Well, this was the BIG EVENT of the weekend. Lots of food, lots of wine and lots of great conversation and general conviviality.
My brother put out a great spread at Rue Cler. Always a pleasure to have him cook for us.
2004 Pépière Clos des Briords 1.5L
2005 Pépière Clos des Briords 1.5L
I don’t know. What do you say about Briords and huge plates of oysters? Life is worth living again? I’m honing in on the fact that this is THE great Muscadet. I thought the 2004 showed a bit better to my tastes, more precise, but they are both excellent. The 2005 will probably age better.
1996 Trimbach Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile
Started a bit musty, but shook that off. It was all oyster shell and dirt, without much of that petrol emotion. Some yellowish fruit started peaking out after a bit. It wasn’t as aggressive as this wine can be, but I was mostly just drinking it, not studying it.
1996 Vincent Dauvissat Chablis 1er La Fôret
A couple of us found this wine outstanding. It had that lemon drop crusted stone quality that I love so much from this particular wine. Still very well structured, but anyone who remembers how intense these wines were in their youth will be happy with how they are coming around. I was worried by the crazy intensity of the wine and also the potential of premature oxidation, but neither seemed to be a problem.
1995 Rémi Rollin Corton-Charlemagne
At first, I was really disappointed. It seemed sort of watery and washed out. Most folks at the table dismissed it, but Sophie brought me back to it with a particular dish, and the wine had really come around. What was previously washed out had firmed up. There were notes of pretty fruit and some flowers and spices. It also seemed to stretch out a bit and pick up some structure. I think part of this was my expectation for Corton-Charlemagne to be so big and minerally and intense. Sometimes you have to just let a wine be itself. I don’t think there is anything to be gained by aging this, but please give it some time and quite attention when you open it.
2005 Edmond Vatan Sancerre Chavignol Clos la Néore
Seemed to be closed in on itself. Kinda strange since I had a bottle not too long ago that was more open, but also much more mineral. You can always see the makings of a legend in this wine, though, and I’m always happy to be around it.
2004 Edmond Vatan Sancerre Chavignol Clos la Néore
Although it isn’t in the same class as the 2005, I felt this showed better. The lightness and linearity of it made it much more enjoyable on the night.
2006 Bernard Baudry Chinon Blanc La Croix Boissée
Went so well with the rabbit. While it isn’t defined the way the 2004 was, it has enough structure to hold itself together and to ensure that the fruit and limestone are delivered. A really pleasurable wine to drink. I don’t think it will make old bones, but over the next 5 years, and maybe more, it is a great drink.
2001 Pierre Amiot et Fils Clos de la Roche
Didn’t make much of an impression. Pretty woody and blocky to me. Susannah took it home, I’d be curious to see how it was the next day.
2004 Robert Arnoux Vosne 1er Les Suchots
One of the folks at the table really liked this, for me, it was another 2004. It isn’t the greenness that I dislike so much, although that can be annoying, it is the sort of glommy quality to the fruit. It was a vintage that had pretty high natural sugar but is watery at the same time resulting in very odd textures.
1996 Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle 1er Beaux Bruns
This was actually drinking pretty well. I was worried about this showing the sternness mixed with hollowness that can be the bugbear of this vintage. While not fair to compare it to a wine from a superior vineyard and vintage, it is impossible not to. Beaux Bruns is always a richer, earthier expression of Chambolle, with darker fruits. My hope is that the best 1996s will turn into 1988s. This bottle gives me a bit of hope.
2001 Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle 1er Fuées
Beautiful. Barthod made great wines in 2001, unfortunately for me, my source got theirs with heat damage, so I took them all back, so I only have a couple of bottles. What I love about Fuees, and Barthod’s in particular, is that there is a strong mineral spine with a coating of crunchy red fruit. Red currants and cranberry mostly. It is a driving wine, not a necessarily gentle one, but when the parts come together it is a wonderful expression of the best of Chambolle.
1995 Thierry Allemand Cornas Chaillot
Very reduced/bretty. This is the first time I’ve experienced this with an Allemand wine, although others have reported more frequent instances.
1995 Auguste Clape Cornas
A very elegant and social wine especially in comparison to the Verset. There was nothing wrong with it, but it seemed boring next to the Verset. I always seem to drink these two wines together, which is maybe not fair. Next time I’ll drink this by itself.
1995 Noël Verset Cornas
Absolutely wild and gorgeous. This certainly has some volatile acidity, but it serves to lift the wine, not to push it outside of the lines. What was amazing was how snappy and floral this was, in conjunction with some deep, animal, blackstrap Cornas-ness. If you have this, you can start drinking now. BTW, this reminds me of my Cornas aging theory. Medium term, not long term. I think 20 years is at the outer edge.