Farewell to a Great Restaurant

Charlie Trotter's - Chicago IL
Tasted Tuesday, June 12, 2012 by Burgundy Al with 483 views

Introduction

Some of the greatest meals I have ever had in the United States have been at Charlie Trotters's, which alas is closing at the end of this summer. So I could not resist attending this small dinner with about 30 friends bringing about 100 bottles of great wine to honor this Chicago landmark. And of course enjoy another great meal.

Flight 1 - White Burgundy (11 Notes)

  • 2005 Domaine Amiot Guy et Fils Montrachet 92 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru

    From 6L. Slightly floral start with concentrated orchard fruit aromas and lots of new oak spice. Brawny, concentrated fruit on palate with lots of extract, but this has not yet developed much charm or finesse. If served blind, I would not have thought it Montrachet.

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  • 2000 Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet 92 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru

    From magnum. Faintly floral start with under-ripe apple aromas and moderate spice. Apple flavors to start, finishing with lemon. Good acid and minerality, I remember slightly brighter fruit when last tried a couple of years back.

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  • 1995 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne 89 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru

    Fat, rich, buttery aromas to start. Slightly more austere on palate, with acid in forefront, giving it a leaner impression.

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  • 1978 Maison Leroy Montrachet Flawed

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru

    Clearly showing lots of ripe fruit, but quite madeirized on nose and palate. Less interesting with more time in glass. Sad because it was not nearly at the same level as a great bottle from same case tried in early 2010.

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  • 1978 Maison Leroy Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru 91 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru

    Mature, lush, ripe stone fruit aromas with big spice. Great charm, holding well with good acidity and energy for its age. I was told the fruit was declassified Montrachet.

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  • 1998 Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet 88 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru

    Rich stone fruit aromas with spice. Same fruit profile on palate but quite mature, more advanced than I'd have expected from Leflaive 1998 Grand Cru, but that is characteristic of the vintage at this age.

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  • 2000 Marquis de Laguiche (Joseph Drouhin) Montrachet 91 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru

    A bottle and magnum were both brought to dinner and since they tasted so different, I'm writing two tasting notes, this one for the wine from magnum. Modestly floral, lots of spice with apple aromas and flavors. Showing a good deal of advanced age from middle to finish with moderate power.

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  • 2000 Marquis de Laguiche (Joseph Drouhin) Montrachet 94 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru

    A bottle and magnum were both brought to dinner and since they tasted so different, I'm writing two tasting notes, this one for the wine from the (much better) 750 ml bottle. Enchanting floral start with lots of spice, ripe apple and lemon peel aromas. Great fruit on palate with lots of density. Well supported with balanced acidity and minerality, helping provide great textures.

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  • 1966 Louis Latour Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles 93 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru

    Shockingly fresh aromas of lemon, apple and spice. Palate is somewhat more advanced with rich, sweet, mature apple flavors. If served blind, I would have thought this at least 20 years younger than its actual age.

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  • 2001 Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne 95 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru

    Aromas of lush fruit and intense spice. Stone fruit on palate with citrus coming through with acidity on finish. Long, powerful, energetic.

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  • 2007 Marquis de Laguiche (Joseph Drouhin) Montrachet 93 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru

    Slightly floral and rather ripe stone fruit aromas for a 2007. A bit more restrained on the palate with some sweet spice in background, then sneaky acidity providing lift at the finish. I'd expect this to be better in a few more years, possibly as good as the wonderful bottle of 2000 also tasted tonight.

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Flight 2 - Red Burgundy (Mostly) (17 Notes)

  • 1976 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Richebourg 95 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Richebourg Grand Cru

    From magnum. An exceptional 1976, the best I can ever recall having. Aromas of brown sugar, brown baking spice, roses, leather and well reduced mushrooms. Fully mature fruit on palate, everything in incredible harmony. Long, clean and elegant finish.

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  • 1959 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Grands-Echezeaux 94 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Grands-Echezeaux Grand Cru

    Lush, ripe and powerful fruit aromas with good spice. Black fruit on palate with lots of mushroom character and even more intense baking spice flavors. Excellent.

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  • 1959 Maison Leroy Grands-Echezeaux 94 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Grands-Echezeaux Grand Cru

    Ripe red fruit aromas with good spice and woodsy character. Palate has equally exciting spice and fruit profiles with good earth hints. Great balance, energy and length. Consistent with the other two times I've had this wine.

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  • 1959 Maison Leroy Mazis-Chambertin 89 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru

    Ripe, fully mature fruit aromas and flavors. Simple spice, slightly compact, simple finish. Very good balance.

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  • 1964 Maison Leroy Chapelle-Chambertin 94 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru

    Robust fruit aromas with meaty spice. Very powerful black fruit on palate with charming earthy character and great spice start-to-finish. Really exciting.

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  • 1970 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche Flawed

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, La Tâche Grand Cru

    Dead...obvious from the first whiff.

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  • 1966 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche 94 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, La Tâche Grand Cru

    From same case as another bottle I tried a few weeks back. This had a little more time to rest post-travel and had a slightly better fill level, so no surprise...was definitely better. Moderately floral start with great spice and some good red fruit. Red cherry and strawberry flavors alongside great earthy character. Lots of spice on palate, coming through most prominently on its long, charming finish.

