20 members of the Cellar Tracker forum/Wine Berserker forum descend on Charleston for four days of finest food and finest wine
Happy Burgundy Thursday
Terrine de Volaille à Chaud-Frois
Bœuf Bourguignon/Gratin Dauphenois/Poireaux Frits
Assiette de fromages affinés
L’Ananas Flambé au Grand Marnier/Sorbet au Fromage Blanc/Galettes Sablées
2006 Dom Pérignon Champagne - France, Champagne (11/7/2019)
So young, but still tasty with toast, lemon curd, and zippy acidity.
1996 Egly-Ouriet Champagne Grand Cru Brut Millésimé - France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru (11/7/2019)
Really showing its age in a good way. There is just a hint of oxidation with brioche, caramel, and great acidity.
2005 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru (11/7/2019)
This wine has put on serious weight since our last bottle. Rich and racy with a backbone of oak and bracing saline acidity. In a perfect spot IMO.
2010 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru (11/7/2019)
(actually tasted on Sunday)
Austere, but with a touch of flab. Not tons of complexity right now, but maybe in a few years.
2013 Domaine Roulot Meursault Les Tessons Clos de Mon Plaisir - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault (11/7/2019)
Classic Roulot. IT’s the perfect balance of weight without seeming to have any weight at all. There is a little oiliness, but no flabby fat, just wonderful minerally precision.
2013 Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru (11/7/2019)
A beast—I’d love to see it with 20 years on it. Coriander, orange/lemon peel and a wonderful green herbaceous quality which keeps the weight in check.
2001 Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques Vieille Vigne - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru (11/7/2019)
Chalky, earthy, dark cherry—classic Fourrier. I love this wine so much. It still has lots of gas in the tank
and is a classic 01 terroir poster child
1961 Joseph Drouhin Romanée St. Vivant - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Romanée St. Vivant Grand Cru (11/7/2019)
Really youthful, oddly so. There are lots of primary flavors still dominating and the red fruits are amazingly fresh.
2006 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Richebourg - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Richebourg Grand Cru (11/7/2019)
Stemmy dry tannins with red fruits, orange and the faint entrance of a little soy and Indian spice. Needs time.
1998 Domaine G. Roumier / Christophe Roumier Bonnes Mares - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru (11/7/2019)
What a joy. Perfect balance of Roumier red cherry with a secondary streak of black. There are layers and layers of subtle spice, orange pekoe, hints of ginger and perfectly balanced acidity.
1988 Faiveley Corton-Clos des Cortons Faiveley - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru (11/7/2019)
I am generally not a big fan of this wine, but this one showed pretty well. Rustic, somewhat monolithic but still quite tasty, with a pleasant bitterness on the finish.
2011 Bouchard Père et Fils Chambertin-Clos de Bèze - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru (11/7/2019)
Simple and primary, with light red cherry and a hint of the greenness typical of 11s. Pleasant but simply a quaff.
1999 Domaine du Clos de Tart Clos de Tart - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos de Tart Grand Cru (11/7/2019)
Delicious, but still so young. Dark fruits and a bit viscous with hints of soy sauce and bay.
2007 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Bonnes Mares - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru (11/7/2019)
Unfortunately this was paired with the 98 Roumier. While this is drinking well, I still believe that 07s will never display correct complexity. It is a little sweet and simple for a Grand Cru, but enjoyable nonetheless.
2010 Domaine Ponsot Corton Cuvée du Bourdon - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton Grand Cru (11/7/2019)
There is an stewed medicinal quality in this wine which I find quite off-putting. Perhaps it has seen a little heat? Or is it just a Ponsot red? Some bitter spiciness gives it some interest.
1969 Remoissenet Père et Fils Morey St. Denis Les Charmes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Morey St. Denis (11/7/2019)
Earthy forest with some still-kicking red fruits. Sweet tannins and a little bit of Indian spice. Surpisingly good I thought.
1966 Thomas Bassot Griotte-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru (11/7/2019)
Delicious, tertiary aged Burg. Powdery dried flowers, black tea, coriander and cumin.
1986 Château d’Yquem - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes (11/7/2019)
Loved it. Rich, thick and unctuous without being cloying. There are cloves, dried pinapple and a long finish. The balance illustrates the greatness that is Yquem.
