TN: 01 W-S Domprobst Auslese, 66 LMHB, 90 Chave, 85+89 La Chapelle, Guy Wach SGN

Dinner with good friends.

Morrocan Carrot soup with:

[*]2001 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (3/24/2014)
A beautiful nose of Middle Mosel fruit. Mineral, cooler fruit and floral notes with the power and depth of Domprobst married with the cut and balance of 2001. Deep yet weightless. Youthful and precise, with excellent focus, grace and power. The slate, acid, fruit and sugar all combine to a greater whole with nothing standing above the others. Effortless to drink. This is beautiful right now but will be stellar in another 10 years and last a long time after that. I normally prefer Willi Schaefer’s Himmelreich to Domprobst, but in this vintage, Domprobst will be hard to best. Beautiful stuff showing great on the young side. 95+pts (95 pts.)

[]2009 Christophe Pichon Condrieu Caresse - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu (3/24/2014)
Poured blind. My first thought was Viognier, but then I quickly left correct-land to the south and guessed Roussanne. Apricots and floral notes married with mineral and well integrated wood. Rich and dense, with beautiful balance, and outstanding texture. Layered and powerful yet precise, and avoiding the propensity for Viognier to get heavy. Texture and perfume are the stars here. Bright and surprisingly fresh and pure considering the vintage and the time since vintage. An outstanding surprise wine from a maker I really enjoy but get to drink too rarely. Drink up. Thanks RN! 92 ptss now and I bet it was better a year or two ago. That said surprisingly fresh. (92 pts.)

Intermezzo wine:
]1966 Château La Mission Haut-Brion - France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan (3/23/2014)
SOM’d. VTS fill.

Surprisingly less bricking than I would expect. Gravel, tobacco, leather, cassis and darker stony fruits on the nose. Beautiful mature Graves with mostly secondary and tertiary flavors, but still with a nice core for fruit. Medium to full in the mouth with excellent palate presence, flavor density without weight, and outstanding balance. The tannins at this point are fully resolved and this drinks very easily. A layered, complicated wine that does not try too hard, but excels nonetheless. Beautiful and on the fading side of peak for me. 94 pts (94 pts.)

Morrocan inspired braised beef with:

[*]1985 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (3/23/2014)
SOM’d. Served with 89 La Chapelle and 90 Chave

The softer and suppler of the two vintages of La Chapelle and true to its year. Suppler and round and at this point fully mature. Rare meat, tapenade, with a cool green herbal side. Giving and deep on the palate, rich and with power with a simultaneous roundness. If the 89 hits you like a 20 foot wall of water, the 85 is like a storm surge that just builds. Full and rich and I very much like this wine. Very savory and meaty with a core of darker fruit. This objectively is probably the 3rd best wine of the flight for me, but drinking most at peak, and just seems to be hitting everything just right. 94 pts. (94 pts.)
[*]1989 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (3/23/2014)
I think this was decanted for several hours than put back in bottle. Served alongside 85 La Chapelle and 90 Chave

Much darker and brooding. A black wall at first that was not dissimilar to how the 90 shows on opening, but less floral. An impenetrable black hole at first. Not fruit, not meat, not rock, just blackness. Just impressive size and texture. Over time, though this opens. Full bodied but not mean spirited, and not overpowering. In spite of its size it is well balanced and nothing is out of place. It’s very dense but not heavy. Brooding and structured, with blackfruits, iodine, black olive and blood. Still very primary but over a couple hours in the glass it grows and gains focus. I wil probably hold for 10+ years for it to drink where I like to drink Hermitage. (Admitting fully my mature preferences). 94+ (94 pts.)[/list]
Posted from CellarTracker

[*]1990 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (3/23/2014)
Double decanted earlier in the day. Served with 85 and 89 La Chapelle.

Well this is just top of the class. Bloody seared game, olive, mineral, and with a beautiful savory side that I love in Chave. More on the red fruited side of Hermitage compared to the La Chapelles, with more savory compared to the mineral stoniness of La Chapelle. A complete wine that I adore, and I can’t add much more to my previous two TN’s on this wine. A terrific wine of poise, that effortlessly walks the line marrying power and grace. Structure and balance, fruit and savory, this has it all. Mouthwatering. A fantastic wine that will live a long time. 97 pts (97 pts.)

Cardamom panna cotta with:

  • 1997 Guy Wach Domaine des Marronieres Gewurztraminer Sélection de Grains Nobles - France, Alsace, Alsace AOC (4/4/2014)
    Hugely floral, with green tea, rose water, jasmine, orange blossom, and beautiful spice. Rich yet not heavy, with outstanding balance. Fruit, sugar, stone and acid are all in excellent balance in this eclectic lovely wine. This retains excellent freshness and avoids gewurz’s penchant for getting too fat. This is a wine of layers and poise. Singular. Very long and, not to detract from its intrinsic quality, this is just so damned interesting. Held up fantastically after a week. 94 pts. (94 pts.)

A great night with outstanding company.