Thursday, March 20, 2008

Anecdotes of things past

Had these at dinner where I met a couple of guys with whom I have many mutual friends and acquaintances. When these guys pulled the Amiot wines out of their bags, I knew that they were kindred spirits. I really miss the Amiot wines. They were a beautiful lacy style of Burgundy that no one really makes anymore. They were as clear as Mugnier or Barthod, but much gentler than either. They could be drunk young, or aged, as both of these were tremendous. The vines have been sold (reportedly to Bize-Leroy) so they no longer exist and are really hard to find because they are not collectibles and don’t’ show up on the secondary market.

1995 Raveneau Clos

There was some discussion about whether this would suffer from the premature oxidation problem. It didn’t. While it wasn’t a glorious example of Clos, it was certainly very fine. Hadn’t really gone to secondary or tertiary. Rocks and yellowish fruit. Getting gentler, but not diffuse.

1971 Enaudi Barolo

Unfortunately, DOA. Looked like it might come together, but it was just a false dawn. Oh well.

1996 Borgogno Barolo Riserva

This was really good. It had a real mineral tang that I loved. Maybe could use a bit more stuffing, but I loved the structure of the wine. Good bones to build on.

1996 Amiot Chambolle 1er Charmes

Unlike so many 1996s I have had lately, this wine really showed well. Lovely, rich Charmes perfume with all the deep spicy cherry you could want. A hint of what I would normally think was wood spiciness, but this probably didn’t see any new enough wood, so I’ll put that down with the Charmes thing. Bigger and broader than the Chatelots, but not really less fine.

1993 Amiot Chambolle 1er Chatelots

Chatelots is an earthier rendition of Chambolle than Charmes. The fruit is lighter, but there is a woodsy, forest floor thing that I always get from this wine. Achingly beautiful and delicate, but with unexpected depth and length. If I could do it over again, I’d fill my cellar with this stuff.

I think it is really hard to put into words how beautiful the Amiot wines were. Take the literalness of Mugnier and mix it with the svelte-ness of Mugneret-Gibourg, and think about that vista on the Oregon coast overlooking the ocean where you went “Oh shit, that’s beautiful,” and really felt the depth of that moment. That’s sort of what these wines do for me. If your mileage varies, you’re a fool.


Florida Jim said...

Is Amiot, Guy or Pierre or . . . ?
Best, Jim

the vlm said...

Amiot is Bernard.

I may have a bottle left. I'll save it for a Durham visit if I do.

Craig Camp said...

I bought a case of the 71 Einaudi in the late seventies and still have a bottle or two left. About 1995 I realized this wine was never going to come together. Just too much tannin and not enough guts. Of course, if you saw what the Einaudi cellar looked like in the seventies it's easy to understand this wine.