99 CVs

Last week I had to deal with 99 CVs. This could sound like a chore for filling a job, but 99 refers to a vintage, and CV to Clos Vougeots:

1999 Domaine Bertagna Clos Vougeot –
Medium ruby color, very slight bricking. The aromas are mostly red cherry with more than a touch of minerality and some oak in the background, pretty youthful but not at all primary. The palate is surprisingly young and lively, but with definitely secondary characteristics and some depth. Still, this is a medium-weight lively glass with enough structure and intensity to merit the Appellation. Rated 91.5, drink or hold up to five years.

1999 Domaine Lamarche Clos Vougeot –
Significantly darker, but also with a little more bricking. The aromas lean strongly to black fruit, mostly black cherry but with a surprising hint of blackberry. As you would expect from the bricking the aromas are more secondary and lean more towards earth and sous-bois than to minerals. The palate is significantly richer, with greater breadth as well as depth. While well balanced, this has some opulence, a more mouth-coating texture. The finish is longer and IMO this is much closer to great wine. Rated 93.5, same drinking window.

These were opened with my friends the Smithers. Bob is a California Pinot Noir fan and preferred the Bertagna. I guess that’s why I didn’t open 2 bottles of the same wine.

Dan Kravitz

Nice Dan. I have only tried one Bertagna which I found quite oaky.
Opened a 2009 Hudelot-Noellat CV over the weekend. Was good but hardly thrilling.

I like the name ‘Smithers’.

Love '99’s. Thanks for the notes Dan.



My great and good friend Bob Smithers does indeed have ancestry that orginates in ‘Perfidious Albion’. His wonderful wife, Wendy Granstrom Smithers, is of Norwegian and Greek stock, with the Greek part the most obvious.

When we would visit them in San Francisco, the Usual Order of Things was reversed. On the weekends Bob and my wife Sally would visit houses where he was working on renovations. On at least one occasion, Sally’s suggestions resulted in drastically revised architectural drawings. While they were so engaged, Wendy and I would hang out in the Farmer’s Markets, careening off to truck gardens she knew. I miss the Casaba melons!

I don’t blame Bob for his predilection for California Pinot Noir. He’s a locavore and who the hell can afford Burgundy?

Dan Kravitz

I had the '99 CV from Anne Gros over the weekend. Still full of fruit and quite youthful.