Vintage Tastings (click to search again)

Vintage Name Variety Publication Reviewer Score More...
Rosť - Sparkling

1996 Billecart-Salmon Champagne Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon

Champagne Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
I ordered the 1996 Billecart Salmon Rose Cuvee Elisabeth off the list. It was beautiful, possessing pretty, open fruit, especially for a Rose. I do not recall ever having a Rose that showed this much fruit at such a young age. Balanced and gorgeous, I might have to start drinking some more of their stuff 95 points
White - Sparkling

1996 Billecart-Salmon Champagne Cuvée Nicolas-François Billecart

Champagne Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
The 1996 Billecart Salmon Cuvee Nicolas Francois was actually quite similar to the Goisses, but it was a touch more elegant and refined, perhaps longer but in a subtle way. It, too, had a lot of vitamins to it 95 points
Red

1990 Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Spéciale

Red Rhone Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
There was one last wine for dessert, a 1990 Henri Bonneau Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Speciale. I think he has only made this wine two or three times, and it is basically a late-harvest Chateauneuf du Pape. The nose was very Amarone in style, with a sweet, pruny and figgy personality. Dark, dank, gamy fruit abounded in this unique wine. The palate was massive, full of alcohol, acidity and a very long finish. Sweet, pruny flavors dominated the palate. Its style might not be for everyone, but it is a singularly great wine that deserves high praise 95 points
Red

1959 Château Certan de May

Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
I also remember an excellent 1959 Certan de May. It was chocolaty, gravelly and earthy and showing quite well 93 points
Red

1995 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin

Syrah more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
By the time we got through the bubblies, Cru was kind of packed, basically turning into a hot nightclub for wine lovers. Enter Dr. Conti; initiate rock star moment. Rudy bought the six-liter of 1995 Chave Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin off the list, and everybody got some. As young as it was, there couldn’t have been a better wine crowd to enjoy it, and it was yet another chapter in the book of one of the world’s most generous wine lovers. Although I didn’t get to this wine until much later in the evening, I will provide my tasting note here. The nose was unbelievably concentrated; seepy, sappy and thick like molasses. Classic Northern Rhone action oozed out of the glass: black as night fruits, menthol, bacon, earth charred by a blistering sun. Iodine, iron, charcoal and smoke were secondary. This wine took concentration up a notch, although I will admit that the style of this wine has always been a bit over the top for me. It is almost too concentrated, too extracted, too rich, but I think in forty years or so, God willing, and if I can still find a bottle, it might be one of those indubitable 99-pointers. For now, I had to respect its massive raw materials and King Kong-like presence (95+I). The I is for Imperial aka 6-liter…I know for Rhone it is Methusaleh, but M is for magnum… 95 points
White

1992 Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne

Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Chardonnay more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
The 1992 Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne was the most aromatic by far, a bit stewy and buttery, showing that forward 1992 style. Its nose was gamy, yeasty and waxy. Smooth and soft with nice, lingering smoke, toast and white earth flavors, the 1992 still has nice length to its finish, but I couldn’t help but think that this particular vintage of Coche is already over the rainbow and has seen its best days already 94 points
White

1996 Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne

Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Chardonnay more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
The 1996 Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne quickly took charge of this flight with its incredible nose, similar to the 2000 but with more of everything. Rich and forward, big and buttery, citrusy and smoky, the 1996 was awesome as always, long and lip-smacking, with a racy finish that would make for a fine Nascar ending. Its remarkable flavors were thick, long and fat, full of butter and citrus. This 1996 might go down as one of the greatest white wines ever made 98 points
White

2000 Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne

Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Chardonnay more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
The rest of the wines for the first part of the evening were all from the Golden Cellar. The first official flight was one of Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne. The 2000 Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne had a clean, fresh nose full of floral qualities, along with light, delicate citrus, corn and bread. It was slightly shy in the nose at first, but a sweet butter profile emerged. The 2000 possessed a great finish accompanied by a lip-smacking minerality and white earth flavors. Danielle added, ‘a touch of exotic jasmine.’ Stylish, elegant and gorgeous, I would be thrilled to drink this wine any time. 2000s are so fresh and clean 95 points
Red

1990 Domaine Dujac Clos de la Roche

Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Pinot Noir more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
We started with a stunning 1990 Dujac Clos de la Roche. This was one of those superlative bottles that was everything and then some. Fruit oozed out of its nose, black and purple in its hue with just a splash of red as well. Cassis, plum, earth, dust, minerals and a perfect whiff of cedar all graced this deep and aggressively aromatic nose. It had that world class combination of sweetness and depth, and the palate was deliciously lush yet long, forward yet youthful, complex yet singular in its greatness. It certainly made it difficult for the Leroy 97 points
Red

