Mostly French at Tilia's

Tasted Tuesday, August 7, 2012 by Dave Dalluge with 296 views

Introduction

Siggy organized a small get together meet up with Kevin Sidders and to test out a relatively new local restaurant called Travail. Unfortunately, their July closure extended into August and interrupted our plans. Plan B was Tilia's and it proved to be another great experience. In attendance were: Dave McMahon, Leo Seoris, Jimmy Seoris, Kevin, Steve and myself. There was no wine them, but we ended up exclusively French, with a nice variety of regions. Food and service were both first class as always, and we shared a fair bit of the wine with owner Steven Brown (who proved to have a very fine palate) and the staff. There was too much baseball discussion for my liking given the dismal state of the local club, but otherwise it was an excellent evening all the way around.

Flight 1 (10 Notes)

  • 2002 Launois Pere et Fils Champagne Grand Cru Cuvée Maxime Blanc de Blancs 92 Points

    France, Champagne, Le Mesnil Sur Oger, Champagne Grand Cru

    Aromatic nose featuring predominantly clean citrus fruit. Bursts with flavor on the palate. Plush and rich with just enough structure. Great length on the finish. Pure pleasure.

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  • 2007 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 93 Points

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru

    Clear yellow color with no hint of pre-mox. Stunning nose of citrus fruit and mineral. Equally great in the mouth, with expansive layers of flavor that fan out over the palate. Great texture and a perfect amount of acidity. Great, long finish. Maybe not quite the equal of the Dauvissat Le Clos, but still a thrilling Chablis.

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  • 2009 Damien Laureau Savennières Les Genêts 91 Points

    France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Savennières

    Minimal notes on this one. Expressive nose and packing tons of flavor on the palate. Great, lingering finish. Noticeably heavier and sweeter than the Fevre Les Clos. Paired perfectly with the spicy shrimp course we were eating.

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  • 1999 Domaine Y. Clerget Volnay 1er Cru Caillerets 92 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru

    Pretty nose of red fruit and mineral. Silky, viscous texture. Had great flavors of red fruit and mineral that were more compact on the palate. Very structured and tannic. This was really showing well, but will likely be even better with some additional time in the cellar.

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  • 1999 Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve des Célestins 92 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    Deep, dark red color. Stern but pleasing nose of black fruit, mushroom, garrigue/herbs and minerality that is constantly evolving. Mid-weight in the mouth, but surprisingly smooth and elegant with dark fruit and mineral flavors. This is developing nicely and is a showing better now than bottles a few years ago.

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  • 2000 Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve des Célestins 92 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    It was great to taste this side-by-side with the '99. Similar nose with redder fruit, mushroom, garrigue/herbs and minerality. This too is mid-weight with a silky texture, but with really good expansive flavors. Perfectly balanced. No real tannins to speak of and a long, lingering finish. I preferred the '00 to the '99 by a slight margin, but would be happy to drink either any time they're offered.

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  • 1997 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée 91 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    This is my second bottle of this in the last few days and both were lovely. This has an understated but extremely pleasant nose featuring red fruit, garrigue, mineral and some floral notes. Maybe a bit lean on the palate, but with a nice rush of flavor and really good balance. For drinking today, I preferred this to the '05 Pegau Cuvee Laurence served beside it. I'd recommend drinking these now, as they are likely at or past peak.

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  • 2005 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Laurence 91 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    Somewhat reserved nose with mostly red fruit and subtle dried herbs. Equally reserved on the palate. Packed with fruit but with plenty of structure to keep the whole thing balanced. Flavors just didn't pop for me (almost one note), so maybe this is slightly closed down. Showing some tannin on the finish, but finishes nicely with long, lingering fruit flavors. My guess is that this is in need of 3-5 years, and will show considerably better than this bottle did.

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  • 2000 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 93 Points

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    Dark ruby red color. Stunning nose prominently featuring red fruit, dried herbs, leather/barnyard, and even some floral notes. The taste is equally good with a big rush of flavor (mainly red fruit and mineral), medium weight, perfect balance and long, satisfying finish. This is the best of many bottles I've opened and I'm thrilled to have more of these in the cellar!

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  • 1999 Château Gruaud Larose 93 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    This was shockingly good. Awesome nose with dark fruit, smoke and tobacco aromas and I would say more or less fully open. Equally good on the palate with good structure and just enough fruit to balance things out. Still pretty tannic, but not enough to obscure the excellent finish.

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Closing

Leo also added a Chapoutier Banyuls (?) at the end of the evening but it was unfortunately corked. Great night as usual. It was fun meeting up with Kevin and the rest of the group again. My wine of the night would have to be the Beaucastel, with the Fevre Les Clos and Gruaud Larose close behind.

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