A few weeks ago we cancelled a dinner when Mark L?s trip to NYC was curtailed. But the rest of us decided to try again Saturday. Our table seats 8 as we were thinking Mark could have an Elijah chair in his honor, but then we added Steve and Cathleen and instead just crowded in. Hot day but the AC mostly kept it comfortable.
Charcuterie (pate, lonza, culatello), Robiola Bosina, Ossua Iraty, and some Hudson Valley cheeses
2006 Philipponnat Le Leon Extra Brut Champagne
100% PN from Ay.Taut, elegant, long, I like a lot. B+/A-
1983 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese
One guest prefers low alcohol, this does the trick. Not super sweet, peach and tropical fruit with some ginger and petrol. A later sip has a distinct flavor of those orange jelly candies, which sounds terrible but I actually enjoyed. B+
1992 JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett
at first I was a little disappointed with this and preferred the Haag Auslese (others disagreed). But it really develops well- slate and petrol, apple and lime zest. Nice tension, excellent length. If all Kabinett drank like this at 25+ it would be a huge hunk of my cellar. A-
Scallop crudo with Hakurei turnips and mint
1969 Pavillon Blanc de Ch. Margaux
Never had a ?69 white Bdx before, this was part of a mixed lot where I wanted other wines, but was surprised by color and fill when it arrived. Quite alive, but not super complex. Grapefruit flavors though modest acids, floral, a little wooly. Fun to try. B/B+
2005 G. Boulay ?Comtesse? Sancerre
(bottle neck actually cracked on opening, but we decanted through a filter for safety)This has the ripeness/sweetness of the vintage, but there?s a good acidic backbone Powerful and young, with citrus zest, grapefruit, and a little beeswax. Lovely stuff. A-/B+
Delia had brought some excellent stuffed mushrooms
1985 Olga Raffault ?Picasses? Chinon
Just a bit of funk (tame by Olga standards), redder fruit, eucalyptus, good finish.I liked more than some others. B+
1976 Lame-Delille. ?Cuvee de l?Ecrivain Pierre Louys? Bourgueil
Tangy and a bit jarring at first, but magic matching with the mushrooms- the richness of the cheesy shrooms brings out all the best in the Loire. Never heard of this producer but this was vibrant, herby, fun. A-/B+
A couple of weeks I had great luck with doing lobster sousvide with butter and tarragon, and then serving later, This time I had a debacle- I held the much larger bag a bit longer, and then plated, and then held some more. By the time I served with the surprise white Burg flight the tail piece were mushy- damn.
1999 Remi Jobard ?Les Charmes? Meursault 1er
Sweet pear fruit, some hazelnut, pretty oaky., quite alive. Still have not had a premoxed Remi J. B/B+
2007 Jadot ?Genevrieres? Meursault 1er
But I have had (another) premoxed Jadot. Not totally gone, but when a lot of good wines on the table?.. Sad
I stepped outside to grill some 5-spice quail to serve with lentils. Those went with the claret (all double-decanted)
1979 Ch. Haut-Bailly (Graves)
Bright red currant fruit, tobacco/cigarbox, resolved tannin, lovely and long. A-
1975 Ch. Le Gay (Pomerol)
Quite funky on opening, I thought corked then decided it was capsule must- bottle not wine smelled. Showed okay- doesn?t have the opulence or elegance of the great 75 Pomerols, but solid black plum fruit, still some tannin, some light barnyard funk. B
1970 Ch. Belair (St. Emilion)
Red plum fruit with dirt and leather, opens up in glass, funky old style St. Emilion that I like. B/B+
Somewhere in here we had a palate cleanser, the Monzio Compagnoni Franciacorta, a nice sparkler that I didn?t pay enough attention to
Duck breast with watercress, candied almonds, and green beans
(this was only blind flight, I served in decanters to avoid producer preconceptions but said Chassagne rouge, kudos to Sasha who called the Ramonet almost immediately)
2001 Ramonet ?Clos St. Jean? Chassagne-Montrachet 1er rouge
(label doesn?t say 1er, but AFAIK all CSJean is, and John says holds for red). Raspberry and bitter cherry, spicy, spicy, and spicy, in a sandalwood meets white pepper way. Bright and ready. B+/A-
1999 JN Gagnard ?L?Estimee? Chassagne-Montrachet rouge
Weird rounded heavy bottle. Red fruited, a little vanilla and mocha, rounder than the Ramonet, not old school but I enjoyed. B/B+
Then more PN
1989 Faiveley Corton-Clos des Cortons
Really fine showing, exotic nose with spice/incense and fresh black raspberry and cherry fruit, full and well-balanced. Long finish. Elegant for Corton. A-
1990 Faiveley Corton-Clos des Cortons
A comparatively quiet nose, black ripe fruits with some light barnyard and matchstick aromas. Sweet black fruit, no real roasted notes, yet without the freshness of the ?89?s fruit. I think I?ll take a chance and hold my remaining bottle of a decade or so. B+/B
Jay had brought dessert, an assortment of whoopie pies, cookies, and shortbread.
I was complaining about my excess of dessert wines, so we opened the
1990 Pinon ?Goutte d?Or? Vouvray Moelleux. From the Partners for Pinon deal. Good acids, honey, Earl Grey tea, pineapple. Sweet but not over the top - nothing thick here. Lots in reserve, plenty of life ahead. John took bottle and said it showed very well day 2. B+/A- on Saturday.
Really fun afternoon/night with a fine and fun group of people- though we missed Dr. Lipton.
Quite lucky, good showings - other than the poxed white Burg, I?d happily drink any of these. And we didn?t even have any TCA- beat the odds there!
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C drinkable. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice.Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
- posted 2 weeks ago