TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

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Paul Seah
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TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#1 Post by Paul Seah » June 28th, 2019, 12:45 am

THE "CLOS" DINNER - AKA BURGUNDIES FROM CLOS, OR "WALLED" PLOTS - Bar-a-Thym, Singapore (6/11/2016)

BUBBLES TO START (FROM A CLOS TOO)
  • 2000 Philipponnat Champagne Brut Clos des Goisses - France, Champagne
    Fourth time out with this wine, and one can now clearly see a great Champagne fully hitting its stride. The nose has really opened up over the years, fanning out of the glass this time round with rich aromas of strawberries, cream and flowers. Really nice. The palate felt very fine and clear, with a gentle sense of insistent power and quiet complexity underlying the wine's clean and nicely detailed flavours of berries and sweet cirtus pips, all this leading down into a long mineral finish. There was a nice balance and still a sense of a gentle mousse wrapping around the palate, so that the wine came across in a superbly whole and integrated mouthful. A lovely Champagne, at a beautiful place for dirnking now. (94 pts.)
WHITES
  • 1990 Domaine Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Caillerets - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru
    A lovely start to the evening - this showed even better than a couple of bottles I had a few years back. It had a lovely nose, full of mature white Burgundy aromas - all nutty and caramelly, with a nice undertone of mineral and warm spice. The palate was still marked by super high acidity that kept the wine really fresh and lively, even though the primary fruit flavours had faded a bit on the attack, leaving instead a lip-smacking mouthful of sour plums and dried fig peel even, a touch of sweet prunes, all drizzled with a bit of golden honey. These too parted a bit on the backpalate, to reveal a great muscular spine of minerally structure and juicy acidity that have the wine a lovely length and finish with a little blush of spice and a twist of nuttiness right at the end. I was a bit concerned with the seeming lack of fruit at first, but with time, some flesh began to knit together over the solid bones of the wine as well, leaving just that little kiss of succulence. A superbly balanced, charmingly mature Chassange, and one that grew and grew in the glass as well. Lovely stuff, but high-time to drink up before it really starts fading. (93 pts.)
  • 2010 Gérard Raphet Corton-Charlemagne - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
    Young, a bit shy, but this was a true Corton-Charlemagne - impressive in its scale and power, and one that should age effortlessly well. The nose was still very youthful indeed, showing a touch touch of toasty oak, along with flowery accents, a touch of honey, and rather subtle white fruit aromas. This opened into a rich and powerful palate, with more honey tones, and plenty of ripe apple and pear flavours on the attack. Very fruity and sunny, almost with a tropical lilt floating over the white fruited bass notes on the midpalate, and then some buttery brioche notes. There was a lovely balance sense of balance to this - soft and fleshy on the on attack with all that 2010 fruit, before a spine of fine acidity kicked and pulled the wine into a fine, spice infused finish. A very friendly 2010 Corton to drink I thought, but this has the structure to last for decades and decades to come. (92 pts.)
FLIGHT 1
  • 1997 Domaine Denis Mortet Clos Vougeot - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
    Rather on the traditional, maybe even rustic side, but this was very enjoyable. The nose was really nice - lots of fragrant wood spice, with drifts of cardamom amd cumin, then sweet red berries and cherries, a waft of perfumy florals, this accompanied with a more savoury, meaty undertone. Really alluring stuff. Unfortunately, I thought the palate was about a half-step behind. It just felt a bit inelegantly extracted, with woody tannins and brambly herb forming a frame for otherwise deep, attractive flavours of darker toned cherries and berries than those suggested on the nose. There was a nice sweet fleshiness to the wine, with an almost raisinend sweetness at points, but this was balanced by a nice juicy clarity towards the spice-infused finish. Lacks a bit of finesse, but packs a punch - so say my handwritten notes on the night. Not my favourite style then, with the extraction given the wine a bit of a rustic bite at points, but it sure had plenty of charm and enjoymennt factor, and went really well with pork jowl dish. Probably drinking at or near peak too. (92 pts.)