1981 Château d’Yquem - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes (11/7/2019)
Finish was a bit clipped, and there is a astringent quality that I don’t care for, but it’s still aged Yquem with the classic dried apricot, tropical fruits and zippy acidity.
Friday Afternoon Champagne
A Basket of Cornmeal-Fried Oysters and Charleston Shrimp
2004 Pol Roger Champagne Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill - France, Champagne (11/8/2019)
This is a little sweet for me, but still delicious with yeasty toast and nice acidity.
1998 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut Rosé La Grande Dame - France, Champagne (11/8/2019)
from Magnum—Fantastic, with dried cherry, orange peel. Super acidic and complex.
1990 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut La Grande Dame - France, Champagne (11/8/2019)
Nuts, flowers, apple, acid, toast, body, depth—what more could you possibly want?
2002 Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Cuvée Rare - France, Champagne (11/8/2019)
Sweet, young and primary with a big hit of roasted apple. Maybe a little reduction. Needs time.
2004 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut - France, Champagne (11/8/2019)
I like Cristal but it always comes across a bit sweet for my palate. Maybe with another 20 years…
A Flannery Steak Out
Flannery Dry-Aged “Jorge Cut” Steaks
Beefy Compound Butter
Reprise of Grandmama Cappy’s Macaroni
Firefly Sweet Tea-Glazed Carrots
River Rat’s Grilled Caesar Wedge
2013 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon “Old Sparky” Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville (11/8/2019)
from magnum (of course) Total Schrader (velvet tannins, polish, cassis and dark cherry, spice…) Still wonderful. We had enough remaining in the bottle to follow it over several days. It didn’t fade much, but was best on night one.
2003 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Brunate Le Coste - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo (11/8/2019)
Delicious—lots of licorice, black cherry, and soft tannin, with hints of orange peel, clove and smoke.
2006 Antinori Solaia Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT (11/8/2019)
Oak. Did I mention the oak? Typical Solaia with dark red fruits, rustic tannins and more oak.
2004 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia - Italy, Tuscany, Bolgheri, Bolgheri Superiore (11/8/2019)
Some dark red fruits with a little figgy richness/dried fruit component. Acid is decent. Oak does noit dominate.
2010 Dominus Estate - USA, California, Napa Valley (11/8/2019)
Restrained with dark but not flabby fruit. I appreciate the restraint but found it to be a bit one-note.
2008 TOR Kenward Family Wines Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 4 Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley (11/8/2019)
from magnum. Really ripe and forward with a zippy attack and a faded finish.
2005 Cayuse Syrah Bionic Frog - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley (11/8/2019)
Classic Frog—I really love this wine with age. I think the Cayuse creosote quality inegrates and makes it really special. There is still plenty of ripeness, but acid adds lift and carries the wine to the next level.
2000 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (11/8/2019)
from Magnum. Primary fruit has faded and the wine is just now developing real complexity. I would love to try this in another 10 years.
2007 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Turque - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie (11/8/2019)
I love La Turque. This one certainly has a punch of oak but there is that wonderful sauvage quality I always get on this wine. It is still super ripe, but acid tries to keep it balanced.
2010 Next of Kyn Syrah No~4 Cumulus Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast (11/8/2019)
from Magnum—A beast. Very SQN on nose and mouthfeel. It’s starting to tame a bit, and will be spectacular in another 5-10 years.
2000 Emidio Pepe Montepulciano d’Abruzzo - Italy, Abruzzi, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (11/8/2019)
Pretty. Bright red cherry, perfume and leather. Still lots of aging potential
1994 Château Tirecul La Gravière Monbazillac Cuvée Madame - France, Southwest France, Dordogne, Monbazillac (11/8/2019)
So luscious and viscous with tons of apricot and caramel, but still some acid. Ginger, spice, orange peel—it’s all there.
1995 Château Tirecul La Gravière Monbazillac Cuvée Madame - France, Southwest France, Dordogne, Monbazillac (11/8/2019)
Maybe a little more tired than the 94, it is still a remarkable wine with similar markers to the 94
Tasting Menu at Circa 1886
Chef Marc Collins created a five course pairing menu to accompany our declared wines.
