Panos came back home to DC and the usual suspects got together to drink some wonderful wines for one last time in 2011. Thirteen must be a lucky number as we were thirteen of us and most of the wines showed extremely well. This was extremely educational and reminded me a few valuable lessons.
Buying small wines in a great vintage and properly cellaring them will handsomely reward the owner. The La Lagune and the Meyney were very impressive and in the case of La Lagune upto par with the others.
Although I still love 100 point scale, believing is as a precise measure is completely absurd. I have recently drunk a number of identical wines from the same cellar and my rating was often varied. My palate is pretty consistent but there are so many factors that can affect the rating as much as 5 points.
Knowing and good at detecting technical flaws is a two edged sword. Pyrazine in 2004 Henri Boillot Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet wasn’t too obvious but still noticeable. This diminished my overall experience with this wine.
Except for a few exceptions, I like my ice wine young when there is still a lot of primary fruits.
All three champagnes showed well. I hope this makes sense to everyone, the Churchill was spring, the Krug Autumn and the Salon Winter.
1990 Krug Champagne Brut - France, Champagne
Randy M generously provided this and the 82 Cos. Both his last bottles. This seems slightly more matured than the last bottle I had. A hint of candy orange rinds, light caramel, brioche and ends with a hint of fino sherry. I also get Chartreusee. As expected deeply toned and displays bright acidity. With time the nose got more complex with noticeable vanilla. This is where my mood factors in as I wanted more Salon than Krug hence perhaps a point or two lower in my assessment. (95 pts.)
1999 Pol Roger Champagne Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill Brut - France, Champagne
Very floral, I believe this has high % of pinot noir but I get fat meursault nose, pear, white peach, flint and flowers. This is very fat but fresh. It is a smaller version of the 99 Salon with very similar ripe fruit expression. Drinking nicely right now. (93 pts.)
1996 Salon Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs - France, Champagne, Le Mesnil Sur Oger, Champagne
Cornucopia of flowers, honey, limestone, white pepper, beeswax and etc. The nose hints the piercing acidity that is just about to hit the palate. The palate displays excellent concentration, freshness and bright acidity. The nose is not as expressive as Krug but is incredibly pure. Despite the piercing acidity, the palate gives the impression of roundness due to the dense perfectly matured fruit. Not sure whether it is appropriate to use “unctuous” for a champagne but it is just that. With air, it gained even more weight and the fruit got slightly sweeter/riper. I initially rated this 96 but ended with 99. A long life ahead. (99 pts.)
Mostly White Burgs
2006 Hospices de Beaune Meursault 1er Cru Charmes Cuvée Bahèzre de Lanlay Faiveley (Hospices Auction Group) - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru
I don’t like the 06 white burgundy as I find them too fat and too cloying. This is one of the better wines although still very fat and ripe. Ripe yellow fruit, bubble gum, banana, honey, beeswax and limestone. Despite lacking acidity, noticeable mineral component balances out the fat ripe fruit. A lot better than expected and no sign of premox. Bravo Bernard! (90 pts.)
2008 Domaine Ramonet Bâtard-Montrachet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
This bottle is more often than my first bottle but not as expressive as Barry P’s bottle a couple weeks ago. A bit of Chablis clos like minerality, meyers lemon, yellow fruit and a hint of oak. The palate shows impressive concentration, sweet fruit impression with bright acidity. A beautiful wine that needs time. Knock on wood! (95 pts.)
2007 Paul Blanck Riesling Schlossberg - France, Alsace, Kientzheim, Alsace Grand Cru AOC
Very mineral, flower, soap, white pepper, pear and granny smith apple. Although the nose gives the impression of very ripe sweet fruit, it is quite dry not unlike Trimbach Frederic Emile. Fresh and delicious, this is a very food friendly wine. (90 pts.)
2004 Henri Boillot Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
This is more Chevalier than Batard in the delicate and subtle fruit expression. A slight hint of pyrazine that is not bothersome. White pear, white flower and sea salt. Very fresh. The palate gives very cool impression once again with a hint of green. Panos mentioned a bit of Sancerre like fruit expression and I agree. Knowing and good at how to look for the technical flaws make me a bit more critical. This is quite nice and some seems to enjoy even more than me. Kevin Harvey to be blamed since he taught me that pyrazine causes the greenness. (92 pts.)
Mostly right banks
1982 Château La Lagune - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc
I believe this came from the same cellar as my last note. Is it the bottle variation or is it me? I really loved this bottle and preferred over the other two in this flight for its expressive perfumed nose. The intoxicating nose displays fully matured sweet red fruits, lead pencil, leather, cedar, truffle and balsamico. In the palate everything has come together nicely, quite silky and ends with a hint of dry tannins that is not bothersome. A lovely wine, perhaps a bit more matured and at plateau compare to the others but drinking beautifully. (95 pts.)
1982 Château Canon - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
Ripe baked red fruit compotes but also crushed berries. Fully matured, deeply toned nose of leather, tobacco and mushroom. Excellent concentration with sweet fruit. This may evolve further displaying more expressive tertiary nose. I prefer the nose of La Lagune. (93 pts.)
