Eight members of our fine wine dinner group enjoyed another stellar evening, this time at Blackbird located in the Hotel Californian. Our wine theme in addition to starter wines was Right Bank Bordeaux.
2012 LOUIS ROEDERER BRUT- 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay; a member brought this to a recent dinner and I just had to get some after having already fallen in love with the 12` Rose; it`s very generous, giving nice spicy and toasty, mineral infused citrus fruit, especially lemon zest; its round and seamless and has bright acidity, its in perfect balance and exudes class and elegance as it glides across the palate all the way to the back end.
NV MARIE COURTIN RESONANCE EXTRA BRUT- 100% Pinot Noir, all from 2009; it received its name to represent the balancing energies of earth and sky, does not see any wood and has no dosage; this was quite a contrast to the Roederer; I got mint and smoky black raspberry along with some hints of stone fruit initially; later on, some pepper and spice came in to add further accents; it was rich and very smooth and I liked it even more with time.
NV ERIC RODEZ BLANC de NOIRS- 100% Ambonnay Grand Cru Pinot Noir; disgorged n April, 2016 using 75% old oak; a WineBerserker board member who I trust and highly respect stated this was his “house rose” and that was enough for me to give it a try so this was the first of a few bottles just received; it took a while for it to open up, but eventually it did and gave some pleasurable gifts which included nice red fruit, especially red cherry and a touch of strawberry; it was medium bodied at best; I’m thinking this is not the best representative of its fullest potential perhaps due in part to some travel shock so I`ll let the other bottles rest a few months before retrying.
2004 CHATEAU d`YQUEM “Y” YGREC BORDEAUX BLANC- dry Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon; we’ve had the wondrous 2000 a few times, but this was my first sampling of the 04`; lots of tropical fruit is joined by ginger, honeysuckle, tangerine and orange peel to provide a real taste treat but its the impeccable balance that really caught my attention; the creamy mouthfeel also contributes to this glorious wine which was our white WOTN. I have to admit, I voted for the Roederer.
2003 CHATEAU QUINAULT l`ENCLOS SAINT-EMILION- laced with VA and stewed fruit; dumped and glassware cleaning required.
2000 CHATEAU CLOS de SARPE SAINT-EMILION- 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon; wish I used the same glass for the previous wine; it was corked; more on the spot cleaning to do.
2008 CLOS SAINT-MARTIN ST.-EMILION- it takes its name from the St. Martin, who is the Patron Saint for wine growers, soldiers and beggars; it didn’t have to beg so much to be appreciated after the last 2 wines, but it held its own and soldered on; loved the aromatics which were laden with ripe dark fruit which translated into blackberry, blueberry and black currant; licorice and cedar provided mild accents to this full bodied, soft and easy on the palate delight.
2005 CHATEAU LARCIS-DUCASSE SAINT-EMILION- 78% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon; my initial impression was not all that good as it seemed distant and tight, but after some time, it opened up and kept on expanding and giving and ended up in a wonderful place, so much so, it was voted the red WOTN; at its best, it gave loads of fresh and ripe dark fruit with sweetened black cherry most prominent; licorice and dark chocolate enhanced the taste profile and there’s some plum, blueberry and blackberry in the background; its very complex with serious layers of depth and held on for a long finish.
2009 LE CARRE SAINT-EMILION- approximate blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc; lots of fresh youthful dark fruit in the nose following its dark, vibrant purple color; it was so tasty and almost more decadent than I expected, so I tamed it down by going for small sips and had quite a few as it was that good; spicy chocolate and cigar box notes accompany the blackberry, plum and black cherry fruit; the smooth texture gently carried all of the goodness to the back end where it hung on for extended pleasure.
2009 LA MONDOTTE SAINT-EMILION- this is really young and robust exuding tons of energy; the nose was redolent of leather, spice and coffee laden dark fruit; on the palate, I got more specifically, blackberry, black cherry and plum with a definitive sweetness; the velvety texture added to its charm, but the stiff tannins served to dry everything out past mid palate and through the finish; 15 years of time and a long decant is suggested.
Such fun. I really enjoy our smaller numbers which allows for a table conversation and we have many who have much to contribute in just about every aspect of life although the central theme is usually wine.