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  • 2001 Domaine G. Roumier / Christophe Roumier Musigny 96 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Musigny Grand Cru

    Great aromas of fresh herbs, intense red fruit with some floral hints. Palate also showed bright, intense red cherry with great cloves, allspice and licorice, all in great harmony with structure so refined you'd think it were wearing a top hat. Finishes with a long and weightless character. I don't believe this bottles was even decanted, but it was one of the few wines I kept in glass for an extended period, and really enjoyed how the power seemed to intensify with more air while maintaining that sensational ethereal quality.

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  • 1993 Christophe Roumier Ruchottes-Chambertin 93 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru

    All black fruit aromas. If served blind, I would have thought much younger at this point. Blackberry and black cherry flavors with super firm tannins, intense concentration and a big gamy element. The big-scaled tannins dominate the middle today, but the great fruit and spice emerge beautifully on a long finish. Give this more time in the cellar.

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  • 1961 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino Speciale Flawed

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo

    Corked.

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  • 1941 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino Stravecchio 91 Points

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo

    Delicately floral start with charming rose petals. More earthy and rugged on the palate with lots of character. This didn't last that long in glass. It had been decanted for about an hour...wish we did something closer to a pop-and-pour.

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  • 2000 Domaine Robert Groffier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses 90 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru

    Ripe black fruit on nose and palate with modest spice. Very easy to enjoy today. A bit simpler and more one-dimensional than I'd expect from a top producer's Amoureuses in a good, accessible vintage.

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  • 1990 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru

    Perhaps I didn't give this enough time tonight, and it was certainly tough to quickly assess this "middle aged" wine in context of so many well aged bottles of Burgundy. Dense, ultra-ripe black fruit aromas with lots of spice. Similar flavors, but i found this very bulky on the palate. This didn't show me much nuance or charm, but others appreciated this wine more than I did tonight.

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  • 1959 Remoissenet Père et Fils Clos Vougeot 89 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru

    Ripe black fruit holding up well with good forest floor character. Very good flavors that didn't exactly show a lot of Grand Cru charm to me, and I wasn't 100% certain if this seemed to be 100% Pinot Noir.

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  • 1937 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays 92 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru

    Amazing opportunity to taste this wine, particularly alongside its 1947 counterpart in the next glass. Spice-driven start with elegant combination of sous bois aromas and lingering red fruit. Palate was all about great earthy flavors, nicely supported and lengthening by good remaining structure. Long and lean finish. While I preferred the 1947, others preferred this wine which is a little more of what you classically want in older Burgundy.

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  • 1947 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays 93 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru

    What a treat to be able to taste this wine alongside its 1937 counterpart in the next glass. Starts with ripe fruit aromas with some sweet spice and the smells of autumn. Palate also had almost as much fruit as earthiness from start-to-finish. There was a slightly surprising little minty green hint at the very end.

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  • 1990 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Chambertin-Clos de Bèze 95 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru

    I was only able to enjoy a single taste of this sensational wine. Vibrant, ripe black fruit aromas with intense sweet spice. Exactly the same on palate.

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Flight 3 - Bordeaux (11 Notes)

  • 1949 Château Margaux 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    Very pretty start with some roses and autumn aromas. Somewhat less interesting on palate with just modest charm and nuance, perhaps not completely pristine.

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  • 1947 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    From magnum. Second time I have tasted this wine in four days! I think this magnum might have been a little better than the 750 from this weekend, with a bit more fruit left. Lots of power and great textures along with enticing earthy/mushroomy aromas and flavors.

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  • 1945 Château Latour Grand Vin Flawed

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Had an odd mustiness to it, Larry Stone wouldn't say it was corked but did consider it "corky." Ironically, this bottle was apparently recorked at the Domaine in 1993.

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  • 1970 Pétrus

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol

    Perhaps my expectations were too high, but this seemed good and fully mature, accompanied by some Asian spice and a bit of brown sugar. But it didn't wow me.

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  • 1947 Château Lafite Rothschild 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Cigar box aromas with good earthy character. Very classic and refined start-to-finish.

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  • 1959 Château Montrose 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe

    Ripe, powerful still showing generous fruit. Great spice, liqueur hints. Impressive density in middle and finish.

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  • 1905 Château Latour Grand Vin

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    This wine was another thrill tonight, and it was great to try once again (I remember tasting it also last year). Incredibly classic and interesting with lots of cedar, tobacco and mushroom aromas. Incredibly elegant, still nicely balanced.

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  • 1982 Château La Conseillante 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol

    Intense, ripe, concentration plum, cassis, black currant. Palate showed ultra ripe flavors as well, but good supporting structure providing balance.

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  • 1979 Château Lafleur 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol

    Fairly advanced with tannins and acidity a bit assertive for the level of fruit.

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  • 1990 Château Lafleur 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol

    Intense and ripe black fruit with some exotic spice aromas. Lush and almost jammy on palate, but hearty structure kept everything well balanced and energetic. Lots of power on finish.

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  • 1982 Château Palmer 90 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    From 6L, decanted into multiple decanters. Dense dark fruit aromas with spice hints. Firm and dense on the palate with ripe fruit behind austere tannins today, so just moderately forthcoming. There were several decanters of this wine remaining when I left, so I asked for one decanter to be poured into a bottle for me to take home...which I refrigerated, then brought to a dinner the following night, where it was more supple and certainly showed better.

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Flight 4 - Sweets (3 Notes)

Closing

I know I tasted several other fine wines but didn't take notes - Cheval Blanc 1986, Margaux 1961, Grahams 1966, Bryant 1997.

There were also some other great wines I don't think I got to try - DRC 1990 Echezeaux, Margaux 1982, Montrose 1966, Barolet 1935 Malconsorts.

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