TN's: DP Oeno's, Chevaliers, DRC GE's ....

Got together with a three other Country Squires at Marea for a few pounds of crudo as well as some other excellent food. The crudo was fantastic as well as plentiful. Great wine service as always.

Here’s the quick wrap-up.

’66 Dom Perignon Oenotheque - disgorged 2004 - obviously fresh due to the recent disgorgement. However the aromas were not only intense but also mature. Rich honey and marzipan with some DP smokiness (not sure how they get this signature in their champagnes) and loads of yellow fruit. Not as explosive on the palate as the last bottle I had, but certainly not a disappointment. Killer minus

’69 Dom Perignon Oenotheque - disgorged in 2006 - a great head to head match up. Many similar aromas to the previous wine but a bit more subdued and not as mature. Cleaner and more floral. More power on the palate with waves of fruit. Longer finish than the long finish of the '66. Both opened around 30 minutes before sitting down, they morphed together over the course of four hours. Killer minus

’79 Krug - sent over from another table this rivaled the two DP’s. More pinot power and higher acidity than the DP’s but the fruit is so intense that the high acidity is a perfect match. The finish is endless. Killer minus

’88 Dom Ruinart - also sent over from a neighboring table. On paper this should get pancaked by the previous three champagnes. However, while not up to the overall quality of the others this wine is no slouch. Linen and lemons with a bit of smoke, but very blanc de blancs in style. Also had great acidity but is still a touch too young to hang in the level of the more developed flavors of the DP and Krug. Still, I loved it. Staggering minus

’96 Niellon Chevalier Montrachet - slightly golden colored. More youthful on the palate than the appearance. Great tropical fruits mixed with yellow fruits that stops it from being “tropical” which I’m not a big fan of in white burgs. Creamy texture on the palate then the finish cuts with a long finish with acidity giving it structure. About as good as white burg gets for me. Staggering minus

’96 Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet - paler in color than the Niellon, but not as bright and youthful on the palate. Slightly more mature profile with some sesame aromas mixed in the fruit. In general Leflaive Chevalier is my white burg of choice, but in a flip flop of a similar showdown we did a few months ago, this time the Niellon reigns superior. Excellent plus

On to the reds

’88 DRC Grands Echezeaux - I was expecting a harder more angular wine than what showed up in the glass. Good secondary development of red burgundy aromas and flavors. Just a touch of barnyard is a compliment to the nose. Mix of red and dark fruit on the palate. Could be a touch softer on the finish but this is drinking well now with signs of it being even better in the future. The streak of great bottles continues with our first red and for me this is the (pleasant) surprise of the night. Excellent plus

’86 DRC Grands Echezeaux - not a stellar vintage for DRC and while this was certainly good it is upstaged by the previous wine. Not a bad showing, but it is what it is. While it softens of the course of being opened for an hour, the fruit also fades a bit too. Very good plus

’78 DRC Grands Echezeaux - this takes the reds to the next level. The most fruit, the most aromatic, and the most elegant. Still plenty of life left to it. It’s no '71 DRC but it is at quite the lofty level. Staggering plus

’85 DRC Grands Echezeaux - anticipated to give the '78 a run for the money for the best red of the night. However this was our only disappointing under performer of the evening. Not a perfect example of this wine it probably saw some less than perfect storage at some time. However, it was certainly drinkable, it just was a letdown from its high expectations. Excellent minus

’90 Mongeard-Mugneret Richebourg sent over from our neighbor was too monolithic with all power and no finesse. Suffers further by being drunk after the DRC’s as well as being drunk without food. Good

Fun time as always with the Country Squires as well as the venue of Marea.

Ray, the way you drink I can’t help but think you and all of your friends are partners at Goldman Sachs.


That would involve working. Ray has a better deal…

Ray, sounds like a great start to the week.

No Goldman guys.

Good start to the week - hoping to finish stronger [basic-smile.gif]

Great night, notwithstanding a severe shortage of Goldman partners. Thankfully nothing else was in short supply, including that Crudo! Marea is a terrific restaurant, and as Ray indicated the wine service was handled beautifully by Francesco and Sophie. Just a few additional thoughts on a few of the wines: 96 Niellon and Leflaive Chevaliers. The Niellon was the best bottle of this wine I’ve ever had–which is saying a great deal–and on this night it was the better of two outstanding wines. But the real joy was in going “two for two”, enjoying superb, YOUTHFUL, 96 white Burgundies. Sure, the Leflaives are remarkably consistent, but the same can’t be said for Niellons of the period. Whoda thunk it? 85 DRC Grands Echezeaux. This was not a representative bottle, and way underperformed what one should rightly expect this wine to deliver. Ray is being generous in his scoring. 90 Mongeard-Mugneret Richebourg. Ray is again being generous–this wine was NOT “Good”. All in all, a wonderful night for the Squires!


Had you initiated the thread there would already be 153 responses. Maybe now that you’ve chimed in the flood gates will open.

The sender of the Richebourg thinks I grossly UNDER rated it. Who woulda thunk !

Excellent notes! Remember a similar experience with the 88 DRC Grands Echezeaux, an awesome wine . . .

Ray, I’m a huge fan of the 88 DRC GE. It may not be the best DRC has produced but what I’ve had the nose has been pure pinot fruit that I could just smell for hours. Great notes.

Ray, look, I’m doing my best but you can’t expect miracles. Your name is continuously out there as author, while mine will appear only intermittantly! (Remember to teach me how to use those “smiley” things next time I see you.)


You know it’s bad when you are enlisting tech help from the guy who had to have someone else post his pics from Hong Kong.

So when you go, do you just ask for the Country Squires appetizer portion of Crudo?

It’s called the four by four by four.

nice work. damn. damn!

carl - is the marea sophie the same one that was at craft?

Sophie did work previously at Craft.

Grand finale this Saturday!

Thanks for the great notes Ray. I last had the 88 DRC GE about 12 years ago at a DRC dinner and it was tough as nails alongside 1989s and 1991-1993s. It was impossible to get a read on it at all- much as some 1995s have been of late. I had faith all the same and glad to hear the wine is finally coming around.

amazing notes–especially because both 96 whites were good!

Thanks Ray,

Great notes again from a great couple of months of drinking!!

flirtysmile flirtysmile

Peter and Nick, the guy (sorry Ray, I mean the Squire) who brought the 88 GE wasn’t at all surprised that it showed so well. I would say that while I’d agree with Ray that the wine isn’t “angular” or “hard”, it is that species of Burgundy that relies on its acidity to give it the lift and drive that really is at the heart of its character. And Tom, in my estimation the wine is no longer “coming around”–it has arrived! A really excellent red Burgundy that suffered the misfortune of being served in close proximaty to the far superior 78.