So many things (including Leroy!)…

By billn on September 11, 2006 #degustation#vintage 2006

Let me see; a wonderful dinner last night in the Hotel Adler. 12 different bottles of Domaine and Maison Leroy wines from 2004 to 1966. The 2004 ‘blends’ have been really hyped – vs the hype I was disappointed – but it will take me some while to write-up my pages of notes! The merchant responsible for this excellent event was Max Gerstl, well-done Max. Just for the record, the wines were:

  1. 1997 Leroy SA, Bourgogne Blanc
  2. 1996 Leroy SA, Meursault 1er Cru Perrières
  3. 1966 Leroy SA, Meursault Peruzot
  4. 2004 Domaine Leroy, Bourgogne Rouge
  5. 2004 Domaine Leroy, Vosne-Romanée
  6. 1966 Leroy SA, Corton Grand Cru
  7. 2003 Domaine Leroy, Savigny-lèes-Beaune 1er Cru Narbantons
  8. 2003 Domaine Leroy, Chambolle-Musigny Les Fermiers
  9. 2003 Domaine Leroy, Nuits St.Georges
  10. 2003 Domaine Leroy, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Combottes
  11. 2003 Domaine Leroy, Latricières-Chambertin Grand Cru
  12. 1966 Leroy SA, Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru

Returning to the ‘hot’ topic; still no rain in the Côte d’Or – the weather was just a little cooler on Friday, but back up to 28/29°C for the weekend and with it was a little more breeze and a little less humidity – Just what we want. Can it last for another 10-20 days…(?)


Glasgow Fun…

By billn on October 29, 2004 #degustation#travel

What a week! It started with a 4:15am alarm call last Friday and a flight to the UK, finally returning late Thursday night. In between there was the superBOWL in Glasgow where one or two bottles were consumed, actually about 500 in one day by less than 70 people! Of-course that was on the Saturday – so there was much practising on Friday evening too… Then Monday to Thursday, a whirlwind tour of Bradford(!) and London with three Russian colleagues; my amex will hopefully get a week or two of rest now. Finally today a flying visit to Marsannay (actually Chenove) then Beaune, if the dog didn’t need collecting from the kennels, I’d be able to have a lie-in tomorrow…

the farnsburg offline – May 2004

By billn on May 22, 2004 #degustation

There was no official scribe – so as I’d apparently managed to write something down for most of the night – I was deployed. Eleven lucky souls arrived late-afternoon Friday at Farnsburg – a restaurant and guest-house with a bit of a wino reputation… plus buffalo in the fields.

Eleven turned out to be a perfect number – no-one felt left out as the pours were relatively generous doubling the impact of the generosity of the participants – what wines!. We even had representatives of the London Rhône Fanciers Club in the shape of Charles and Nigel – who flew in that afternoon (I presume by private jet) to make it a true ‘offshore’ offline.

The notes will naturally reflect my preference for watery, thin, green and acidic Burgundy, but you should get the idea… 🙂

Apero im Grand Cru Keller
Amuses et mis en apetit
1982 and 1988 Krug Champagne

This cellar is a little bit special – this place is also doubles as a wine-shop – so many gems.
1982 Krug The nose is a little yeasty and animale; dried Italian ham, and high toned blood orange notes. The palate is a revelation for an ’82 – so young, sharp and fresh – lovely acidity. Tastes younger than a 1990 Winston Churchill I had in December. Lovely, complex champagne.
1988 Krug An obvious family resemblance on the nose, just shows a little extra high tones vs the 82. The palate is slightly fresher and has more intensity on the mid-palate – again lovely complex champagne.

Loup de mer auf Chardonnay Schaum
1982 Roumier and 1992 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne
1986 Domaine de Chevalier (Graves) Blanc
2000 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, La Tâche

A lovely dish – nicely presented too. The three whites were all served together La Tâche followed.

1982 Roumier Corton-Charlemagne Deep gold. The nose retains a hint of toast, un-salted butter and sea-shells. There’s admirable depth, it’s all tertiary now – I can’t pick up any fruit – but impressive all the same. The palate has some fat, perfect acidity and a creamy finish of good length. Shows quite young – only with time does the nose become more diffuse and eventually the palate goes too – but this was a super wine for 45+ minutes.
1992 Bonneau du Martray, Corton-Charlemagne Medium gold. The nose doesn’t have the depth of the Roumier but shows a wider horizon of creamy citrus fruit and a faint, high-toned soapy note. The palate, just like the nose doesn’t show the depth of the Roumier wine, but there’s a wider range of creamy fruit driven flavours – super length too. I like fruit – so I personally prefer this wine – despite it probably not being the ‘better wine’. Held up well in the glass – solid as a rock 2 hours later.
1986 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc Golden colour. The nose is typical aged white Graves – I hate it – sorry can’t help it, smells like estery, slightly oxidised paint stripper (I quite like young Graves!). Smooth silky palate that doesn’t have the impact of either of the ‘Charlies’. Seams quite a linear delivery – quite long though.
2000 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, La Tâche Together with a few 1997’s, this is one of the few wines you can really enjoy now that have been produced since 1995, despite it only being released a year ago. It was actually an hour before I started to taste this, I was just captivated by the scent. Medium ruby colour with a cherry red rm. The nose assaults the palate with an incredible green, spicy note – seems to have a lavender component – quite unlike the tasting just over a year ago. Slowly the ‘green-ness’ becomes more focused as cedar and amazingly becomes more intense. After 90 minutes there’s a whiff of smoke and finally white pepper, blood-orange and red berry-fruits – that’s closer to what I remember! The palate is impeccably balanced with intense fruit red and black berries. Very long. The palate can’t quite match the amazing intensity of the nose – but this is the real deal and a real honey. I think that even some of our ‘Rhône Monsters’ liked it!