1985 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Mouline

Syrah more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
The 1985 Guigal Cote Rotie La Mouline, however, was another story. We had to put things in a little perspective, of course. The nose was out of control good, reeking of menthol, olive, bacon, minerals and gamy, pungent fruit. Waxy, silky and sexy, the nose was a definitive one for great Cote Rotie. This meaty, chewy and fleshy La Mouline had similar flavors and a beautiful, gamy lushness that really stood out. Animal, iron and smoke joined the party in this winegasmic wine 97 points
Red

1985 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Turque

Syrah more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
The last wine from the Golden Cellar was another glorious 1985 Guigal, a 1985 Guigal Cote Rotie La Turque. This wine was singing right now, still young and very fresh, but showing many mature nuances and complexities and big-time menthol, bacon, earth, cassis and chocolate aromas and flavors 97 points
Red

1955 Château Haut-Brion

Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
A 1955 Haut Brion had a super smoky mesquite smokehouse nose. Flavors of buttersoft leather, cassis and band-aid rounded out this excellent HB 94 points
Red

1978 Henri Jayer Echezeaux

Echezeaux Grand Cru Pinot Noir more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
The 1978 Henri Jayer Echezeaux was also classic with great spice. Its nose was round and rich and all about the deep purple. The palate was huge yet had superb balance to go with its length. This wine was a class act. All three Echezeauxs were stylistically different, yet qualitatively equal, although the 1978 distanced itself a bit from the pack; it was pure class in a glass 96 points
Red

1982 Henri Jayer Echezeaux

Echezeaux Grand Cru Pinot Noir more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
The 1982 Henri Jayer Echezeaux was a twin to the great bottle I had on location prior at the Golden Cellar. Duke was oohing and aahing, and his hands were on the table, so it had to be the wine, which was so fabulously rich, so fabulously lush, so fabulously fleshy and so fabulously long. In the mouth, the wine was chewy with flavors of citrus, earth and dust. Its acidity was crazy (good), and this wine practically stole the show in this flight because it was that good, right now. It almost had this Dao-like edge, and I say that as a compliment. Someone remarked that the 1982 is now where the other two wines will be in another 20-30 years. Somebody save some ’85 and ‘78 95 points
Red

1985 Henri Jayer Echezeaux

Echezeaux Grand Cru Pinot Noir more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
Next up was a flight of Jayer, all Echezeaux and some of its best vintages. The 1985 Henri Jayer Echezeaux had an incredible nose. It was that ‘Jayer special,’ with that rich, plummy, dark fruit, sexy musk and sensual perfume. Everything resulted in a nosegasm. I had to quickly grab a tissue; those nosegasms can get pretty messy. Secondary chocolate and coffee emerged. The palate was meaty, rich and had this nutty sex appeal. Smooth, sensual and balanced, this was outstanding stuff although the nose delivered a little more than thae palate, but that is nothing new for 1985 95 points
Red

1988 Henri Jayer Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Cros Parantoux

Pinot Noir more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
The 1988 was the first and only wine to show a hint of gamy maturity, that kinky, fleshy style that Jayer transforms into after age twenty or so, plus or minus depending on the quality of the vintage. The 1988 was very sexy, just starting to show some flesh, sweet in its purple and with a splash of vitamins as well. The classic Jayer musk and kink were there, and the palate was chewy and fleshy, no easy task to achieve in 1988, which is a rugged, tannic, structure first vintage. The 1988 was tasty as well. Its delightful drinkability and approachability stood out in this first flight. While the 1988 might not get much better, score one for Jayer. The ’88 should still have a reasonably long plateau ahead of it, to be clear 94 points
Red

1993 Henri Jayer Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Cros Parantoux

Pinot Noir more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
The 1993 quickly reestablished order in the court. This was an incredible wine. 1993 is definitely a great vintage, but it is still usually a back-sided one, aka more structure than fruit at this stage. This magnum of 1993 Jayer had more fruit than any wine I have ever encountered from the vintage, and I have had most of the best wines from this vintage on multiple occasions. The 1993 had it all; its nose was brooding yet fresh and full of vibrant purple fruits, a rainbow of purple that would have made Hendrix proud. It was supported by twin towers of nut and musk, just absolutely fabulous and still so adolescent in that Miss Teen Burgundy kind of way. The palate was rich and actually lush, still adolescent but so damn good already. It had superb balance to its meaty and rich personality, and a finish that was sturdy yet never lost its deft balance. Amazing stuff 97 points
Red

