Copper River Sockeye at Jeff Pfohl's

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.

The 2005 Volnay was outstanding. I really loved the 2002 Yves Boyer-Martenot Puligny-Montrachet ‘Le Cailleret’ and so did many of the others.

And the salmon quite tasty. Nothing like super fresh fish. A great time was had by all.

I’m surprised this is still good. Maker?

1987 Joseph Voillot Volnay Les Champans

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.

Oh, I drink older Burgs, Jeff, I assure you. Just wondering about the '87s in general.

Well done gentleman. I too love Volnay with Copper River.


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.

Interesting. I’m curious to try some of these that are still drinking well. Could you share what other '87s are still drinking well? I’ll source some to try for myself.



Here’s what I’ve found over on the ‘other board’ in the way of 1987 Red Burgundies we’ve had:

Domaine Michel Lafarge Beaune Gréves w/pork chops

Leroy Volnay Clos des Chênes w/pork chops
Jean-Marc Bouley Volnay Clos des Chênes w/Coho salmon
Jean-Marc Bouley Volnay Les Caillerets w/pork porterhouse chops
Dom. Joseph Voillot Volnay Champans w/steak frites and w/Copper River sockeye
deMontille Volnay Champans w/squab

Pierre Bourée Clos de la Roche w/duck breast, w/rabbit, and w/duck sausage
Pierre Amiot Clos de la Roche w/veal and w/quail
Ponsot Clos de la Roche w/veal
Faiveley Clos de la Roche w/quail

Armand Rousseau Charmes-Chambertin w/steak and w/Copper River sockeye
Pierre Bourée Charmes-Chambertin w/steak and w/quail

Ponsot Latriciéres-Chambertin with 40-day aged Flannery NY Strip

Armand Rousseau Mazy-Chambertin w/steak and w/chicken & frites
Maume Mazis-Chambertin (the only disappointment, since it was hard, like a lot of Maumes)

Remoissenet Chambertin with halibut

Rapet Corton w/ballotine of quail

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 [dance2.gif] , drinking pinot [d_sunny.gif], hanging with friends [drinkers.gif] and reloading the dishwasher.

Anyone who wants to come down, I have about 5# of Sockeye left.

Thanks! I’ll see what I can hunt down from this list.


All of the ones i mentioned have been cellared since release in very good conditions. Provenance has a lot of bearing on their showing.

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.