Farnsburger Jungschweinsrücken mit Kartoffelküchlein
1983, 1985, 1990 Château Margaux
1962 Château Beaucastel

Quite the greatest cut of pork, thickly cut, pink, yet still with a ‘crackling’ exterior – they must be happy pigs – you can seem them free-ranging in the fields…
1983 Château Margaux Deep, deep colour. Heavy macerated fruit nose that somehow retains a sense of minerality, a hint of smoke too. Massive, slightly backward palate. Not fat, but there’s amazing focused intensity on the mid-palate. Super length. Showed well but definitely needs a few more years tucked away.
1985 Château Margaux Deep colour. The nose has deep, bloody fruit and shows higher tones vs the 1983. For me this shows much more accessible intensity and interest than the 1983. Don’t get me wrong the ’83 is a great wine, but this showed à point – perfect tonight.
1990 Château Margaux We had to have one – and it turned out to be this one! We were lucky that the taint was at a very low level so we had a ‘there it is’ then ‘it’s gone’ experience. The nose is thinner and higher toned than the previous two – similarly the palate doesn’t seem as broad or fat. It’s actually quite linear an concentrated and I still enjoyed drinking it.
1962 Château Beaucastel My first 1962 – and what do you know, there were four of us with ’62 as birth-year! We drank this one up pretty quick in case it fell apart – it looked fragile. Medium ruby colour with a trace of orange, quite hazy but I never worked out whether that was the wine or the handling. The sweet nose has hints of the sea-shore. Equally sweet palate with good length. We all agreed, this would be perfect with a medium-rare steak.

Gallowayrinds-Entrecôte an Syrahjus
1999 La Landonne 1999 La Mouline 1999 La Turque 1999 Rostaing… 1999 Ogier, Belle Helene 1986 Vega Sicilia, Unico

Dream meat – we gave it 99 points. The ‘Syrahjus’ was deep brown and very intense – but the wine was a perfect accompaniment.

1999 La Landonne Virtually saturated with a purple rim. The nose is incredibly similar to the La Tâche (which has been open for nearly 2 hours) – glasses side by side, the fruit of this shows just a little blacker with more pepper. Forward but very velvetty tannin. Long and really very, very fine.
La Mouline Same colour. Hint of gunflint with high-toned, red-shaded fruit. Less obviously tanninc that the Landonne – the balance seems close to perfect – a very glossy, well polished wine – I loved it. One of those that just slips down un-noticed – then you’re sad because there’s none left
La Turque Same colour again. Deep, deep nose – there’s a little creme brulee and subtle pepper accompanying the black fruit. The tannin wraps your mouth in velvet – fabulous wine – my second favourite of the three (like I’d complain if I ‘only’ had the Landonne!). Rostaing…. Don’t know what happened here – I seem to have missed this one (HIC!) Normal (ish) service is resumed…
Ogier, Belle Helene Dark, almost saturated colour. The nose is a deep red/black blend with sweet mushrooms, spice and a slow to develop tar note. This is really essence of wine – incredible intensity of fruit. For me the experience doesn’t have the ‘seamless’ plate of either La Mouline or La Turque. You can feel this wine going down like a digestif – really incredible.
1986 Vega Sicilia, Unico Deep ruby colour. A little fat on the nose. a compelling yet understated palate. All I wrote was – an Armani suit – no tie. Lovely wine that fit perfectly with the hour (was bottle 16!) – very impressive
1967 Fonseca Medium, medium-plus ruby red. Porty nose (not in a negative sense – this is Port!). High-toned with almonds and raisins. Admirable depth of fruit on the palate and very long. Too high alcohol for me though, so I donated it to a needy cause (Nigel I think).

