TN: WineBerserkers OL w/Loren Sonkin - Burgs and Pinots

WINEBERSERKERS OL W/LOREN SONKIN - BURGS AND PINOTS - Millennium Restaurant, San Francisco, California (7/28/2009)

Loren, Tony and Samantha

Loren, who was in the Bay Area from Cleveland on business this week, proposed an offline on WineBerserkers that quickly filled up. Since Loren is a vegetarian, I proposed doing it at San Francisco’s highest rated vegetarian restaurant (and one of Zagat’s highest rated SF restaurants of all kinds): Millennium. I was favorably disposed to the place even before I arrived, as all the staff I had dealt with were very helpful and took their time to give good advice. The Chef, Eric Tucker, also arranged for our corkage fees to be halved.

In offering up our wines for this OL, we somehow ended up with a mix of red Burgundy and interesting Cali Pinots. The result was a charmed evening, not just in the lovely and interesting group that came together, but also in the state of our wines (none of which were corked or showing major faults) and in the superb food. I’m not a vegetarian, but would definitely return to try more of those tasty and healthful dishes. It was great meeting Loren, Samantha, Paul, Gene and Delia, and seeing Tony, Al and George, as usual.

The standout wines for the evening, for me, were our '96 Krug, the '02 Z-H Brand Riesling, the '90 Clos de Tart and the '97 Calera Mills (impressive for me as the best Calera Pinot I’ve ever tasted).
Champagne Starter
A lovely start to our meal, this Krug got better and better as it sat in the glass.

  • 1996 Krug Champagne Brut - France, Champagne
    Light yellow color; nice yeasty, tart peach nose; tasty, focused, tart peach, apricot and lemon palate with zingy acidity; long finish (opened up a lot after 30 minutes in the glass) (95 pts.)

White Flight
The '02 Z-H Brand has really grown since I last had it a couple years ago, showing wonderful complexity and balance. It was a great match with my Raw Zucchini Napoleon, with corn & macademia nut “cheese,” gypsy pepper, onion and black olive peperonata, smoked pimenton-almond-tomato romesco sauce and herb and arugula salad:

  • 2002 Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Brand - France, Alsace, Turckheim, Alsace Grand Cru AOC
    Medium golden yellow color; big, complex, ripe and tart apricot, peach and mineral nose; poised, bright and rich apricot, peach and mineral palate with balance on cut; long finish 95+ pts. (starting to drink very well I think; significantly better than when I last had it two years ago) (95 pts.)
  • 2005 Xavier Monnot Meursault Les Chevalières - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault
    Light golden yellow color; nice floral, lemon blossom, lemon, mineral nose; tasty, tart lemon, lemon sorbet and mineral palate with depth; medium-plus finish (92 pts.)

First Pinot Flight - starting with the oldies
The '90 Clos de Tart was a great kick off for our Pinots. I’m usually a fan of Clos de Tart, and this was the best showing for me of the '90 in the few times I’ve had it. The '80 BV had some charm initially, but I thought it went downhill quickly, and was showing a maderized, stewed fruit note that increased as it sat.

  • 1990 Mommessin Clos de Tart - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos de Tart Grand Cru
    Medium bricking rust red color with clear meniscus; lovely, mature, subtle tobacco, truffle, mushroom and baked strawberry nose; delicious, mature, strawberry, baked strawberry, mineral and sous bois palate; long finish (95 pts.)
  • 1980 Beaulieu Vineyard Pinot Noir Carneros - USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros
    Medium brick red color with clear meniscus; baked cherry, black cherry nose showing a little stewed fruit; tart, mature, cherry, dried cherry, dried red fruit palate with some stewed fruit underneath; medium finish (went downhill after 10 minutes in the glass) (83 pts.)

Second Pinot Flight
This was an impressive flight of Cali Pinot, and the best Calera Pinot I’ve ever tried (and I’ve had this particular bottling at least once before).

  • 1993 Mount Eden Vineyards Pinot Noir Estate Bottled - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
    Bricking medium red color with pale meniscus; mature, focused, tart cherry and roses nose; lovely, solid, tart cherry, strawberry, red fruit, black cherry and cinnamon palate with a touch of orange spice, would benefit from another 2 or 3 years of age; medium-plus finish 93+ pts. (93 pts.)
  • 1997 Calera Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Mount Harlan
    Bricking medium red color with clear meniscus; savory, roasted meat, smoke and dried red fruit nose; maturing, harmonious, baked cherry, dried cherry, cinnamon, tart raspberry and mineral palate with balance and depth; medium-plus finish 94+ pts. (best Calera Pinot I’ve ever tasted) (94 pts.)

