TN: Northern Rhones at Racines NYC

Ramon organized a group for a Northern Rhone dinner at Racines last night. Old friends, a few New Yorkers I hadn’t met before, and even one Rh onehead down from Boston. Fun group, though as usual with a long table most of my interaction was with one side. Some back and forth about what was av ailable a la carte, but I was happy with my duck crisp appetizer and cote d e boeuf.
MV Krug Grande Cuvee Lot 164 I was curious to try after all the hype. I’m not the biggest Krug f an but this ‘08 base is touted as atypical. I thought the nose gorg eous and complex, and it seemed more lithe than most Krug. Very good. But I have 2 bottles and couldn’t help thinking I could have bought 2 bo ttles of Comtes instead and had money left over. B+
NV Benoit Lahaye “Violaine” A bit stern and austere at first, but I liked a lot more on revisit. Green apple and citrus, bright, low dosage. B+
The reds
1983 Jaboulet “Thalabert” Crozes-Hermitage This smelled good when double-decanted about 3 (tons of fine sediment), but I was a little worried at first pour, there seemed to be a slight stewed n ote. But it blows off leaving a nice wine. Good acid backbone, with a lot o f those Thalabert meaty/mushroom notes. B+
1991 Ogier Cote-Rotie Exotic nose , with spice and black olives. Mid-bodied, tannins mostly resol ved, spicy red fruit. Elegant A-/B+
1999 Gallet Cote-Rotie Not really a producer I’ve had experience with. A little more rusti c, hint of barnyard, but nice solid core. Fun. B+/B
1996 Jamet Cote-Rotie The two Jamets showed very similar, very classic profiles. Lots of bacon, o live, herb. The ‘96 was maybe a touch lighter and higher acid, but only by a hair B+.A- 1998 Jamet Cote-Rotie A tiny bit fuller, hint of merde, can’t say I liked one better than other. B+/A- 1998 Clape Cornas Firm, full, dark berries, muscular style. B+
1999 Noel Verset Cornas Olives and meat, lots of structure, dynamite but could use time. A-/B+
2000 Noel Verset Cornas Seamless, just in a perfect place, elegant and classic,. A-
1998 Allemand “Reynard” Cornas Big,meaty, a bit tight. B+
This is as far as I got on notes last night. The final flight was 1994 Chav e Hermitage, 1995 Chave Hermitage, and 1998 Chave Hermitage. All showed bea utifully, with the 95 challenging the 00 Verset for my wine of the night. F rom memory ‘94 A-/B+, 95 A-, 98 B+.
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 p arty where it was only choice.Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivi ty, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
Reply to
DaleW
Ramon organized a group for a Northern Rhone dinner at Racines last night. Old friends, a few New Yorkers I hadn’t met before, and even one Rh onehead down from Boston. Fun group, though as usual with a long table most of my interaction was with one side. Some back and forth about what was av ailable a la carte, but I was happy with my duck crisp appetizer and cote d e boeuf.
MV Krug Grande Cuvee Lot 164 I was curious to try after all the hype. I’m not the biggest Krug f an but this ‘08 base is touted as atypical. I thought the nose gorg eous and complex, and it seemed more lithe than most Krug. Very good. But I have 2 bottles and couldn’t help thinking I could have bought 2 bo ttles of Comtes instead and had money left over. B+
NV Benoit Lahaye “Violaine” A bit stern and austere at first, but I liked a lot more on revisit. Green apple and citrus, bright, low dosage. B+
The reds
1983 Jaboulet “Thalabert” Crozes-Hermitage This smelled good when double-decanted about 3 (tons of fine sediment), but I was a little worried at first pour, there seemed to be a slight stewed n ote. But it blows off leaving a nice wine. Good acid backbone, with a lot o f those Thalabert meaty/mushroom notes. B+
1991 Ogier Cote-Rotie Exotic nose , with spice and black olives. Mid-bodied, tannins mostly resol ved, spicy red fruit. Elegant A-/B+
1999 Gallet Cote-Rotie Not really a producer I’ve had experience with. A little more rusti c, hint of barnyard, but nice solid core. Fun. B+/B
1996 Jamet Cote-Rotie The two Jamets showed very similar, very classic profiles. Lots of bacon, o live, herb. The ‘96 was maybe a touch lighter and higher acid, but only by a hair B+.A- 1998 Jamet Cote-Rotie A tiny bit fuller, hint of merde, can’t say I liked one better than other. B+/A-
1998 Clape Cornas Firm, full, dark berries, muscular style. B+
1999 Noel Verset Cornas Olives and meat, lots of structure, dynamite but could use time. A-/B+
2000 Noel Verset Cornas Seamless, just in a perfect place, elegant and classic,. A-
1998 Allemand “Reynard” Cornas Big,meaty, a bit tight. B+
This is as far as I got on notes last night. The final flight was 1994 Chav e Hermitage, 1995 Chave Hermitage, and 1998 Chave Hermitage. All showed bea utifully, with the 95 challenging the 00 Verset for my wine of the night. F rom memory ‘94 A-/B+, 95 A-, 98 B+.
Quite the night. Not a single wine that I wouldn't have happily drunk any m eal. Nice group, good time. The only downer was remembering what these used to cost.
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 p arty where it was only choice.Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivi ty, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
Reply to
DaleW
I'm with you here. My wine friends love Krug. For me, only OK. The Tattinger is always better to me and sometimes more than 1/2 the price.
My wife found these to be way to rustic and barnyardy for her.
Love the herbaceous profile of the Jamet wines. Do have to keep them around for a while though. We have had the 1991's lately with great results.
Reply to
Lawrence Leichtman

I'm with you, too. The Krug style is just not my preferred style of Champagne. Lately, we've been gravitating to non-dosé BdB bottlings, though some of the more lean Pinot Meunier-based wines have also appealed. It should be noted, however, that we don't go for the flavor profile of aged Champagne.
Wow, just wow! What a marvelous lineup of wines. Any one of those would occupy a hallowed place on our table. Nice notes, too, Dale.
Thanks! Mark Lipton
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Reply to
Mark Lipton
My wife absolutely hates aged Champagne and we have a friend that keeps them (well cellared? and trots them out often. She usually refuses. I like them, however.
Reply to
Lawrence Leichtman

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