1995 Henri Jayer Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Cros Parantoux

Pinot Noir more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
The first official flight was all Henri Jayer Vosne Romanee Cros Parantoux out of magnum, beginning with the 1995. 1995 is a vintage that most serious collectors are selling rather than buying, although there were still some fabulous wines made in 1995; Roumier and Vogue immediately come to mind. However, most ‘95s can be tart and acidic, very rusty in their personality and a bit on the lean and mean side. Henri Jayer was one of the most revered winemakers in the history of Burgundy, certainly top five of all time, and one of his claims to fame was how he was a master of the so-called ‘lesser’ or ‘off’ vintages, especially after fifteen or twenty years in the bottle. The 1984 and 1982 Echezeauxs that I had from the Golden Cellar on location were most recent testimonies to this fact. All this is leading somewhere, trust me. At the mere age of twelve and out of magnum, this 1995 seemed more 1995 than Jayer, however. It was lean and full of cedar and citrus aromas, a bit woody in its personality despite some grapy fruit lurking in the shadows of its nose. Pungent, austere and rusty all came to mind in both smelling and tasting the 1995, and while it was very good, it was a bit disappointing for a Jayer wine, although the youth and magnum factors could have played into it. There still was a bit of deep, dark and rich Jayer purple fruit there, but it was just a hint 91 points
White - Sparkling

1990 Krug Champagne Clos du Mesnil

Chardonnay more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
The real refresher wines were the trio of bubblies that came next, although the first one set a very high bar. Since people were now filing in from the first event, I decided to set the table with a magnum of 1990 Krug Clos du Mesnil, and what a magnum it was. I was surprised how open it was; I expected it to be laser-like and tighter than a nun’s knees, but it was wonderfully gamy, yeasty and pungently delicious in its nose. Don’t get me wrong; it was a baby and very young with seismic levels of acidity and decades of potential behind it, but it was just very open and delicious as well. Its flavors were marinated white meats, combined with golden fruits including one or two raisins, and it had a chewy, wine-like complexity with a finish of a rocketship launching. The party had officially begun 98 points
Red

1959 Château La Mission Haut-Brion

Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
A flight of 1959s led off with a stupendous 1959 La Mission Haut Brion. The La Miss had an unreal nose that was chocolate city, supplemented by lumpy oatmeal, forest floor spice and charcoal. Long, grainy and defined in the mouth, its spine was extraordinary, and the wine was simply divine 97 points
Red

1961 Château La Mission Haut-Brion

Pessac-Léognan Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
The 1961 La Mission Haut Brion was one of those gravelly bottles, full of charcoal, rocks, minerals, earth and tobacco first and foremost. With time, decadent plum and cassis came out along with more iron and smokehouse. I know that the Bordelais never talk about bottle variation, but believe you me when I tell you that there is variation amongst thousands of cases that get produced by each chateaux, especially back in the day. There are two distinct styles of 1961 La Mission that I have come across, one like this being almost excessively gravelly. I still loved the wine; its acidity and minerality were very special, and with time, decadent chocolate and smoky cassis flavors emerged in this outstanding La Miss 95 points
Red

1953 Château Lafite Rothschild

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
We switched gears to old Bordeaux, beginning with a beautiful 1953 Lafite Rothschild. Long considered by many to be the wine of the vintage, the Lafite was classic all the way, although perhaps just starting to gracefully decline and at the end of a 50-year long plateau. The old-timers will say how 1953 was just one of those vintages that was delicious from the beginning and never stopped being so. This bottle had tender aromas of old book and cedar, pencil, nutshell, cobwebs and dry mesquite. The cassis was on the drier side of the coin, a function of its age, and I could see magnums of this making a difference. The wine was still lush, tender, smoky and balanced, soft and charming, quintessentially Lafite and finishing with fine flavors of cedar, earth and tobacco 94 points
Red

1959 Château Lafite Rothschild

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
A 1959 Lafite Rothschild was unfortunately corked (DQ).
Red

1982 Château Lafleur

Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
Wine number seventeen for this amazing evening was a 1982 Lafleur. The ’82 Lafleur on offer from the Golden Cellar was some of the best bottles of this that I have seen in a while, as there are unfortunately some counterfeits of this out there. My hunch proved correct, as this bottle was a knockout. The Lafleur was typiclally gamy, figgy, nutty and tasty, with that classic ‘Rayas’ over-ripeness in its nose. Long and balanced, the wine had incredible reserve to it, and it was not as advanced as other bottles of this that I have had. This is special stuff that might equal the 1961 one day 97 points
Red

1959 Château Latour Grand Vin

Pauillac Red Bordeaux Blend more

Vintage Tastings

, John Kapon
A Week of Golden Cellar Drinking (11/3/2007)
The 1959 Latour was also stellar. Although my note-taking skills were starting to wane, only a corpse could not appreciate the deep cassis and walnut aromas and flavors, as well as the wine’s great ‘minty freshness,’ as someone keenly observed 97 points
  • Reviews: 61 /
  • Wines: 61

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