Alt-Paulée at Bouley: Always exciting to drink Montrachet. And yet, this was not a moving bottle. Maybe the wine just isn't ready, or maybe the fat of the vintage obscures the other components of the wine. It had the roundness and volume that can be so compelling, but it was without the complexity of aroma and flavor that make this wine so special.
I always enjoy Drouhin's Montrachet, but for some reason in our tastings they frequently get flighted with Leflaive, and its usually not a fair fight. Tonight was not exception, which is a shame, since the wine is very good.
First La Paulee Warmup Dinner (Ai Fiori - New York NY): Bottles haven't been consistent over the past few years, but this was certainly one of the good bottles. Lush and sweet stone fruit aromas, Lots of power and rounded fruit flavors on palate. Slightly more mature than a great magnum I opened last summer, but this almost as good and kept picking up intensity with more time in glass.
Light straw color. Regal nose of chalk, wet stone, mineral, an baked green apple. Taste is long and lean...beautiful follow-up to the open knit nose. Solid acid spine that carries the green apple flavors for 30+ seconds.
Charlie Trotter's Goodbye with Jayer, Meo, and Rouget: Light peat moss nose showing some signs of age. Touch of premox Dry dusty lean flavors, hazelnuts, with good acidic crispness. Still just a shadow of a this wine served from mag just a couple weeks ago. I think not a perfect bottle. Drinkable, but not a lot of pleasure.
Birthday Celebration (Balena - Chicago IL): From magnum. Floral start with good balance of fresh apple and some hints mature evolution. Apple and lemon on palate with big concentration and density, good acidity, then lots and lots of minerality. At a great place today.
one bottle was flawed, the other was very impressive. Cinnamon, dough, white flowers, and minerals come through on the nose - the most interesting (out of the shoot anyway) of the five Montrachets we tasted tonight - 1999 Marquis de Laguiche (Drouhin) Montrachet, 2000 Marquis de Laguiche (Drouhin) Montrachet, 2001 Bouchard Montrachet, 2004 Bouchard Montrachet, and 2007 Sauzet Montrachet. Good acid as most of the depth of flavors were mid-to-front palate; a bit short on the back-end and length of finish. But the complexity and interesting nose and front palate kept me coming back to this wine all night...very impressive.
White Truffle Dinner at Schwa (Schwa Restaurant, Chicago, IL): Ripe, creamy lemon and lemon peel on the nose with white floral and crushed stone as well. The palate has fattened up some since the last time I had it, but the mineral backbone is still there. Some pretty spice notes. Medium bodied. Moderate acidity on the medium plus finish.
Decanted for 30 minutes and served with Ceviche. Tropical fruits balanced perfectly with minerality that stood up to the chipolte in the ceviche. Big, pure and elegant with a long finish of tree fruits. Drinking great and will for a long time
1999 Domaine Drouhin 1999 Marquis de Laguiche Montrachet, alc 13.5%....this started out well and just got better....hint of gunflint...no premox...unctous with apples, pears and a great mouthfeel....not the best ever Montrachet but showing well this evening...92
Giallo con sfumature dorate. Naso un po'chiuso, con vahi toni minerali. Poi tira fuori note di fiori bianchi appassiti e dopo si stalla un po' troppo su note smaltate. In bocca è un po' troppo carico, imponente. Dopo un po' al naso escono note agrumate e la bocca si fa più elegante e meno imponente, sorretta da una bella acidità
Very complex aromatics of smoke, white peach, nougat, cashews and pure white peach. Great shape and volume in the mouth with dense sappy fruits that stain the palate and a finish that goes on and on. In a lovely place right now.
Birthday Dinner (Inovasi - Lake Bluff IL): From magnum. Good floral start with big aromas of lemon and lemon oil. Palate starts with orchard fruit, finishes with precise lemon flavors. Good acidity and textures throughout to long finish. Not quite as powerful as the best bottles I've had. Still showing some upside potential.
Celebration Dinner (Inovasi, Lake Bluff, IL): From magnum. Pure, clean aromas of lemon, white flowers, and crushed stone. Great texture on the medium bodied palate; very long finish with a firm mineral backbone. Wonderful acidity on the finish.
Very good showing for this wine, especially in a lineup of impressive Montrachet. Complex nose that changes substantially with air, showing notes of brine, mint, cinnamon, and honey. Finish was a bit shorter than the '99 Sauzet at first, but after an hour in the glass the Drouhin hit its stride. In the end, the Sauzet and Drouhin were equal in quality, albeit different style. The Drouhin was more of what I would expect in a Montrachet in the sense that it was a very complete wine - the "meal in a bottle." The Sauzet was austere by comparison, with off the charts minerality and terrific length, and quite impressive in its own right. Anyway, the Drouhin is just starting to drink well and will benefit from time in bottle; if you open now, plan to give it lots of air.
Nose of peach and pineapple balanced with mineral notes. Big, pure, elegant flavors with nice minerality and a finish of tree fruits. Pure, smooth elegance. Drinking well, but probably will age nicely. Will be hard not to drink it soon.
Uncorked DK BYO to NOMA: La Tâche 96 and fried eggs (NOMA): Dark/golden yellow. Amazing and very special nose with loads of licorice, some juniper and clove (does this sound like a white to you?) In the mouth this has immense fatness, but also that certain ethereal lightness that only the greatest of the greatest can achieve. Good acid and some delicious smoked yellow fruit. Licorice again. Did I mention licorice? Absolutely stunning.
A wine with two faces. At first, just after opening it gives you the impression it is a bit too old already. Even a bit oxidised. But then, after a few hours and at a little higher temperature the wine starts showing its real self. No oxidation to discover, but a complex nose of fat butter, nuts; like almonds, smoked meat scents and good oak. Enormous long aftertaste. A very impressive wine.
Light yellow in the glass. Slight urinal notes that blew off quickly. Very complex bouquet of sulfur, peppar, chalk and wet stone. Largely scaled and packed with ripe fruit. Excellent mouth-feel. Great. long finish that balanced out every element.