Got together with a few friends for a year end-high end dinner. Some quick impressions:
Krug NV-always krug, always dependable pretty much my benchmark for champagne. I think these show best after about 45 minutes of being open. Nice krug smoke, brioche, hazelnut.
78 Jaffelin NSG: for the Chevaliers-delicious initially, light weight, raspberry, light balsam, starting coming apart after about 1hr. Very strong showing.
88 Jayer NSG: owner paid something like $25 for this, had no idea how the market prices this wine until I told him a few months ago-he brought this a few months ago and I told him to hold for a special dinner-his jaw dropped when I told him what he had. Always a treat to try Jayer, lots of acid, but high toned and smooth, strawberry, briar, good depth. This really improved in about 45minutes almost the inverse of the 78 NSG. Plenty of red fruit. This wine isn’t going to get any better with more age. Current pricing is flat out absurd.
99 Ponsot CSD: tough initially, a bit sweet, still way too young, too primary, good depth and structure. Just too young-I’d wait another 10yrs
-not a clear winner in the burg flight
95 Haut Brion: pretty shy and restrained, not the typical HB nose or palate but very smooth and silky.
00 Margaux: opened 10yrs too early, but contributor wanted to check in on it. I usually think of margaux as elegance but this was power, power, power & muscle. Lots of plum, graphite. This is definitely very approachable now (somewhat surprising to me) but HOLD for some of the power to transition to elegance.
-margaux was the unanimous winner
86 La Mouline: high toned, great nose-still plenty of fruit. I know 86 is a tough vintage for Northern Rhone but this was a great wine. I love mature N Rhones.
86 La Landonne: distinct brine and olive tapenade on the nose, but still depth and complexity. Not as powerful as other vintages, but quite complex and balanced. In this head to head the consensus winner was the La Landonne
06 Harlan Estate: While I can see why some people really flip for these wines they really aren’t for me regardless of the price, when you take the price into consideration it doesn’t make any sense to me. This wine is polished smooth, dark ripe fruit, a bit of structure but I don’t see this as a 20yr wine. Think babe watch implants-might be interesting, but you don’t want to commit to it.
06 Colgin IX: almost a repeat of the Harlan, both of these wines were just massive compared to the earlier wines. I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed them more in different company but these come across as steroid blocky wines. In the head to head, I’d give the nod to the Colgin with more depth and complexity but the group was somewhat split between them.
04 Dagueneau Les Jardins de Babylone 500ml: sweet wine from Dagueneau still sorry that he passed too young. I believe this is 100% petit manseng. Nice butterscotch but not candied, white flowers, good acid, nice elegance. A great wine that is still a value in the market today-I don’t think enough people have ever heard of the wine.
It didn’t suck.