TN: Trotanoy and Prince de Merode lead- good weekend of wines

Thursday night we had the 1995 Joguet ?Clos de la Cure? Chinon with la mb chops, potatoes, and a watercress salad. Mature but not really tired, re d fruits with a little barnyard and a bit of green- kind of tobacco leaf me ets green pepper, doesn?t bother me but I think lots of people (possibly most people!) would hate. But I?m only me, and for me B+/B.
Friday she made the Zuni Cafe roast chicken bread salad, wine was the 2009 Descombes Morgon. Pretty wine, silky mouthfeel, bright red fruits, earth, g ood length. B+
Saturday was a dinner party. The good Jay Miller (not the critic, the one w ith good taste) and I had planned a dinner to drink up a 1982 Gruaud we own ed jointly, but then we drank that bottle at a vertical. No reason not to h ave the dinner, though, so we made a party out of it. Betsy spend a hunk of the day cooking. Main course needed a bottle of red wine for recipe, we us ed a little Chinon and most of a bottle of the 2009 Viticcio Chianti Classi co (leaving a little so I could taste the Chianti). Softer, lusher style of Chianti, but some dried cherry and leather character. B/B- There was also a white used in cooking, the 2009 Lafon ?Clos de la Croche tte? Macon-Chardonnay. Pear, white flowers, round, needs a bit more zip.B /B-
Some scattered arrivals, we munched on smoked salmon canapes and olives whi le listening to the barky Basset, and sipped the 1985 Andre Beaufort Champa gne Brut. Some found tired, I definitely thought a bit less fresh than bott le last month, but I quite enjoyed- broad, full, lots of citrus zest. B+
There was also the 2009 Raventos i Blanc ?de Nit? Cava Rosado - if it w asn?t for label, not sure I?d have realized it was pink- quite pale. Sw eet edge,simple, John thought it a mistake to serve after the Champagne, pr obably has a point, but for me last night, B-/C+
First course was garlicky shrimp timbales, A few whites circulated 1998 Maximin Grunhauser (Von Schubert) Herrenberg Kabinett very good, solid acids, midbodied wine, limes and petrol, I enjoy. B+
1992 Dubreuil-Fontaine Corton-Charlemagne Full, lively, a bit round, maybe not the most elegant white Burgundy but ve ry good and with plenty of life. B+
2004 Drouhin ?Clos des Mouches? Beaune 1er A little oak, herbal, medium acids, very good but without a lot of exciteme nt (maybe a little shut down?). Others liked more. B+/B
1983 Domaine de la Solitude Chateauneuf-du-Pape blanc Mark brought this as a bonus to be served blind, but decided to unveil as h e was unhappy with its showing. Lemon oil, almonds, floral. Lowest acidity, some light oxidative notes but not bad for 30 year old white Rhone. Fun to try. But white Rhones generally just don?t do it for me, young or old. C +
Middle course was a savory pain perdu with a mixed mushroom sauce, paired w ith some Pinot Noir.
1995 Gouges ?Pruliers? Nuits St George 1er lots of tannic grip, quite primary. Black cherry with a little animal/meat and forest floor. Needs time. B+
1969 Prince de Merode Corton Clos du Roi yowsa. Thank you Jay. Corton isn?t supposed to be an elegant terroir, but this IS elegance. Perfumed, still solid cherry fruit, sandalwood, pretty. I know PdM is considered an underperformer, but the older wines can be beau ties. A-/A
1988 Adelsheim Pinot Noir I served this blind. I had bought 3 bottles on a whim with little expectati ons, served a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised with first 2. Deli cate, lighter style, and I had intended to serve blind with a Savigny or Vo lnay flight for SOBER, but couldn?t locate. Recently found it among the L oires (?!?!?!), so served blind since 2 SOBERites were present. Mark guesse d Chambolle, then John California and then Oregon. Cherries and raspberrie s, light, floral, yet long, showing VERY well for a 25 year old base bottl ing. B+/A-
The main course was double short ribs braised in a red wine/ancho/star anis e/fennel/lots of other stuff concoction, over a orzo/cabbage ?stew? . We went with Bordeaux:
1978 La Conseillante Good, herbal, midbodied with resolved tannins and plummy fruit. B+/B
1978 Trotanoy I was a bit worried when I decanted this before dinner- browning edges and a pruney edge. But whoa- fine - more than fine- when we served. Lovely dark fruits, plush Pomerol texture on palate, earth, leather, and mint. Midbodi ed, good length. I?m on fence over whether this or the Merode Corton is m y WOTN. A-/A
1982 Domaine de Chevalier Mark noted the estate owner had spoken of unusual variation in this vintage , which mirrors my experience. I?d had some vegetal/green bottles,and one very good one. This is in between- a bit weedy,but with some interesting r ed plum fruit and a (pleasantly) funky animal meets tobacco note. B
I skipped a cheese course (because I couldn?t get Munster) but served a d essert wine, the 1989 Hugel Gewurztraminer VT. Soft, lychee, not tired but somewhat boring. B-/C+
Jay brought dessert- both an almond cake that got raves and a pot of hot ch ocolate. A light snow had fallen so I think the warm finish pleased all the guests. Very fun night with a fun fun group. We talked a lot about wine bu t not enough to bore significant others (I think). Thanks all!
Sunday we had pasta with ?green puttanesca? while we watched Superbowl (with a break for Betsy to watch Downton Abbey as I followed blackout/game on computer. I sampled through leftover wines (refrigerated but not gassed or anything. Best showing was the Pruliers, improved from night one. The Ma con and the Corton Charlemagne were both still good.
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. 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.
Reply to
DaleW wrote in news:
During the last year, we have drunk no less than 2 cases of this little pink and I have to say that we love it!.
You are true that it is very pale pink, but we found it to be very subtle and elegant, with a lot of class.
It may be the case that it suffers when drunk after a stronger Champagne, though we usually comment that it is a Cava that resembles some of the good examples of grower's rosé Champagne (we mostly drink grower's Champagne). I served it as an aperitif in Christmas, for all the family, and it was a huge success. All of them thought it was a Champagne (not that they are very knowledgeable and they know that we like Champagne over Cava as a general rule)
The price is not that high (in Spain at least), so I think it merits another taste.
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Rosado - if it
k- quite pale.
mpagne). I
Santiago, I'll certainly try again (have another). Could have been food, could have b een this bottle, could have been following the Beaufort, could have just be en me on a particular night. The John referenced is Gilman, who is doing a Cava feature in his next issue of View From the Cellar. Not sure if he tast ed this night (he and Marie-France arrived late, and we sat down to white c ourse right after I offered him the Champagne),but he said he had tried in Spain, and given it a score in low 90s. Pretty good rating from John for an under $20 bubbly.
Reply to
DaleW wrote in news:
Good to hear. I have purchased a couple of John's reports, since he is very fond of grower Champagne and also Beaujolais, two categories we like quite a lot. I enjoy his writings which go deep on describing the winery. I know how he is a conservative scorer with a preference for non-spoofulated wines. And that's fine with me.
For what it's worth, Neal Martin scored De Nit 2009 with 92/100 in one of his first reports on Spain. And, by the way, this winery makes my favorite cava, called "Reserva Personal Manuel Raventós". Not cheap, but worth the money. I liked the 2002 better than the current 2003, though.
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