Our fine wine dinner group dined at Jane restaurant recently with a wine theme of magnums of anything good with allowance for exceptions for high tier champagne and dessert wines.
As usual, we did our own wine service, ordered appetizers for the entire table and then placed our individual orders for entrees and desserts. The wines:
2006 MOET & CHANDON “GRAND VINTAGE” BRUT ROSE- 750 ml; lots of fruit forwardness in this nice rose which has well cut acidity; it
s loaded with slightly toasted and smoke laden fresh raspberry and red cherry which dominate the aromas as well as the taste profile; its rich and layered with a continuation of the fruit well past mid palate and throughout the lingering finish; great start.
2004 BOLLINGER GRANDE ANNEE- magnum; 66% Pinot Noir, 34% Chardonnay which comes from 16 villages of this blend sourced from 88% Grand Cru and 12% premier Cru from estate vineyards; bordering on having oxidized notes, not unusual for this house style, this is packed with caramel, butterscotch and honeysuckle with lemon lime coming in late; it`s pretty full bodied and fits the style of this producer for the more powerful, complex nature of their champagnes.
2014 WEINGUT KELLER von der fels RIESLING- magnum; the long sleek magnum sized bottle was impressive enough just to look at, but what was in the bottle was even more so; there`s mineral infused pineapple showing up in the aromomatics moving on and joined with spice and sweet basil green apple and pear; it was creamy, rich, long and a real special treat.
2014 PIERRE-YVES COLIN-MOREY SAINT AUBIN EN REMILLY CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET 1ER CRU- magnum; absolutely fabulous and for me, the KIND; the nose is redolent with mineral, flint and graphite with a touch of lemon lime, all of which continue on all the way to the back end; the texture is of a perfect lush, creamy substance and it has bright acidity; this just hits all of the sensory receptors; I`ve had this quite a few times and all have significantly pleased with consistent notes and ongoing pleasure.
2005 PIERRE-YVES COLIN MOREY CORTON- CHARLEMAGNE ALOXE-CORTON GRAND CRU- magnum; this got off to a slow start and then just kept on building and giving until it reached its zenith of pleasure; some minerality shows up early without the graphite and flint of the aforementioned St. Aubin along with nice citrus especially lemon zest; it had brilliant acidity and a creamy rich texture which carried all of the goodies through a long finish; at this point, I
m debating which of these last 2 wines is my WOTN; as it developed, this was my #3 with the forthcoming Batard being #2 and the 14 a close #4; I`m not inclined to number all of the wines and only do so for the vote we take at the end; they were all winners for me.
2010 LOUIS JADOT BATARD-MONTRACHET GRAND CRU- magnum; great wine in perfect balance with a strong invitation from a cursory nosing; the spicy, toasted and buttered apple and citrus notes abound while being delivered in a creamy rich substance; it had nice acidity and amazing steadiness and then length; as stated previously, this is another I denote as my KIND.
2006 DOMAINE du VIEUX TELEGRAPHE “LA CRAU” CHATEAUNEUF du PAPE- magnum; this shined and gave up plenty of nice fresh fruitiness with an emphasis on red cherry and berry along with a touch of spice; it was very delightful although it finished a bit on the dry and tart side; from the big bottle format, I`m thinking this youngster just needs time to evolve and open up to get to an even better place which it has the wherewithal to do.
2000 CHATEAU VON-FIGEAC ST. EMILLON- magnum; Bordeaux blend; the color is an inky dark purple with vibrant youthfulness suggested immediately and was confirmed by what follows; there is some serious smoky, earthy black currant which gives way to nice black cherry and a hit of leather; it`s full bodied, layered and long; great showing among the stars of stars on this night.
1992 PENFOLDS BIN 707 CABERNET SAUVIGNON BAROSSA VALLEY- magnum; if I did not see the label and had to guess what was in the bottle, I would have said “Silver Oak”; in my mind, the hallmarks of older SO were oak, mint and eucalyptus, this had them all in spades; of course, there was much more which included chocolate with mint accented blackberry and black currant; the oak was fully integrated and the wine was nicely balanced; it was easy on the palate and had enough length to extend the enjoyment.
2003 ARNOLDO CAPRAI SAGRATINO di MONTEFALCO 25TH ANNIVERSARY- magnum; this was great; it had wonderful lightly sweetened nutty, chocolate overtones to compliment the blackberry and black currant fruit that was delivered in a soft and smooth texture; it was big and serious, but had finesse and balance to make it a really good wine; at this stage, it is to be sipped and enjoyed while waiting for the eventual maturity which I estimate to be 10+ years or more.
2003 ARAUJO EISELE VINEYARD CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY- magnum; 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot; this rocked out of the gate; the nose was extremely inviting and I obliged graciously with confidence that treasures were here to behold; this was rich and subtlety powerful with elegance and charm; it was so smooth, soft and silky and gave delicious talc and milk chocolate laced black raspberry and blackberry notes served up in a medium + body with lingering flavors reaching beyond normal endings; the hallmarks for me was it was so SEAMLESS and perfectly BALANCED; everything just married and came together from the nose through the tail; IMHO, this was perfection and as such became my choice for WOTN with a many really great wines competing.
Our Prince of Sweets graced us once again with a stellar sweetie to cap off this MAG-nificent evening:
2008 KLEIN CONSTANTIA VIN de CONSTANCE ESTATE NATRUAL SWEET WINE - irregular shaped 375 ml bottle, I think; made by this South Africa winery, it was released in August, 2013 and is a “blend of Muscat Blanc and Petits Grains” made from vine ripened Muscat de Frontnignan late harvest raisined fruit; it was salmon colored, seriously fruity with honey sweetness and thickness; at first, I got concentrated apple sauce like flavors with a touch of licorice and then apricot nectar takes over; the challenge is whether to dry to drink it or spoon it out of the glass; I sipped a bit.
The PYCM Corton and the Araujo got 4 votes each for WOTN.
This was an absolutely phenomenal evening, one of many every year for this group. There was one winner after another, no flawed wines and thankfully so, since the 12 of us had so many in magnums ; thus, I conclude, this was a MAGnanimous evening.