I was able to get to Chicago this past weekend for Mike’s bachelor party - meet up with a bunch of fun people - and eat/drink a lot… I was there for 25 total hours and not a one of them was boring :O). SCHWA was fun and worth the trip if anyone wants to dine there! We got through about 1/3 to 1/2 of the meal when the chef ran out of much needed ingredients and shut down the kitchen - talk about a commitment to only the best experience . We didn’t go hungry and ended up filling the restaurant with only the best wine folk - the kitchen and staff loved the drinks - all is good in the world (we were not charged for dinner…). A late night trip to the infamous Weiner Circle for a very good hot dog = yummy. Below is a list of the wines at SCHWA - some will need to fill in if you can! It was GREAT to meet Nick Gangas in person - finally!!
1982 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon: Fabulous is what I have written down first. Lovely brioche, lively bubbles, salted nuts. Broad profile here - wanted more acidity - still a great drinking champs. 93pts.
1975 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon: In the top two of the night for me and I generally have not found older Dom to be my favorite. Full of life and vivacity. Pure and mineral driven champs - lovely. 98pts.
1975 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon Rosé: Huge wine is what I have written down. Dark pink color - flashes of creamy cherry and black strawberry. Broad in the mouth - a beefy rose champs with lots of life. 96pts.
1992 Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste. Hune: Wow - floral and aromatic is what I have written down - touches of petrol - long in the mouth - savory. What a pleasure to taste this! 97pts.
2007 Weingut Keller Riesling G-Max: I was a wee bit disappointed in this one - still super good just not up to the recent '09 version IMHO…? An intense experience with plenty of personality here just seemed to lack a bit of what the Hune and the upcoming Unendlich had. 94+pts.
2010 F.X. Pichler Riesling Smaragd Unendlich: Young and stacked is what I have written down first. Fresh acidity, flowers, fresh pear, minerals - long in the mouth and super savory. This will be better with some age on it. 97+pts.
2000 François Raveneau Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos: I loved this one - broad saline laced pear, salted nuts, smoke, and super long in the mouth. I could have sipped on this all night. 97pts.
2000 Domaine Leflaive Bâtard-Montrachet: The second bottle of this since last weekend - consistent notes here. Lovely with hints of flint and fresh orchard fruits, chalk, honeysuckle - broad and pure. 95pts.
2000 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet: Stacked wine - tasted right after the Batard. Chalky minerals through and through - lovely burst of crunch orchard fruits - coats the mouth. 96+pts.
1994 Domaine Ramonet Bâtard-Montrachet: Chris pulled this out - was wonderful to try… Cold orchard fruits - floral - lacked a bit in the mouth. Not bad just wanted more minerality. 92pts.
2002 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet: A step up from the wonderful '00 Chevalier if you can believe it - many I talked to though this to me the white wine of the night for them. There’s a perception of 1-2 more layers that the '00 had - lovely and giving. 97+pts.
1988 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques: My only bottle of this one - drink up if you have any. Supremely earth driven wine - smoke, savory mushroom, black cherry, hints of smoke/heme - is what I have written down. 95pts.
1991 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques: Super showing for this one - hands down winner when comparing to the '88. Lovely bright cherry fruit - savory minerality - flashes of tart black cherry - smoke – is what I have written down. 97pts.
1988 Domaine Méo-Camuzet Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Brulees: Shame with regards to this one - apparently an off bottle…
1999 Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses: Super flashy and young wine - lovely mix of savory fruit and balanced acidity - super Chambolle for the future - don’t touch for 5+ years. 95+pts.
1998 Emmanuel Rouget Echezeaux: Another great '98 red burg is what I wrote down. Savory fruit here - flashes of spice - medium+ finish - not bad. 94+pts.
1983 Joseph Drouhin Musigny: Slightly oxidized from what I could tell - darn!
1970 Bodegas Vega-Sicilia Ribera del Duero Único: What can I say - right up there with the very best from the night. I just love this Unico and could drink this wine all night long… Balanced elegance defined - pure and layered - my type of wine. 97pts.
1988 Domaine G. Roumier / Christophe Roumier Bonnes Mares: A good showing here - wanted more after I had this poured and got my first impressions titrated. Earthy wine with lovely flashes of blackberry and bright cherry fruit. Seemed to lack something in the middle is what I have written down… Not bad - just not earth shattering. 94pts.
1989 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage: I’m just loved this '89 from memory - much like the '89 La Chapelle. Balanced palate pressence - long savory notes of heme, blackberry, with touches of smoke and flowers. Lovely - 96pts.
1989 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve: The best showing of this one I’ve had - many loved it from what I could remember people were saying :O). Elegant and powerful - savory tannins – is what I have written down. “This would have gone great with a steak” is also what I have written down - maybe this was because the restaurant just shut down dinner :oP??? 98pts.
25-40 year old AfroHead Rum, Trinidad, bottled 2011 Harbour Island, Bahamas: Yep - we did it :O). Had this with Weiner Circle hot dogs while Mike was being called Harry Potter in line - haaaaaaa. A great way to cap the evening. I think I accidently paid for 30 people to get hot dogs - not sure…
Wines that I missed:
1988 Henriot Cuvee des Enchanteleurs Brut
2002 Dujac Echezeaux
2002 Dujac Clos del la Roche
CHEERS and thanks for reading