Charleston Offlineorama VIII

I did not take formal notes this year. Since I was cooking a multi-course dinner for 15 on Friday night, my head needed to be in the food.

Junk Night

Wednesday night is a tradition for us and two other couples. We started with a pregame at Grand Bohemian, followed by dinner at FIG. James Beard Award winner, Chef Stanhope, recently left FIG to start his own gig, which means that James Beard Award winner, Chef Lata, is having to run FIG as well as The Ordinary.

Overall impressions—All wines were phenomenal, but the 82 Salon and the 67 Yquem were standouts for me. But I could not get enough of the 64 Masciarello. We did FIG’s chicken liver paté and Yquem for dessert.
Pregame at Grand Bohemian


Burgundy Thursday—Red Drum Gastropub, Mt Pleasant (The Wine Room)

Chef Ben did a wonderful job. He and business partner/GM/Somm/man of many hats, Charlie, are old friends, who have done many wine dinners for us.

The 95 Krug was other-worldly; the Coche was much more Coche than Puligny (but still wonderful); Roulot Perrières is my fave white on the planet and this one did not disappoint; both 76s showed well, with lots of vitality; the Roumier was ethereal. We had 2x of most bottles, which was good because the 1st bottle of 05 Vougeot was slightly corked; the 2nd bottle was marvelous.

Friday Night Italian with Chef (hack) Brunson, at our condo clubhouse

I tasted all the wines but didn’t really process notes. Generally Barolo/Barbaresco>Brunello for me, but on this night I preferred Brunello. I’m trying to gather food pics to post.

10 November 2023

Avanzi di Giovedi

Vegetarian Bruschetti Board (with a knife for sharing or settling arguments)
Fennel, Cheesy Fig, Allium, Butterbean Hummus with Basil Powder

Fennel Marmalade and Fennel Pollen

Torched Gorgonzola Dolce, Black Pepper Fig Paste

Rosemary Infused White Onion, Garlic Aioli, Black Garlic Umani Sauce, Dehydrated Garlic Chive Flower, Crispy Shallots

Baby Butterbean Hummus with Basil Oil

We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Liver
Chicken Liver Raviolo with Preserved Egg Yolk
Meat Glaze and Dehydrated Cherry Balsamic Agrodolce

I used truffle-scented eggs in the pasta dough. The filling was chicken liver mousse with a small spoonful of cherry preserves

Secondi e Conterni
Cheeky Pork, Braised Sous Vide
Itsy Bitsy, Teenie Weenie, Little Bites of Arancini
Gremolata Paint
White Truffle–Tartufo–Tanto Tartufo

Pork cheek from Heritage Foods in NY–highly recommended

They Call Me, “Tuber Salad”
(With Truffles—technically not Tubers)

Tri color fingerlings sous vide with truffle aioli and grated truffle

Formaggie e Frutta
with Extra Vecchio Balsamic and local wildflower honey

Olive Oil Carrot Cake “in a Jiffy”
That’sa Spicy Tomato Jam
Buono Benne Orange Biscotti

(the microwave cake didn’t make the plate–too late at night so we did it Sunday)

‘Cello Drops
Bagno Amaro

(Meyer Lemoncello and Blood Orangecello gels with Fernet Branca sauce)

Mason brought a treat from Abaco




Saturday Blowout—Circa 1886, The Tack Room

We have done Circa at each of the Charleston Offlineoramas. They are great to work with, they don’t charge us for the room, and Chef Marc carefully plans food to pair with the wines.








Sunday Brunch—Flannery Kali Burgers, with HRH’s lovely buns, and Old School Calif. at the harborside house of Mason_H

We needed a side dish to go with the burgers, so…

  1. I cut a hole in the box

Etc. and that’s the way you do it.

No food porn pics—I was afraid someone would push me down if I got in the way. But I did get wine porn shots. The ’69 was amazing.


Final Offlineorama (at least using this format)


Food pics from Friday night of our “Chef Hack” and the food was phenomenal!

First, we can’t forget the fresh white truffle flown in from Alba.

The dishes made with the truffles.

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Super fun event! I’ll get around to posting my notes soon!


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A few more pics from truffle dinner courtesy of Brother Chang
Bruschetta Platter
Meyer Limoncello and Blood Orangecello drops


Wow, I’ll be in Charleston for the Christmas holidays if you guys plan anything else!!

