Friday, March 28, 2008

Yes Virginia, there are bad vintages

Dinner with some fellow travelers on the wine-geek road to redemption. The same folks who opened the Amiot a few weeks ago. A simple dinner on a Tuesday night. Followed with excellent cigars, Calvados, and conversation.

2005 F. Cotat Chavingol Culs de Beaujeu

Really an excellent showing of this wine which had seemed a bit fat to me when young. Surprisingly linear for young Cotat from such a ripe vintage. Typical Chavignol yellow stone fruit and a sweet, milk-and-honey character to the calcareous structure.

1970 Cvne Rioja Viña Real

This didn’t respond to just being opened, so after about an hour, we went ahead and decanted it. It went from a sort of glommy dried fruit to stretching out and having some underlying minerals and structure. Really interesting. It reminded me a bit of the Borgogno Riserva of a few weeks before in that the structure (when it emerged) really made the wine for me more than any particular flavor profile.

1994 Compte Armand Pommard 1er Clos des Epenots

Not good. 1994 remains the only vintage that I universally discount in Burgundy. This is a nice counter-point to those who suggest that vintage generalizations can never be useful. 1994 was a disaster.

1994 de Montille Pommard 1er Pezerolles

Opened to make a point that not all 1994s were bad. It didn’t. Also not good, but at least better than the above.

2005 Haut-Ségottes St.-Emillion

A retailer friend had been raving about this wine. Supposedly right next door to Cheval Blanc, unspoofed, and very good. Well, it never did show that well for me (we left half the bottle which, hopefully, showed better). A decent smack of wood, which I don’t mind, but the fruit was all muddied and sloppy. I was hoping that it would show some nice stone fruit pit and dark earth mineral structure, but I couldn’t get there. I tend to be drawn more to structure than anything else these days.


Lyle Fass said...

give haut segottes a chance. 1986 and 1985 this year were awesome.

the vlm said...

I'm thinking of buying a bit of it in magnum for my nephew, born in 2005.