TN:Wine and Poker Night

KEL’S BIRTHDAY - WINE AND POKER NIGHT - Kat and Yuwen’s (8/3/2015)

Kel’s birthday rolled along, and we had a great night of drinks, BBQ beef and a game of poker on the sides. All wines were blind as usual.


  • 1996 Camille Giroud Volnay 1er Cru Les Carelles - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru
    Pleasant, but not great. The nose reflected a wine that was rather thinning out, with dark cherries and a little floral hint lined with little metallic, slighty bloody scents and a twist of earthy mineral. Indeed, the palate, while showing a nice sense of clarity, was a bit thin on the ground showing a layer dark cherries over a minerally spine. There was a twist of something a little bittersweet hanging about in there. Fine tannins and a nice juicy freshness then gave the wine a little bite past the midpalate, before it drifted away with a hint of dried flowers and some spicy notes along with more of those blood and iron tones picked up on the nose. Decent enough, but not the most charming of Volnays. Time to drink up too. (89 pts.)
  • 1996 Domaine Alain Michelot Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Cailles - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru
    I liked this a lot more than the 1996 Camille Giroud Volnay Carelles that we had alongside – if anything, this strangely seemed just that bit more floral and elegant. The nose had a ring of steel that it shared with the Volnay, but it was a lot earthier and fuller, with notes of sous bois and spice and then little floral notes with red cherries and berries running along behind. I thought it was a rather attractive bouquet. The palate had a nice substantial feel to it that nodded towards the terroir, with the juicy acidity of the vintage wed to some serious muscle in its darker fruited notes. Yet for all that strength, it actually came across as lithe and elegant, with a nice clarity above its Les Cailles sinew. Towards the finish, the dark fruit was met with some warm spice and a touch of iron riding alongside a little drift of bittersweet bramble. This is very nice. It is still grippy, with a youthful chew to it, but it is already drinking quite nicely, especially with a good cut of beef. Should be even better in 3-4 years though. (92 pts.)
  • 2000 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin
    Simply lovely – this was a wonderful Gevrey-Chambertin village, and drinking quite at peak. It had a lovely nose, with sweet shades of red cherries, creamy raspberry ripple and fragrant floral notes underpinned by more masculine Gevrey scents of earth and meat and mineral and a little dash of spice. The palate had a juicy red fruitedness to it, with lovely gobs of cherries and berries seasoned with little hints of spice and mineral. This was very full and generous for a straight Gevrey, with a depth and scale that seemed to perch somewhere between village and 1er Cru level. While the tannins had softened to a nice velvety robe, there was still enough structure to give the wine some texture as it moved into a nicely long finish seasoned with another dash of spice. Delicious stuff – this was pure juicy satisfaction. (92 pts.)
  • 2004 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru
    Better than the last bottle, but this was still a telltale 2004 with its green edges. The nose showed rather earthier than I would normally associate with a Vogue Amoureuses at this age, with meat and sour bous aromas mingling with little layers of lifted dark cherry scents and little floral notes. What stood out most for me though were some boiled herb and vegetable note and a whiff of steamed peanuts. Not the prettiest bouquet for an Amoureuses I would say. Thankfully, the palate was quite a lot better. It had a lovely seductive texture, all velvety and soft, with very well-integrated acidity adding a lovely sense of balance to the wine’s flavours of red-fruited berries shading into darker blueberries on the midpalate. There were little hints of green herb at the edges, but those seemed a lot more controlled than on the nose. The finish kept in line with the rest of the wine – it was long, full and nicely soft and velvety, with a ring of flowers curled around sappy red fruit. Very pleasant indeed. Green meanies aside, this was a very nice wine that seemed about ready to go. Not quite sex in the glass, as some of the more refined examples of Vogue Amoureuses can be, but this was certainly an attractive wine. (93 pts.)
  • 2001 Faiveley Chambertin-Clos de Bèze - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru
    Excellent – this is really coming around nicely. It was one of my two favourite wines of the night. It spent about half an hour in a decanter before being served, as much a function of having a broken cork than as any desire to give it breathing time. However, it certainly seemed to have benfitted from the short decanting. When poured out into the glass, it showed a really attractive, very complex nose, with classic Beze character in its rich red fruited aromas with dried cherries, then dried earth, mineral and spice, all wed to very Faiveley notes of herb and bramble, with just the tiniest linger of oak in the background. There was a lot going on in that bouquet. The palate was lovely too. It was the most developed bottle of 2001 Faiveley Beze I have had by far, showing great complex flavours of red cherries and darker berries seasoned with gentle bits of spice and earth and a tiniest kiss of herb dancing around the edges. Really nice. What really lifted the wine though was that all this was held together with the freshness, clarity and cut of the 2001 vintage wed to true Grand Cru depth and intensity. Firm but very fine tannins and lovely chewy acidity gave the wine a great sense of structure and backbone all the way into a lovely long finish flecked with green tea and dried herb. Really good indeed, this was a great marriage of classic Beze notes with Faiveley whole-cluster characteristics, all enlivened by the liveliness of the vintage – and it still has many years to go yet! This is finally beginning to live up to its early promise. (94 pts.)