  • 2002 Alain Hudelot-Noellat Clos Vougeot - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
    On paper, this should have been firing on all cyliders. A great vintage on the cusp of maturity, from a decent plot of CdV, from a very stylish maker. Somehow though, served blind, it gave a solidly good, but far from great showing. The nose was rather tight, but attractive enough - some brambly stems, a waft of spice and meat, wisps of red fruited aromas, and then a vaguely flower lilt, a bit like wilting petals I thought. The palate felt a touch skinny for a Grand Cru, with the fine bones of its structure - in the form of well-formed tannins and decent acidity - sticking out a little through a thin, silky robe of red fruited flesh. Attractive flecks of wood spice and some black tea flavours then pulled the wine away into a rather unconvincingly mid-length end. Not a bad drink at all - quite finely made, and it had nicely opened, very translucent feel to it - but I thought it lacked the seductive appeal and that sense of weightless depth of a usual Hudelot-Noellat Grand Cru. (91 pts.)
  • 1988 Servelle-Tachot Clos Vougeot - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
    First time out with a wine from this producer, and I must say this was very enjoyable, if not quite being a complete wine - it stood up pretty well against younger bottles from better known makers. The nose was really funky at first, with lots of leafy undergrowth dominating the bouquet. This thankfully blows off a bit with time, revealing instead a nicely resolved melanage of strawberries, dried raspberries and a drfit of dried flowers. Quite an intriguing nose. THe palate was very nicely resolved too, with just the faintest remnants of firm 1988 tannins and well-integrated acidity shading mature flavours of sweet strawberries, raspberries, and then a hint of something faintly medicinal - antibiotics-like I thought. A bit strange, but not quite so much a to distract from the overall charm and enjoyment that the wine gave. The sweeter dried fruit tones came back a bit on the midpalate, before leading into a slightly harder landing at the finish, where the 1988 structure of the wine came out a touch more. A charming wine, very old-school, but enjoyable drinking well now. (91 pts.)
FLIGHT 2
  • 1996 Louis Jadot Clos de la Roche - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru
    Another wine that elicited a slight sigh of dissapointment from the group when it was unblinded. It was a good, solid showing, but one would expect a little bit more from a 20 year-old Clos de la Roche from a decent winemaker - negociant bottling notwithstanding. Like many 1996s, it had a very decent nose. This started out meaty, funky, with a quite a bit of air and some swirling needed to coax out otherwise deeply buried scents of dark cherries, this sprinkled with a liberal dash of herb and spice aromas. The palate, on the other hand, showed the not-so-good side of the 1996 vintage. It was clean, cool and fresh, but a touch subdued, so it came across as good but not exciting. There was a pleasant dark cherry and spice character to it, but it all came across very tight and subtle, even shy - especially at the finish, where there was not much showing at all, except for a flush of warm spice over a rather fine, but rather dry and tight structure. Thankfully, this went very well with our food, especially with a wild-boar dish, where the bright 1996 acidities came to the fore to cleanse the palate, and the game meat coaxed out some of the buried fruit in the wine. I think this might bloom a bit more over the next 5 years or more, but this is wine that needs plenty of time yet. Even then, one does feel that it may always remain a solidly good, but rather uninteresting CdlR. (92 pts.)
  • 1999 Domaine René Engel Clos Vougeot - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
    Pretty good, but needs plenty of time yet. I did not enjoy this wine all that much when I had it some 3 years back. I thought it was solid, but really tight, even a but rustic, and that it needed easily 8-10 years more in the bottle before it developed into anything charming. 3 years on, this bottle had grown ever-so-slightly, promising more for the future - but that somewhat distant horizon, in 2021 and beyond, still looks to hold true. It started with a very deep nose, showing dark blue fruited aromas with brighter shades of red at the fringes, and then bits of spice and herb, all this tightly-wound into a single beam of aroma that was quite hard to unpick. The palate was just as tightly wound. I thought it was wonderfully integrated and quite seamlessly balanced, but there was still a robe of teeth-coating tannins coming out through otherwise full, powerful flavours of plums and blueberries, with an undergirding of earth and herb, and a little minty touch and maybe just a hint of oaky woodiness right at the finish. There was a good clarity to it, but this was undoubtedly a big wine - very 1999 in its fullness and girth - and one that needs plenty of time yet. (92 pts.)