Clos Vougeot Flight
We continued going back and forth from Cali Pinot to Burgundy with this flight of tight and youthful Clos Vougeots.
Cumin Scented Fresh Corn Tamale, with seared velvet proppini & king trumpet mushrooms, posole verde, saute of pinquito beans, roasted carrot, greens, marinated radish, jicama, avocado and cashew sour cream

  • 2001 Château de La Tour Clos Vougeot Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
    Medium red color with clear meniscus; nice tart red fruit, strawberry, sous bois, mineral and baked cherry nose; tart red fruit, rosehips and cinnamon palate with medium acidity, needs another 5-7 years; medium-plus finish 91+ pts. (91 pts.)
  • 2002 Joseph Drouhin Clos Vougeot - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
    Medium cherry red color with clear meniscus; nice tart red fruit, rhubarb and cinnamon nose; ripe black cherry, baked cherry, rhubarb palate with medium acidity, tight yet; medium finish (91 pts.)

Chambertin Flight
A nice flight of Chambertin neighbors, with the Chezeaux Griottes showing the best of the three for me.

  • 2001 Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru
    Medium red violet color with pale meniscus; appealing sous bois, cherry, mineral nose with focus; silky textured, with lots of stuffing on the palate, showing tart red fruit, baked cherry, minerals, roses and a touch of chlorine; medium-plus finish 92+ pts. (92 pts.)
  • 2001 Domaine des Chezeaux Griottes-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Griottes-Chambertin Grand Cru
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; VA, vaulting nose, brimming with dried cherry, tart cherry and rhubarb; baked cherry, tart cherry and tart plum palate with integrated oak and depth; long finish (93 pts.)
  • 2005 Vincent Girardin Charmes-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru
    Dark cherry red color; earthy, sous bois, animal skin, cinnamon nose; big, solid, tart red fruit, tart cherry, roses, strawberry and black cherry palate with sap, needs a few years; long finish 92+ pts. (92 pts.)

Final Cali Pinot Flight
I was surprised at how big and port-like the DuMOL was in this flight. Had it been served blind, I would probably have guessed the DuMOL was the K-B.

  • 2003 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Cohn - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Dark red violet color; big, cherry, black cherry and caramel nose; good ripe cherry, berry, raspberry and confectioner’s sugar palate; long finish (90 pts.)
  • 2001 DuMOL Pinot Noir Finn - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Dark red violet color; berry, boysenberry, boysenberry syrup nose; rich, port-like, concentrated, berry, blackberry, boysenberry and plum palate; medium finish (89 pts.)

A touch of Napa
George persuaded Delia to pass around this lovely Cab blend that had been opened early in the day.

  • 2005 Viader Proprietary Red - USA, California, Napa Valley
    Opaque dark red violet color; nice coffee, black fruit and mulberry nose; nice, plush, mulberry, berry and roast coffee palate; medium-plus finish (93 pts.)

Sweet Finish

Amaretto cake

  • 1998 Château d’Yquem - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Light orange yellow color; coconut, apricot nose; tasty, rich, coconut, baked apricot, apple, baked peach and brown sugar palate; long finish (93 pts.)


Posted from CellarTracker

Xavier Monnot is an interesting winemaker. Do you think his wines will age well, Richard? They seem like a such a “new world” style in Burgundy. Tasty though.

Thanks for the notes! It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Millenium and the meals I’ve had there have been pretty good. It’s a shame we don’t have any good vegetarian restaurants in LA.

Richard, terrific notes (and visually so much fun to read and see) as usual, and thank you again Loren and everyone. I’m probably exaggerating the differences between my takes on the wine and yours for contrast, and there is so much in each of your tasting notes I agree with and/or learn from…if you pointed out some of these aspects while the wine is in front of me I would learn a lot, I am not good at picking out individual flavors and aromas nor at naming/identifying them when I do pick them out…anyway:

1996 Krug Champagne Brut - France, Champagne
Light yellow color; nice yeasty, tart peach nose; tasty, focused, tart peach, apricot and lemon palate with zingy acidity; long finish (opened up a lot after 30 minutes in the glass) (95 pts.)


