TN: Trotanoy, VCC, Gerbais, Niellon

On a hot Sunday we invited some friends for dinner. The guests joined me on patio as I grilled the potatoes, munching on smoked trout/pear canapes and sipping the NV P. Gerbais "Prestige" Extra Brut Champagne. Dry, approachin g austere, but with crisp jonagold apple fruit, bread dough, little touch o f lime. Good, but I enjoyed the Gerbais reserve more, for less money. B/B+
We moved inside for first course, a lobster/tomato/corn salad, with the 199 1 Niellon "Vergers" Chassagne-Montrachet 1er. Pear, hazelnut, chalk, quite good but not quite as deep as a bottle last month. But no sign of oxidation . B+
Main course was lamb rib chops, grilled potato salad, and a redleaf amarant h/frisee salad. Mark had very generously brought a Trot, knowing it's one o f my favorite chateaux.
1998 Ch. Trotanoy Worried it might be tight, but it showed well, if young. Elegant black cher ry fruit, some cocoa, smoke. Tannins are there but quite fine, long finish. Best glass is the "em pty the decanter so I can wash it " one at end of night. B+/A- for drinking now, in a decade I expect this will be solid A (but sadly I don't own)
1999 Vieux Ch. Certan Rounder fruit, black plums and cassis, some spicy oak, easy to drink. This is a bit more Californian than I'd expect for a VCC, but putting aside expe ctations it's pretty tasty now. B+
After dinner we moved back to patio as temps had cooled, Betsy served the d essert eaters crepes with her grapefruit marmalade. Fun night with nice peo ple.
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.
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