Wine Dinner

Thai Cottage, SF

Tasted July 18, 2013 by aagrawal with 97 views

Introduction

A lovely dinner with some friends at Thai cottage with a broad range of wines, especially sauternes.

Flight 1 (7 notes)

The Gourtorbe was at a great stage of development and drinking really well (fresh with some interesting mature notes). The Navarro was a great value wine with purity of fruit and youthful exuberance. The Morot had a great nose, and the Bruno Rocca showed a lot of potential for growth in the next few years. The Yquem was young and disjointed and needs a lot of time to come together, but it seemed to have an underlying complexity that will eventually emerge. The Climens was the star of the evening, enjoyable to drink throughout all of our courses and balanced at early maturity, though perhaps lacking the little bit of extra complexity that I have found in the best Climens. The 89 Suduiraut was just not interesting, and I'm not sure if it was the wine itself or the recorking at the chateau (the '90s that were recorked are also insipid at best).

White - Sparkling
2002 Henri Goutorbe Champagne Special Club France, Champagne, Aÿ, Champagne
92 points
Light golden color; lovely mature notes with apple, brioche, lime, fresh nose; great acidity, fresh palate, slightly rounded fruit, crisp apple; medium length finish. Overall an excellent champagne that has freshness, complexity, balance, and early mature notes and lacking only an over-the-top acidity that I love. 92-93
White - Sweet/Dessert
2004 Navarro Vineyards Riesling Cluster Select Late Harvest USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
90 points
From half. Deep golden color; fresh orange, pure, slight muskiness; full bodied, sweet, good acidity but not quite enough acidity, pure fruit, orange; short finish. Tasted blind and guessed new world late harvest, not quite icewine but no botrytis. An excellent value and a strong buy, enjoyable but certainly not in the same league of purity and concentration as great German or Canadian icewines. To be consumed in the short term. 90
Day 4: Lovely wine. Balanced, good acidity, maybe a tad sweet, great value, complex. Reminds me of a Hedgies Late Harvest Riesling from Australia that I loved and drank a lot of for months a few years ago.
Red
1996 Albert Morot Beaune 1er Cru Les Toussaints France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
88 points
Complex nose of fading red fruit, slight spice, perfumed, elegant; light bodied, drying out, some remaining fruit; short finish. Nice wine overall with quite a classic elegant burgundian nose, but also has a fading palate that is drying out. Drink up now. 88-89
Day 2: Yesterday was a little more unique, today is showing a little more nondescript, but this is still a very enjoyable bottle. I have six bottles open right now, and this is the one that I kept coming back to tonight. Great food wine, drink now.
Red
2000 Bruno Rocca Barbaresco Rabajà Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
90 points
Deep violet color; very young nose with a lot of vanilla, black fruit, very ripe, prune and plum, slight woodiness; good acidity, full body, still fresh, tannins kick in strongly in the midpalate, slight heat. An extraordinarily young Barbaresco with a lot of potential for growth, still a little overoaked right now. Set up well to balance out with time given that it has fruit and tannins to lose. 90+
Day 2: Comes across as riper and a little more unbalanced. Supports my note from yesterday that this is overoaked and maybe a bit off-balance. Probably would not purchase since I'm not sure how reliably it will age.
White - Sweet/Dessert
1998 Château d'Yquem France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
92 points
From 375. Light golden color; Light tropical fruits, vanilla, more complex nose than palate; full bodied, oaked, complex with vanilla, tropical fruit; surprisingly short finish. A very young, still somewhat disjointed Yquem that will certainly improve over the next 10 years, but still has the simplest palate out of all the Yquem that I've tried so far. Not a bad value at $90/half (for Yquem... there are a lot of better 01s around for less), but certainly not a top Yquem. Will wait >5-7 years before my next half. 91+
Note: This improved a lot between when I first opened it and 3-4 hours later.
Day 3: The vanilla is more integrated on the nose, still quite rich nose and complex; palate is full bodied, more complex than when first opened with great spice and acidity; finish is a bit longer, short-medium length. I think this is better now than when first opened and will likely improve over 10 years, though I don't think it will ever approach the best Yquem. 92+
Day 6: No longer over-oaked on the nose or palate, this seems to be integrating nicely (but lacks some of the vibrancy that it had when it was first opened). Quite good, a bit more ponderous than other Yquem (less of the fabulous tension between concentration and elegance), but a solid effort and has the potential to improve.
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White - Sweet/Dessert
1989 Château Climens France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Barsac
93 points
Light golden color; complex light nose, good spice, slight chlorine, hard to determine fruit, slight floral; palate is light bodied, sweet in the midpalate, minerally, medium finish, good acidity, slightly high alcohol towards the finish. An excellently balanced barsac-styled wine that went very well with all types of food, slightly less complex than the best Climens I've had (86, 90) but very enjoyable. At early maturity and ready now or in the next 10 years. 92-93
Update Day 3: Held up well with lots of minerality on the nose, some slate; palate is still fresh and enjoyable. Still 92-93.
White - Sweet/Dessert
1989 Château Suduiraut France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
82 points
From 375, recorked in '07. Golden orange color; muted orange nose, copper; dry, medium body, much bitterness, metallic, drying without much fruit. Poor effort. The recorked bottles of Suduiraut floating around from '90 are all bad, and perhaps the '89 is as well. 82
Day 2: Still not overly flawed, but just not good. I get an odd dried apricot note that isn't that pleasant. An easy pass if offered the chance to purchase.

Closing

A quick note on the sauternes: The Yquem was complex but very disjointed and young (and a bit too short on the palate to be truly great) while the Climens was excellently balanced but a tad on the simple side. The best of both worlds would have made for an excellent sauternes.