I’m fortunate to have a bunch of friends in the UK who quickly convene for a tipple or two if I can be ‘in the area.’ This was our second gathering in lest than 12 months – and what a good one too – a unrushed 4.5 hour lunch. From memory the next day:
1999 Salon: I previously loved the 1997, though I found this not to that level. Very tasty, beautifully balanced, involving wine, but not the same feeling of ‘special’ vs that 97…
2006 JC Bessin, Chablis 1er Fourchaume: Light colour, fresh ‘could only be Chablis’ nose. Wide in the mouth, real saline minerality, a hint of flavour richness. Pure, young (still) Chablis. (Mine)
2005 Ramonet, Chassagne 1er Boudriottes: Much deeper coloured, but nothing too evolved. Big, rich, almost monolithic in the mouth – but flavour-packed – I correctly guess the vintage, but have no clues to the village – that’s 2005 for you!
2009 Coche-Dury, Meursault: Quite a strong vanilla-oak component on the nose – otherwise I’m at a loss. But isn’t this grand in the mouth – a fine beam of acidity, a taughtness, with just a little flavour richness in the mid-palate to finish. I guess an 07 Puligny 1er. Great wine for today – massively great – except it doesn’t even whisper of Meursault, to me…
1996 Maison Leroy, Bourgogne Rouge: What a beautiful, inviting nose – one that I would say ‘is ready’. Modest intensity in the mouth,, but fine acidity and a lovely, complex width of semi-mature flavour. Clean and perfect in every modest respect. Yum! (Mine)
2002 Engel, Vosne 1er Brulées: Lighter coloured than most, a little cloudy too. The nose is sub-perfect due to some volatility, yet, super-engaging and complex – it begs you to drink. Complex, balanced and (this bottle) apparently ready to drink. A pleasure. I forget my (wrong) guess.
1999 Potel, Volnay 1er En Chevret: Deep colour. The nose is dense, powerful but also ungiving – really it’s rather young and tight. In the mouth there is a super, balanced concentration – perfect texture too. But like the nose, this is tight and relatively uncommunicative. Honestly, I wouldn’t touch another for 5 years – a performance that leaves me disappointed. (Mine)
The next two served together:
2001 JJ Confuron, Romanée St.Vivant: Deep colour. A tight, almost cheesy nose – sub-attractive! In the mouth, however, this has poise, texture and concentration – a good line of flavour, yet like the Potel is rather tight and unyielding. I see a ton of potential here, but very little ‘delivery’ today. I think I guessed an 02 Clos de Vougeot.
1999 Cathiard, Romanée St.Vivant: Here the nose is easily the more attractive, if still a little tight. The flavour unwinds across the palate in much more attractive fashion too. This is a wine that slowly but surely opens – I’m never sure that I see the full wine, but what I see I like – a lot. (Mine)
1993 Château de Chorey, Beaune 1er Teurons:This had been decanted – a bottle from the Tour d’Argent cellar sale. Modestly coloured but a fine and engaging nose of red fruit and more modest notes of maturity. A fine line of acidity here, beautifully delineated red-fruit flavour. Just super wine – I twist the cards as far as 1993 Côte de Beaune and then stick.
Then two whites with cheese:
1995 François Jobard, Meursault 1er Genevrières: Here is a lovely floral and fine, yellow fruited nose, just a little volatility as a spoiler. Clean and sleek in the mouth with lots of fine flavour dimension, almost a gravelly texture too. Very tasty wine and at this stage I really don’t remember my guess!
2002 Roger Belland, Criots Bâtard-Montrachet: Deeper colour, and some dirty/toasty oak on the nose, but proper white burgundy nose – nothing advance. Powerful in the mouth – perhaps unruly but with a clear grand-cru finishing width. I marginally preferred the previous wine, but after more than 4 hours, again, I don’t even remember if I had a guess 😉
So, only two relatively disappointing wines for me, both reds and only due to their unready/tightness – they were (my) the Potel and (shame!) the first RSV. Congrats to all the fresh whites – not a single whiff of oxidation around our table – just enthusiasm!