What a wonderful weekend. Great to see you again, @MChang. @Scott_Brunson, it was a pleasure to meet you and the rest of the group, and thank you for hosting and all of the planning, cat herding, and cooking. The raviolo and the fig bruschetta in particular were outstanding!

I didn’t take formal notes but will add some general impressions.

Burgundy Thursday

  • The 1995 Krug Grande Cuvee was showing really well and was the champagne of the weekend for many, but I thought the 85 Cristal Saturday eclipsed it by a mile.

  • The 2019 Dominique Lafon Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champgains never quite got off the ground. Yes, they were young, but they didn’t show much at all Thursday beyond reduction, and were a bit more open Friday.

  • The 2014 Coche-Dury Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseigneres were gorgeous on the bouquet and had a note on the palate that, given my lack of prior Coche experience, and I can only liken to being reminiscent of an LdH white. Loved it.

  • The 2007 Roulot Meursault 1er Cru Perrieres were a bit shy on the nose but had gorgeously expressive palates. Given how the last glass showed the next day, good bottles of these aren’t in danger of falling off any time soon. White of the weekend for many.

  • Les 2000 and 2005 Hudelot-Noëllat Clos de Vougeots were fun to try side by side. The first bottle of 2005 was indeed likely corked but still showed its potential. The second bottle was in perfect condition and delicious. For my palate, the 2000 was clearly the better wine for drinking right now. I’m not sure this is going to improve much, so if you have some, might want to check in on it. Wonderful wine.

  • Both bottles of 1993 Mugnier Musigny had an exuberant bouquet that jumped out of the glass like Mugniers often do. Taste-wise, however, I’m still thinking about the frozen cherries and rocks with which the 1997 Roumier Bonnes-Mares coated the palate and lingered for minutes. Spectacular, and very much open for business.

  • Both 1976s were glorious. The Bouchard Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus had the more expressive bouquet for mine, but the Domaine Leroy Auxey-Duresses had a flamboyant palate that had it in contention for my WOTN.

  • The Blinds courtesy of @MChang: The 2020 Frederic Cossard Vosne-Romanée Les Champs-Perdrix was such a fun wine to blind. Guesses ranged from Dujac to high-level cru Beaujolais due to the stem inclusion and a prickly carbonic note. The finish was a touch too natty for me. The 2019 Clos de la Commaraine absolutely stumped everyone, and was so elegant quite a few of us laughed when it was revealed to be a Pommard. Vinified by Louis-Michel Liger-Belair since I believe 2018, this is one to look out for at the price point.

  • The 1961 Château d’Yquem was tasty, but clearly outclassed by the 1986 on this night.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday impressions to come.


I was really worried the 76 Leroy was going to be bad because the cork was soaked all the way through and it came out in pieces. Charlie said he had to dig it out and strain it through a cheese cloth.

It’s just amazing how those bottles turned out.

Mask-smokin GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Holy crap! What a weekend!

And tell me that Alfert came up to bring that 2003 Pavie. Even if it isn’t true, tell me that

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OMG what a celebration!!!

Amazing wines!

Wow! Just wow!!!

I opened the Pavie in honor of my Florida brother. :crazy_face:

The Baby Jesus wines were also 1976–Four bottles of '76, all spectacular.

What wonderful looking food, and the wines seem to not have been shabby either :)! Glad the '07 Roulot behaved. My last two bottles of the Perrieres were both advanced a few years ago. Thanks for posting and the vicarious thrills.

@John_Davila it was great meeting you, and thanks for bringing the truffles!

@Riccardo_Campinoti I’m not aware of any offlines planned but will be in town for the holidays and am happy to meet up for some glasses+. Send me a DM with your plans and we can figure out a time/place if you’re interested.

