A LOST FRIDAY AFTERNOON GATHERING – 96 OENO, 99 ROUMIER BM, 13 ENTE VV, 95 RAYAS, 90 CHAP - BlackSalt, Washington DC (12/22/2016)
Six of us got together to drink some nice wines. The Chef always does an excellent job. However this time, he totally exceeded my wildest expectation. One of the best meals of the year. The service was excellent as usual.
1996 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon Oenothèque - France, Champagne
Thanks to RJ’s generosity, I was able to drink a dozen of it in the past two years. It is fascinating to observe a significant bottle variation coming from the same case. Although consistent excellent, some are very vibrant and focused and others are decadent and hedonistic. Tom mentions “really delicious” and RJ mentions “very creamy” which I agree wholeheartedly. Harmonious subtle nose displaying slightly oxidized apple, lemon curd, sweet spices, pepper, honey, cedar and mineral. Fully integrated harmonious palate, very fine slightly shy mousse, really creamy and soft, nice mineral expression and a subtle apple fruit driven finish that ringers. For my palate, I prefer the vibrant and precise examples a bit more. Nevertheless, really delicious and perfectly enjoyable. (95 pts.)
According to Amy, Domaine Pattes Loup is a hot producer. This was my first experience and I was totally impressed, very pure and precise despite the vintage. Tasting the 81 Raveneau was interesting.
1981 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
The color is amber which is a bit of concern. Slightly advanced but not madeirized nose displaying a hint of tarte tatin, lanoline, iron, oyster shell, smoked oyster and burnt sugar. Very good concentration, burnt sugar and caramel driven palate impression, steely mineral, slightly lacking acidity and a medium finish that ends with burnt sugar. This particular example is slightly advanced yet enjoyable. For my palate, slightly advanced white Burgundies work well with very earthy dishes, in our case, with a dried Japanese scallop dish. (91 pts.)
2012 Domaine Pattes Loup Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
The nose clearly expresses the 12 ripeness, ripe orchard fruit, meyer lemon, honey, white pepper and a lot of limestone. Very good concentration, clean, precise, detailed, mouth puckering acidity, strong presence of mineral and a long clean finish with a hint of honey at the end. Despite displaying the 12 ripeness, the overall expression is cool and energetic with a lot of mineral. The style reminds me Raveneau but a bitleaner. Very good showing. (93 pts.)
The Arnaud was so precise, a great contrast to the Lafon which is quite ripe and fruit driven.
2013 Arnaud Ente Meursault La Seve du Clos Plus Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault
Very precise mineral driven nose, focused fresh citrus, a hint of Coche like flint but much subtler, lanoline, spicy spices, wild flowers, saline and limestone. Perfectly precise and detailed yet excellent richness perhaps coming from old vines, cool, strong presence of mineral, beautiful acidity and a long clean mountain stream driven finish. This is very focused, cool and precise, kinda reminds me an excellent unyielding old school Chablis. (94 pts.)
2010 Dominique Lafon Meursault Les Narvaux - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault
Initially a bit tight but opens up beautifully displaying the classic Lafon rich orchard fruit, also lemon curd, succulent white peach, a hint of mint and sesame/oak and mineral. Excellent concentration, white peach and lemon driven palate impression, bright acidity, medium mineral and a long rich and oily finish. I am incredibly happy that all my 10-12 Lafons remain very fresh without any sign of premox. “Knock on wood”. (93 pts.)
1999 Domaine G. Roumier / Christophe Roumier Bonnes Mares - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru
Youthful and vibrant yet very detailed and complex nose displaying strawberry, a hint of blackberry jelly, stewed tomato, stem, sap, iron, rose, root beer, light caramel, animal and earth. Excellent concentration, vibrant, energetic, beautifully detailed and perfectly harmonious, sap, bright acidity, excellent mineral presence, quite noticeable very fine tannins and an incredibly long energetic finish. So polished, complex, detailed, vibrant and pure. The velvet glove is so silky and smooth that the iron fist is barely noticeable. For my palate, the secondary notes are starting to show, though mostly masked by the opulent youthful fruit. It will required another five to ten years to reach the first stage of the youthful peak. Truly a WOW showing. (97 pts.)
2002 Mongeard-Mugneret Richebourg - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Richebourg Grand Cru
Rich concentrated candied red fruit driven nose, strawberry jam, cherry compote, sap, a hint of sous bois and Vosne spice. Excellent concentration, sweet stewed tomato and strawberry driven palate impression, good acidity and a long dense sweet finish. It fills a bit “chunky”, especially compare to the 99 Roumier BM. Nevertheless, it shows very well with excellent fruit concentration. (94 pts.)
1990 Giovanni Corino Barolo Vigneto Rocche - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Incredibly youth nose displaying sweet slightly dry black fruit, black cherry, fruitcake, anise, tar, baking spice and earth. Excellent concentration, sweet black fruit and fruitcake driven palate impression, medium acidity, nicely integrated tannins and a long dark fruit driven finish. It is a very youthful wine. Neither the most complex nor the most polished, nevertheless drinking beautifully with the decadent generous dark fruit, the complexity is mostly coming from the age. (95 pts.)
1989 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Very iron driven nose displaying yellow cherry, cherry brandy, a hint of rust, balsamico, leather, licorice, tar, roasted chestnut, and steely mineral. Fully integrated harmonious palate, lean/steely, slightly rustic, good concentration and a long cherry and iron driven finish. The wine clearly displays the cantina style yet it seems a bit too straightforward. (94 pts.)
1995 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
This is all about bright, I mean super intense bright, red fruit. The fruit expression seems decidedly redder then before. Intoxicating nose displaying cherry, cherry liqueur, framboise, smoked meat, tobacco, dark spices, garrigue, white pepper, tapenade and mineral. Excellent concentration, beautifully layered decadent fruit, intense cherry liqueur and smoke driven palate impression, bright acidity and strong presence of mineral, and the never ending finish. Despite the intense ripe fruit, the wine has the perfect balance. It is drinking at the first stage of youthful peak. (97 pts.)
1990 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
According to Tom, “one of the best examples of the wine” and I can’t disagree. Expressive nose displaying very ripe black fruit, blackberry jam, fruitcake, licorice, caramel, garrigue, wet tobacco, baking spices and grilled steak. Incredible concentration, beautifully layered dark fruit, quite dense yet fluid, good acidity and a very long finish with resonating black fruit. This is still very youthful and need another ten to fifteen years to reach the peak Excellent showing. (97 pts.)
2005 Château d’Yquem - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
I was lucky to have the wine only a month ago at the Yquem workshop with Sandrine during the Villa D’Este wine symposium. Back then I thought the wine had the perfect amount of acidity. Tom mentions that the wine slightly lacks acidity and I have to agree. Decadent nose displaying ripe yellow tropical fruit, pineapple, mango, peach, grapefruit, crème brulee, light honey and spicy spices. Incredible concentration, unctuous and oily yet somehow manages to be also airy and weightless, layers upon layers of ripe yellow fruits, only a hint of acidity and an intense long finish that resonates. This is really delicious now but will become even better in ten to fifteen years as the fruit subsides to give better precision and detail. (96 pts.)
As usual, a great time was had by all and I was the first one to leave at 5.
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