Best Krug I’ve ever had, thank Gosh it opened up; Krug to me is usually too closed, or oxidized, or Brut-ish (yeasty/Chardonnay/lees-y), I could have drunk only this all night and watched it change

White Flight


I don’t remember a political discussion about racism and school vouchers

2002 Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Brand - France, Alsace, Turckheim, Alsace Grand Cru AOC
Medium golden yellow color; big, complex, ripe and tart apricot, peach and mineral nose; poised, bright and rich apricot, peach and mineral palate with balance on cut; long finish 95+ pts. (starting to drink very well I think; significantly better than when I last had it two years ago) (95 pts.)


Maybe the most satisfying wine of the night for me, the way Zilliken in Germany puts a meal in a glass…far superior for drinking right now than the very awkward 2001…the most obvious layers of any wine tonight…but I see zero room for improvement, I like the crispness holding the layers together (just barely) (94)

2005 Xavier Monnot Meursault Les Chevalières - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault
Light golden yellow color; nice floral, lemon blossom, lemon, mineral nose; tasty, tart lemon, lemon sorbet and mineral palate with depth; medium-plus finish (92 pts.)


I liked its relative dryness on the heels of the relatively dry Krug but then I lost interest, I did not see much complexity or depth but it was flawless; a good Meursault (89)


1990 Mommessin Clos de Tart - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos de Tart Grand Cru
Medium bricking rust red color with clear meniscus; lovely, mature, subtle tobacco, truffle, mushroom and baked strawberry nose; delicious, mature, strawberry, baked strawberry, mineral and sous bois palate; long finish (95 pts.)


If it had been older I would have praised it more but it seemed too mature for a 1990. But it was the only Burg of the night that gave that sexy secondary Burg funk and it was very deep. Not really rich, but deep. And by far the most French wine of the night. (93)

1980 Beaulieu Vineyard Pinot Noir Carneros - USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros
Medium brick red color with clear meniscus; baked cherry, black cherry nose showing a little stewed fruit; tart, mature, cherry, dried cherry, dried red fruit palate with some stewed fruit underneath; medium finish (went downhill after 10 minutes in the glass) (83 pts.)


Loved it, reminded me of every very mature-but-still-good California wine I’ve had, and the acidity not only kept it alive but was in perfect balance, and the wine improved during the evening (or was it just in comparison to the K-B that came later?) (or did it benefit from my low expectations?) Similar experience to tasting an old Calif cab that still has a little life left (92)

1993 Mount Eden Vineyards Pinot Noir Estate Bottled - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
Bricking medium red color with pale meniscus; mature, focused, tart cherry and roses nose; lovely, solid, tart cherry, strawberry, red fruit, black cherry and cinnamon palate with a touch of orange spice, would benefit from another 2 or 3 years of age; medium-plus finish 93+ pts. (93 pts.)


To me, and I love SCruzMT pinot, too awkward and dark/tart and opposed to red/tart, not really pleasurable; my first Mt. Eden pinot that wasn’t over the hill, I need more data (90)

1997 Calera Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Mount Harlan
Bricking medium red color with clear meniscus; savory, roasted meat, smoke and dried red fruit nose; maturing, harmonious, baked cherry, dried cherry, cinnamon, tart raspberry and mineral palate with balance and depth; medium-plus finish 94+ pts. (best Calera Pinot I’ve ever tasted) (94 pts.)


Great description…but it seemed in line with other Calera’s I’ve had, esp. the Reed…Calera does richness-without-candyfruit really well…its own terroir


2001 Château de La Tour Clos Vougeot Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
Medium red color with clear meniscus; nice tart red fruit, strawberry, sous bois, mineral and baked cherry nose; tart red fruit, rosehips and cinnamon palate with medium acidity, needs another 5-7 years; medium-plus finish 91+ pts. (91 pts.)


Way too young but this will always be a linear wine. Both CV’s had lots of cinnamon on the nose and had good strong and forceful fruit but lacked complexity, I think it’s the vineyard (91-92 pts)

2002 Joseph Drouhin Clos Vougeot - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
Medium cherry red color with clear meniscus; nice tart red fruit, rhubarb and cinnamon nose; ripe black cherry, baked cherry, rhubarb palate with medium acidity, tight yet; medium finish (91 pts.)


Much more translucent than the La Tour, had a little fizz at first, the finish for me was boring and a little off, won’t improve (89-90)

2001 Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru
Medium red violet color with pale meniscus; appealing sous bois, cherry, mineral nose with focus; silky textured, with lots of stuffing on the palate, showing tart red fruit, baked cherry, minerals, roses and a touch of chlorine; medium-plus finish 92+ pts. (92 pts.)


