Wife away at a girls weekend, kids ensconced in front of a Star Wars movie, six new Grassl 1855s having just arrived (shout out to Chris Freemott!), had a few guys over for dinner and some terrific (single-blinded) wines.
With truffled mushroom risotto a 2009 Rapet Corton Charlemagne and a 1996 Perrot-Minot Charmes Chambertin VV. I thought the Rapet would work with the richness of the dish, and the burg with the mushrooms. Home run on both! I have had this Rapet before, and it has been consistently delicious. This one was perhaps not as flamboyant as previous renditions, but nonetheless still making clear that we are in Grand Cru territory. A wonderful combination of power and elegance, especially considering the vintage. Tremendous length. 92
The red burg was ethereal. Seriously. One relative newbie friend at the table summed it up well: "Oh, so this is what all the fuss is about." Pretty much exactly how I felt. Surprisingly dark color. The perfume was intoxicating -- not exactly sensual, but certainly hedonistic. I got more floral, soy, orange rind and black tea. In the mouth the soft tannins just lazily linger. The wine is maybe midlife and not even close to "fully mature". So this, I thought to myself, is why people spend crazy $ on GC burg. If only this were the rule rather than the exception. 95
With grilled rib eyes a 1989 Calon Segur. I love CS but I think this was my first 89. Perfect fill, and cork. Given CS's usually glacial ageing curve, the wine was a tad more developed than I would have expected -- though, to be sure, fruit remained, but it had taken a back seat. I don't think I have ever had a more earthy wine -- in the best possible way. I usually think of CS as a "hard" wine, but the texture here was silky. Not quite sure how much time remains, but for me it was very much in the zone. 93
My Napaphile friend brought a 2003 Peju Cab Franc Reserve. My experience with this producer has been unremarkable, but this was a really interesting wine. The nose was absolutely explosive, and shouted "New World". But I could not figure out the varietal(s). It's not cab sauv. It's not merlot. It's not syrah. Cab franc, really? Hard to believe this is even related to its cousins in the Loire. Super sexy, hedonistic, very long. At the age of 17 it still seemed quite primary. One-dimensional, but a pretty tasty dimension. Especially appealing if you go for this sort of thing. 91
Finally, with pumpkin pie (another perfect pairing!), a 2001 Trimbach Gewurztraminer SGN. Another winner! Something about the spices in both pumpkin pie and gewurz. Like uber concentrated and liquefied lychee and apricot, with abundant acidity in perfect balance. I love the SGNs, and with the exception of the great ZH I think they generally represent real value. 92
I don't really know what I was thinking next -- too much wine can have that effect -- but I was somehow inspired to open a 1983 Cockburn port. A very short decant is of course a great disservice to a port of any age. Not quite in the same league as Grahams 83, which I've had a few times; nonetheless, it showed well. On the brambly side, as opposed to sweet, and a tad hot. Not surprisingly, it was better the next night. 90
Oh, the Grassl 1855 stems are slick. And functional. And beautiful.
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Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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