1982 Château L’Eglise-Clinet - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
I was looking forward to this but apparently the chateau made a poor wine in 1982. The nose is rustic, dirty as in damp molded cellar and wet sox, chocolate, scorched earth and not much fruit. The palate however is quite appealing, unctuous and silky. I hope I am wrong but this seems the correct bottle with a very good provenance. Drink up! (85 pts.)
St. Estèphe flight
1982 Château Cos d’Estournel - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
This bottle is definitely fresher than the last bottle that came from the same cellar. Very ripe dark fruits, cocoa, lead pencil, a hint of tobacco and cassis. The ripe hedonistic fruits and cocoa reminds me the 82 Mouton but the nose is not as expressive. Deeply toned heavy weight but I preferred the 82 Calon Segur for freshness and cabernet perfumed nose in this flight. (94 pts.)
1982 Château Calon-Ségur - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
A lot of freshness, lead pencil, perfectly ripe and sweet dark fruit, a hint of caramel or butterscotch, cassis. This is more vibrant and fresher than the 82 Cos. A beautiful expression of cabernet sauvignon, ie very floral. Ken B mentioned that the Cos drank so much better ten years ago and I completely agree. The best example of the 82 Calon and this bottle was magnificent. (95 pts.)
1982 Château Meyney - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
I drank a lot of the 89 Meyney about ten years ago and this displays similar flavor profile. A hint of ash, sweet black fruits, licorice, lead pencil and cedar. The palate shows impressive concentration and still noticeable tannins. It is a bit angular and the fruit expression is not as complex as the others. A good example of the importance of terroir. Nevertheless very pleasurable. Lately I have often heard how unaffordable Bordeaux has become but if carefully chosen, Bordeaux still represents very good value. (92 pts.)
Two Pauillacs and a St. Julien
1982 Château Talbot - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Ken B mentioned tapenade and he is 100% right. Sour cherry, red and black fruits coexist, some cornas in olive aspect and hermitage in grilled bloody steak. The palate is silky but a bit sour. Pretty complex nose but a bit too much tapenade for me. Perhaps better served with food but still very enjoyable. (93 pts.)
1982 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Bob was 100% right when he referred the 59 Grand Puy Lacoste as “non-wealthy person’s Latour.”. Beautifully expressive nose of dark jammy fruit, cassis, lead pencil, cedar and grilled cep. It has silky palate, high acidity and still noticeable tannins. It is drinking beautifully at the moment. (96 pts.)
1982 Château Lynch-Bages - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
The initial nose impression is very clean and fresh, strong note of lead pencil, cassis, crushed blueberries and a hint of bell pepper that enhances the wine and gives the extra freshness. I revisited the wine an hour or two later and the wine really opened up nicely. Beautifully perfumed classic Pauillac nose,lead pencil, sweet sweet currants, cedar and truffle. A great showing. (96 pts.)
St. Julien flight
1982 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Another nice showing, crushed blueberries, quite floral, a slight hint of lead pencil and cedar. Silky palate, excellent concentration, bright acidity and noticeable tannins. The nose of this bottle has a hint of dust that is not bothersome. Very fresh and drinking well. A long life ahead. (95 pts.)
1982 Château Gruaud Larose - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
A great example of cordier funk, complex nose showing red and black fruits, lead pencil and cedar. Quite youthful, fresh, excellent concentration and birth acidity. Drinking beautifully now and will improve if one prefers the tertiary flavor profile. (96 pts.)
1982 Château Léoville Las Cases - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Will this ever become drinkable? What a pleasant surprise as this bottle is open for business and then some. Dark jammy fruit, intense and expressive nose displaying lead pencil, a hint of cedar, cassis, coffee and etc. This is a big scale wine with excellent concentration. I find the post LLCs to be very clean and modern also least evolving. This particular bottle was expressive and showing exceptionally well. My WOTN. Long long life ahead. (98 pts.)
2001 Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
Thick, thick, thick, 10W40. Strong presence of botrytis gives very spicy nose impression, cream caramel, mango, apricot, vanilla and light maple syrup. The palate is unctuous and extremely sweet but the noticeable acidity makes it not too cloying. Still quite fat and borderline cloying. I believe with a few more years of cellaring this will be a bit more precise as it loses the sweetness. Not a bad showing but definitely will improve. (94 pts.)
1994 Trimbach Pinot Gris Sélection de Grains Nobles - France, Alsace, Alsace AOC
I believe Panos mentioned that he is not a big fan of Pinot Gris as it is somewhere between Gewurtaminer and Riesling and I agree. The nose is very pure with some lychee, wild flowers, a hint of musk and honey. The palate is surprisingly light due to the bright acidity which also makes it not too sweet. This is showing well but I tend to like em real young. (94 pts.)
1985 Von Hövel Scharzhofberger Riesling Eiswein - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
I mentioned to Ken who brought this wine that I prefer to drink icewines young when there are plenty of white fruits like pear and white peaches and he agreed. Light caramel, chestnut, toffee and a hint of oxidative note. The palate shows piecing acidity. Not bad but I would have enjoyed this a lot more in its youth. (91 pts.)
It was good to share the great wines with my fellow DCWINOS and I look forward to many more to come in 2012!
Posted from CellarTracker