Weird (in a good way) and sexy on the finish, my favorite Burg of the night; the decanting really helped (94)
(The tap water from the restaurant was befouled with chlorine, I didn’t find any in the wine)

2001 Domaine des Chezeaux Griottes-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Griottes-Chambertin Grand Cru
Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; VA, vaulting nose, brimming with dried cherry, tart cherry and rhubarb; baked cherry, tart cherry and tart plum palate with integrated oak and depth; long finish (93 pts.)


Love the cherry in the middle of a Gevrey structure, masculine then pretty then masculine, the midpalate was like a surprise bonbon (92-93)

2005 Vincent Girardin Charmes-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru
Dark cherry red color; earthy, sous bois, animal skin, cinnamon nose; big, solid, tart red fruit, tart cherry, roses, strawberry and black cherry palate with sap, needs a few years; long finish 92+ pts. (92 pts.)


Too straightforward, linear, boring, but good; the other two Gevreys had something special, this had nothing beyond correctness and fruit and Gevrey structure (89-90)
The above was my favorite flight and I’d drink all three again…I would not buy the Girardin and I would buy the other two and I just bid on one at Winebid

2003 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Cohn - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Dark red violet color; big, cherry, black cherry and caramel nose; good ripe cherry, berry, raspberry and confectioner’s sugar palate; long finish (90 pts.)


The physiology of my palate made this taste like a glass of water with some sort of fruit, tired brown fruit, not much fruit, followed by waves of sugar. A brown, brown wine. Later in the evening even smelling this wine made me unhappy and I could not swallow it any more. Last year someone served four different K-B’s blind and I thought all four were atrocious for my palate. I would not have guessed the varietal, the happy pinot fruit was baked out of the wine (75). For my palate.

2001 DuMOL Pinot Noir Finn - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Dark red violet color; berry, boysenberry, boysenberry syrup nose; rich, port-like, concentrated, berry, blackberry, boysenberry and plum palate; medium finish (89 pts.)


Pushes the California thing to the limit in terms of sweet ripe fruit but I appreciated it especially next to the KB. There might be times where this wine would be too much for me though, feels and tastes like it has RS even if there isn’t any (92 tonight, but too risky for me to buy any). Ten years ago I would have given it a 94.

1998 Château d’Yquem - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
Light orange yellow color; coconut, apricot nose; tasty, rich, coconut, baked apricot, apple, baked peach and brown sugar palate; long finish (93 pts.)


Very rich and the acidity balances the sugar, an underrated year, couldn’t ask for more (except 20 years of aging) (95)

You really think he is interesting?

His style is interesting, never met the man.

It was a great night and a wonderful first berserker offline for me. It was tremendous to see some old friends and make some new ones. Thanks to Loren for making it happen.

I was only tasting the wines that night and opting instead to keep my mouth refreshed with bottles of Scrimshaw Pilsner. My impressions were about the same for all of the wines but for a few mentions below;

2002 Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Brand - France, Alsace, Turckheim, Alsace Grand Cru AOC
The best wine of the night for me by a long shot (97)

2005 Xavier Monnot Meursault Les Chevalières - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault
This tasted like bad tap water next to the ZH (88)

1990 Mommessin Clos de Tart - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos de Tart Grand Cru
I was still stuck on the ZH and had trouble shifting gears to this wine. I thought it tasted a little tired and would drink up if I had any bottles of this laying around… although, like i said it could have been the ZH (91)

1980 Beaulieu Vineyard Pinot Noir Carneros - USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros
I thought the BV was paired perfectly with the Clos de Tart and thought it improved greatly after being open for an hour. I have had a lot of old (25+ years old) california pinot and this BV like most of them performed admirably particularly for what was considered a bad vintage. It may have been the bracing acidity that really kept it going (89)

1993 Mount Eden Vineyards Pinot Noir Estate Bottled - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
One of my favorite cal pinots of the night this wine was still a little too youthful after coming off the old BV and the Clos de Tart. (91)

1997 Calera Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Mount Harlan
Ok, I said I liked the Mount Eden but the Calera just blew it away: totally amazing! (95)

2001 Château de La Tour Clos Vougeot Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
I don’t remember this wine…

2002 Joseph Drouhin Clos Vougeot - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
I am with George on this one. It had a weird masa smell to it that Tony picked out (90)

2001 Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru
I actually like this wine a lot although it was still monstrously tannic even after being decanted for a long period of time (92)

2003 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Cohn - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Burnt sugar without any of the youthful KB fruit to make it exciting (86)

2001 DuMOL Pinot Noir Finn - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
This wine tasted amazing initially to me, particularly next to the KB but after being open for a while it took on a weird port like quality to it (89)

It was great meeting everyone and thanks to Delia for sharing her Napa juice at the end. It was a pleasant change from the Pinot. Richard’s note was spot on.

