TN: EWG: Decadence - DomP,Henriot,Chapoutier,Aubert,RM,DugatPy,Rhys,SQN

EWG: DECADENCE - Conrad Green’s Abode (6/19/2011)

The East-Side Wine Group’s June theme was ‘Decadence’ as open to our interpretation. In accordance with the theme Conrad and Rick made and served an incredibly decadent meal that was just outstanding. In fact, the meal and the company over shadowed the wines for me. Here is the food listed by course with the suggested pairings.

Champagne - Potato cakes with creme fraiche and American Caviar
Open flight - Ragout of morels with creme fraiche, soft herbs and toasted brioche
White Burgundy/Opulent Chardonnay - Lobster risotto
Red Burgundy/Pinot Noir - Duck breast with a cherry reduction with seasonal veggie
Italian Red - Osso Bucco with english peas and pea shoots and saffron aioli on toast
Sauternes - Blue Cheese which were a Roquefort and a Basque

We had a terrific lineup of wines I can’t say a lot of them really stepped up to the plate in a big way on the evening. Some were good and some were just OK. I’d say my WOTN’s would be the starter and a finisher.
Pre-Dinner Treat
Many of us brought this in to join the other Champagnes in the dinner flight. Just a terrific wine when its on.

  • 1996 Henriot Champagne Brut Millésimé - France, Champagne
    I have noticed some possible bottle variation with these. My last try was strongly oxidized. That being said, this bottle was excellent. Lovely and rich with just a touch of oxidation. Maybe a touch more acidity would really send it off but its just a terrific wine regardless. Very nice.

Potato cakes with creme fraiche and American Caviar - Lovely lightly fried potatoes worked really well underneath the goods. Decadent and delicious. Works great with Champagne.

  • 1988 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Brut Vintage Rare - France, Champagne
    Pretty much the same as my last note. There was some mushroomy funk that took some time to fade away. That left a nose of soft orange blossoms. Bright orange citrus on the palate that was still a bit grippy even if it was showing its age a bit. Definitely better with some air. Good stuff.
  • 2000 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon - France, Champagne
    I’m not a huge fan of this, at least in the context of what you hope it to be. Its a nice enough Champagne in the abstract but it falls far below good vintages to me. Yes, it needs more age but I don’t see a lot of upside here in the way of depth, concentration or interest. Trademark sulfur nose. Big powerful bubbles with strong apple notes. I swirled and coaxed it for a while to no change. Tons of NV farmer fizz out there that blows this off the table for less than half the price.

Open Flight
Ragout of morels with creme fraiche, soft herbs and toasted brioche - The morels were light and subtle and the brioche rich and buttery. This was tough to pair and in retrospect I would probably go with a richer Champagne. I tried out a classic Chard along side a Jura Chard and Rick brought in the Chapoutier. Each wine was clearly very unique in the flight with the Tissot drinking best for me.

  • 2004 Hanzell Chardonnay - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
    Pretty nose showing a touch ripe with a touch of heat. Somewhat complex with spiced apples becoming more expressive with air. The palate shows a lean feel under rich fruit. Clean but with some bite. Better nose than palate. It would be hard to pin this one blind. Not your typical Cali Chard but not Burgundy like either. Good with possible room for improvement.
  • 2006 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc De L’Orée - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
    This was not very expressive to start with and tightened up in the glass even harder. Nose of waxy banana. Fat and round palate with more wax character and a flat expression. I’m not a huge Rhone white guy but this must have a better future ahead of it. Leave it sleep.
  • 2007 Domaine Tissot (André & Mireille now Stéphane) Côtes du Jura En Barberon - France, Jura, Côtes du Jura
    Smoky nose like a Fino Sherry with a bit of light pepper. Sharp palate that is very clean with strong tart acids. Light sulfur. If the fruit opens a bit more with some bottle age this could turn out real nice. Good food wine at the moment. I like.

White Burgundy/Opulent Chardonnay
Lobster Risotto - Another knock it out of the park dish but how could you go wrong? Rick shaved some lobster roe over this just cause he could. Looking back on it I think lighter bodied expressive reds with driving acids would go well here. We managed to enjoy ourselves anyways. The Rivers Marie was easily the best of the flight on this night for me.

  • 2006 Jean Noel Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru
    Big nose, sweet and pretty with nice minerals. Weighty palate that seems a bit clipped. Certainly on the decadent side of Burgundy but it didn’t seem completely balanced.
  • 2007 Aubert Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Nose shows some sulfur, smoky wood and lemon chiffon with some heat. Sweet and pretty palate. Very even though very rich. Definitely on the decadent side of whites. Doesn’t speak to me but I do get that people love these.
  • 2009 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay B. Thieriot Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Tight nose initially with a prominent honey character. Bright lemon pie notes with some air. Honeyed lemon flavors with a touch of heat. A unique Chard to be sure. None of the richness in the Aubert so it felt lighter to me. I rather enjoyed it and can see some room for short term improvement.

