TN: '88 Northern Rhones at Siggy's (Salon, Guigal, Chave, Chapelle, Dujac, more)

I thought I’d kick-off full-time participation on this board with some notes from a great recent tasting I attended. I’m not able to post as frequently as I’d like due to other projects, but it’s really nice to have an outlet for learning more about wine. Thanks to Todd for hosting a great board where oenophiles are free to come and share their love of wine with each other.

'88 NORTHERN RHONES AT SIGGY’S - (4/13/2010)

Siggy invited a group of us to his house to meet up with Kevin Sidders who was in town for the inaugural Twins game at Target Field. No theme was specified but a few of us latched onto the idea of pouring some '88 Northern Rhones. Siggy prepared a rotisserie leg of lamb and I added a black bean ragout with fried leeks to pair with the Northern Rhones.

In The Kitchen
Kevin and I were there early to help Siggy. He offered us a pour of the Montrachet. We pulled the Moulinet to bridge to the start of the festivities.

  • 2005 Louis Jadot Montrachet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru
    When popped and poured for the kitchen helpers prior to dinner this seemed really nice, but by dinner darkness and premox had overtaken it. My notes from early on show an expressive nose with tropical fruit, grapefruit, honey, lemon and what I labeled Drambuie. Compact flavors and coarse texture on the palate with nice acidity and a very nice finish. Makes me wonder how great a proper bottle of this could be. NR (flawed)
  • 1966 Château Moulinet - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
    Not wanting to drink all the Montrachet we popped this while finishing our work in the kitchen. The color is brick red but still retaining some cherry red hues. The nose is dusty and funky overlaying cigar and black fruit flavors. On the palate this seems old with minimal fruit or structure remaining but with good minerality. The texture is rather rough for Pomerol. Flavors intensify by mid-palate and lead to a “clingy” finish. Very fun to try but nothing worth seeking out. (87 pts.)

Champagne and Whites
We started with a massive plate of cheese and champagne on Siggy’s beautiful new patio. We then moved inside for a roasted tomato soup with a goat cheese flan. The plan was for a pair of whites, but the Montrachet was deemed oxidized.

  • 1969 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut Rosé Vintage (Reserve) - France, Champagne
    Light brownish-orange color more reminiscent of cognac than Champagne; almost no bubbles. The nose gives a reserved expression of citrus, caramelized sugar/creme brulee. On the palate this delivers good flavor intensity but a flat palate presence more like a cola than champagne. Nice acidity and medium length on the finish. Fun to sip while sitting in the sun on Siggy’s patio and a pleasant way to kick off the night. (86 pts.)
  • 1996 Salon Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs - France, Champagne, Le Mesnil Sur Oger, Champagne
    My second time with '96 Salon. Unfortunately this hit while I was getting the soup ready to serve and took almost no notes. The nose was an awesome combination of ripe fruit and yeast/dough aromas. In the mouth this is packed with clean fruit than fans out across the palate with great intensity. Light and elegant on the palate despite the obvious heft of the fruit. Very well balanced with plenty of acidity. Great length on the finish. This is a special bottle of wine that will be fun to follow for many years into the future. (95 pts.)
  • 2000 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru
    Beautiful but subdued chablis nose with great minerality/sea shells. On the palate this is elegant and balanced with just barely enough acidity for me. Great length. A really great bottle of wine, but not the ‘wow’ for me that a recent '07 was. (92 pts.)

The Main Event
Siggy’s leg of lamb turned out perfect, and the wines all rocked. When first poured I called them as no more than a 1-2 point spread. With air, however, the two Guigals gained in interest while the Chave faded a bit. Regardless, this was one of my favorite flights in a long time. Tasting these four icons side-by-side proved to be very educational. If anything it reaffirmed by belief that Chave tends toward aristocratic while La Chapelle tends towards wild and untamed – and Guigal leverages the best of both to deliver near-perfection.

  • 1988 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Turque - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
    Dark red color. Beautiful nose delivering an explosion of aromas including dark fruit, pepper, coffee, bacon and floral notes. Got better and better as the night wore on. The taste is dominated by red fruit with layers and layers of flavor. Great intensity from the attack through the finish. Just barely enough acidity and pretty well resolved tannins. Great, great length on the finish. This bottle showed as more evolved than the previous time I had it and I thought just a smidgen better. (98 pts.)
  • 1988 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Mouline - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
    My fourth time with Guigal’s '88 La Mouline, and with any luck not the last. My notes are minimal, but this showed the same character as La Turque, but with more mineral and licorice on the nose. Delivers a big, elegant mouthful of flavor with every sip. Perfect balance. Captivating finish. This is a wine that seems to deliver near-perfection every time it is opened. (98 pts.)
  • 1988 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
    When first poured this was the equal of the other three Northern Rhones. In time it retreated a bit, while the Guigals gained. The nose delivers big, hearty aromas of red fruit, pepper and earthy. The taste is dominated by more red fruit with good minerality. Great presence on the palate and a supple, elegant texture. Perfectly balanced. Great length on the finish. A worthy adversary that just came up a bit short tonight. (94 pts.)
  • 1988 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
    The odd-ball of the group but a sentimental favorite of mine. The nose is exotic and protean in nature, featuring red cherry fruit, licorice, some funk and a strong minerality. On the palate this delivers expansive flavors of red fruit with smoke and mineral. Smooth and elegant with great balance. Excellent finish. A surprisingly strong showing for this wine among three more highly regarded Northern Rhone. (94 pts.)

The Rest of the Reds
Dessert was chocolate Bouchons with ice cream. Steve did a great job on these. The wines were a bit of a grab-bag with the last two delivering great drinking experiences.

