TNs—Mike on Tour, May 2, dinner at Balvanera, Bordeaux, Burgs, Champagnes, others

My very deep appreciation to Jay Miller for doing legion work again in setting up a great evening for us. Food and service were both quite good with special nods to the empanadas, chourico, cod appys and blood sausage

Dramatis Personae

Jay Miller
Tom Rippe
Rodrigo Braga
Julie Chung
Brent Clayton
Jeff Davidson
Tony Gigante
Yon humble historian

Etienne Calsac Les Rocheforts

An almost leaf smoke thing with bread and lemon notes, grassy as well. That’s scrumplicious. Sort of funnels into the mid palate and fans back out. Very gentle mousse but good acid to carry lemon and light grapefruit. Intriguing and my #4

Emmanuel Brochet NV

All pinot meunière. Starts out rather reductive but that blows off. Very fascinating taste profile—a lot of herbs and leans on rhubarb some. This was liked by many of us at the table

2012 Henri Boillot Meursault Porusots

My bring. Expressive scents of unripe pear, matchstick, sliver of vanilla. Some hazelnut emerges much later. This is solid, with some steeliness but also shockingly approachable—at least compared to what I’m used to with Boillot. No standout aspects but very solid in all respects and a high floor to this wine. Lots of happy noises from the group :slight_smile:

2007 Camille Giroud Charmes Chambertin

Flower (rose petal?) infused strawberry and boysenberry jam aromatics. So lifted, and earth and some sweetmeats in the background. Very good—there’s plenty of tart fruit still, and good acid here. Terrific elegance. Maybe a bit attenuated for a C-C but I take the year into account. #2

1979 Chateau Giscours

Mature notes of forest, light sweet tobacco and evolved black cherries. Drinking super-well—-in fact, I can’t imagine it being any better. Slightly sweet blackcurrant and a whisk of blueberry. And all of it subtly elegant. Definitive WOTN

2011 Plouzeau Ante Phylloxera Clos de Maulevrier Franc de Pied
Touraine, all cab franc. I’m sure I’m missing a letter…Julie, help! :wink: it speaks of cab franc to me in the nose. Aromatic sweet herbs, red berries and almost blueberry. Tangy and very earthy on the tongue, the olive and smoky come on with very focused currant and some cedar notes. A wine that almost ambushes you in its overall presentation—in the best way, of course

2012 Dal Forno Valpolicella

Still-closed bouquet, with swirling mocha and ripe plum emerge. Dry and rather tannic…right now. Dried boysenberry and cranberry. Has a mantle of potential elegance. I get the feeling this will be extremely good one day—I just think it’s fully in hibernation mode

1995 Cos D’Estournel

Smells real nice—pipe tabac, baking spices and Black Forest cake. In the mouth, remains a toddler, but with a lot to say someday. Acidic attack fits with the tannins. Plum, Christmascake and a framing of Licorice. It comes a little out of hiding at the end of the night. Leave another 10 years

1986 Cos D’Estournel

Probably the wine that engendered the most discussion. Some calls for light TCA, some calls for VA, and some—me included—who found no fault. On the sniffer, cherry and currant marries with light herbs and sweet cracked pepper. For me, it’s a lovely Cos. The fruit and tannins are in sublime balance and has a long, long finish. My #3. Will be interested in group thoughts here

2009 Frederic Esmonin Mazis Chambertin

Really sorcerous bouquet. Cinnamon sugar over fresh sweetgrass, chestnut and strawberry. And on the tongue, it’s quite good. Just enough freshness to carry the replays. I don’t think it’ll last 20 years but is very nice now.

We had a blind Cali cab. Very dark scents, even to some molasses and black Licorice. Rich with lots of plush fruit. So this is a La Jota and I guessed around 2012. The fun part is that, although we don’t know the actual year, the cork type indicates it’s definitely pre mid-90s

2002 Weingut ed Wegemuller Haardter Mandelring Scheurebe Auslese

Sweetest lemon sorbet — or gelato. Yeah, that, with a fascinating mustard seed note. This is nice, a blend of vanilla custard and lemon custard, and some pineapple too, but also with a definite ceiling and not as much overall textural complexity

Wonderful to see Jay, Brent, Tom and Julie again and fabulous to meet Rodrigo, Jeff and Tony. Thank you all!


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The only things you missed on the cab franc were vintage and producer :slight_smile:

2011 Plouzeau

A pleasure to see you again after all these years

Already bleary-eyed clearly. Thanks Jay and yes, reiterating, a great pleasure

Mike said 1979 Chateau Giscours

Mature notes of forest, light sweet tobacco and evolved black cherries. Drinking super-well—-in fact, I can’t imagine it being any better. Slightly sweet blackcurrant and a whisk of blueberry. And all of it subtly elegant. Definitive WOTN

Do you have thoughts on the 2005?


My Eureka wine was the 1979 Giscours, but very little was exported to the US. I drank one a few months ago, and saw the first sign of fading, but one drunk a few months before was exactly as described. The decade of the seventies, Giscours were brilliant.

After a period of neglect, Giscours underwent some serious replanting and modernization, and the 2005 is a decade into the process. It is a very good wine, but my feeling is, that it wasn’t until the 2010 vintage (a brilliant one in Margaux generally) that Giscours reached the heights of the 1970s.

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And Mark should know - this bottle was one of the ones he sent to auction a few years ago.

In my experience Giscours took a big step down as of the 1982 vintage. A 1995 was quite good last year though not at the level of the 1970 to 1981.

Thanks to Mike and all for a fine evening. A good meal with some very good wine. I have two WOTN. Emmanuel Brochet Rose de Saignee XBrut and the 07 Camillo Giraud Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru. For me these wines were head and shoulders above. Several other very good wines.

great notes Mike! My first wine tasting since the pandemic started, it was great to meet mike, tony and rodrigo and reconnect with everyone else. I guess I liked the Auslese more than everyone else, thought it opened beautifully over time and was a little surprised to find it in my first tier.


An excellent get together. Thanks Jay for arranging. It was terrific to meet Mike and Jeff and connect once again with a crew that is a pleasure to wine and dine with.

As I told Jay, at some point in my life, I plan to drink only red burgundy every day. But a wine like the 79 Giscours could convince me to rethink that plan. That was my WOTN. The Charmes was a welcome surprise. It was more Chambolle like than Gevrey like and had a seductive side with the right fruit/acid balance and savory components.

I really liked all the wines. They had nice distinguishing features and brought something special to the party. The openers and closers, Brochet and Weingut were delightful. In the middle were a nice combo of 86 and 95 Cos, with the 86 being the meatier and heftier of the two. And the Mazy had that nice gripping Gevrey bite that softened up with air. Maybe give 09 GC Burgs another couple of years in cellar.

Thank to all for the terrific lineup.