Red Burgundy/Pinot Noir
Duck breast with a cherry reduction with seasonal veggie - The veggies were peas and the cherries were left around being quite tasty next to some very rich, meaty duck. Who needs red meat? That Rhys is not in a pleasurable spot. The SQN was candy like Syrah. The think the Dugat-Py probably needs more time but I’m no expert on Burgundy or the vintage. It was still the most pleasurable on the flight for me.

  • 2000 Bernard Dugat-Py Charmes-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru
    Stanky sulfury nose. Smokey notes with some wet bricks and heat. Lean feeling palate that seems to gain length with air. This was good but not really rocking on the night. no recollection if it was decanted or not but it could have been in a funky place…or its just Burgundy.
  • 2007 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
    Pay heed to Kevin’s advice and leave these be. Strong green stem presence on the nose. Very strong. Tight and grippy. Lean and tannic. Hard to read at all but the greenness of the stem notes does give me some pause. Makes me think of some of Copain’s earlier work where the wines were never able to get out from under that. I believe the fruit concentration is here for it to come together but only time will tell.
  • 2004 Sine Qua Non Pinot Noir Covert Fingers - USA, California
    The pejorative put down that big Pinot tastes like Syrah has never rung true with me. At least until this wine. Densely fruited nose showing tires and tar with some heat. Very Syrah like. Fat thick palate with candy like fruit and again, very Syrah like in flavor with more heat. This just did not appeal to me though its not out of place for the style of wine. You have to wonder what exactly the motivation was to give up on the Pinot program at SQN.

Italaian Reds
Osso Bucco with english peas and pea shoots and saffron aioli on toast - I took a bone and ate the marrow. While the Barolo wasn’t very traditional, leaning on the rich and ripe side of things the flavor profile still helped make for a great pairing. The marrow on some fresh baguette with a sip of Barolo kicked much ass. The rest of the dish was killer besides.

  • 1997 Luigi Pira Barolo Marenca - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Big nose with slightly baked fruits. Strong acids behind very rich fruit for a Barolo. Mouth filling with broad tannin. Dense and ripe for Barolo but with enough traditional flavor profile to make the osso bucco kick.
  • 2004 Tenimenti Luigi d’Alessandro (Manzano) Syrah Cortona Il Bosco - Italy, Tuscany, Cortona
    Dark dense nose showing boysenberry and wet bricks. Very rich but lean feeling. Some heat and medium tannin. Bit thin towards the finish. Not much to bring one back.

Blue Cheese - Rick brought in a Roquefort and something Basque. The Basques was very tasty even under it’s saltiness. The Doisy Daene was the star here. Absolutely a decadent wine.

  • 1989 Château La Tour Blanche Sauternes - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Dark amber colored, probably more than one would expect for the age. Nose of baked stone fruits with a touch of caramel. Lean feeling and a bit short. We hoped this would get better as it warmed but it only picked up a little. Decent enough but you have to hope for more with this house.
  • 2005 Château Doisy-Daëne L’Extravagant - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    THIS is decadent. Nose of honeyed peach nectar. Nectar extract palate with integrated sweetness. Delicious and almost overwhelming. A dessert unto itself.

Posted from CellarTracker


Nice lineup. Glad I read your note on the Rhys. I’ll keep my paws off em for awhile, but it is tempting to open one…or three

Nice notes Cris. I pretty much agree with you on the wines and evening. All I can say, is I’m glad I have a few Henriots from '96. The DP seemed painfully young and difficult to assess. The '88 VC seemed slightly corked at first and for me, the dankiness took a long time to blow off. It never really blossomed. As a side note, this was the Rare bottling wich gets an extended lees contact. David brought a '85 Gold label VC to dinner last year that was amazing. I think I liked both burgs a bit more than you did. The Dugat-Py had a killer nose initially but it seemed to close up/tighten a bit with air. It’s still ways away from maturity but very drinkable right now. The Gagnard had wonderful complex aromatics, with a nice herbal in-a-good-way thing going on. Both burgs were my favorites of their respective flights. Loved the Tissot, which was my clear favorite in that flight. Agree on the Italian wines. Both had a modern mark. The Pira was actually quite good with the food. On the other hand, I thought the Il Bosco was a mess. Over oaked and over extracted with little varietal character, there was little to like for me. Both sweet wines were nice and the LTB seemed advanced in color. The DD was perhaps the perfect wine for our theme. L’Extravagant!!!

Thanks for the notes. I’ve had the 2000 Dom Perignon a number of times; it’s never wowed me. Absent some miraculous transformation with time, I doubt it will ever live up to the label or the tariff.


Thanks for the notes Cris. sounds like a fantastic dinner and line-up. Conrad, did you save me any left-overs?!