Over The Top Lunch 2023

Another year, another OTT, but this was a much more laid back version than previous ones. It wasn’t intended to be; although originally I had limited the number to twelve, but when four people backed out on the same day, eight seemed to be a righteous number and we stuck with that. Back to one of our old haunts, MP Taverna, in Irvington NY, where Michael Psilakis, made one of his signature meals, around lamb, and as usual put together a superb meal, highlighted by an extraordinary Lamb risotto. The wines also proved to be incredible, although not unexpectedly, there were a couple of duds.

Oysters with Bouchard Boloree

The Bouchard had intense applesauce and brioche flavors, a great center palate lift, and a medium to long finish. A-

Raveneau Valmur 1998. This was glorious, the powerful fruit melded with mineral and white flowers. Concentrated and balanced with a long layered finish, it went beautifully with the salinity of the oysters. My first Raveneau in ten years; and sadly concluded, there is nothing like them, and worse, it was coupled with the fact that my cellar does not contain a single bottle. A/A+

Scallops with a beurre blanc sauce.
After Michael complained last year that I was asking him to do all French dishes, I was shocked that he offered to put this back on the menu, but he knew how much we loved the dish. And this year it was every bit as good as last.

Nicholas Jolie Coulee de Serrant 1996
Jolie’s wines may come from biodynamic grapes, and they are certainly babied in the vineyard, but something seems to happen in the cellar, because as wonderful as some of his wines are, there are far too many failures. (Last time I talked to him he cut the conversation short because he had to find a prehistoric stone called a menhir, to focus the magnetic energy in the soil).
Although it’s hit and miss in bottle, we have had great luck with his 1996, so I thought it was safe, but alas it proved not to be. It wasn’t undrinkable; the fruit was intense, but for me, it also seemed a tiny bit filthy. I went back to my glass a couple of times, and the wine had softened without losing those nasty elements.

Clos Saint Hune 2013
This was in prime form, perhaps a little young, but thankfully Clos Saint Hune at its best. A welcome return after problems with Premox from around 1998. It matched the scallops perfectly with its flavors of white peach and apricot and the fine but pronounced acidity that melded with a rich butter sauce, and the sweetness of the scallop. A lovely wine. A

The first of the two lamb courses centered around a trio of really fine Bordeaux, taken from some of the finest vintages ever produced.

Montrose 1928

This had a top shoulder fill, with the color barely browning on the edge. Once decanted, it showed wonderful fruit, leather, ferrous, forest floor and five spice. Equally intriguing on the palate, with a long finish, I think we were all bowled over by how well this 95 year old wine showed. Towards the end, it did begin to develop a slight volatility, not at all surprising given the age. Glorious stuff, and again proof that Montrose should be a first growth. A for the wine, but A plus for the survival.

Chateau Cheval Blanc 1982
Lately, a 1982 Cheval has been fulfilling its early promise. For a time, it seemed a little lackluster, but in the last five years it has changed gears, and come into its own, and now, apart from château Latour, it is my favorite of the “eight first growths” in 1982.
This nose on this bottle had dark gentle raspberry fruit, a spice cabinet full of aromatics, and licorice. Tannins were beautifully resolved but with plenty of impetus to take it to a long, deceptive long, finish. A

Chateau Haut Brion 2000
The Haut Brion finally woke up after an hour plus in the decanter, and twenty minutes in the glass. It is archetypal Haut Brion with the Graves palate of harness leather, brick dust overlaid by dark fruit. I am not convinced it is quite as good as the 2000 La Mission, which we had last month. Nevertheless, it was an extremely fine wine among some pretty stiff competition. A-

Now we moved onto the flight we had all been looking forward to, the Burgundies. Accompanied by another lamb dish, a rack of lamb with a delicious orzo with lamb, we tucked into three wines that kept changing in the glass.

