Got together with a few of the Country Squires at Locanda Verde for an eclectic mix of wine. Atmosphere was lively and the food was really great. One course after another of very well prepared dishes using top ingredients. Staff did a great job and Josh N. took great care of our wines. Had some hits and a few misses for the wines but still a great night.
’64 Dom Perignon a true original release with a plastic capsule. Unfortunately this bottle had clearly seen its best days some time ago. Ok on the nose, not so ok on the palate with the fruit gone, the effervescence gone and a very bitter finish. DOA
’64 Dom Perignon original but with foil capsule. Dark gold colored with no effervescence in the glass. Some smoky fruit and caramel on the nose. I knew this wasn’t going to be a great '64 DP by the look and smell of it. However, it was a big step up from the previous bottle with a fair amount of effervescence on the palate. Good fruit on the palate but the finish is short. After a short period of time this faded in the glass and the second glass wasn’t as good either. Great bottles of this wine gain in the glass. This clearly wasn’t one of them. Good minus
’90 Krug - a big improvement over the last two bottles, but this wasn’t a perfect example of the wine either. Big and bold but there is too much maturity to this bottle than there should be. Some honey and creme brulee are already in the forefront with the fruit just behind it. What was in the glass was excellent, but the wine didn’t have the power and stregnth it should. Excellent minus
’52 Moet - re-release with an unknown disgorgement but probably early '90’s. I brought this for a couple of the more “mature” Country Squires who share a birth year of 1952. Now we’re talking. Deep gold color with good yellow fruit on the nose and mature notes of honey and creme brulee. A bit of effervescence in the glass but much more on the palate. Finish however is not the longest in the world. While this was a good bottle it was not as good as the bottle I had a couple of weeks ago. Like the previous bottle this started to fade after an hour or two. Unlike the previous bottle there was no “52” in the bottle mold. Excellent plus.
’64 Veuve Clicquot DOA - not a good evening for my birth year nor my cellar. Three out of the five wines I opened were sub par.
’69 Veuve Clicquot Rose - beautiful vivid rose/cherry color with lively effervescence, especially for its age. Great fruit on the nose with some meatiness as well. Liquid roast beef on the palate. Still excellent structure to this wine. My favorite champagne of the evening. Staggering minus.
’90 Cristal - a baby of a wine compared to some of the ones before it. That said has started to evolve into the next stage of maturity. The 90 minutes of airtime in the bottle surely helped it open up. Some vintages of Cristal push my limit of dosage/sweetness but this isn’t one of them. Performed in the glass over a several hour period. Excellent plus.
’85 Dujac Clos St Denis - the only thing missing from this wine was the label on the bottle. Excellent aromas of sweet fruit with just a hint of barnyard adding to the complexity. Even better on the palate with just layers of red and dark fruit on the palate. Great structure and finish. Staggering plus.
’85 Clos de Tart - had the unfortunate placement of following the previous wine in the flight. Still, it held its own in a subtle and understated way. Very elegant and feminine. While I’ve enjoyed this wine in the past, I don’t remember it being this good. Goes to show that top red burgs need 25+ years to show their best Excellent plus
’91 DRC Echezeaux - finished up the evening’s best flight by far with a solid showing. Good dark fruit with a little more power showing, possibly due to the contrast with the femininity of the Clos de Tart.
Was a touch of cola on the nose that I didn’t love. Still plenty of life left to this. Excellent
’82 Chateau Margaux - what can I say other than I’m just not that into Bordeaux anymore especially those from the left bank. Hopefully it will be a passing phase because this was clearly an excellent example of the wine and one I have enjoyed immensely in the past. For me it was Very Good but the bottle was Excellent plus.
’89 La Turque - the bottle showed some seepage but it must have been due to overfill because this was a correct example. Smoky dark fruit and a lot of it. Thick but velvety mouthfeel. This is drinking very well now but it may not have as long as life as the '85 and '88. Staggering minus
’78 Giacosa Santo Stefano Riserva - had this been served as a blind Barolo I probably would have said it was a good wine from a good producer and vintage. However, considering the pedigree this was a bit of a disappointment. Classic tar and roses on the nose but lacks the significant depth and complexities it should have. Very good minus
’64 Conterno Monfortino - well on this night even my birth year wines that didn’t come out of my cellar didn’t show well. This was marred by VA and the color was too pale and thin for this wine. Under the VA you could get a sense that the classic Barolo profile was there, but it took too much work to be worthwhile. Fair
’61 B. Mascarello Barolo Riserva - opened as a replacement for the previous wine. However this needed to be replaced as it had seen better days. Clearly not properly stored its entire life - it was clinging by its fingernails for its life. Fair plus
’82 B. Mascarello Barolo Riserva - after the previous wines, this seemed like a barrel sample. Great freshness, with power but elegance on the finish. Excellent plus.
’62 Bertani Amarone - we had been giving the person who had brought this a hard time because Amarone’s are not our group’s typical fare. It was remarkably youthful, and went well with the cheese course, but there is a reason that I don’t drink a lot of Amarone. Good
Mixed results for the wines which has been a pattern for me over the past few weeks, but there were enough highs on the evening to make the wine portion very enjoyable. However, as mentioned all aspects of the restaurant were great and the eclectic personalities of the Country Squires always makes for an interesting and fun evening.