Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Great Burgundies with my brothers

It isn’t very often that I get to sit down with both of my brothers and their wives for dinner, without folks or kids. We were all in Florida for a wedding so it was perfect opportunity. Rhett from B-21 recommended this restaurant, which was totally old-school. Prime-rib, wood walls, white leather banquets, it was totally cool. We were the youngest people in the joint by about 30 years. The wine list had some cool older Burgundies at prices that had not been adjusted upwards. Storage seemed good, but the corks on the bottles were stained. I suspect that the bottles saw a bit of heat at transport, but have been well stored since.

It was a great night. We got to relax, laugh like hyenas, and drink great Burgundy. Truly, this is a memory to cherish.

2005 Drouhin Chablis 1er Vaillons
Really just OK. Very fat and sweet for Chablis, and not really my cup of tea. I haven’t had many 2005 Chablis, but I guess this is more the norm.

1991 Drouhin Chambolle 1er Amoureuses
This bottle had the worst cork, and was the least of the three 1991s. That being said, on any other night, it would be a centerpiece in and of itself. It had definitely advanced more than the other two wines with the sous bois really showing through and the red fruits on the dryer end of their span. The earthiness partially occludes the Amoureuses-ness, but that is a minor nit against an excellent wine.

1991 Drouhin Musigny
This was decanted and absolutely stunning. The thing about Musigny that makes it so special is that there is a density of flavor that never gets heavy, each part wafting gracefully over the next. Texturally luxuriant with layer after layer ghosting across the palate, but without ever losing shape. This was Musigny in every way and a very fine example of both 1991 and that vineyard. What I love about the way 1991s are showing right now is that they show a density without heaviness, killer precision, and translucency (valued above all other things).

1991 Jadot Chambertin-Clos de Bèze
Great showing for this wine. Missing any sort of blockiness one associates with Jadot wines. Silken, darkly mineral and earthy with a core of red and blue fruits. This was richer than the Musigny, but not finer. Younger too with more tannin present and a more primary feel to it. While it doesn’t stratch at the inside of your soul in the same way the Musigny did, this was a great wine, and maybe the best Jadot wine I’ve ever had. I worry sometimes that the house style missed the pinnacle of this vineyard, but this did not, at all.

Martell Cordon Bleu
This was my first love in Cognac, and I’ll always have a soft spot for it. Warm, rich, and forgiving if not as interesting as Delemain or more boutique producers. Still, a great way to end the night, chatting and sipping in the warmth of the moment.

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