TNs: Faiveley CC, Quintarelli Amarone, Masseto, JL Chave, Fritz Haag and more

A fun dinner earlier this month with most of my regular group. No particular theme but thanks to some serious generosity, we ended up with a pair of the best wines I’ve had this year, plus plenty of other highlights. For a frame of reference as I am new here - I do try to keep my points reasonably conservative, checking cellartracker under 1% of my scores are 93 or higher, so when a pair of wines are this good they are really into very special territory in my opinion.

  • NV Pierre Gerbais Champagne L’Originale - France, Champagne
    100% Pinot Blanc. Chalk, apple and some cookies on the nose. Good mouthfeel and balance, with a splash of fruit sweetness rounding out the edges. 89/100


  • 2005 Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champ-Canet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru
    Oatmeal, apple and butter with some stone fruit aromas as well. Slightly broad on the palate, but it has good drive and finishes long. 90/100
  • 2008 Kooyong Chardonnay Faultline - Australia, Victoria, Port Phillip, Mornington Peninsula
    Aromas of smoke and candlewax with pear notes supporting. Fresh acid drives and lifts the palate, there is good restraint here and appealing minerality. 90/100


  • 1992 Faiveley Corton-Charlemagne - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
    Toasty nose with popcorn, honey, spice and a touch of ginger. The palate is finely balanced, it is developing but it has retained richness and has excellent length. Drink over the next 5 years. 92/100


  • 2008 Domaine du Collier Saumur Le Charpentrie - France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Saumur
    Wild nose - earth, graphite, hay and pear. The palate has good texture and has plenty of points of interest. 88/100


  • 2009 Jean Foillard Morgon Côte du Py Cuvée 3.14 - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Morgon
    Complex nose of pencil shavings, bacon, cinnamon and stalks. Concentrated savoury fruit on the palate, it has good length and structure. Intense but not overbearing and one of the more enjoyable Beaujolais wines I’ve had. 90/100
  • 2008 Domaine Louis Boillot et Fils Chambolle-Musigny - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny
    Tight and ungiving nose, with some cherry after vigorous swirling. The palate is in a similar mould, with tannins at the fore and an austere finish. May just need some time, but I’m not sure it will come around. 85/100
  • 2006 Bindi Pinot Noir Block 5 - Australia, Victoria, Port Phillip, Macedon Ranges
    The nose is quite intense with black cherry, some smoke and a nutty background character. The palate is more restrained but it trails off slightly prematurely. Still very good, but I expect more from this wine. 88/100


  • 1997 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
    Strong funky barnyard with earth and leather characters as well as some raspberry and olive struggling to be noticed. The palate is cleaner, showing medium body, good structure and texture with interest. For me the brett on the nose was too far past the interesting complexity level and a detriment to this particular bottle. 90/100


  • 2002 Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Stalks, graphite, black pepper and some leafynotes. Well balanced, but it doesn’t have the depth and interest of a top level wine. Still enjoyable and I think it is in its prime drinking window now and in the near future. 89/100
  • 1998 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino
    Tasted double blind. Leather, smoked meats, cherry and light floral notes on the nose. Palate is powerful but it is focused rather than explosive. Drinking very nicely right now and over the next 5-7 years. 92/100


  • 2007 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Masseto Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
    Tasted double-blind. Incredibly rich but also complex nose of liquorice, blackberry, graphite, violets and tobacco. Massive palate in both fruit and structure, which makes the balance and class even more impressive. Very young but still possible to enjoy it now, it should look even better in another 10 years. 95/100


  • 2000 Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella - Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella
    An nose with incredible lift and intensity - kirsch, graphite, dark chocolate, raisins and blackberry. The palate balance was unbelievable, it is intensely rich and has huge structure but it is somehow seamless at the same time. Shows depth, complexity and superb length. An icon with huge expectations and it rose way above them somehow, just magic stuff. Quite probably this is the best wine I’ve had so far this year. 97/100


  • 1985 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Shy on the nose straight out of the bottle, it opens up eventually to show apple, honey and some pine. The palate is drier than I expected, with only a slight richness remaining and giving a more off-dry impression. The palate is holding its freshness and acidity well, it has good length as well. A nice wine for the vintage, but doesn’t have the depth of a truly great wine. 90/100

Good notes- I`m happy to see another who has quality group dinners where all share the passion righteously. New to this Amarone, but not to Masseto which is one of my all time favs.

Wow, Cam, great tasting, and wonderfully well written notes

The Quintarelli wines are astonishing at every level. My “desert island” wines. The 1991 “Alzero”, a Recioto style Cabernet, may be the greatest red wine I have ever had.