I didn’t have my preferred corkscrew, but I’m not sure even that would have saved the cork—it really was dried through and through. Happily, strainer and decanter made things work.
Tran’s prompted me out of laziness mode here, so I will comment on the wines. Only the 14 Nikolaihof Gruner was opened on the day of the dinner. The others were leftovers from New Year’s Eve, so impressions have to be tempered by 3 days’ air.
The Nikolaihof was the base bottling. Sure form and some bite on the front of the tongue with ginger, pepper and apple notes. Probably not as good a vintage as 13, but for $20, I’d be happy to have this to go to on occasion. It has proper typicity.
The rest of the notes will be from my impressions from when they were opened on NY Eve, with a couple other bottles tacked on
2012 Dubreuil-Fontaine Corton Perrieres
Some metal/iron and definite earth tones on the bouquet along with dark cherry fruit. I was surprised that this is already somewhat open and only gets more so as the night goes on. Very sure red and black cherry and berry fruit mixed in with good dollops of dark cocoa and some mineral, with the spine one hopes for in Corton. Really a very great bottle that does have a tinge of the joyous 12 fruit.
2010 La Togata dei Togati Brunello
This took a little bit to unwind, about 2 hours, but was quite pretty when it did. Florals are added to a currant and leather showing on the nose. Palate has solid fruit and the tannins are already lovely and luminous here. Another very nice example of a vintage I love to pieces. This really came out to play the next day at brunch, but was perhaps done by the time the 3rd rolled around, sorry Tran!
2008 Lazzeretti Brunello
Opened this after picking it up on the recommendation of friend and Vintages consultant Michael. He wasn’t wrong about this one. On opening, cedar and sandalwood notes mix with dark, dark plum and berry fruit in bouquet. And there’s plenty of grip and almost flashy power on the tongue. It does settle in over the course of the night and the next day, but by the 3rd had picked up even more verve and power. Quite a showing.
2008 Guy Amiot Chassagne Montrachet Les Caillerets
I am quite fond of the wines from this house and this is no exception. white and yellow fruit is equally balanced with a cut of stones and ginger added in the mouth. This has a very slight trace of sweetness, but it fits in very well with the flavour profile and adds to the feel and flow of the wine as it goes down the throat. A very complete example, this is probably the perfect window for drinking. A softer but still very present Chassagne.
2005 ZH Pinot Gris Clos Jesbal Vendages Tardives
There’s the poached apple and pear pie thing on nose and in mouth that is what I want, and the feel especially is not too sweet and almost translucent. It is just what I would pick as an exemplar of a VT and had superb length. A winner for sure.
I did enjoy the 09 Kacaba Pinot, much more than I expected. This is a vintage that was quite wet and yet there have been some rather good wines that have come out of hiding after some bottle age. This appears to be one of them. Not a world-beater, but I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed Tran’s sweet wine contribution, which played for me very much like a recioto although without the level of complexity or depth I often find there. Still, it had balance and an attractive lightness of being.