  • 2001 Domaine Tempier Bandol - France, Provence, Bandol
    Pouring this blind after an inspired flight of '88 Northern Rhones was a mistake. The nose gives roasted dark fruit, coffee and the smell of alcohol. On the palate more coffee and the prominent taste of alcohol. All I could come up with for a guess was Zinfandel. Not recommended.
  • 1985 Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Georges de Latour Private Reserve - USA, California, Napa Valley
    Poured blind. Badly corked. Too bad.
  • 2000 Poderi Luigi Einaudi Barolo Nei Cannubi - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Light and happy nose of red fruit and licorice. Compact flavors on the palate with nice red fruit and tons of acidity. Nice finish. Very solid wine. (91 pts.)
  • 1990 Château Léoville Poyferré - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
    Popped and poured. Big expressive nose with dark fruit, earth, tar, coffee and more. Classic Bordeaux. On the palate this delivers red fruit with good flavor intensity but is still very, very structured. Long, tannic finish. I repeat, classic Bordeaux. Excellent stuff. (93 pts.)
  • 2001 Domaine Dujac Clos St. Denis - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos St. Denis Grand Cru
    It’s traditional to end a night at Siggy’s in Burgundy, and he didn’t let us down. Popped and poured. Awesome Dujac nose of stemmy dark fruit and coffee aromas. The taste is equally great with great texture and great balance. A perfect way to finish the evening. Thanks Siggy. (95 pts.)

Another great, relaxed night of food, wine and friendly dialogue. I’d call the two Guigals a push for WOTN. Thanks again to Siggy for arranging such a great dinner.

Dave, thanks for posting this over here, I was almost tempted to respond on ebob but I just couldn’t do it.

I had a bottle of the 05 Louis Jadot Montrachet on Saturday night and it was fantastic. The last sip was the best…sorry to hear about your wine being flawed.

Great line-up. I can’t wait for my young North Rhones to mature!

Have you ever had Dauvissat’s 00 Les Preuses? To me, that year was definitely a year where Les Preuses outshone Les Clos.

Dave, great to see you posting notes here. Nice to see La Chapelle showing well. I really like the '88.


Awesome notes as always. I’m still pulling my notes together and will try to post my thoughts soon – agreed on the two LaLas. '88 La Mouline may be my desert island wine.


Paul – Even Brad, who is generally down on La Chapelle, grudgingly agreed the Chapelle showed well in this line-up.

Jim – I’ll have to seek it out. I’ve only had the '03 and '06 Les Preuses and neither did much for me. The '03 was poured beside the '07 Les Clos, one of my all-time favorite whites.

Only have had the AOC Chablis 07 - based on that I bet Les Clos is off the charts.

Steve – We’re 0 for 2 on '05 Jadot Montrachet. The first was about a month ago and was far more oxidized than this one. Glad to hear your bottle was sound – any chance you posted a note somewhere about it? I’d love to know what I’m missing.

Jim – Here’s what I’ve had of the '07s.

  • 2007 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis - France, Burgundy, Chablis (12/31/2009)
    Beautiful clear pale yellow color. Nose offers dull notes of citrus fruit and mineral. On the palate this shows nice fruit concentration but with a heavy dose of acidity. Finishes very nice with zingy acidity and nice flavors lingering. This is nice enough, but I’d recommend buying the higher end versions of Dauvissat in 2007. (88 pts.)
  • 2007 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis 1er Cru La Forest - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru (9/24/2009)
    Wine at RN74 in SF (Chave, Clape, Dauvissat, Meo, Grange, more); 9/21/2009-9/24/2009: About $80 off the list. Opened and decanted, then consumed over about 30 minutes or so. Served between the Rhones and the Burgs and proved to be an excellent bridge. Bright lemon yellow color. Soaring nose featuring aromas from the entire orchard – lemon, apricot, orange, and more. A touch of minerality peeks through, but this is mainly about ripe fruit at this point in time. On the palate this delivers a whallop of fruit paired with a double whallop of acidity. Flavors expand on the palate but are ultimately constrained by the acidity. Hard to believe, but there is almost too much acidity here(?). The finish lingers on and on and is extremely satisfying. The '07 La Forest a big step down from the '07 Les Clos (one of my favorite whites of all time) but is still an excellent bottle of wine. (92 pts.)
  • 2007 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru (3/18/2009)
    Wednesday Night Burgs: One of Craig’s contribution and this was extraordinary. Soaring nose dominated by citrus fruits but delivering layers of complexity. Even better in the mouth with a steely, jazzy personality. Concentrated, mouth-coating fruit balanced deftly by structure/acidity. Flavors really ping the taste buds and the finish seems to go on forever. For me this was WOTN and one I will need to seek out. (97 pts.)

I didn’t post a note, I did post that we also drank the 89 and 95 Angelus, 89 Pichon Baron, 89 Pichon Lalande, 89 Lynch Bages 82 Canon, 82 Grand Puy Lacoste 88 d’yquem but I haven’t gotten around to posting notes. Hopefully Ed Murray or Jeff Twersky will get around to it. Dan walker brought the Montrachet.


Dauvissat has had his share of POX problems. So far, so good on my 00s…

Good summary from Dave. I will say that the 00 Dauvissat Les Clos was, for me, quintessential Chablis. I thought it was outstanding, and would drink it with pleasure any day.

Great notes (again) Dave. As this thread has evolved into some discussion about Chablis GCs, could someone point to a GC Chablis with good age, less premox failure that they’d recommend trying? I have some younger ones (02,04,06 Fevres) but would like to compare with the Dauvissauts and Ravenaus of the world.

Much appreciated.