1990 Château d’Yquem
1998 Pincészete, Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos Muskotály Aszú

I think I liked the desert and I’m sure I ate it all…

1990 Château d’Yquem Remember my white Graves experience – well this is just a more complex (admittedly) slightly de-tuned “estery, slightly oxidised paint stripper” wine. The extra beeswax note doesn’t save it. Superb complexity and length on the palate. That’s two Yquems I’ve had ’83 & ’90 with consistent experiences. Taking the positive from this – I know I don’t need to worry about the cost…
1998 Pincészete, Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos Muskotály Aszú Being easily led by the slutty-types (wines) this restored my palate. The nose jumps at you with a gorgeous, unctuous marmalade and apricot mix. The palate was so balanced; concentration, acidity and sweetness that it actually came across quite simple. I loved it. We christened it an LA wine. Great front – not much behind

A Cheese selection came and went – don’t quite know where exactly…
The 1:00am Wine – Rainer felt we need the extra:
2003 Deidesheimer, Hohenmorgen Riesling Auslese – Pfalz Pale yellow. Lovely apple and pear sweet nose. Complex with baked apples and a nice attack. Light in the mid-palate with understated acidity and good length. This wine served an admirable purpose – those that were considering driving ordered a taxi after wine number 20 – even though it was only 10% alcohol

The Farnsburg breakfast was also rather fine – and much needed by some of the team. The sun was shining so Victor was going to 2003 German tasting in the afternoon(!) Biggest thanks go to Marc Breitenmoser for his organisation – smooth as clockwork – a special evening. Also big thanks to Andreas Putzi for the food, service with a smile and courses that coupled so well with very big wines.

Marvellous Montrachet

By billn on April 10, 2004 #degustation

drc montrachet
Do you think that three bottles was too much(?) I have to say my first tasting of the fabulous Montrachet from our old friends in Vosne-Romanée left an indelible mark on my palate – or at least on the ‘poor’ Echézeaux that followed it – more info on this tasting in July’s Burgundy-Report.

East London

By billn on February 12, 2004 #degustation

swiss reI had a really great Tuesday this week.

It started with the first of two opportunities to taste the new release from the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, the 2001’s. This was courtesy of Corney and Barrow at their splendid new home close to the Tower of London.

More about the wines in due course in the Burgundy-Report.

It was the first time I’ve spent any time in this part of London and it’s quite unlike the the major shopping bits, history and great architecture (new and old) all around you. I spent an absorbing 3 hours just wandering… aimlessly but enjoyably.   It was just a short walk to Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and then into the ‘real’ City of the exchanges and banks – superb architecture from the Orwellian (1984) Adelaide House to Sir Norman Fosters new piece of penis envy – the Swiss Re building – actually more like a patchwork marrow, but striking all the same. Then there’s the history of the old churches – St Dunstans and St. Magnus the Martyr. Then onto the Sir Robert Hooke and Christopher Wren Monument to the Great Fire of London – a mini Nelson’s column surmounted by what looks like a golden thistle – actually flames rendered in copper. I spent close to two hours in the tasting room then another three wandering through the streets – despite the cold weather a great day.


By billn on January 10, 2004 #degustation

arnoux suchotsThe Devonshire Arms.

That Sunday lunch was going to be a real treat was instantly confirmed as I tucked into the amuse bouche; a tiny Shepherds Pie!

Of course the 2000+ bin wine selection – a ‘tome’ roughly as thick as a breeze block – had already whetted the appetite and I chose a half bottle of 1999 Saint Aubin to be followed by the 1988 Vosne-Romanée 1er Suchots from Robert Arnoux.

The 3 course menu (plus an intermediate veloute of white beans) had plenty of choice and came in at quite a reasonable £27.50 – reasonable for a place with a Michelin star anyway!

I had dourade followed by venison and a vanilla-thing desert – very nice.

The wine was pretty good, but not up to the standard of the (Robert Arnoux) domaine’s current reputation.

Definitely worth a trip

Tasteless Wine

By billn on December 26, 2003 #degustation

The traditional Christmas cold is upon me, but this year it is not the normal opportunity to waste nice bottles that you can’t taste. It seems that this year I can still taste and sniff – I just cough afterwards! Have a great holiday period.


By billn on December 16, 2003 #degustation#site updates

Last week I enjoyed a nice Japanese lunch with Mr Martin and Mr Goode where we put the world to right and I drank tea – funny old world. Then the dastardly Mr Martin encouraged me to buy a bottle of 1991 Chambolle-Musigny – that was corked – bugger!

Dinner in Glasgow

By billn on October 11, 2003 #degustation#travel

Well, not only did they let me into the UK, they even let me into Scotland too. Seems there’s also a chance for me to go home on Sunday – so that was nice! Last night there was a trace of indulgement – 1* Michelin Restaurant – Braidwoods – just beautifully cooked food with lovely flavours. Oh and did I forget to mention: ’91 Ravennau Chablis, Haut-Brion Blanc et rouge, ’91 de Vogüé Musigny, ’90 DRC Richebourg, ’61 Montrose, ’82 Pichon, ’86 Hill of Grace, ’83 Yquem – and others. Today and I’ll try and reduce my intake – yeah right!!!

Burgundy Report

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