Jeff Grossman kindly opened a 1998 G. Barthod - Chambolle - Beaux Bruns at Chelsea Wine Storage last Saturday afternoon, serving it decanted and blind. It was a bit of a surprise, as it had a very ripe fruit profile – ripe black cherries on the nose and in the mouth. Almost jammy, in fact. Still pretty tannic, but the ripe fruit kept it in balance. A trace of alcohol at the back, even though we were sampling this in a 55F cellar. In short, it’s kind of a big bruiser. I quite enjoyed this and would score it 92-ish, but it’s rather atypical of the vintage and of Chambolle.
That moved me to pull out a 1998 Faiveley - Nuits St. Georges - Les Damodes two nights later. Decanted and served with a pasta with fava beans, fennel, speck and a bit of tomato paste. It was not a good combo, as this wine is still very masculine, very tannic and very, well, Nuits, even though the vineyard is on the border of Vosne. This really needed roasted or grilled red meat. Decanted an hour ahead and drunk over a leisurely meal, but we didn’t finish the bottle. There just wasn’t much pleasure there. Three nights in the refrigerator the remaining quarter bottle was oxidized. Meh. No score.