Notes from another meal with Bob (and friends) at Talula’s Kitchen Table:
NV Chartogne-Taillet Heurtebise
Pears, apples, soft yellow fruit, mild spice, hints of brioche, vibrant, bright, persistent, fine mousse. Another excellent showing. My current favorite go-to bubbles.
1999 Trimbach Cuvee Frederic Emile Riesling
The lightest colored of the three Rieslings served in a flight. Mild petrol, umami nose with traces of reduction that quickly disappeared. Medium weight with appealing mineral driven acidity (bone dry) and fine balance. This has a few years to go. Charming subtlety.
2001 Trimbach Cuvee Frederic Emile Riesling
Mild petrol again, just beneath my low threshold. Appreciably more gold in color than the 1999. There’s similar minerality combined with a bit more integrated peach and mild spice. There’s more depth, intensity and length…almost a bit loud comparatively. Fine showing.
2001 JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese Riesling
Slightly reduced to start, again with mild low level petrol. Pleasingly mild sweetness offset effortlessly by appealing acidity. A blend of integrated white/yellow peaches. More minerals. Lots of charm with a long finish. No rush to open.
The Champagne and Riesling worked extremely well with some initial nibbles and the first two courses. Cod with cabbage was a natural fit. If it wasn’t for my petrol aversion, I’d buy lots more Riesling…which overperform in their food versatility
2007 Hospices de Beaune Bouchard Volnay Santenots Gauvain
Light, supple and surprisingly red fruit driven. Nicely floral with traces of smoked meat. Clean, good acidity and a bit simple at this point. Good length. It needs 5+ more years.
1998 Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie La Landonne
Smoky bacon fat, very mild herbs with super tight dark fruit. Decanting couldn’t open it up in time for the meal. Maybe if decanted the day before? 2 days? Very pleasing aromatics but structurally, the massive potential wasn’t ready to budge. Excellent acidity, medium-full body and muscle flexing tannins. Dense, rich and concentrated without being heavy. Maybe a trace of warmth at the back. Needs atleast 5 - 10 years before a revisit.
2001 Produttori Rabaja Barbaresco
The Rostaing was tight. Make it 2 for 2. Appealing cherry fruit that quickly goes secondary with classic tar and roses…excellent acidity, but the show ends early as the tannins bring down the curtain. 10 more years please. Again, excellent potential. This is going to be a winner, with enough patience.
1990 Clerico Ciabot Mentin Ginestra Barolo
Bob Hughes delivered on his threat to broaden my experiences with Modernist Baroli (Barolos, whatever). This wine is all about the interplay of the oak and fruit. The wood signature is everywhere but never offensive. No vanilla or new oak nonsense, aged wood that’s completely incorporated within the aged red/dark fruit. Good acidity and smooth throughout. I can see the appeal, but really wish it was more about the fruit, with tannins softened instead of painted over. It pushes the boundary of how much wood (fortunately aged and not overtly new) the fruit can withstand. It carries it off better than expected. Bob, can we skip the rest of the Modernists?
NV Artur de Barros & Sousa, Vinho Da Madeira Canteiro Dolce Extra Reserva
Wow. Rich dark caramel and molasses with tremendous depth and a wonderful balance of sweetness and acidity. Somehow fresh and aged simultaneously. Impressive length. From one of the Hughes’ trips to Madeira. Blended from wines of unknown age, possibly as old as the 1930s. This was delicious and received votes all around for WOTN, full well realizing the dessert wine ban. Terrific treat. 18% abv and carrying it off with amazing charm.
Talula’s totally stepped it up for this meal. Some of the best courses to date.