Excellent notes. What a nice lineup and range … a lot of fun. Keeps my palate whetted for some Burgundy.

Great notes, thanks.

And loved those drunken texts, wish I could have been there

Wow! Great offline. It’s really nice to have such a diverse lineup of wines. Sorry that I had to drop out last week!

I will try to post my notes this weekend. I had a great time meeting everyone. The food was great as were the wines, but the conversations were the highlight. Thanks all. I hope to drink again soon.

Andy - come up to Napa!!!

Thanks for organizing this Loren. It was really nice meeting everyone, I hope to see you guys soon. Richard - great pick on the restaurant, food was fabulous.

great line up. Thanks for the notes. I look forward to Loren’s notes too.

Jason

Richard, nice notes and thanks for the pics to really give a nice “feel” for the food, etc.

It was great to meet many of the SF group at Millennium. The food was outstanding. As for the wines, here are my thoughts:

Starter:
1996 Krug
This bottle cam with me and had spent most of the day in the air. I opened it about an hour before to let it breath slightly. Golden in color with a slight green hint. Lots of tiny bubbles. The nose is quite toasty but it took some time for the fruit to emerge. Then peaches. Much tighter on the palate, but had great balance. Long finish that went on forever. Obviously great, and obviously young, it was fun nevertheless. My last sips at the end of the night were the best. 50+4+14+18+9=95

White flight:
2002 Zind Humbrecht Riesling Brand
Golden in color, clear and bright. Tight on opening, it took about twenty minutes of air to come around. Slight petrol notes with ever expanding tropical fruits and peaches. Luscious texture. Great acidity. Complexity and fruit improved all night. Outstanding wine. 50+4+14+19+9=96

2005 Xavier Monnot Meursault Les Chavalieres
Golden in color, clear and bright. The nose is quiet with some smoke. With air, lemon comes out. I found this wine a bit rough. Turning grapefruity on the palate. Some heat on the finish. I am not sure if this was shut down (it is in that stage), but I suspect, for my tastes, it just lacks something. 50+11+16+6=87

Older Pinots:
1990 Clos des Tarts
Another wine that spent the better part of the day in airports, but I was able to stand it up for a few hours prior to dinner. Cherry red in color with more than expected bricking toward the edges. Nice, lovely older burg nose. Cherries, dried cherries, mushrooms, bit of moist tobacco. Medium bodied. On the palate, this was not quite as complex as the nose but still very nice. Layered cherries with an earthiness that was very nice. It finished slightly short though. Still, considering, a nice showing. 50+3+14+18+7=92

1980 Beaulieu Vineyards Pinot Noir Los Carneros Region
Ruby/cherry in color turning brick red at the rim. The nose has cherries, with a slightly minty note. Nice texture and a spry acidity. Some slight tannins even made me wonder what else might be in this. Great balance and though much of the fruit had faded, not all of it. I was quite surprised and enjoyed this. A great opportunity to try a wine like this does not come about often. 50+3+12+17+6=88

1993 Mount Eden Pinot Noir Santa Cruz
Cherry red in color, a bit thin and turning bricked. The nose has fresh cherries and tart cherries. It was surprisingly youthful on the palate. I also got a bit of a menthol/orange quality that was quite different but not unpleasant. I don’t know how age would take this one, but despite its youthfulness, I would drink these now. 50+4+12+18+7=92

1997 Calera Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard Mt. Harlan
Cherry red in color with some bricking. The nose has cherry powder, roasted meats, cinnamon. Full bodied. On the palate, the cherries are more fresh and baked. Some heat on the finish. Quite a complex wine that seems to be at the top of its game with lots of life ahead. Excellent balance. I think the group preferred this more than I and I liked it quite a bit. 50+4+13+18+8=93

