Chicago this past Saturday!

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 [wow.gif] . 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 grouphug

Gotta love Weiner Circle - LOL! Jack McBrayer & Triumph Visit Chicago's Wiener's Circle | CONAN on TBS - YouTube

My 18 year old son went there this summer with friends…he was too intimidated to retort…and hoped they didn’t pick him out to bust his chops.

Sounds like a good group of trophies. Rouget, I know, did quite well in 1998. (I’m beginning to think that with a full 20 yeears, this vintage might turn out very nicely; had a Rion VR Beaumonts this weekend that was super and very young.) It was that '91 CSJ which convinced me that the Rousseau CSJ can be overoaked and using too much on that wine, in general, is very risky. Nice, flashy wine, but this was the first vintage where I became convinced it was not of grand cru intensity vis a vis some of the others: Mazy/ Chambertin/Beze. I’ve enjoyed it, though…and it has never disappointed for pleasure.

Great notes Jon. I had the 88 Rousseau CSJ several months ago. My notes: complex big funky secondary aromas with meat, sous bois. Soft, supple, rich. Long, long sweet finish. A wow wine for me. Just beautiful. 95 pts. The 91 Chambertin Beze tasted at the same time edged it out by a smidge…Big complex nose with secondary aromas, red fruits, funk. Dense, rich, balanced. Long lingering finish. Ambrosia! 96 pts.

jon-sounds like a fantastic weekend. next time im in chicago ill arrange an offline at weiner circle. [berserker.gif]


I hope there was a strip club visit after this :slight_smile:

Schwa is ridiculous. I think I would have been disappointed if they actually served us a meal, gave us a check and a wave goodbye.
07 Rayas was opened too.

How many of there were you? Did you book the whole room?

12 of us. They wouldn’t give up the whole room - there was some poor couple on a first date. The guy got totally cockblocked by Favre when Jon decided to sit down with them and talk. Another group of 4 hung out once they realized they could have whatever they wanted from our tables.

“Attention, there will be NO MORE FOOD tonight. There will be no charge for anyone either, but there is no more food.”
We were there for another couple of hours.

Oh the memories of the Weiner Circle. Haven’t been there in years, but have great memories of “rip-fests” and an occasional semi-fight when we got a bit out of control. Sounds like things haven’t changed.

Ok here’s my two cents. First great to meet Mike and Jon. Really good people and thanks for including me in the festivities. I cam a little bit later so my perceptions are a little different. It’s interesting to me that I believe some of the wines had changed for both the good and bad. In general, I found the champagnes to be ok but not that exciting. The 75DP was showing a little oxidation by that point. The 82 was fine but again nothing exciting. My favorite was the 75 rose. Nice fruit balanced with a touch of earthiness. Overall I wasn’t a big fan of the Riesling but maybe it’s just not for me. The Leflaive was rocking. Having the Chevy next to the Batard was killer and each showed their personality for sure. I thought the 02 was also tops but still a little too young.

On to the reds. The 88 Rousseau was rocking. Still great depth of fruit and if I had it blind would have never guessed 88. It didn’t really have the tannin that i associate with the vintage. The 91 was also great but a little light again per the vintage. I really liked the Meo. I think maybe it just needed some time to open because when I tried it was drinking well. Great depth of fruit and vosne spice. Certainly in the Meo style. I couldn’t agree more about the Mugnier. Spot on and glad to try again in the future. ditto the Rouget. Not mind blowing but very good for the vintage.

Not to be repetitive but the 88 Roumier was delicious just a little disjointed. How long do these things need ? I was amazed at how young this wine is showing and will hold the VV for at least 10 more years. Still showed it’s terroir well I thought. I didn’t get a chance to try the Unico but will agree with your notes on the others. The 07 Rayas was like a big bolt of cherry juice when this got opened. I still have 6 but won’t open another for at least 15 years. I said the same thing today about the 07 that you felt about the 89. Needed a steak.

Anyway can’ wait to do this again. Wish I could have had a snort of that rum for sure. $ things I took away from that night.

  1. I love Leflaive
  2. I don’t like riesling very much
  3. Michael Carlson is a very talented chef as what I did taste was pretty rocking.

Mel, we had two 6 tops seated an hour apart.

Haaaaa. I’m not sure what that couple thought after they saw our rowdy group open up a couple cases+ of wine - then - the kitchen shuts down - LOL! The first date and they were locked in a cage match with a bunch of rowdy lawyers, business owners, medical people and GREAT WINE [highfive.gif]. Must have seemed like a Twilight Zone show to them…

Brad - I thought for sure there was a picture of the Champagne Warrior up on the “Wall of Fame” :O). The Weiner Circle was a trip and the dog I had was pretty darn good [cheers.gif]

I didn’t actually taste the '88 Meo - just got word that it was an off bottle. MK - were you holding out on me :O)???

It was great meeting face to face Nick - until next time!

I was told the same thing when I arrived about the Meo. I think it just needed a little time to open up.

Great to finally meet both you and Mike also.

Wow! I was there Fri night after going to Buddy Guy’s. Had a chardog. We ate at Publican, Girl and Goat, Takashi’s among others this past weekend–my first in Chicago. won’t be my last–great city!

How do you do it Jon!!! You guys are amazing! Congrats Mike…I keep picturing the movie Hangover…with Grand Cru’s!!! Don’t tell me there was a monkey there!!! [wow.gif]

Love that 00 Raveneau Clos Jonathan. Thanks for the notes.

We can’t talk about the monkey !

sounds like you had a great weekend as well alan. chicago is awesome; great dining scene.