensive mouthwash, I moved on:
1986 CHATEAU CLERC-MILON PAUILLAC- I have a fond place in my heart for this chateau as I`ve found this wine to hit my palate in ways that have been reserved for Latour, Lafite and Mouton; it was the 85` that really made an impression over the 82` and other great vintages; it`s been about 20 years since last visiting the 86`, so it was a treat to re-explore it with more maturity; it gave what I had hoped with delicious mint chocolate and cedar laced black currant, plum and blackberry fruit that seemed vibrantly youthful; even the colour was unadulterated, being a dark purple.
2008 DAL FORNO ROMANO AMARONE della VALPOLICELLA- 17% abv; 60% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 10% Oseleta, 10% Croatina; OMG, this is so serious and forward with tons of energy and pizzaz; it`s loaded with concentrated dark chocolate accents to the blueberry,, black currant and blackberry; one can expand their life expectancy to re-visit this when it reaches maturity.
We wound this grand evening up with 2 dessert wines:
1985 AUSTIN CELLARS BOTRYTIS SAUVIGNON BLANC- 375 ml; from a producer with an interesting history that I will not get into, this brought back memories from the 80s when Tony Austin was making wine in Santa Barbara County; this in a nut shell was red cherry nectar.
2001 CHATEAU `d`YQUEM SAUTERNES- 750 ml; 80% Semillon, 20% Sauvignon Blanc; our group has been blessed to drink d`Yquem regularly throughout the years as many have bought and stored this for eons; we`ve had this vintage numerous times and all have been spectacular including this one; it had a light yellow gold hue and so inviting aromatics of floral and tropical notes along with a suggestion of some honeyed stone fruit; true to the nose, the taste profile is loaded and layered with pleasurable vanilla and honeyed pineapple, lemon zest, peach and apricot; a hallmark is its bright acidity and creamy rich full bodied texture. Wow!
Another fantabulous Millennium dinner and the good part is we get to do it again THIS year assuming no local catastrophes delay the inevitable. We shall carry on as our group holds up to the challenge that “someone`s got to do it”.