  • 1999 Domaine Dujac Clos de la Roche - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru
    Hmm. Good... but... Perhaps the most dissapointing of all the wines on show when unblinded. Do not get me wrong though - this was a very nice wine, but when considering the significant gap in reputation and today's pricing between this and the other wines on the night, added to how much I have enjoyed Dujac's CdlR, including another bottle of 1999 in the past.... well then. This was far from great. In fact, if I believed in the biodynamic / lunar calendar, today would have been a "root day" for sure, given how disappointingly quite a few of wines were showing. This bottle started out really funky, with lots of earthy, forest floor aromas at first, which took quite awhile to begin blowing-off. With time, it developed a very pronounced nose - sweet raisins and dried blueberries seasoned with lots of herbs and wood spices. Quite nice. The palate was very stubborn at first, barely showing much character beyond a subtle hint of dark cherries wrapped in soft tannins and decent acidity. With time, a soft red-fruited deliciousness did start to emerge, with some of the clear purity that I love about Dujac's wine. Unforunately, this certainly did not show like a great Dujac, with a certain awkward angularity sticking out once you got beyond the midpalate and into an otherwise fairly length finish. Timing or bottle variation perhaps, but this was a far cry from the polish powerhouse of a 1999 CdlR that was the last bottle of this wine I tried just a year ago. (92 pts.)
FLIGHT 3
  • 1993 Domaine Château De La Tour Clos Vougeot - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
    A tad light and simple, certainly when put next to a the 2002 vielles vignes from the same producer, but this was very enjoyable. The nose very decent, showing a drift of sour cherries patted down with nice accents of herb, earth, and a bit of coffee grounds. Clearly from a producer that did not destem much. The palate was nice too. Certainly on the light side for a Grand Cru, but it was very charmingly 1993, with lots of juicy red fruit and fresh acidity, and then a little spice at the finish, which ended with a chew of fine soft tannins and a little fresh lift. Drinking at peak now. (91 pts.)
  • 2002 Domaine Château De La Tour Clos Vougeot Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
    Second time round with this wine, and it was as consistently good as a remembered it being from a few years back. Popped and poured, when it would really have benefitted from time in the decanter. Notwithstanding that, this was by some distance the best red wine of the night for me, besting some much more fabled labels, such as a 1999 Dujac CdlR. This had a great nose - far lusher and sweeter than that of the straight 1993 Chateau de le Tour CdV just before, it tumbled out of the glass with sweet cherries and berries, woody spices, brambly stems, and lots of perfumy dried flower accents. Lovely stuff. The palate still felt really youthful, with plenty of juicy, grippy structure to it, but there was already a nicely complex feel to its full, mouthfilling flavours of dark red fruit seasoned with woody spice and brambly herb. For such a large and structure wine, it had a surprisingly open and fresh feel beyond the midpalate and into the finish, where there was a burst of cherry pips accompanied by a slight woody character. All in all, very good indeed; and with its peak still 8-10 years ahead of it, there is plenty of room to grow yet. (93 pts.)
THE ODD ONE OUT
  • 1997 Maison Leroy Bourgogne - France, Burgundy, Bourgogne
    Young, fresh and primary - this did not feel like a Bourgogne approaching its 20th year. The nose grabbed you immediately, with raspberry ripple and other sweet, almost bubblegummy red fruited aromas, all this lined with some of Leroy's herby accent. Very similar profile on the palate, maybe shading towards strawberries, and more of those herb and spice notes. There was still lots of acidity on it, which gave wine a very clean, clear feel. A tad sweet and simple overall, but still a lot to enjoy here. (89 pts.)
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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#2 Post by Dennis Borczon » June 28th, 2019, 4:13 am

