Homemade boeuf-bourguignone was on the menu along with a brilliant lineup of wines from me and others – not a bad collection for just four of us! I didn’t make notes during the evening, but did look again at the bottles that remained next day – all still full of vigour. Some were whisked away for further ‘testing’ by guests so I don’t have a full set of notes…
We started with a bottle Henri Chauvet’s NV Brut Reserve Champagne. The last bottle from a number that I bought at the domaine about 8 years ago. I have to say that it tasted pretty good with the gougères!
1996 Grivot, Nuits St.Georges 1er Les Roncières
Wide but very shy nose – not much to talk about. Good depth and still some velvet tannin. The acidity slowly comes centre-stage, but there’s a lovely high-toned fruit and good energy that comes with it. Overall, a little closed and a little hard. But good flavours
1976 Thomas-Bassot, Clos des Ruchottes-Chambertin
Medium, medium-pale colour. The nose has an airy, high-toned and quite beautiful red fruit – this is aromatically beguiling – the loveliest thing I’ve smelled (from a bottle!) this year. Width, density and still some tannin. The fruit is high-toned, and behind is a more earthy depth. Good mid-palate intensity and very long on a mineral note. Nothing like as elegant as the nose but a super wine.
1983 Jacques Prieur, Musigny
Hmm. The nose is very similar to that of the Thomas-Bassot, with an extra depth – still only the second-best wine I’ve smelled this year! The palate is rounder than the last wine, with more depth too, but has a little more (refined) tannin – that said it is still more suave. The acidity is more covered by extract, so offers a little less obvious energy than the Ruchottes, but it’s a tasty wine. A super bottle, but to be honest, I’ve a preference for the Ruchottes!
2004 Ponsot, Clos de la Roche
Browning, medium colour. The nose is rather bizarre; a sort-of green pea / malo aroma, but quite unlike anything I’ve smelled before – I won’t be unhappy if I don’t smell it again! In the mouth is good acidity, plenty of energy and some quite nice fruit – unfortunately it is tainted with whatever makes the nose smell. It has nothing to do with the classic 2004/2011 pyrazine aroma, but regardless, it’s not a wine to have a second glass of!
2006 Jerome Galeyrand, Bonnes-Mares
Medium-plus colour. Here is a rather intense floral perfume – not obviously showing any stem character – if I’m honest, it’s not particularly enticing, but it has quite some power. Round, concentrated and with growing intensity. This is a Bonnes-Mares of brutal intensity but with a lovely flavour running into, and through the finish – quite tasty! This is clearly a bit of a monster, yet it is not just full-packed, it’s also rather balanced. It’s like a 2005 with hairier forearms and dirty fingernails. Not particularly user-friendly today but has everything it needs to grow old – I’m not if it will ever grow old gracefully though.
1977 Dubreuil-Fontaine, Corton-Charlemagne
An intense yellow-fruit core, but otherwise the nose is rather narrow and direct. In the mouth it’s rather narrow and direct too – you start by thinking a little dilute but the intensity mounts and mounts, the flavour is more mineral than anything else. Just the merest hint of fruit in the long, mineral finish. This a wine that you could cut your tongue on. Very, very enjoyable, though a wine that begs food!
1981 Prosper-Maufoux, Montrachet
Deeper colour than the Charlemagne. The nose starts with just a faint whiff of oxidation, but it fades and fades until it’s gone. The aroma grows and grows until it more than fills the glass, overflowing with a creamy, lanolin, textured impression – lovely. Much more mineral, high-toned fruity and silky than the nose suggests, and with real reserves of flavour – such depth and finishing length, a length that has some sweet caramel attached to it. Here’s a wine that doesn’t need food – just the time to contemplate it.
2005 Prieur-Brunet, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Les Embrazées
High tones with faint aniseed and a sweet but high-toned pear – unusual and far from typical Chassagne, but really appealing. There’s the power of the vintage but none of the bulkiness or lack of energy. The overall flavour profile is high-toned and energetic with a beautifully detailed and pretty finishing fruit – rather beguiling this wine – I absolutely love it.
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