TN: Viking dinner at RJs - 96 Salon, 09 Coche CC, 01 Rousseau, 06 CSS, 06 Masseto, 01 D'Yquem and etc.

VIKING DINNER AT RJS - 96 SALON, 09 COCHE CC, 01 ROUSSEAU, 06 CSS, 06 MASSETO, 01 D’YQUEM AND ETC. - Reston, Va (8/21/2015)

As the title suggests, it was once in a lifetime pillage. The idea started a few months back as a relaxing gathering at RJ’s place. Fortunately for us, not so fortunate for RJ, RJ is a perfectionist who tends to be very impulsive and generous to a fault. RJ declared that this will be a Viking event which meant he will be the village elder who has to appease us savages. As you can imagine, our communication was not PC. RJ even hired a private chef who made very good dishes to further appease us.
Very youthful example

  • 1996 Salon Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut - France, Champagne, Le Mesnil Sur Oger, Champagne
    Extremely youthful and perfectly precise showing that buckles the recent trends of the kinder and gentler showing of the 96 Salon. Incredibly youthful nose displaying pear, granny smith, a hint of lemon curd, smoke, lanoline, strong presence of white flowers, wet stone, white pepper and honey. Incredible concentration and perfect precision, fresh white fruit driven palate impression, bright acidity, strong presence of mineral and incredibly long finish. This is one of the best showings of the 96 Salon for its youthfulness and perfect precision. It is unbelievable that this is a twenty year old champagne. (99 pts.)

Two top Chardonnays
Coche wines are very expensive but they consistently deliver.

  • 2009 Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
    Incredibly rich yet very pure nose displaying cool white fruits, pear, white peach and citrus, a hint of toasted oak, saline, sea salt, smoke, wet stone and mineral. Incredibly concentrated and coiled, very pure white fruits driven palate impression, nicely layered fruits, beautiful Coche mineral expression combining flint and saline, bright acidity and lovely long finish. Although very youthful, perfect expression of Chardonnay expressing perfect precision, balance, purity and energy. (99 pts.)
  • 2008 Marcassin Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Another excellent showing even for a Francophile. Despite ripe yet big, this displays exceptional balance. Expressive nose displaying ripe yellow fruits, lemon curd and pineapple, saline, mineral and sweet spices. Excellent concentration, unctuous, nicely layered fruits, mineral, bright acidity and lovely long finish with a hint of alcohol at the end. This is an exceptional domestic Chardonnay. (96 pts.)

2001 D’Yquem
This was served with butter poached lobster with grapefruit reduction, the match made in heaven.

  • 2001 Château d’Yquem - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    How such a big and intense wine be so balanced is mind boggling. Intense nose displaying apricot, mango, pineapple, yellow peach, honey, ginger, nutmeg and sweet spices. Incredibly concentration yet weightless, incredibly layered fruits, intense sweet yellow pit fruit driven palate impression, bright acidity and lovely long finish. IMO, one of the greatest Yquems. Drinking incredibly well. We had this with a warm Lobster course with grapefruit reduction, the perfect marriage. (99 pts.)

Red Burgundy

  • 2001 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin Grand Cru
    Expressive fully mature mostly tertiary nose displaying pure red fruits, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, flowers, perfume, Asian tea, mineral, copper and mushroom. Medium concentration, mineral, a hint of oxidative note via rust, pure red fruit driven palate impression, bright acidity, nicely integrated tannins and long finish that ends slightly metallic. 98 point nose 92 point palate. It is fully ready to go and will not benefit from further cellaring. (96 pts.)
  • 2012 Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Malconsorts - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru
    Beautifully detailed nose displaying cool and perfectly ripe raspberry and blackberry, also licorice and incense that I get in young Vosne, rose and strong presence of mineral. Very polished palate, cool blackberry fruit driven palate impression, strong presence of mineral, perfect amount of acidity, nicely integrated tannins and lovely long mineral driven finish. Obviously very young but so darn impressive and perfectly enjoyable in very primary, fruit driven way. (96 pts.)

Big boys

  • 2006 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon CCS Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
    Incredibly intense nose that is dominated by crème de cassis and licorice, also blackberry jelly, incense, violet, root beer, dark caramel and a hint of lead pencil. Big and chewy palate, incredibly think yet remarkably silky, intense cassis driven palate impression, bright acidity, no noticeable tannins due to intense layered fruit and lovely long sweet finish. I love blue/cassis fruit driven expression of Schrader cabs. This is still incredibly youthful and will benefit from another decade of cellaring. Really impressive wine. (98 pts.)
  • 2006 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Masseto Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    This is a flawless wine, perfect nose, balance and texture. Perhaps it is so perfect that it lacks the character. Expressive cool blue fruit driven nose, milky chocolate, mocha and licorice. So suave and polished, incredibly silky, just the perfect amount of acidity, incredibly sweet tannins and lovely seamless clean finish. Incredibly hedonistic but not perfect if that makes sense. (98 pts.)

Another 2001 D’Yquem

  • 2001 Château d’Yquem - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    How awesome is it to drink two halves in one night. This was served by itself. Consistent with the first bottle, flirting with perfection. (99 pts.)

La La

  • 1988 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Mouline - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
    Despite being the last wine, absolutely perfect. I stop taking notes but a couple of the guys were still thirsty. Mostly secondary and tertiary but still incredible fruit concentration. Cool red cherries and blackberries, grilled meat, tapenade, ash and very floral. Perfect harmony and balance, incredibly silky and polished palate, succulent red fruit driven palate impression, perfect amount of acidity, fully integrated tannins and seamless long smoky finish. Incredible wine. For my palate, mature La Las are some of the greatest wines ever made. (99 pts.)

This was an incredible evening. I really can’t thank RJ enough for his generosity. Certainly we drank incredible wines but sharing the experience with the friends are what made the event truly special.
Posted from CellarTracker

Nice notes Kevin. I’m always afraid to pop those Coche too early. Never shows well to me. Did you decant ?

The 01 sounds advanced to me. Ive had this several times and felt it was still closed. Not tannic but in it’s shell.

Now duck and get ready for incoming.

That Coche sounds absolutely delicious – I hope its as good as it sounds now in 10-15 years time. Sadly, I don’t own enough bottles of '09 to start cracking them yet! But if I see it on a list for a good price…all bets are off.

Nice to bookend a meal with '01 Yquem. Thanks for the notes Kevin. '96 Salon is the greatest young Champagne I have drunk. You seem to be making a dent in the world supplies recently.

Best Regards

That is s fabulous tasting. There are few wines that deliver consistently - 01 d’yquem and 96 salon. We had the 88 la moline recently- great wine

A most suitable beserker event. Lucky man.

I have actually enjoyed 4-5 of those wines, but not in one evening! Bravo.


For my palate, the 01 red Burgundies are at the peak. I always prefer the nose to palate in the 01s, quite ripe but always slightly rustic/oxidative note.

I would also love to try in ten -15 years but can’t complain.

Jeremy and Sanjay,
I agree on the 96 Salon and the 01 D’Yquem.