Top Flight Burgundy in DC - Respects to President Ford

Washington DC - Cafe 15
Tasted Thursday, December 28, 2006 by lars1014 with 536 views

Introduction

Visiting Washington DC with my family, I made up for a lost opportunity with the DC crowd earlier in the fall. The food was good, service was excellent, no Burgundy glasses (too bad), and the camaraderie the best. The great characters in DC coupled with their generosity made for an incredible evening. Attendees included: Christopher Larson, Kenneth Brown, Kevin Shin, Ben Andersen, D. Zimmerman, Don Thomas, and Gence Alton

Flight 1 - 1996 Champagnes (2 Notes)

Flight 2 - White Burgundies (4 Notes)

  • 1987 Coche-Dury Meursault Les Rougeots 92 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault

    This is a bottle that demonstrates how an excellent producer can transcend vintage difficulties. This dark golden hued wine is filled with mushrooms, anise, and candied blood oranges. The finish is smooth and compelling. Although probably past its prime, this bottle was both educational and pleasurable to drink.

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  • 2004 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons 92 Points

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru

    Light straw in color with bright acidity, notes of lemon, cold wet steel, chalk, and melon round out this very primary wine. I would estimate that it needs another five years to start to fully strut it's stuff.

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  • 1991 François Raveneau Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 94 Points

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru

    This Chablis has all the classic traits of exceptional Chablis terroir combined with excellent wine making. Bursting fourth with minerals, anise, clove, wet rocks, and a hint of brown sugar make this fully mature wine an incredible experience to taste. It will probably hold up at its peak for another 5 years before heading slowly downward.

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  • 2004 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 96 Points

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru

    If it weren't for the abundant notes melon, straw, minerals, and chalk this wine would blow you away with its acidity. The spectacular texture and very long finish leave the taster wanting for more. The acidity is kept perfectly in check leaving years of upside for this maybe-someday-perfect wine.

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Flight 3 - Older Burgundies Plus a Ringer (5 Notes)

The Calera did not fool anyone, but was pleasant. The two winners in this flight were the 1996 DRC Romanee St. Vivant and the 1995 Leroy VR Les Beaux Monts. These were quintessential examples of what great Burgundy can be.

  • 1985 Calera Pinot Noir Jensen Vineyard 88 Points

    USA, California, Central Coast, Mount Harlan

    The ruby red color gives way to scents of cherry, prune, and autumnal flavors. The wine has good texture that leads nicely into a leafy-mulch finish. If the wine has a little more lift on the pallet it would have merited an excellent score.

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  • 1970 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Richebourg 90 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Richebourg Grand Cru

    Bright red brick color with distinctive cedar, woody spices, South Asian spices, and soy notes create an intriguing wine. Although past its peak, this wine shows remarkably well but if you have it in your cellar drink up.

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  • 2004 Thibault Liger-Belair Richebourg 88 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Richebourg Grand Cru

    The stems of the grapes show up strongly in this wine (I think this is a house trait) giving it very brawny tannins with hints of cedar, cherry, spice, and a long acidic finish. Although there is ample flavor, I am somewhat concerned that this wine's flavor will not outlive the tannin and acid. If it does, it will merit an outstanding score.

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  • 1996 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée St. Vivant 96 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Romanée St. Vivant Grand Cru

    This is serious Burgundy. The penetrating cherry flavors give way to a garden of white and purple flowers, cinnamon, cardamom, tea, and caramel complete this wine nicely. This has many years ahead of it.

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  • 1995 Domaine Leroy Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts 95 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru

    Now beginning full maturity this thrilling wine gives oodles of cherry, soy, spices, leather, and something I can only describe as dumpling dipping sauce. Amazingly, underneath all these flavors was a bright backbone that helped bring this wine to life. I imagine that this fantastic premiere cru will hold this plateau for another 10 years.

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Flight 4 - Clos Vougeot (3 Notes)

The head to head between the Leroy Clos Vougeots was worth the price of entry. No one was disappointed at the table. I have not had lots of Tibault wines, but the two examples I had this night were not very encouraging.

  • 1996 Domaine Leroy Clos Vougeot 98 Points

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

    Signature Leroy intense fruit of cherry, kirsch, and oak only reveal the first cloak. Tons of spice, cinnamon, and nori fill out the inner core. The intensity of the fruit and spice create an textural sensation, and the finish lasts for longer than I could wait to take the next sip.

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  • 2004 Thibault Liger-Belair Clos Vougeot 87 Points

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

    Brawny tannins, wood, oak, and spice completely dominate this wine. Although there is fruit underneath this hard tannic structure it is very hard to appreciate. I am concerned that this wine will never come around and allow the fruit to express itself. There were some within the group who adamantly disagreed with this assessment.

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  • 1995 Domaine Leroy Clos Vougeot 95 Points

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

    The '95 is much more evolved than the '96. Where the fruit dominates the '96, the cedar, tobacco, and black tea dominate the '95. There is a lot going on in this wine and it provides an incredible example of secondary Burgundian characteristics. The soft and developed pinot texture lulls the taster and then the flavor hits. The iron fist in the velvet glove...

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Closing

Thanks to everyone who participated! Thanks for letting me crash in on your excellent group.

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