Continuing with assorted general impressions…


  • The 1990 Dom Perignon was drinking really well but it was a tall order measuring up with the Krug the night before and the Cristal the night after.
  • The 1990 Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino was mentioned by almost everyone as a contender for WOTN despite most expressing more excitement for the Nebbiolo beforehand. It had one of the greatest bouquets of the weekend and was probably drinking exactly at peak. A wow wine. Probably my overall WOTN.
  • One of the 1998 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Brunate-Le Coste bottles I brought was in the conversation for WOTN and one could clearly tell the kinship with the younger mag of 2011 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Tre Tine. The other bottle of Brunate-Le Coste had more sediment than any bottle I’ve ever encountered, and didn’t show very well. Both wines, assuming sound bottles, are very drinkable now with lots of air but have long lives ahead of them.
  • The 2015 G.B. Burlotto Barolo Monvigliero was surprisingly drinkable, but being this young it was impossible for the palate to match up with the jaw-dropping bouquet. It was a treat to try this wine in its youth.
  • It was instructive tasting the three Bruno Giacosas as a semi-horizontal. I thought the lone white label, the 1997 Barolo Falletto, was clearly the best wine of the flight, and in contention with the good bottle of 1998 Rinaldi for Nebbiolo of the night. The 2000 Barbaresco Asili Riserva had more depth in the palate and finish but couldn’t compete with the 1997’s bouquet. * The 2007 Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto Riserva was solidly in third place, unsurprisingly given the vintage, but was still a treat.
  • The 1988 Gaja Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo had a green streak in the palate and slightly in the bouquet that I haven’t seen before in a Nebbiolo. It was, honestly, a pretty good Cab, but did not show any fidelity to what a Barbaresco should be, traditional or modern.
  • The 1999 Giovanni Sordo Barolo Gabutti Riserva was my first time with this producer. I only had a small taste Friday and somehow ended up with the last half of a bottle at the end of the weekend. I thought it was drinking best on Monday, actually, so I’d hold on to these for a while now.


  • I was late to the pregame so didn’t get to spend as much time on the 1978 Château Figeac or the 1982 Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Mouline as they deserved. Both bottles were likely drinking at peak.
  • The 1985 Cristal, holy hell. This was perfect yet improved the warmer it got. The last few sips at close to room temperature reaffirmed that this was likely my wine of the weekend. @John_Davila put it best on the CT forum: “The 1985 Cristal was more than just “Champagne”. It was spectacular wine that when left to warm up became a glass full of candied passion fruit with white flowers. It took me 20 minutes to finish the last two sips.”
  • The burrata course with the two Rieslings was a mind-bending pairing, and it was amazing how different the two wines were. The 2002 Nikolaihof Vonothek was lean and mean with gorgeous petrol notes, and the 1997 Nikolaihof Fass Severin Vinothek was a dump truck full of exotic stone fruit and honeyed flowers.
  • The 1998 Château La Mission Haut-Brion was a curious one. Both bottles showed flat-out atrociously when I double decanted them at 3pm. I mean, literally undrinkable and I considered bringing something else. They were improved but still just weird - I was wondering about heat damage - when they were poured, but came on like a freight train over the course of the night. My last few sips as we were finishing dessert had it drinking better than the two wines below, in my opinion. Don’t touch these for a while unless you are curious to see if they show like they did here.
  • The 1998 Château Haut-Brion had one bottle that was, in my opinion, flawed, though some others disagreed. Regardless, we short poured the good bottle which was a knockout from start to finish. It was showing pretty close to primary, so I’d let this slumber for now, but would definitely choose it over the LMHB if I had to open one of the two tomorrow.
  • The 1998 Vieux Château Certan was everything you’d hope for with that wine and that vintage, and went from strength to strength over the course of the evening with air. What a wonderful flight to have these three wines together! The VCC was the most drinkable from opening, and the spiced plums and strawberry notes unfurled on the palate with greater length the longer it was open.
  • The 2007 Chapoutier Hermitage l’Hermite was big, ripe, and not my cup of tea.
  • The 2003 Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage certainly comes with some baggage but it was surprisingly good. It’s definitely a big boy, but with 20 years on it now the sanguine and olive tapenade help tame the considerable fruit. Not a vintage for me to seek out, but happy to drink more if they all showed like these bottles.
  • The 1996 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Landonne was showing well with the oak nicely integrated if still noticeable, and was the wine of the Rhône flight for me. This was tragic, not because of anything related to Guigal, but because…
  • Both bottles of 1996 Château Rayas had enough VA to prevent us from getting more than the occasional glimpse of what could have been. Sad.
  • The Château d’Yquem flight was spectacular, in fact I gave away the majority of my dessert to just focus on the wines. The 1970 was utterly perfect and my dessert wine of the weekend, closely followed by the 1989. The 1983 was correct and expressive, but didn’t stand a chance against the other two, which had several more gears that they could and did reach. We were all fighting over the last of these bottles.