Served in The Tack Room, Circa’s upstairs private room
2004 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut - France, Champagne (11/9/2019)
So young, but still great with classic Krug nose, dark fruits, great acid, and a pleasantly bitter finish
1996 Duval-Leroy Champagne Femme de Champagne - France, Champagne (11/9/2019)
Fantastic. Lots of acid with a dark reductive nose which explodes into Meyer-Lemony brioche. There is a lot going on with this wine
2010 Domaine Ponsot Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Clos des Monts Luisants Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Morey St. Denis 1er Cru (11/9/2019)
From magnum. A little hint of sweetness but the acid conquers. There is an oily quality with tons of lemon zest, quince, and a hint of candied ginger. A great wine
1973 Domaine Huet Vouvray Demi-Sec Perlant - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray (11/9/2019)
Quince, quince and more quince, with ginger, great acid, slight petrol. What a treat.
1999 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc De L’Orée - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (11/9/2019)
from magnum. Waxy honeycomb with an oily marzipan quality and a big dose of green herbs. Delicious.
2006 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Pignan Reserve - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (11/9/2019)
Rocky, mineral, creosote, black pepper, brilliant cherry…Mind numbingly good.
1998 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (11/9/2019)
Lots of red cherry with hunts of licorice and decent tannins. In a great spot.
2000 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac (11/9/2019)
from magnum. Very 2000. Plum, Cassis. Dark. Brooding. Beautiful
1989 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac (11/9/2019)
Soft tannins, smoke, cassis is more like red currant, and there is a bunch of bell pepper.
1995 Château Lafite Rothschild - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac (11/9/2019)
from magnum. A bit shy at first. Then pointy tannins emerge with bell pepple, leather, black cassis and some red. Spice. Orange pekoe. Goes on and on.
1998 Penfolds Grange - Australia, South Australia (11/9/2019)
I think I have decided that 20ish years might be the perfect age for Grange. I thought this one was perfect, with classic notes of menthol, Eucalyptus, blackberry, glycerin, Indian spice, blood orange.
1998 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie La Landonne - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie (11/9/2019)
Tasty, but really restrained, and yet still somewhat disjointed, which I found odd. There is smoke, roasted meat and grapey purple. Maybe could use more time still.
1999 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Mouline - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie (11/9/2019)
Oak still dominates a bit but this is entering a great place with lots of smoky, meaty, grapey growth ahead.
1995 Château d’Yquem - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes (11/9/2019)
Very youthful. Super rich with orange peel, clove and muted acidity.
1997 Château d’Yquem - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes (11/9/2019)
from magnum. A baby. Luscious. Apricot, ginger, spice, green herb, orange curd.
Old and Blind Lunch at our Country Club
Chef Larry created a couple of courses to elevate our wines. The wines were served blind. Diners received a sheet of tasting notes and attempted to match the wines to the corresponding tasting notes.
1979 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac (11/10/2019)
(blind) Green as you would expect from the vintage. Nevertheless it has lots of complexity and fruit, and shows no sign of going away.
1995 Pahlmeyer Merlot - USA, California, Napa Valley (11/10/2019)
(blind) Fantastic. A real fooler with more dark fruit than one would expect.
1992 Ridge Monte Bello - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains (11/10/2019)
(blind) Still tasted young and I didn’t get that Ridge distinctive oak. I expected more complexity but it was still delicious.
1995 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (11/10/2019)
(blind) Chave…period. Even young, there is such clarity and precision with the perfect balance of dark blue Syrah fruits and that great lift Chave gets with hints of red. There is spice, mineral, and backbone to age for many more years.
1984 Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Red Rock Terrace - USA, California, Napa Valley, Diamond Mountain (11/10/2019)
(blind) In a great spot right now. These wines are certainly recognizable as 100% Cab, and this one has plenty of fruit remaining. Wonderful.
1997 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate - USA, California, Napa Valley (11/10/2019)
(blind) Muted and faded. Even as disappointing as that is, the wine still has lots of good qualities with some fruit and decent acid balance.
1964 Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Barolo Riserva - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo (11/10/2019)
(blind) Cherry, soy, orange, saddle leather…in other words, old Barolo in a good place.
1966 Château Palmer - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux (11/10/2019)
(blind) Messy cork. Messy bottle. Messy sediment. Great wine. Old Bordeaux with the classic markers.
1989 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage (11/10/2019)
(blind) Great. Classic Rhone Syrah with smoked meat, great acidity, wild herb, resolved tannin.
See y’all next year!
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