Drouhin Musigny 2009
This was the most muted of the three, and took a good deal of coaxing to show itself. It ended up as a quite beautiful wine, and although it never emerged from third place, that says far more about the competition than the wine. A perfume of cherries, which then expanded to include woodsmoke, roses and beef, it stayed fine and elegant on the palate with a medium to long finish. A-/A

Rousseau Chambertin 2009
I think everybody’s wine of the night, although I did toy with the Tremblay for a while. But the Rousseau began slightly slowly out of the blocks, but kept accelerating, as the afternoon wore on. Dark cherries, lavender, minerality, smoke and spice held together by a beautiful but very laid back structure, which gave it a precision which separated it from the other two wines. A massive but against really satisfying finish. A+

Tremblay Chapelle Chambertin 2008
Of all her wines, I have cherished Cecile Tremblay’s Chapelle ‘08 the most. It’s a palate thing; you are thinking this is a lovely wine and suddenly, two thirds in, you are hit by this shard of pure, intense bright fruit that resets the wine and brings it to a most satisfying conclusion. It was certainly present here, and for a while along with its melange of spices, serious cherry fruit , and violets, I thought I preferred it to the other two, but then, nothing is going to stop a Rousseau in mid flight. This was the most evolved, but still needs another ten to fifteen years. A/A+

Cheeses with two Champagnes
Taittinger 2007
I thought I was getting a Rose, and wanted to experiment with rose and cheese. Still worked quite well, as Taittinger always does. Delicious and easygoing, more apple than brioche. B+/A-

Bollinger PN VZ 2015
Blanc de Noir. In this case far more brioche. Tight, angular, it was too young and simple for the cheeses. B

Climens 1971
Maderized. Sad this, as a good bottle is at least as good as the Yquem 1971.


Great stuff Mark.

Wonderful dinner Mark, that’s quite a lineup.

98 Raveneaus have been lovely, I am jealous of that flight and the pairing with oysters. Nothing better than Raveneau and oysters. We had the 98 Raveneau Clos 3 weeks ago, and it was the wine of the night.

That 96 Joly CdS…I scored several bottles for $20 per in the Sam’s closeout bin back in 2000, and they’ve been a wild ride. The highs have been amazing - perhaps the best Chenin I’ve ever had, yet the lows, utterly bizarre bottles that were just undrinkable.


For anyone curious about what the Montrose looked like in the glass…alive and kicking (and now I can’t get that song out of my head…) FWIW it’s in that decanter as well.


Sad I missed this one Mark - but I was busy :slight_smile:

Looks like a great time!

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Lovely tasting and glad I got to be included and see Mark again. The food was wonderful and the company was perfect. Thanks to him for setting all of this up. And if you make it up there, MP Taverna is great and I definitely recommend. His notes are very good so and I agree with most. We did have a few differences though. The Taittinger Comtes was the 07.

Bouchard Boloree 2018 - Even though a bit on the young side, this certainly lived up to the hype. Got better and better with air as these bouchard’s usually do. My first BDB from this producer known for his pinot. Had a nice touch of richness for a fairly young wine. 95+pts with upside

Raveneau Valmur 1998 - This was such a treat. Raveneau seems to take forever to come around and it has gotten ridiculous price wise. Much richer on the nose than expected, early on. Would not have pegged for a Chablis, maybe a high level Puligny. However with air, the richness on the nose balanced, and the palate became quite linear and tart in that beautiful way that only Chablis can. This wine needed every year in the cellar that it got and it showed.96pts

Nicholas Joly Coulee de Serrant 1996 - Probably a slightly off bottle. A very natty wine producer as Mark mentioned. I thought it came around a bit and was drinkable. The ox balanced. But something was a bit woodsy and odd about it even though it had amazing acidity. 90pts

Trimbach Clos Saint Hune 2013 - Probably the biggest surprise of the day for me. This came out absolutely firing on all cylinders. Perfect tart fruit. Zippy acidity. A very interesting pairing with the scallops for sure. Didn’t show any of the alcohol or richness that I’ve had from other Trimbach rieslings, in a good way. 95+pts

