A group of old wine hands got together to catch up and to toast the late Teobaldo Cappellano. If you haven’t read it, Kevin McKenna of Louis/Dressner has some words worth reading. Too much death this year.
We started off at my brother’s restaurant, Rue Cler. He got in some fresh (as in still alive) Scottish langoustines. Probably the best dish I’ve had in a long time. It’s a shame my brother has to spend so much time running his businesses and can’t just be here to cook. When he has the chance, he does wonderful things.
2006 Domaine de Roally Viré-Clessé Tradition
This wine has really come out of its shell in the past few months. When it first arrived on these shores, it was a bit out of sorts and clumsy and not very aromatic. Time cures all ills. Resolutely Roally and floral with that hint of botrytis that I love in this wine. I really love what Thevenet is doing with this and his own vines. Great now, should improve over the next couple of years.
2004 Baudry Chinon Blanc La Croix Boissée
Corked. My second bad bottle of this in a row, which sucks because this wine can be excellent. Crazy bad luck. Oh well.
2004 Pernot Batard-Montrachet
So refined as to make the Roally seem positively boisterous. Linear and pristine, which is a good trick in Batard. A nice counterpoint to the almost exotic Roally. Instead of all the floral elements it seemed to want to stay with yellow fruits and a bit of mineral nuance. Very elegant. Worth having, but I’m not sure I favor it over the Puligny 1er crus from Pernot. But then again, I’m sort of a 1er cru kind of guy.
2002 Bellivière Coteaux du Loir Le Rouge-Gorge
This was fantastic and an indicator of what Eric Nicolas is capable of when the vintage treats him well. Started off with classic pineau d’aunis aromas of aggressive white pepper and horseradish and was very structured. As it had a chance to stretch out, it really popped. The aromas broadened in profile to include fruits and other notes as the pepper became part of the whole instead of domineering.
2000 Nervi Gattinara Vigneto Molsino
This wine got lost in the shuffle a bit, but the impression it left was as a good version if a bit afflicted by being from 2000. I kind of like my Nervi a little more nervy. That was awful, but true.
We had both the Capellano out of magnum. It seemed only fitting.
2000 Cappellano Barolo Piè Rupestris Otin Fiorin
Both of these 2000s were a little loose, but that has a lot to do with the vintage and it is more interesting to me for the wine to reflect the vintage than to strive for some archetype that doesn’t reflect that. More classic nose than the Piè Franco with the dark cherry notes and a stab more structure. This could probably stand a bit more time, but there is no reason to avoid opening one if you are interested.
2000 Cappellano Barolo Piè Franco Otin Fiorin
I would say that you can and maybe should, go ahead and drink this now. I always find this more approachable than the Rupestris. It has an almost Christmas fruitcake type of nose with the spice and fruits that entails. I don’t get the classic Barolo notes in this, but it is lively and enjoyable to drink. A wine to enjoy without fetishistic about it and that’s how we enjoyed it, with lively conversation among old friends.