Ok…so I undersold it in the title a bit. Not just any Champagne, it’s 08 Krug; and not just any Burgundy, but Leroy, Coche and DRC. I’m writing this now, stream of consciousness style so I don’t forget; because I never thought I’d taste most of these wines, let alone in one night. So a little more of a story than tasting notes.
To start, well what a start. More open and inviting than I expected. Oxidative and nutty almost vin jaune esque on the nose at first, but with a core of lemon and hint of white flowers. Lots of lemon on the palate, again more giving than I thought, flinty and a fair amount of toasted almond. As it opened the oxidative notes brushed aside the lemon became more prominent along with the minerality. I wouldn’t call it searing acid, but it certainly shows itself. Rich and luscious in body.
We put it aside as we waited for the rest of this to shine, after all we did have some other wines to get to. But eventually the floral notes appeared and we had to wait a couple hours. But they did show and boy it was like walking through a jasmine field. If you can keep your hands off wait 5 years. Like I said, it was more open than I thought though.
2005 Coche-Dury Meursault Les Chevaliers
Woah, this was…unexpected. Showing lots of development and very little fruit. Honey, apricot, a ton of white flowers. Hint of fruit towards the end of the palate initially and on the finish it was almost a bitter gunflint note.
This wine danced and evolved throughout the night.
So mesmerizing to follow this. Every time I came back to it a subtle new note unfolded, oh is that a hint of white peach? An underripe orange? As we swirled over 30+ minutes more fruit came out.
A more delicate wine, we all said if given this blind, we wouldn’t go towards Chardonnay, not immediately at least. It didn’t have the linear acidity that I often find carries through the palate of Chardonnay. I don’t think it needs that, it’s not meant to be that way. Just sit back and enjoy. We even said this is a cheese wine or a no food wine, just embrace it. It’s a wine that wants to be coddled and thought about - delicate.
2018 Domaine de la Romanee Conti Corton
This was opened next to see if we wanted to decant it, we did. It was a violet bomb upon opening, in the best way. Just all purple, but light purple. I let this sit a bunch while we moved onto the last wine, but when I came back to it I was hit with a bunch of spice, violets, dark cherry, some plum. A powerful wine, drinking pretty well. As it continued to open, it got fuller and the spice built. It says something that I paid the least attention to this—whether that’s youth or what it was lined up next to I don’t know…maybe a combination. This will be great in 10+ years.
1994 Domaine Leroy Clos de la Roche
This was my wine. I admit I had some doubt, not a lot, but some. I had faith it would be alive, I just didn’t know to what degree. The cork had wine on top of it and was completely soaked. Even with a Durand it came out in two pieces, but cleanly. Before I smelt it there was a hint of fear, but then it didn’t smell like vinegar…okay check. I dug deeper, oh, wow this smells like an aged wine, we might have something here. It was totally in tact — and not just that, it was singing.
Mushroom, sous bois, leather, iron, baked cherry, spice and the earthy funk that we agreed smelt like “a clean barn”.
I could smell this for hours yet I enjoyed the palate even more. It was light, but still had umph, there was still tannin. There was still acidity. It was perfect. Paired so well with the sweetbreads with brandy truffle sauce that was in front of me. So much life, I was afraid it would fall apart in front of us in 30 minutes, yet it just chugged along. Great to the last drop. Someone said if the cork was in better shape this would last another 10 years. Another case of producer over vintage. Plain and simple it had “je ne sais quoi”.
Rankings were from the four of us plus the owner of the restaurant who also tasted all the wines in between serving us/other tables:
- 1994 Domaine Leroy Clos de la Roche - 3 first place votes, 2 second place votes
- Coche-Dury Meursault Les Chevaliers - 2 first place votes, 2 second place votes, 1 third place
- 2008 Krug - 4 third place votes, 1 second place
- 2018 Domaine de la Romanee Conti Corton - 5 fourth place votes
Leroy soaked cork
Lineup of what we opened
The chaos of our table