TNs: tons of stuff from the past month

So, let me start by saying some of the wines on this list are going to be a little foggier than others. Some of these were tasted earlier in the week, while others were from weeks ago. Now, sit down and strap in for what is sure to be a wild ride.

Starting things off with the Champagne I just had for dinner: '05 Launois PeF GC BdB a Le Mesnil Sur Oger. Boy, was this a ton of blah. The fruit is struggling to show itself here. There’s a touch of the hallmark viscosity of Chard and some lightly buttered bread. 88 pts.

Taittinger Brut NV: I’m always impressed by the quality of Taitt’s NV. A healthy dose of some round Pinot with some zippy Chard. I always seem to get a very heavy and slightly austere biscuit/toast out of their wines that seem to make them slightly more interesting and well-rounded than your typical large house NV. 89+ pts.

'75 Rauzan-Segla: This is incredibly dark and brooding for a '75. Apparently, these were really hard to drink in their youth. Tannins still have a firm grip on this wine and there’s lots of interesting austere notes to be had on the palate. Tar and underbrush are key players here. Also, some vague dark fruits. A nice bottle, but really lacking the “wow factor” I was expecting. 90 pts.

'71 Branaire Ducru: These bottles have just been singing. Fully resolved with bright cranberry fruits and tons of floral perfume comes in with some air time. It’s amazing how forward an old Bdx at 11.5% abv can be. 92 pts.

'04 R. LdH Gravonia: To me, this is a very impressive showing that beats out both the '03 and '01. This is less of what you usually get out of different vintages of this wine, but you won’t hear me complaining. You get the viscosity, oil, and beeswax of an LdH white, with bright and concentrated fruit that channels Puligny or Chassagne Montrachet. Wow. 93+ pts.

'70 Brane-Cantenac: This was the bottle with the scary fill level. It didn’t show quite as well as the other '70, but it really took off after an hour in the decanter. Fully resolved, started with more earth and cigar box, ended with light red fruits and flowers. 90 pts.

'83 G. Morbelli Carema: I love the austerity of this off the beaten path wine. Some Forest floor and mushroom stuff going on with some subtle fruit underneath. Great acidity, this wine makes you think. 89 pts.

'88 Handley Dry Creek Valley Chard: Had this a ways back, but remember it being in great shape for its age. Decent complexity and a noticeable, yet refined use of oak. 90 pts.

'06 Ch. de Sancerre Cuvée du Connetable: This was the real deal - fat, rich, bright, herbal, eucalyptus, stone fruit, awesome. 91+ pts.

more pics

Love all the notes Mark… Just an observation:

A ton of blah is 88

One lacking “wow factor” is 90

Great acidity wine that makes u think is 89

And the real deal, awesome is 91

Mark. I love your passion. Keep it up.

The label on that '75 Rausan is immaculate, is that one of your “barn finds”?

I see you’re slowly working your way through your stash. This Carema producer is long gone I imagine, but…what a treat, 30-year old alto-piedmont!