very nice writeup Paul. Sad that some of the wines did not show well. Were these original purchase and storage or obtained later at auction or from a retail source? Seems like the group was a bit dulled, like an older knife. I just raised the question as a possible explanation....

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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#3 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » June 28th, 2019, 4:29 am

The dinner was in 2016?
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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#4 Post by Jason T » June 28th, 2019, 4:48 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
June 28th, 2019, 4:29 am
The dinner was in 2016?
Does stand out a bit, doesn't it?
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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#5 Post by Howard Cooper » June 28th, 2019, 4:51 am

Paul Seah wrote:
June 28th, 2019, 12:45 am

[*]2002 Alain Hudelot-Noellat Clos Vougeot - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
On paper, this should have been firing on all cyliders. A great vintage on the cusp of maturity, from a decent plot of CdV, from a very stylish maker. Somehow though, served blind, it gave a solidly good, but far from great showing. The nose was rather tight, but attractive enough - some brambly stems, a waft of spice and meat, wisps of red fruited aromas, and then a vaguely flower lilt, a bit like wilting petals I thought. The palate felt a touch skinny for a Grand Cru, with the fine bones of its structure - in the form of well-formed tannins and decent acidity - sticking out a little through a thin, silky robe of red fruited flesh. Attractive flecks of wood spice and some black tea flavours then pulled the wine away into a rather unconvincingly mid-length end. Not a bad drink at all - quite finely made, and it had nicely opened, very translucent feel to it - but I thought it lacked the seductive appeal and that sense of weightless depth of a usual Hudelot-Noellat Grand Cru. (91 pts.)
When you discuss the "seductive appeal and that sense of weightless depth of a usual Hudelot-Noellat Grand Cru", what time period are you discussing regarding a "usual Hudelot-Noellat Grand Cru"? For me, while I have liked the wines from the past from Hudelot-Noellat, the wines have improved tremendously since Charles Van Canneyt took over responsibility for the estate in 2008.
Howard

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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#6 Post by Levi Dalton » June 28th, 2019, 7:28 am

I don't think Clos de la Roche is walled in.

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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#7 Post by James Billy » June 29th, 2019, 3:54 am

Not any more, but it was once!

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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#8 Post by Levi Dalton » June 29th, 2019, 6:34 am

James Billy wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 3:54 am
Not any more, but it was once!
By this logic, I could host a Pre-phylloxera Vines Dinner of Burgundy from 2016 and the like, because at one point in history those would have been pre-phylloxera vines.

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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#9 Post by Claus Jeppesen » June 29th, 2019, 7:15 am

Levi Dalton wrote:
June 28th, 2019, 7:28 am
I don't think Clos de la Roche is walled in.
Dominique Laurent makes an Intra Muros in some vintages
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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#10 Post by William Kelley » June 29th, 2019, 7:50 am

Claus Jeppesen wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 7:15 am
Levi Dalton wrote:
June 28th, 2019, 7:28 am
I don't think Clos de la Roche is walled in.
Dominique Laurent makes an Intra Muros in some vintages
Can only think that this is intended to denote that it comes from the original Clos de la Roche lieu-dit as opposed to the other lieux-dits that are part of the Clos de la Roche grand cru.

As Levis says, there are no walls.
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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#11 Post by P@u1_M3nk3s » June 29th, 2019, 8:30 am

I never knew Raphet made a Corton-Charlemagne, Anyone else have experience with it?
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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#12 Post by William Kelley » June 29th, 2019, 9:56 am

P@u1_M3nk3s wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 8:30 am
I never knew Raphet made a Corton-Charlemagne, Anyone else have experience with it?
Typo for Rapet?
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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#13 Post by James Billy » June 29th, 2019, 7:12 pm

Levi Dalton wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 6:34 am
James Billy wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 3:54 am
Not any more, but it was once!
By this logic, I could host a Pre-phylloxera Vines Dinner of Burgundy from 2016 and the like, because at one point in history those would have been pre-phylloxera vines.
I wasn't being serious.

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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#14 Post by P@u1_M3nk3s » June 29th, 2019, 8:48 pm

William Kelley wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 9:56 am
P@u1_M3nk3s wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 8:30 am
I never knew Raphet made a Corton-Charlemagne, Anyone else have experience with it?
Typo for Rapet?
That would make sense. However, I did check wine searcher and it shows a 2005 Raphet CC for sale in London.
Cheers,
Paul

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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#15 Post by William Kelley » June 30th, 2019, 6:03 am

P@u1_M3nk3s wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 8:48 pm
William Kelley wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 9:56 am
P@u1_M3nk3s wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 8:30 am
I never knew Raphet made a Corton-Charlemagne, Anyone else have experience with it?
Typo for Rapet?
That would make sense. However, I did check wine searcher and it shows a 2005 Raphet CC for sale in London.
...which is also a typo!
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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#16 Post by Keith Levenberg » June 30th, 2019, 8:18 am

Levi Dalton wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 6:34 am
James Billy wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 3:54 am
Not any more, but it was once!
By this logic, I could host a Pre-phylloxera Vines Dinner of Burgundy from 2016 and the like, because at one point in history those would have been pre-phylloxera vines.
Not by any rules of logic that make any sense in this universe, unless you think you can actually taste the presence or absence of the wall in the glass.

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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#17 Post by Levi Dalton » June 30th, 2019, 2:16 pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:
June 30th, 2019, 8:18 am
Levi Dalton wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 6:34 am
James Billy wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 3:54 am
Not any more, but it was once!
By this logic, I could host a Pre-phylloxera Vines Dinner of Burgundy from 2016 and the like, because at one point in history those would have been pre-phylloxera vines.
Not by any rules of logic that make any sense in this universe, unless you think you can actually taste the presence or absence of the wall in the glass.
Try listening to the Ben Leroux episode. He argues from the experience of vinifying a Clos for years that the people who placed the walls where they did, did so for a reason that had to do with the taste of the wine. I would go into it with you to try to explain further and help you to understand this, but you seem smug, and I have other things to do today.