  • 1982 Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Bussia - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Yummy – this was an enjoyable wine without quite being compelling. The nose was pure Barolo, but of a more modern ilk, with red fruit and roses, menthol, bramble and spice and a tiny kiss of tar, all wrapped in a waft of creamy sweetness and dosed with a little hint of glycerol. It was a nice, youthful nose. Quite pretty in a sweet, red-fruited way. The palate was still youthful as well. There were some secondary flavours of herb and bramble, but these were coiled around a core of rather primary dark cherry fruit. Nice depth here, with a creamy sappiness to the fruit that made it very attractive. There was real texture beneath that though, with chewy tannins giving the wine a real sense of structure as it moved into a slightly drying finish, where a fine later of cocoa powder and more of those fine tannins coated the teeth. Not perfect then, but very enjoyable. It is clearly not at peak either. Give it 5-10 years more and it should be even better. (92 pts.)
  • 2001 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie La Landonne - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
    Probably my favourite wine of the night. The 2001 Faiveley Clos de Beze was perhaps more impressive, but this was more immediately enjoyable. This has really come around over the years, blossoming from a well-made but shy young wine into a sleekly beautiful Cote Rotie. It had a beautifully rich nose, with slightly roasted notes of dark cherries and wild berries infused with dried flowers and garrigue and a toss of dried earth - absolutely lovely stuff that could only have come from the Northern Rhone. There was lots going on in the palate, with warm spice enveloping a core of black cherries and dark berries and a hint of olive tapanade, all this cut by fine tannins and good acidity. I did not think there was the greatest depth here, but there was still a very nice sense of substance wed to a lovely clarity. And even though there was a little flush of alcohol at the sides, the wine was always freshly balanced enough to make it drinkable and delicious. Neat little finish to, with a kiss of herb and coffee grounds. Starting to drink well now and really quite delicious. I liked this. (93 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Thanks for the note on the faiveley. Haven’t touched mine yet. Sounds like whilst they may be approachable it might be better to wait a while yet.

Thanks for the notes, Paul. Last month I opened the last of my 1991 Rostaing Cote Roties, the Cote Blonde sister to the La Landonne you had. Its always been a great wine, but this time was best of all, IMO. I’ve always had a preference for the Cote Blonde from 1991, and most other years too. But I’m always very glad to drink either.

Thanks for the replies guys.

Dbailey - I had another bottle of the 2001 Faiveley recently. Far from ready this time - I would dump it aside and forget it for 3-5 years.

Lewis - 1991 is such a wonderful vintage for the Northern Rhone isn’t it? The Rostaing sounds wonderful.