Dinner with 3 wines tasted blind: '11 Taittinger Comtes, '09 Rossignol les Epenots Pommard and '95 Pichon Lalande

Three of us enjoyed a fine outdoor patio BBQ buffet dinner at one’s Country Club while blind tasting 3 wondrous wines:

2011 TAITTINGER COMTES des CHAMPAGNE BLANC de BLANC- blind; this was my first exposure to this vintage and I loved it immensely as did my table mates; it had a light yellow color suggesting a young and perhaps not so serious wine, but that thought was immediately reversed when I nosed it and found nice subtle hints of toasted brioche and more expressive citrus fruit that once tasted translated primarily into lemon and lime; it was super rich and full bodied possessing bright if not bracing acidity; the amazing mouthfeel was like lemon oil and it served to enhance the finish where everything came together; I’d previously read on WB one of my trusted champagne buds and a few others had not liked this vintage and wondered why?; our bottle was fantastic and the to get some; while sipping it, with all of its bigness and complexity, I first called it 2008 Comtes, but the acidity, spiciness and brioche swayed me toward 2008 Dom Perignon; not even close, but indicative of how impressive this was.

With 2 reds remaining and one of them my bring, I checked the aromatics of a glass that was just poured in order to determine which wine glass to use from my stash and it was clear to use the Pinot Noir stem:

2009 DOMAINE NICOLAS ROSSIGNOL les EPENOTS POMMARD 1er Cru- blind; popped and poured; 13% abv; the nose was classic Pinot Noir and I first thought it was Burgundy before I started to overthink it; regardless, it was a wonderful wine that was charming and elegant and at the same time, sophisticated and to be revered; the color was a still youthful vibrant red purple and the nose offered pleasant aromas of wild cranberry/ cherry fruit that were super tasty on the palate enhanced by a nice streak of spice; it just got better after more time in the glass as I kept re-tasting.

1995 CHATEAU PICHON LONGUEVILLE COMTESSE de LALANDE PAUILLAC- decanted for 3+ hours; this vintage has 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc and inordinate amount of 40% Merlot in the blend; when I went to select the wine for the evening, I thought this 28 year old Bordeaux would be nearing its apogee as a couple of others bottles in the last few years were suggestive of such, but this bottle was no where near that stage and it kept on opening up in the glass over the rest of the evening and my notes kept on changing as well; all in all, it was a pretty intense, serious full bodied, deeply layered, complex wine that exuded loads of power and a touch of finesse; the aromatics and taste profile included leather, cedar, cigar box, dark chocolate and tobacco accented black currant and black cherry; after 45 minutes, it became more approachable and softened up; I’ll hold off opening another for a few more years.

These 3 wines required a lot of time to explore and actually served us in spreading out our trips back and forth to the various buffet lines throughout dinner. We had a good evening and left with some pretty wide smiles amidst a vapor glow.


1 Like