On Wednesday evening, I was invited by a client to his tasting group’s monthly wine dinner. This one was at Bobo. Bobo is located in the West Village (of Manhattan, for you foreigners). An interesting group of 11 passionate drinkers descended upon the restaurant at 7:30 pm. Unfortunately, I arrived 30 minutes late, but I did not miss too much, just the seating assignments, which left me far away from the women on the other side! They all would have just been a distraction, anyways! The theme was 1990 and 1998 Chateauneufs with a few bonuses thrown in! Most of the wines were supplied by a very nice man that we will call Ed.
The food at Bobo was excellent, we started with tuna sashimi over a warm filo dough like biscuit (bite size). Then we had scallops prepared with bacon, cauliflower, and a spicey sauce. The scallops were probably my favorite dish of the night. They were meaty but charred perfectly. We had duck breast, prepared with a spicey plum sauce, that was the perfect compliment to CDP and we finished with flank steak, served with a caramelized onion sauce. The steak was excellent, but I could have done without the sauce (a bit too sweet for my liking, so I pushed it to the side). Desserts were passed around the table and included a flan and a hazelnut chocolate torte.
First up were the two whites:
- 2004 Marc Sorrel Hermitage Blanc: This was a decent wine, an easy sipper. I expected more from the btl. It went down pretty easy, but it lacked the acid that I thought might help this age longer. Drink up!
- 2005 Ch Beaucastel CDP Blanc: This was an excellent example of this wine. Good balance of fruit and acid. I came late, so it was a touch too warm (all my fault), but nevertheless, I would sit on these for a few years.
There were four flights of red wine and then the dessert wines:
3) 1989 Domaine Pegau CDP Cuvee Laurence: A huge disappointment for me. This was an old, tired btl for me. I am not sure when it was purchased, but bad storage may have played a role, as the 1998 Laurence is still a baby.
4) 1990 Andre Brunel Les Cailloux CDP: Considering the age of this wine, this was good stuff. For some people, one of the top 3 wines of the night. The fruit was drying out, but I could drink this one again, if I had to.
5) 1990 Domaine du Clos du Caillou CDP: Wow, my first time having this wine at this age, and WOW! Clicking on all cylinders,. I would love to own some of this stuff. My second favorite wine of the night, and my biggest surprise. This was in a perfect drinking window. A great match for the tuna dish!
6) 1989 Chapoutier Hermitage La Sizeranne: On our side of the table, this was a wine of a little controversy. Go figure, it is Chapoutier. I am never that impressed with Sizeranne, and while this wine was decent to drink, I was not a huge fan. It was a bit rubbery for me. One taster commented that it got better over time. I went back to it, and did not see that.
7)1990 Domaine de Marcoux CDP: As had been discussed on multiple occasions on the Parker board, my old biz partner owned a negoc company that had purchased some land from the Marcoux family and Marcoux made the wine for him. Subsequently, I have tasted a lot of Marcoux in my brief wine career and it usually disappoints me. That being said, this was a very good btl of 1990 Marcoux CDP. I was surprised at the youthfulness it displayed. I would drink this one again, if it was always this tasty.
8) 1995 Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie Cote Blonde: This is another ringer and really unfair comparison. An aboslutely delicious wine that needs another 5-10 years to reach full potential. Loads of black pepper overwhelmed my glass. Lots to love about Cote Blonde!
9) 1998 Domaine Pegau CDP Reservee: This was an excellent wine. Lots of pepper and still a few years of aging potential left (which still leaves me scratching my head on the 1989 Laurence). My last sip (30 minutes after my first) was not as good as the rest of the glass. The wine had turned a little rubbery and definitely affected my overall feelings on the wine. Nevertheless, I think this can age for a few more years, and had it been the only wine in front of me, I would have never tasted the rubber, anyways.
10) 1998 Vieux Donjon CDP: This was definitely not a favorite of anyone’s on our end of the table I enjoyed the earthiness of the nose, but in the mouth, it suffered from being too old (almost a moldy taste, but not flawed), it would appear. This came from a well stored cellar and Mike said he has enjoyed this wine tremendously in the past. A bad btl, perhaps?
11) 1998 Ch Beaucastel CDP: My wine of the night, along with a few other people (quite a diversity of opinions from those attending, which I like to see…NO SHEEP!). This was one of the best btls of Beaucastel I have ever had, almost as impressive as the 1990 I had two years ago. It was extraordinarily delicious. I made sure to finish the btl on this one and none of it went into the dump bucket. WOW!!! WOW!!!
12) 2004 Charvin CDP: For me this suffered from being too young. Tighter than a …you fill in the blank. I like Charvin a lot, but 2004 is not the best example for me. Nevertheless, many others enjoyed it. I would like to check this one out again in 5 years.
13) 2005 Domaine de la Vieille Julienne CDP: I had high hopes for this wine, and they were dashed at first sniffy sniffy (borrowed from Gary V, with permission). This a very new world, blueberry like nose…someone mentioned Jumilla…ding ding…this was the oddball of the night for me. It appears that much manipulation has gone on here, which is unfortunate. Maybe over time, it will mellow out, but if I want blueberry spoof, I can buy $10, 92 pointers from Jay Miller and Spain.
14) 1980 Mas Amiel Millesime: My contribution. I bought a lot of this for the store a couple of years ago based upon Pierre Rovani’s review (yes I buy wine on scores). Man, I wish I bought more. This wine was off the hook. I butt heads with Pierre often (heck, he called me a moron, when I questioned Jay Miller’s 100 point scores, who’s laughing now?), but he nailed this wine. I thought this was going to be more like a sherry, but it was really more like a wine. Full bodied, rich and intense, the nose was of plums, and it was very tasty. I wish I brought two btls, as many people seemed to enjoy this one!
15) 1976 Weingut Maximinihof BA: I was looking forward to this one, but this may have been a few years over the hill. The color was an orange brown, and the acidity was gone. All that was left was a very sweet apricot like wine. Many enjoyed it, and it was pretty good. I just need a little more backbone on these wines.