Chateau Montrose 1928 - I believe this is the oldest wine that I’ve ever had. It did not show it in the slightest though. The fill was almost into the neck, which is nuts. Amazing color, almost no bricking. Maybe even a bit of fruit left in there. The tertiary notes were all in balance, although there was definitely some VA that overpowered at times. A huge overperformer for it’s age, although up against some very stiff competition. 94pts

Chateau Cheval Blanc 1982 - This was a last minute sub for the 82 Trotanoy and it showed quite well. Definitely the wine of the BDX flight for me. Subtle, light on it’s feet. But deep, complex and a very long, lingering finish. It would have been so cool to try this next to the amazing 83 Cheval that Howard brought to London and the 82 Trotanoy that Harry brought to DC last year. 97pts

Chateau Haut Brion 2000 - After getting to taste David’s bottle of this, I had to seek one out. Sadly this bottle needed to be decanted more than the 1 hour that it was. But preferably just needs 5-10 years. It was deep and dark, but still quite fresh and giving some but not all of what it should. Lovely to taste again, but this bottle was in a bit of a slumber. 95+pts

Drouhin Musigny 2009 - On early tastes, clearly lagging behind the other two big hitting burgs. Somewhat pedestrian early. However this really started to blossom quickly. The baby fat integrated with the spices to create a beautiful wine with great fruit and spices. But still lacking on the mid palate a bit. Stiff competition for sure. 96pts

Rousseau Chambertin 2009 - This burg flight is where it got tricky. As this wine was “supposed” to be the best of them. It was clear from first sip that this will have everything to be a stunner in 5-10 years. However, given the vintage it is already quite accessible although still a baby in some ways. Clearly the most complete wine on the table, although the Cheval might have something to say about that. It developed so much and got so deep with an array of spices that it pulled ahead at the end. It’s hard for a wine to be so big, but so fresh and light on it’s feet at the same time. 97+pts WOTN, by a hair.

Tremblay Chapelle Chambertin 2008 - This was an interesting comparison to the Rousseau. Much more clearly red fruited and acid driven. Very true to the vintage. It really spoke to me. My first Tremblay but I am often partial to the vineyard. The vintage I am very hit or miss on, but am coming around for sure. It was just so bright and beautiful, while still having a very strong backbone. 97pts

Taittinger Comtes 2007 - Good as always. Still quite young. Very sweet on the front end. Better right out of the bottle than with air, for this one at least. 93pts

Bollinger PN VZ 2015 - Very pedestrian in this lineup. I remember really enjoying it last year but this bottle against this competition did not hold up. 90pts

Climens 1971 - Probably where Mark and I differed the most. This wine needed a lot of air and then the ox/madeira notes blew off for me. It still wasn’t a perfect example I’m quite sure. However the acidity and depth of flavors was unlike almost any dessert wine that I’ve had. If this is a flawed bottle, then I absolutely need to seek out a good one. 95+pts

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Some closer pics.

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Very nice.
The original post refers to the 2006 CdC, but in the picture it looks like 2007?

It doesn’t just look like it, it is. I have changed the original post. Thanks

Thank you @Mark_Golodetz for your warm hospitality and for generously priming the pump for this tasting by sharing such remarkable wines from across the spectrum.

A lot of firsts for many of us around the table. You know it’s a good day when Haut Brion and Musigny come in third.

For me, the standouts in a stellar lineup were:

98’ Raveneau Valmur: nutty maturity, power and delicacy in the glass. As wonderful as the superstar reds were that followed, it was this mature Chablis (and a 97’ Dauvissat “La Forest” I tasted the night before) that knocked me out, and radically changed my perspective. Amazing.

13’ Clos St. Hune: The one I returned to over and over and my surprise of the day.

00’ Haut Brion: with airtime (and lamb risotto), this perfumed, savory and black-fruited gripper was special.

The Burgs: 09’ Rousseau Chambertin Spicy red/black cherry fruit, rich and complete- a wow wine. The 08’ Tremblay Chapelle was a rare and special treat- delicate, spiced, balanced and ethereal.

And finally: Nothing like some breakfast gronala at a classy hotel the morning after a tasting that included a 98-year old Bordeaux…