An actual live, in person wine tasting (with 96 Bachelet Charmes)

After numerous Zoom tastings, four of us who were starved for actual in person human contact got together for an in-person tasting on my front patio. We were quite covid safe, to the point of pouring our own bottle for each of the other participants. It was a pleasure to actually see other friends in the flesh without some weird virtual background, and have a conversation, while enjoying some fine wines. Wines were as follows:

1996 Domaine Bachelet Charmes-Chambertin–might as well start with the WOTN. This is a monumental wine I would think entering it’s peak years. It is big but perfectly balanced. Pure, aristocratic, deep dark cherry, great palate weight and length, and, yes, plenty of acid lift. Just a great pleasure, and again a wine that makes one wonder why so many folks are down on 96’s. This was brought by another guest–wish I had known to buy a bunch way back when.

2017 Michel Autran ‘Les Enfers Tranquilles’–Haunting ripe, yet high acid apple, slight ginger. Fruity yet dry wine with great minerality. A great find in Vouvray that i had been unaware of.

2014 PYCM St Aubin 1er cru ‘En Remilly’–Nice structure with a little more fat and richness than expected. Quite a bit of sulfur/char/creosote character, to the point where I found it overbearing. A day later this had improved, but for me, even though I like this profile to a certain extent, it was too much for me.

1998 Lafarge Volnay Clos des Chenes–There is a lot there in this wine, but it is nearly totally masked by a heavy reductive rubber tire thing. the wine was double decanted 2 hours ahead. It improved slightly through the evening, but I felt it was never going to recover. Interestingly, a day later, the remainder had improved dramatically with only a slight bit of residual reduction, and the underlying wine was able to come forth. I had had another bottle of this wine 4 or so years ago and it was beautiful.

1998 Beaucastel–slightly brownish light red wine, notes of sandalwood and on the palate maple sugar. This wine unfortunately has died and gone to old red wine heaven.