La Fete de Paulee Chicago (Long--let you judge on boring)

La Fete de Paulee Chicago 2018
This was held last Friday at Formento’s, an Italian restaurant. To me, it was a surprising choice, but most of the dishes were fine and a couple were standouts. For a number of reasons, I am not actually in a position to comment extensively on the food, mostly just tasted the wines solo, until the cheeses.
The wines provided by La Fete are marked LP; the rest were brought by the guests and shared.


2006 Salon (LP): Coiled, not much nose, light,white-fruited , metallic finish—did not do for me what I had expected and not much change over the next 2 hours (slightly off bottle?)

Selosse Rose NV (LP) Amazing wine; at once ethereal and profound, with sauvage note, strawberry, some rhubarb and even chicory?

1998 Krug Great bottle, brought by Neal—not so different from standard Krug, but richer, deeper, more precision and clarity—open sunshine of a bottle, with lovely vanilla, peach, and an amazingly long finish.

1996 Bollinger out of Jereboam—good stuff, but by then I was past the champers.

1993 Robert Ampeau Puligny Les Combettes—some folks thought white wotn, brought by me; it did really show what aging white burgundy can do. Opens with big notes of yellow fruit (moving toward pineapple, but not there, thankfully), it has a lovely burnt nutty top note of caramel, noticeable minerality in the midpalate and later maybe slight salinity —big beautiful wine in perfect condition.

2013 Coche-Dury Meursault Perrieres This, however, was my white wine of the night. (Not all at my end of the table got some. I commented on it being Coche and those who brought it took pity.) Can see what all the fuss is about. Insanely extracted, with great depth, it had the complexity out of the gate that it took the other wine twenty five years to attain. Had distinctive opening note of something brown and brawny, but still seem folded into itself, yet already showing such power and cut and glorious yellow fruit.

2014 Roulot 1er Boucheres (LP) Still quite young, but quite pretty, more white-fruited, delicate than the above, but still displaying noticeable cut and power, amidst the white fruits an interesting hint of beeswax shows through. This may take some time, but could be special.

1996 Rousseau Chambertin Incredible complexity of spice on nose and in palate, like no other wine I have had (though the CSJ below echoed it), except other Rousseau Chambertin. The acidity of '96 was detectable in the finish, but it had the body to carry it—along with the spice, translucent red fruits, cherry, a little dust, finish goes on and on, just a gorgeous wine.

2006 CSJ The ’06 was a kind of paler imitation of the ’96, with this same distinctive spice that led palate and nose. But the '96 was just so big and complex in comparison. I know they serve the CSJ last at tastings, but not there for me yet and this one probably never, though still a treat.

1993 Jadot Musigny along w/Chambertin, red of the night (and this will include 2 DRC’s). The whole Musigny package here: a streak of lovely dust runs down the center of this wine, with beautiful red fruits on one side and sweet complex tannins on the other; all three keep expanding as the finish goes on and on. Just a marvel.

1985 Arnoux Les Chaumes was in a beautiful place—well stored bottle. Slightly more darkly fruited than the other two, with a lovely twist of spice in the finish. Could still age further, though obviously no need.

1990 G. Lignier Clos St Denis (my wine), still young, also, big complex wine, more dark fruited, but nice spine, powerful, brambles, and something molasses like mix into toward the end; also could go further and maybe should.

1964 Beaune 1er Evaux? Still on its feet, fun drink

2000/2002/2005 de Vogues Bonnes Mares brought by various parties; the 02, I think, was showing the best, with 05 more power and youth, but not inaccessible today. On their own either of these would have been a treat, but finally did not stand out in this company nor equalled the depth, power, and kaleidoscopic spice of the 1996 Laurent Bonnes Mares VV I had last month.

1993 DRC Grand Echezeaux from Jereboam; noticeable rubber on the nose, maybe an off bottle—depth here, especially as it opened in the glass, but remained disjointed, not very fun.

1995 DRC Romanee St Vivant Had powerful nose of mushroom, truffle, beautiful midpalate, crystalline, still noticeable acidity in finish (which I did not mind); certainly fun, a very good wine, but to me did not seem a great one.

1974 Dujac CDLR This was still holding and proved a very fun drink, with classic Dujac nose and opening spice on palate, notable purity in the midpalate and nice length in the finish.

2012 Domaine Roumier Chambolle-Musigny (LP), at first gave very little, but eventually opened, very pretty, expansive red fruits, nothing sharp, almost Zen wine, with a decent but noticeably continuous finish—an infinity pool of a red.

2010 Dujac Vosne Aux Malconsort (LP) Not quite as Dujac-y (less noticeable stems?) than some Dujac, also nice red fruit with a quite distinctive finish, dusty but with a trace of iron or something along those lines, maybe characteristic of the terroir? This will clearly be very fine in time, but among the more aged bottles did not pop.

2007 Mugneret-Gibourg Ruchottes Had it not been for the Chambertin and the Musigny, this would have been red wotn, and I would place it third. Such a big savory wine, almost mint in the opening with some darker fruits on opening—yet light on its feet, with a finish that goes on and on, a really bewitching drink: you want to drink more because it’s so damn tasty but also because it’s so interesting and you want to figure out what’s going on in the wine.

Just to be clear, in addition to the ones marked LP, there was Delamotte (06?) poured at the open and a 2000 Clos Vougeot, not listed on the menu, eventually came around, that I don’t think I ever got to. At a 1/3 or 1/4 of the price of the standard La Paulee dinner (in SG or NYC) I would do this again in a heartbeat; great time and met some great people, both ITB and not.