Hot-footing back from Beaune on Friday, I thought to myself – Chambertin time! I’d pulled this bottle out for a friend’s tasting of Chambertins and Bèze, but after some date changes, I found myself unable to attend – a big shame – but the bottle was still looking at me, so…
1996 Chézeaux/Ponsot, Chambertin
Ponsot’s 1996s have a reputation for not being ‘on it!’ Laurent counters that no-one should judge his wines before they are 25 years old – okay, I’m not quite there, but close…
The long cork slides out rather easily, but it looks in great shape. The first sniff of the wine shows some oxidative notes but also a whiff of something resembling great Chambertin – unfortunately that was the only decent whiff it gave – afterwards just oxidative notes. On the palate the shape was mouth-filling with an impressive and saline depth and length of flavour, unfortunately everything preceding that was oxidative. I didn’t like it – even if the label had said 1946, I still wouldn’t have been interested to drink further. So then came an experiment – can you still make a good boeuf bourguignonne with oxidative wine? I can tell you that the answer to that, is a resounding yes!
Rebuy – No
Next day, with out boeuf bourguignonne:
1999 René Engel, Grands-Echézeaux
I had the impression that this was a heavier bottle than Philippe had used in earlier vintages. The colour was deep. The nose grew and grew; peppery, herby, mega-complex and saline – it was a rush! The palate was direct and a little narrow – driving you towards the finish. Not that sweet but with a wonderfully impressive weight and length of finishing flavour. Classic but great, young 1999 style. If you want hedonism drink this wine from 2000-2003 in preference to this still rather young wine. With our boeuf the wine widened and fattened, becoming much more accommodating. No doubt great wine – maybe I’ll try another in a couple more years!
Rebuy – Yes
2015 Vincent Latour, Meursault Cuvée St.Jean
I visited Vincent for the first time to taste his 2016s – a very good effort in such a challenging vintage. I re-visited last week, and can tell you that he has brilliant 2017s. He thrust this bottle – a blend of multiple sites in Meursault – into my hand when leaving, and I have to say that this is showing very well.
The nose is open and comfortable, faint hints of oak mingling with a little spice of the village. In the mouth there is the comfortable depth of texture of the vintage but still with enough acidity to enliven this cosseting, silky experience. Just delicious…
Rebuy – Yes