08` Bollinger Gran Annee, 12` Delamotte, 01` Jarvis Chard, 3 PYCMs, 2 dessert wines incl Dolce

Our dinner group enjoyed another wondrous evening with our venue being on the outside patio of one of our member`s home. We did a pot luck dinner to pair with our CA cult wine theme of which we had 12, but first champagne and a Chardonnay and 3 white Burgs:

2008 BOLLINGER LA GRANDE ANNEE BRUT- this is the 2nd bottle I’ve opened from a recent purchase and both have been stellar with consistent notes of inviting aromas, a huge and savory taste profile, a rich and creamy mouthfeel and a long, welcomed finish that seals the deal; it’s comprised of 71% Pinot Noir, 29% Chardonnay from 18 crus, mainly Aÿ and Verzenay for the Pinot Noir, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Cramant for the Chardonnay; disgorged 10/18 with a dosage of 8 gpl; some of the notes included toasty brioche almost to a burnt state, honeyed lemon zest, orange peel, golden delicious apple and papaya; it seemed to expand in the glass and just get better and better; although it is very rich and full bodied, there’s an element of finesse that I expect to show up even more with time and take this to s super star status which it’s already close to now.

2012 DELAMOTTE BLANC de BLANC- I have enjoyed many a bottle of this from my cellar and get to visit it once again here, but this time brought by a friend who just purchased a case; it has to be from a different batch as there are hardly any comparisons; this one {and another last week} is so much more lighter in body and has a much milder taste profile; what`s really surprising is the fruit consists of what would normally go into the Salon, but they chose not to make a 2012 in favor of retaining it for future blends; the nose has nice, mild and atypical notes of honeyed lime and mint; the taste includes more of the same along with apple, lemon and pineapple guava; it’s medium bodied at best and has a much less expressive taste profile, it’s more elegant, but so much less than the bottles I have and I’m not sure why or how there could be such a disparity.

2001 JARVIS ESTATE CHARDONNAY NAPA- this wine sourced from vines in the Vaca Mountain Range was cave fermented in new Burgundy oak barrels while undergoing full ML and extended sur lie aging; for a 19 year old wine, I was surprised to find the oak element is still dominate as it’s the first hit on the nose and then in the taste and if it’s not integrated now, it probably will never be; baked apple pie best describes the flavors along with the sweetness and a bit of sprinkled on cinnamon.

2017 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY LES BELLES FILLS PERNAND-VERGELESSES- this is another treat from Pierre-Yves giving nice mineral infused citrus notes all the way through with lemon and lime most prominent; it’s ideally balanced, medium bodied and leaves a pleasant, refreshing lasting impression.

2013 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY LES ANCEGNIERES CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET 1er Cru- sourced from 85 year old vines, this beauty has everything one would desire in a white Burg; it’s like the 17` les Belles Fills before it on controlled steroids with more of everything; more pronounced minerality along with flint joins with lemon zest, white peach, apricot, pear and apple fruit while being delivered in a super creamy texture which enhances the sensory experience to the max; it’s full bodied, layered and long on the finish leaving a coat of righteous juice film on the palate.

2018 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY BOURGOGNE- this was served blind which was a good move as it’s sometimes easy for some of us to see that it’s only a Bourgogne and give it less than credible consideration; the blind format served its purpose as everyone enjoyed it and once revealed, gave it due praise for being more the just a generic Bourgogne; yes, it had mild flavors and a medium taste and body, but there’s enough nice citrus notes, feel and makeup to please; my first thought was that this would be a good and refreshing hot summer nights drink to cool off the palate.

With our palates properly prepared, we now proceeded to taste through 12 California cult Cabernets. They included 2 from Araujo, 3 Paul Hobbs, 2 Blankiet, Hourglass, Realm, Lindstrom, Maldonado and Kapcsandy. See separate notes.

Following the Cabs, we had 2 dessert wines:

2012 DOLCE LATE HARVEST NAPA- 375ml; 89% Semillon, 11% Sauvignon Blanc; honeysuckle, vanilla and caramel provide accents to the apricot and yellow peach fruit while being delivered in a creamy, thick substance.

1996 BERRINGER ETATE RESERVE NIGHTINGALE- 375 ml; 50% Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc; dark amber color; this is creme brûlée in liquid form with butterscotch and honeyed apricot and peach providing a heavy foundation.



Blake - on the '12 Delamotte, you say your friend “just purchased a case.” Any chance this bottle had recently been shipped? I know not everyone believes in travel shock, but I have found over and over that champagne is particularly effected.

Good point Sarah and I agree, bubbly is most effected by travel shock and I’ve experienced it. In this instance, the friend`s case had been received about 3 weeks prior to the first bottle being opened. Also, I’ve had at least 6 bottles from my cellar that came from the same source, rested for about 3 weeks before opening and all have been stellar and so much more rich and full bodied, it’s like night and day. I don’t recall ever experiencing a disparity like this. I’d love to get input from Delamotte.

Very curious, then. I wonder if others will chime in about it. I know there are several people on the board who love the 2012. I was considering buying some, but have not yet.

Very happy to hear about the '08 Grand Annee showing some Finesse for you, Blake :slight_smile:. Young Bollingers can be a touch hit-and-miss on Finesse, I feel… That bottle description is wonderful.

I like to humanize the wines you open sometimes and imagine their eagerness to impress.

Nick, my comment re finesse referenced an unexpected element that was a surprise and welcomed nuance. This is a super rich bubbly and has a lot going on that should greatly please those who like this style and claim a few more bc of its finesse.