Younger Pinots:
2001 Chateau de la Tour Clos Vougeot VV
Cherry/purple in color. The nose has cherries, spice (cinnamon but also some nutmeg?), strawberries. Quite youthful. Medium bodied. On the palate, this took some time to open up. Showed youthful cherries and cherry pie. I think this is one to drink young and enjoy it exuberance. Does not seem to have the stuffing to develop but quite fun right now. 50+4+13+17+7=91

2002 Drouhin Clos Vougeot
Purple/ruby in color. The nose is quite ripe with cherries and cinnamon. Someone said Masa which I never did quite understand. This wine is lush and young. More open than I thought it might be, it has lots of cherries and dark cherries. Nothing said Burgundy to me about this wine, but as a lush, middle of the road style Pinot, it is quite enjoyable. I think it gets better for a bit from here, but not a long term wine. 50+4+12+18+7=91

2001 Faively Mazis Chambertin
Ruby/purple, mostly opaque and bright. The nose is quite tight. With air there is some black licorice and cherries. Also a floral component. The wine is somewhat out of balance with a bit of sweetness over powering the acidity. Black cherries. Also some tannins. Knowing the producer, I surmise that a few more years in a cellar would bring this together. Not a bad wine by any means, but it seemed to lack cohesiveness. However, going back to it later tonight showed a wine that seemed to pull itself together. The sweetness was still there, but it seemed to be more part of the fruit. Also some spiciness came out. 50+4+12+17+7=91

2001 Domaine des Chezeaux Griottes-Chambertin
Cherry red in color, clear at the rim. The nose has cherries and a bit of distracting dill note. Also a fair amount of oak showing. Full bodied and decidedly better on the palate. Cherries, plums, and a slight maraschino cherry notes on the finish. A whiff of VA but not troublesome for me. 50+4+11+18+7=90

2005 Vincent Girardin Charmes Chambertin
Purple/ruby in color, shiny and bright. The nose has cherry and vanillas. Creamy texture, this has a cherry milkshake quality to it, that is pleasant and within reason. With air and bit of dimension comes out with an earthy component. Obviously in need of time, but is a fun wine now. 50+5+12+18+7=92

2003 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Cohn Vineyard
Ruby/purple in color. The nose is liquefied cherry scented lumber. Fells like granulated sugar and black raspberry kool-aid®. Heat on the finish. At this point in the night, this was undrinkable for me. NR.

2001 DuMol Pinot Noir Finn Vineyard
After the KB, this was delightful. When I went back to it later, I downgraded it a bit. Cherry/ruby in color. The nose has cherries and confectionary sugar. Later I noticed some oak and crème brulee. On the palate, this is cherries and some anise notes. Going back to it, it seemed jammy with some raspberries and oak. Some heat on the finish. My initial score was probably closer to 90/91. 50+4+12+16+6=88

Delia shared a sample bottle that had been opened earlier in the day. Thank you!
2005 Viader
69% Cabernet, 31% Cab Franc. Purple in color with some ruby swirls. The nose has cassis, cocoa, vanilla and a bit of coffee. Silky texture. On the palate, this is quite young, but the aerating I am sure helped. Sweet cassis fruit, slight mint note, firm tannins, and tightly layered. Needs a decade in a cellar but an excellent wine. 50+4+13+18+7=92

1998 d’Yquem
Golden orange in color. A nose of apricots and candied orange rind. Full bodied. A bit chunky (for a Yquem). Orange rind and brown sugar on the palate. Slightly bitter note. A great wine, but of course, with Yquem, you hope to flirt with perfection. Not the case here. Still, it was a great end to the meal. 50+4+13+18+7=92

Millennium was a great choice. The food was excellent and the service was very good. We were not rushed and they let us choose the pace. Thanks to all for a great dinner. Especially to Richard for arranging it and Gene for his math skills at the end. I hope to see you all again soon.

Thanks for the notes on the 2002 Brand. I actually bought a couple of those on a random wine shopping spree and didn’t know what to expect. I drunk one for New Year Eve’s a couple of years ago, liked it but probably not as much as you guys. Would you all agree it has little upside? I might drink my 2nd bottle soon!

I have a lone bottle of 01 and 02 and I am in no hurry to drink these. Upside? I think it just changes, not sure if that means better or not, but I don’t see it getting worse.

Loren, I was referring to the “but I see zero room for improvement” comment from George.

Loren

Interesting note on the 2003 Kosta Browne.

…but not unusual for 03’s these days.