TN: Farewell dinner for Corey

Sending a fellow berserker off to the swampier climes of DC with a final meal at Amali.

With the apps:

  • 2004 Jacquesson & Fils Champagne Grand Cru Brut Avize Champ Cain - France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru (8/15/2016)
    A very nice champagne, if quite unusual. This is shockingly ripe - really should’ve been vinified dry - and is somewhat lacking in acidity. But it has a lovely smoky/leesy/butterscotch character, almost like a GC white burg, and plenty of chalk on the finish. The fruit verges on the tropical. The word that kept popping into my head was “exotic”. A superlative pairing with pasta service with corn, lobster, and a touch of cream. Would really like to have tried a still version of this juice. (90 pts.)
  • 2005 Claude Corbon Chardonnay Champagne Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs - France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru (8/15/2016)
    I quite liked this - preferred this for drinking on its own, actually, to the more exotic Jacquesson tasted alongside. There’s a fair bit of dosage, but its got the acid to back it up. Very leesy, nice chardonnay apple and lemon fruit. A bit simple compared to the Jacquesson; would like to age this to see where it goes. Would buy again, nice QPR. (89 pts.)

With the mains:

  • 1996 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru (8/15/2016)
    This was a decided disappointment, and another in a long line of bretty and underwhelming 90’s-era Jadot wines from Gevrey. Shows some heat, despite being served relatively cool - dark, muddy, quite bretty. The tannins are very fine and ripe, and this is a big, ripe, seamless wine with well-integrated oak spice, but it is a hot mess, and not very Burgundian. Nothing speaks of Gevrey - this could easily be a high-quality CA pinot. (87 pts.)
  • NV R. López de Heredia Rioja 6 Anos Viña Tondonia - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja (8/15/2016)
    A bizarre, figgy, oxidative mess. Like a Palo Cortado crossed with a dry red from the Duero. The general thought at the table is that the cork was sound and this was just how the wine was. Something went seriously wrong here. Yuck. (75 pts.)
  • 1996 Domaine Bartet Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru (8/15/2016)
    This was pretty good - I thought clearly better than the 96 Jadot CSJ tasted along side. The acidity juts out a bit, and there’s a touch of green - I assume both a product of the vintage. That being said, the fruit is red and fresh, the “licking a magnet” Gevrey character is very strong, and the wine is much more drinkable and clean than the muddied Jadot. Perhaps a bit of a disappointment given the appellation, but CSJ is always an odd duck. There’s some brett here, but I’ve had brettier Clairs from this era - this is about as clean as they get. (90 pts.)

And with dessert:

  • 2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Sémillon Lachryma Montis, Botrytized Old Vine Monte Rosso Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley (8/15/2016)
    My first one of these in about 5 years. Man, I still love this wine. It is astonishingly, tooth-hurtingly, sugar-crystals-in-the-last-glass sweet, but the fruit is pure and pineappley without any of the dried fruit notes that you might get in a typical dessert wine of this sweetness and power. There’s some botrytis here - a fair bit, actually - but its more browned sugar than burnt sugar and botrytal bitterness is more of a grace note than the primary structure for the wine. Begs to be poured over ice cream. Candy for the oenophile. Would buy this again (and again and again) but it is like finding Waldo to track these bottles down. (92 pts.)
  • 2000 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Eiswein - Germany, Nahe (8/15/2016)
    A hugely disappointing bottle. This is past its prime, aging in eiswein dog-years, and the acidity and sweetness have softened considerably, leaving almost a lactic creaminess in their wake. But the wine hasn’t gained much complexity, and without the sweet/acid tension of the young eiswein, this is pleasant and gulpable without much distinction other than a pleasing nutmeg note I sometimes get with older Riesling. Given how jaw-dropping young Donnhoff eisweins can be, it’s a tragedy to let them age this long. (89 pts.)

That 96 jadot csj has so much variation. I’ve had stewy hot messes and I’ve had delicious clear bottles. Happening over the course of the last five years. Crap shoot.

David,

Any thoughts on continued cellaring of the Jacquesson?

Well this was disappointing, apparently I missed some fabulous wines that were consumed in my honor.

For my palate, I think this is on its plateau, but in no risk of falling over the edge. It is decidedly riper and lower acid than your typical BdB, so adjust aging curve accordingly.

Thank you.

I never had many 2000s, but as I recall it was not a high acid year, so perhaps part of what was missing here.

FYI, Eisweins aren’t known for gaining a lot in complexity in the way that Ausleses, BAs and TBAs are. They often remain kind of frozen (as it were).

Your theory on this was discussed at dinner.

2000 might be the worst year in Germany (!vintage generalization alert!) in the last 25+ years. Any other contenders?

That said, I’m not really a proponent of aging eiswein.

Can I assume from this that a different Corey is moving to DC? I mean . . . DHS needs time to prepare

I’d proffer 2006 and 2014.

I’ve had two and they’ve both been the stewy mess. Hopefully my last one will be better.

Given the write up, thank your stars you were somewhere else. [wow.gif]

But David is like the anti-Suckling. Every rating has to get a +4.

2000 was much more problematic than either 2006 or 2014. The 2000 Donnhoff Eiswein was showing its age years ago. Other vintages have fared much, much better.

Aging Eiswein largely depends on knowing whether the particular bottle has notable botrytis. The greater the level of botrytis in the wine the less like Eiswein it gets with age. Clean or relatively clean Eiswein ages very well.

FYI, I wasn’t saying that Eiswein doesn’t age – just that it doesn’t gain complexity in the way that the other late harvest wines (with botrytis) do.

Wasn’t really responding to you, so much as Adrian.

That being said, I tend to find botrytis wines taste more like botrytis with age, rather than gaining meaningful complexity. Eventually they end up with that generic old, spicy, orange peel set of flavors that speaks to botrytis and not much else. Clean Eisweins with 15+ years of age have been some of the greatest sweet wines I have ever tasted.

I’ve had a number of surprisingly good 2006s in the last few years (opened by other people - I skipped the vintage and am starting to think I made a mistake). 2014 is far from my favorite vintage and again I’ve skipped it but I’ve had a few lovely wines from it.

I’m am opening and drinking most of my 2014s young. Only Prum and a couple of bottles of other things are getting the cellar treatment.

1999? In any case, it does not make much sense generalizing on the ability of a producer’s wines to age based on drinking a wine from such a poor vintage as 2000.