Thursday, May 12, 2011

Old friends, all good

An excellent night for wines as everything showed really well. Thanks to the guys at Vin Rouge in Durham for great food and service.

1998 R. López de Heredia Rioja Rosado Viña Tondonia
Great showing for this. Earthy onion skin notes lead into some pretty red fruits. There are some woodsy, herbal notes as well. Still some structure. Went really well with the sweetbreads dish on offer. I know people like to age these, but I don’t know why.

1994 Kalin Cellars Chardonnay Cuvée W
This was stunning. The texture was rich and unctuous without being over the top and broad. Honey comb and yellow fruits allied with herbs and some minerals bring together a complete package. I really think that decanting this wine for about 45 minutes made a big difference. The is a cool sort of autolytic thing I get from this wine that reminds me of Bernard Morey Chassagne Caillerets. I really love Kalin wines and I realize I own none. I bought this bottle the day I drank it and have been doing the same for 10 years. The last time I bought Kalin to cellar was 12-15 years ago and those are long gone. This needs to change.

1996 Barthod Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Fuées
Opened and decanted for an hour and then returned to the bottle. By the time we drank it a couple of hours later, it had totally transformed from a wine that showed a lot of savory, umami and sous bois qualities to a wine that showed much more fruit compote with those other things sliding to the background. The structure did the same thing. At first, I was worried that this could be another screechy 1996 experience, but while the structure was present at first, it receded into a pleasant nuance and scaffolding for the flavors. While this was not one of those mind-bending bottles of Burgundy, it was excellent and thoroughly enjoyable.

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