The after party:

  • The Krug Grande Cuvée 162éme was in the zone. Always a treat.
  • I wanted to bring something serious with which to blind some of the Burgundy fans who were in town, and saw from CT that the 2017 Domaine Dujac Vosne-Romanée Maconsorts was apparently open and showing really well. Naturally, in my rush to get to the pregame, I grabbed the Beaux Monts instead and noticed after pulling the cork. Whoops - glad I got both of these for a steal. Gorgeous, floral nose thanks to 6+ hours of air, with noticeable but surprisingly subtle stem influence, it was pretty enough to elicit some initial guesses of Chambolle and Volnay. It was of course a bit tight on the palate. A bit light on the Vosne spice, both nose and palate. This is going to be a lovely wine with another decade.

Sunday impressions still to come.

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Very nice, all!

Would love to go one year.

Fabulous event. And great write up! :grinning:

Last update, Sunday’s wines accompanied by Flannery burgers, hosted by Berserker @Mason_H.

  • A few folks hadn’t tried Morgen Long before so I brought a 2021 Morgen Long Eola-Emity Hills Chardonnay (100% of the fruit from Koosah Vineyard), and the host graciously opened a 2018 Walter Scott X Novo Chardonnay to try side by side. The Morgen Long poured a beautiful, shimmering white gold in the glass. A gorgeously floral bouquet with white pear and white flowers and slight matchstick gave way to a palate that was a bit tight but still showing pretty white and yellow fruit. Decant this. The Walter Scott showed the signature matchstick reduction and was everything you expect from my favorite Chardonnay in the country. However, Morgen Long took the day in my book - this would probably be a different story if the Walter Scott was a 2019.
  • The 2006 ArPePe Valtellina “Ultimi Raggi” was a fascinating wine. Nebbiolo made in an ultra-traditional manner, harvesting the grapes so late that they have started to shrivel on vine. I haven’t tasted anything quite like it.
  • We didn’t open the 2018 Benevolent Neglect Meadowbrook Farm Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, but it is one of my favorite sub-$100 California Cabs. Nice fruit, sub-14% abv.
  • The 2019 Six Cloves “Magnolia” Red Blend is a 50/50 Cab/Merlot blend from Carneros (made by Berserker @Sonoe_Hirabayashi). Stats from the website: abv 13.3%, pH 3.59 TA 6.21. Six Cloves was a BerserkerDay discovery for me this year, and while I ordered and then reordered some wine for the 2021 Pinot and 2019 Chard, the more I try it the more I think this might be the best wine. Light-to-medium bodied, I’d describe it as if Burgundy’s Domaine Bertheau made a California Bordeaux blend. If that sounds appealing to you, try this wine. If you like power, it might not be for you. I really love this wine.
  • The 2020 Salty Goats Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon was, as I understand it, a one-off. It was nice having the opportunity to try this wine, and I could see the obvious quality of the fruit. There was just so much of that fruit; it wasn’t for me.
  • The 1995 Seavey Cabernet Sauvignon was elegant and had a finish that lasted for ages.
  • The 1999 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon was drinking closer to a 2019 than a 1999.
  • The 1995 Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon was gorgeous, but clearly overshadowed by the following two which were just absolute :fire::fire::fire: delicious.
  • The 1985 Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon had resolved tannins, a minty streak, and fruit and earth that were nicely balanced.
  • The 1969 Beaulieu VIneyard “Georges de Latour” Cabernet Sauvignon was, in my opinion, utterly perfect and frankly the best Cabernet or Bordeaux blend (new world or old) I’ve ever tasted. I cannot imagine that type of wine getting better. @Scott_Brunson thank you again for bringing this and please throw in a note that does this bottle justice.

Hi Mark!

Thanks for opening up more Six Cloves.
I tasted with my new clients and must say 2019 Red is tasting wonderful now. I can’t wait to hear from others how it taste during this holiday season!

I’m off to Japan (on board as I speak) and will open up a lot of older vintage wines there including my 2017 first vintage Chardonnay which was released only in Japan & sold out in a couple of weeks. I wish I can have you taste it!

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Mama mia…what a weekend. Lots of vinous highlights.