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a dinner in the château!

chateau-clos-vougeotThursday night and it’s dinner in the Château du Clos de Vougeot, but before dinner, 40 grand crus to taste from the 2008 and 2002 vintage. It’s the second time I’ve been invited – I know, I’m a very lucky boy. Perhaps I’m also a bit more humble than one heavily accented voice I heard complaining in English about this that and just about everything – that will have been the person here on somebody else’s dollar no doubt – there are too many of those people in the world I’m afraid!

Back to the ‘Château’; It’s hard not to marvel at the magnificence of both the place and it’s setting, even when the security asks ‘do you have one of these’, I say ‘I don’t think so’ then he says ‘well I’m sorry then, you must park outside the walls of the Château’. Oh-well!

More of the tasting in the next Burgundy Report, but here are a trio of wines that were served with dinner – note, bravo to the service team as everything is served hot, they are most efficient – I include the notes for your interest.

2001 Jadot, Criots-Bâtard Montrachet
Given the deep colour I have a concern about oxidation, and there is an edge to the nose, but there’s also still enough detailed, pretty fruit to keep my interest. Across your tongue there’s plenty of freshness and a very good balance. The flavour is quite savoury in the mid-palate and it’s quite long too – detailed but no fireworks. Blind, I certainly wouldn’t assume this to be a grand cru that costs more than €100. Eventually my glass gives up more aromas of oxidation. My neighbour pulls a face when he smells my glass – he enjoyed his very much, but it was from another bottle. Bottle variation and some oxidation, I expect that this was a good (tax advantageous) opportunity to get rid of 100 bottles or-so…
Rebuy – No
1990 Joseph Drouhin, Grands-Echézeaux
Still deeply coloured. The nose starts with forceful aromas of freshly turned leaves, after 30 minutes it’s on a lower lever but my glass actually needed almost an hour to finally develop sweet and detailed dried red fruits, meat and herbs – the aromas were probably peaking as I was sleeping in my bed – but burgundians don’t decant do they 😉 In the mouth this is sweet and quite powerful. The mid-palate structure is actually a little rustic, but who cares when there are so many dimensions of flavour. Energy and character here, and it’s a long way from it’s peak – bravo!
Rebuy – Yes
1988 Bouchard Père et Fils, Le Corton
Hmm I had this two years ago – but at Bouchard. This also starts with quite leafy aromas of undergrowth. Much narrower, this ripples its muscles right from the outset, never really softening up – I only had it in my glass for 30 minutes. The core is of sweet, dark red fruit. Overall mineral and long, but probably drunk 20 years too soon 😉
Rebuy – Yes

2 responses to “a dinner in the château!”

  1. David M. Jacobi

    Nanson: Good meeting you the other night at the Clos!

    You are not the only one who had a dicey bottle of the 2001 Criots-Batard… same story at my table. I had somewhat similar impressions of the ’90 GE, although for me there was a rusticity and earthiness there that left me longing for more elegance in a wine at this level. Perhaps you had a more “on” bottle than we did.

    Alas, somewhat worn down after nearly two full weeks of nonstop in Burgundy I could not stick around for the Corton ’88 and face the long drive back to my digs in Puligny-Montrachet — just had to bail out early and missed it. I look forward to seeing your notes of the pre-dinner tasting and comparing with my own. So fess up — did you look at the ‘key’ to the wines before tasting them all? Did you manage to get through all 40? I surely hoped to, but the press of bodies made it impossible to muscle my way to the tables quickly enough to run the entire gauntlet before dinner rolled around. An extremely variable bunch of wines based on the 30 plus I did manage to sample and, viewing the key after the fact, I found a lot of my pre-conceived notions about the maisons represented were pretty well confirmed.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?