As usual, late to the game with my notes, but just for the record:
2002 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis 1er Cru La Forest. The color of this wine is a bit advanced, but there are plenty of classic aromas to like of seashells, citrus skins, sweet chalk dust, candy cigarettes, peach pit and river stones that are riding atop some troubling caramel and copper notes. On the palate, it is more obviously suffering from premature oxidation, with a tinny feel to the citrus and chalk tones at the core of the wine. The acids are sharp and the wine a bit jumbled up front and through the middle, but it somehow does manage to find more clarity on the mineral-tinged yet more lushly-fruited finish. One can sense that this has a solid core of good stuffing, but this bottle just didn’t let it shine.
1988 Domaine Bertheau Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Charmes. Wine number one is fairly faded in color, with a pink rim and a cloudy appearance. Wow, that is one earthy, old-styled bouquet! Old pounded leather, topsoil, toasted orange peel, white pepper and dried cherry aromas are real earthy and dry. As the night goes on, though, it grows more exotic, with bits of spice cake and lavendar folding in and somewhat stronger fruit coming forward in a complex but still very earth-laden package that I like. In the mouth, it is wonderfully soft-textured, with sweet red fruit up front. It narrows a bit through the middle and feels more pinched and leathery, but it emerges again on the finish with nice spicy, toasty notes and rounder red fruit. There is a nice persistence to the finish and no real tannins to interfere. It is a wine of personality and old-style charms that I find myself liking particularly well with the food. My ranking: 2
1990 Misserey Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Charmes. This wine is more pure-fruited on the nose, with perfumed cherry, strawberry and raspberry scents riding atop some smoke, dry wood and sous bois notes. On the palate, it is cool and tightly-structured. It feels a touch aloof and inward-looking—never really reaching out or providing much in the way of glimpses of complexity or depth. It does have a nice silky texture and satiny tannins, but otherwise plays it pretty safe down the middle. It is light to medium-bodied and easy to drink, but not particularly memorable beyond that. My ranking: 5
1995 Domaine Amiot-Servelle Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Charmes. I enjoyed the lush and lactic nature of this wine’s bouquet, which features aromas of cherry compote, cranberry sauce, grilled meat, ash, dirt, and mossy earth that morph and shift back and forth over time. It is cool, medium-bodied and red cherry-fruited in the mouth. Tannins and a rather forward acidity, however, combine to make the wine feel a touch compacted and squinched at this phase of the game. It seems to have good character that is being held back for the moment and can’t really give a whole lot of pleasure right now. It also coats the teeth and gums with a bit of film that makes it seem long, but really just reinforces its need for more cellar time. My ranking: 4
1999 Nicolas Potel Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Charmes. I really like the generous, sappy nose offered up by this wine, which feautures a beautiful balancing act between the notes of cedar, pencil shavings, minerals, funky undergrowth and the abundant smoked dark cherry and raspberry fruit aromas. In the mouth, it is just a young vixen of a wine. It is young but totally luxuriant and velvety-textured. The acidity is soft and rounded and the tannins well-tamed. It has a certain purity of dark red fruit and smoke in a layered, lush package that offers pure flow and enjoyment. It has a long finish and no harsh edges anywhere to be found. It is just lovely. My ranking: 1
2002 Domaine Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Charmes. Initially, this wine’s bouquet feels the youngest and perhaps most modern-styled to me, but the longer one stays with it, the more savory and earthy it becomes—eventually resulting in a real interesting melange of mixed berry fruit, mint leaf, brown stems, white pepper and toasty cedar. On the palate, it is really lively and mouth-filling—with a lot of drive and exuberance and a distinctive wake-me-up quality. The tannins are tightly-grained but definitely in play throughout the palate journey. There are some smoky, woodsy notes on the spicy finish, but otherwise it features lots of red and purple fruit flavors that are bright and fresh. Overall, I think this is enormously promising. My ranking: 3