Last night a small group of us gathered for a wonderful dinner. It was a night of fine wines with even finer people. We all commented that this was what this hobby is about. Sharing amazing experiences with wonderful people who appreciate the same things you do. These are wines we will likely never taste again and this singular moment shared is what makes the night so special…maybe it was just the wine talking.
We called ahead and had the restaurant do a simple roast chicken and a bone in ribeye for the pairing and they did a wonderful job.
As is often the case, a great white burgundy will best even the greatest of red burgs and last night proved that adage. The two white wines stole the show and the most difficult part of the evening was trying to figure out which was better: the 96 D’Auvenay Folatieres or the 97 DRC Monty. In the end I realized it was futile since they were so different and perfect in their own way in terms of producer signature and the vineyard expression.
1985 Georges Lignier et Fils Clos de la Roche- France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru (10/4/2018)
Last minute pop and pour. Good to go from the beginning. Tertiary and fully resolved with sous bois, earth, savory salted plum, and just enough sweetness left on the palate. A great drink as we waited for the 99 to come around. And as the 99 came around this got just a bit more acidic and unbalanced. Good stuff and drink up!
The D’auvenay richness was impressive but the high toned acid from the vintage and the floral Puligny character is what makes it unforgettable and so special.
It is so thrilling it literally gave me shivers when drinking it.
1997 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet- France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru (10/3/2018)
Almost the polar opposite of the 99 version tasted a month ago. This 97 was rich and honeyed with plenty of acidic lift and a tremendous oily persistent length. There was an interesting hint of almond and lightly toasted nut quality. Good right out of the gate but it did not develop much more. It held its plateau of deliciousness for the full 3 hours. In contrast the 99 was shy until 2 hours later when it became more elegant and charming.
I finally understand DRC Monty with this wine.
A wow wine.
1999 Henri Jayer Echezeaux- France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Echezeaux Grand Cru (10/3/2018)
Initially very closed and shut down. It started with a good amount of oak and tannins but none of the pretty spice and red fruit like the 88 Beaumonts a few months ago. After 3 hours in the decanter the palate really softened and developed a tremendous density and velevet texture. The nose remained unyielding. Probably has another 10-20 years to go.
2009 Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair La Romanée- France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, La Romanée Grand Cru (10/3/2018)
Classic Liger Belair style. Ample spice and red fruit on the nose with a hint of reduction. The palate was soft and velvety. A slight hint of orange rim and discernibly lighter and more advanced in color and taste than the 99 Jayer Echezeaux. This was a solid #3 tonight until the Jayer softened and opened up. We could see this improving for another 5 years but in contrast we could see the Jayer go for another 10-30 years. A great wine in perfect harmony.
Well done Fred, sounds like the perfect wine dinner. Agree, aged white burgs when they are on can tend to steal the show. The only Jayer that I’ve been privileged to drink is the 72 Jayer Echezeaux earlier this year, and it was a spectacular bottle that showed young. I can imagine that 99 will just get better and better in the coming years. A somm who has had many Jayer wines and tasted frequent with Henri in his cellar once told me that the Echezeaux was his second favorite wine in the stable after the Richebourg but ahead of the Cros P.
Excellent Fred - wines and notes. I wonder what would be left to do “Burgundy to the 10s” ! I’ve only had two d’Auvenays, that same Folatieres and one Chevalier. Stunning wines, but just ridiculous pricing and availability now. Interesting observations on the LB La Romanee: are you saying this is aging relatively fast?!? Or just that it’s already quite accessible (and excessible)?
There’s always talk that the Georges Jayer is different or the same as the Henri Jayer (you had the Georges) but I don’t know the truth. The one labeled only Henri is way more expensive-and probably the same wine.
First off, wonderful set of wines and smart food pairings!
I’m not an expert, but having posted on this subject before and having been enlightened by other board members, this is what I think I know:
Henri made the wine, but from his brother’s vine holdings in Echezeaux, which were different than his. Georges used to sell off the wine in bulk, but from 1988-2001 Henri made the wines for his brother under the Domaine Georges Jayer moniker (which you can see in fine print on your bottle.) This wine would be different than the straight Henri Jayer bottling, because it would be made from grapes in separate plots. I can’t tell you what the conventional wisdom is about which brother had the “better” vines.
You can still buy a similar wine today – Georges’ Ech vines passed onto his daughter – Claudette Dulka. Now Rouget makes the wine from her holdings, as well as a village NSG that is quite good.
I think some people look down on Rouget’s Echezeaux a bit because it’s a blend of three separate Jayer family plots of varying degrees of quality – as opposed to Henri Jayer’s primo plot.
I look forward to being corrected by those more knowledgeable than I am …