Yesterday evening we headed for Albuquerque for Copper River Salmon at Jeff Pfohl’s. We took several wines with us. A 2002 Yves Boyer-Martenot Puligny-Montrachet ‘Le Cailleret’, in case there was a white wine appetizer, and four Volnays for the salmon - 1987 Joseph Voillot ‘Les Champans’, 1999 Jean-Marc Boillot ‘Pitures’, 2002 Thierry & Pascal Matrot ‘Santenots’ and a 2005 Domaine Chandon des Brailles ‘Les Caillerets’. I took those because I thought the other participants would mostly bring California and Oregon Pinots for the salmon and I much prefer Volnays with salmon, especially Copper River.
The '87 was very youthful in appearance; rich spicy cherry-berry notes in nose and flavors; a rich fruity mid-palate, and a long spicy fruit finish. It was very good both as the first wine of the evening and with the rich, fatty Copper River Sockeye. The P-M was quite tasty with the shrimp and chicken wings that people brought for appetizers. The '99 was closed and quite hard initially, but began to open some with time. The '02 was bright fruit. good balanced mid-palate, and a nice long finish. The '05 was truly amazing - bright, rich spicy red and dark fruit; rich, balanced mid-palate; and a very long spicy fruit finish. The '02 and '05 were wonderful with the salmon. The '99 got a lot better with more time and was ok with the salmon. I really wished I’d brought our Vinturi to help.
I didn’t try the two different Martinelli Chardonnays that Jeff brought out when the P-M was dwindling, because I’m not a fan of Martinelli wines. I did, with some coaxing from the people that brought them, try a few Pinots - 2007 Kosta Browne Russian River Valley - clunky very ripe dark fruit, not very balanced, and a medium long ripe clunky dark fruit finish; 2006 Thomas Dundee Hills - ripe red and dark fruit, balanced, with a long ripe fruit finish; 2001 Labrynth Bien Nacido Vineyard - ripe dark fruit, slightly low in acidity, with a medium long ripe fruit finish; and from a magnum, 2007 Red Car ‘Amor Fou’ Russian River Valley - very ripe and unbalanced. I went back to the Volnays with the tasty salmon filet, asparagus, wilted spinach salad, and caprese salad.
Then we finished with crêpes filled with macerated berries and topped with chocolate. The '99 Volnay wasn’t too bad with the dessert.
I liked the 2005 infinitely better. But the 87 was better than the 99 in terms of drinkablility with the 99 being quite hard, still a bit herbal. The 87, if you like older burgs, was a lovely start to the evening.
When the '87s were released I considered them a good ‘restaurant’ wine, OK to order and drink at a restaurant. As it turns out this unheralded vintage has had several that have aged gracefully and are still enjoyable to drink. We’ve had a number over the last two or three years, that have been very good with a variety of Burgundy-friendly dishes.
We try. CRS is one of the parties I look forward to hosting every year. It isn’t always the easiest to pull off (we wanted to do last weekend but the fish didn’t cooperate). This year turned out pretty well and is gaining in popularity. 18 people vs the “normal” 8-10.
part 2 is tonight as I refuse to freeze such magnificent fish and a few of my friends who could not make Friday, are coming over night. Seems all I am doing this weekend is grilling salmon , drinking pinot [d_sunny.gif], hanging with friends and reloading the dishwasher.
Anyone who wants to come down, I have about 5# of Sockeye left.
I’m sure. Will be careful about whatever sources I find. That said, I know well that buying any wine over 15 years old is a bit of a gamble. Over the past 3 years, I’ve had wines from the '20s - '60s that have ranged from excellent to awful. Even straight from a château’s cellar there can be great variance.