I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Rue Cler with some very dear friends. It was one of those evenings where all the wines showed really well and the food was first rate.
1996 Vincent Dauvissat Chablis 1er Vaillons
This showed very well, especially given the soaked cork. That didn’t knock the structure out. The fruit had gone a little creamy, but it was still mostly lemon and stones with hints of secondary stuff sneaking in. It was the palate where it really had evolved. If you tried the 1996s when they were young, you remember the face crushing, eye searing intensity of the wines. Frankly, I was worried they wouldn’t evolve in a proper way. This certainly has. This was my last bottle, but I’m not that sad, I caught it at a wonderful time for me. If you have some, they can hold for 5+ easily.
2004 Thierry Allemand Cornas Chaillot
Young and strapping, but not brooding and backwards, which is the beauty of Allemand. The wines can both drink well young and show their potential at the same time. A nice trick if you can pull it off. Still very primary, but if you have a good bit it is not uninteresting to try now. I won’t be getting into mine for at least 5 years.
1995 Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard
This more than made up for the crappy 1995 Chaillot from Blackwood’s trip. You can taste the differences between the two wines, even through the difference in age. Really beautifully complex and seamless with dark fruit, earth and animal notes framed nicely by both acidity and balancing tannins. Superb with food. In case you haven’t noticed, I tend to like my wines when they have started to stretch out and show secondary and tertiary aromas and flavors, but haven’t gone all fruitless and still maintain some structure. For that reason, I think that 20 years might be the upper limit of Cornas aging for me, so these will be gone by 2015. You can start drinking any time you want.