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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#18 Post by James Billy » June 30th, 2019, 3:45 pm

Wow. I always thought LD was a kind and gentle man.

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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#19 Post by Keith Levenberg » June 30th, 2019, 8:11 pm

Levi Dalton wrote:
June 30th, 2019, 2:16 pm
Keith Levenberg wrote:
June 30th, 2019, 8:18 am
Levi Dalton wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 6:34 am


By this logic, I could host a Pre-phylloxera Vines Dinner of Burgundy from 2016 and the like, because at one point in history those would have been pre-phylloxera vines.
Not by any rules of logic that make any sense in this universe, unless you think you can actually taste the presence or absence of the wall in the glass.
Try listening to the Ben Leroux episode. He argues from the experience of vinifying a Clos for years that the people who placed the walls where they did, did so for a reason that had to do with the taste of the wine. I would go into it with you to try to explain further and help you to understand this, but you seem smug, and I have other things to do today.
That would be just peachy if it were the slightest bit relevant. Of course the people who built walls did so because they thought they demarcated something meaningful. But the meaningful part is the land demarcated by the walls, not the presence or absence of the walls themselves. So a tasting based on vineyards people thought important enough to be walled is an interesting concept. Your suggestion that it's inappropriate to include a vineyard that was walled in, but isn't anymore, is therefore idiotic. Believe me, I don't feel "smug" pointing this out. I actually feel a bit sheepish having to spell out something that should be so obvious.

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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#20 Post by Brady Daniels » June 30th, 2019, 9:48 pm

Levi Dalton wrote:
June 30th, 2019, 2:16 pm
I would go into it with you to try to explain further and help you to understand this, but you seem smug, and I have other things to do today.
Wow.

This wasn’t the Levi I expected having listened to dozens of episodes of the excellent podcast. For the record, the Benjamin Leroux one was excellent. I listened to it. Then listened to it again immediately. Board members who don’t know your work might not give you a chance based on your lashing out at a long-term respected member.

Please be an ongoing, thicker-skinned contributor to this forum, Levi. All the best.
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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#21 Post by James Billy » July 1st, 2019, 1:58 am

I'm definitely giving Levis lots of second chances based on the good work he does and the great guy he comes across as.

Has his account been hacked? Is this THE Levis Dalton? If so, is he OK?

I flabbergasted!

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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#22 Post by Paul Seah » July 3rd, 2019, 7:27 pm

Wow - this thread has taken on a life of its own...

Some quick replies:

1. The theme was chosen for fun, not to pick out any stylistic qualities. Just bring anything from a plot that used to be, or still is a Clos
2. Raphet was indeed Raphet, and not a Rapet. A strange thing, because I could not find any examples of the bottling after that. Friend hand carried back from Burgundy.
3. Dinner was way back in 2016. Just found some long-lost notes recently and started to post them
4. Wines came from various sources - so no reason for the majority to be performing badly. Food was decently paired as well.
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Re: TN: The "Clos" dinner - aka Burgundies from Clos, or "walled" plots

#23 Post by P@u1_M3nk3s » July 3rd, 2019, 8:11 pm

Paul Seah wrote:
July 3rd, 2019, 7:27 pm
Wow - this thread has taken on a life of its own...

Some quick replies:

1. The theme was chosen for fun, not to pick out any stylistic qualities. Just bring anything from a plot that used to be, or still is a Clos
2. Raphet was indeed Raphet, and not a Rapet. A strange thing, because I could not find any examples of the bottling after that. Friend hand carried back from Burgundy.
3. Dinner was way back in 2016. Just found some long-lost notes recently and started to post them
4. Wines came from various sources - so no reason for the majority to be performing badly. Food was decently paired as well.
If you don’t want threads that carry on a life of their own stop writing such damn interesting notes! Thanks for the confirmation on the Raphet. The chief American importer has its office a couple of miles away; I’m now interested in seeing if it’s possible to get some. This from someone who stopped buying Côte d’Or whites with 2008 vintage. But oddities like this interest me. Thanks again Paul!
Cheers,
Paul

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