Epic Burgundy Dinner (Boulevard - San Francisco CA): Served double blind. While this had been open several hours before serving, I wasn't thrilled immediately, thinking it slightly too ripe and opulent, slightly lacking in balance. Within 15 minutes of being poured, however, the structural elements came into greater balance. Rich and ripe with lots of Chinese five spice, this probably had the greatest density and concentration in the flight. I was able to correctly identify this once we were told the 6 wines in the flight.
The Thirteenth Annual Stonefields Dinner (Guelph, Ontario, Canada): This was very stemmy, a trait I usually quite enjoy in my burgundy, but this was too much....it dominated the wine as opposed to adding complexity. It was also quite herbal with dried flowers, cheer and mineral flavours. The palate showed sweet spice, herbs, and stems. The texture was quite nice but it was frankly a touch simple and underwhelming. The finish was medium with moderate complexity. This was perhaps the biggest disappointment of the evening as this had a chance to be a real star. Perhaps we caught it in a closed period.
Baller dinner honoring Chicago winos -- 99 La Tache, 99 Leroy RSV, 07 SE & etc (The Grill Room at Capella Hotel Georgetown): Expressive nose of perfectly ripe crushed red and black berries, incredible amount of mineral and sap, black tea, a hint of light soy and Asian spices and stem that contributes to the incredible complexity. Incredibly concentrated and energetic palate, layers upon layers of sweet black fruit, intense yet very detailed and precise, formidable structure and unbelievably long finish. It will need another twenty years to be at the peak, almost overwhelming at the moment. The biggest La Tache of my life.
Two HDH Dinners (Ada St. and Bistronomic): From magnum. In a fabulous lineup, the nose was in a class by itself. Fascinating Asian spice and dried floral notes. A sweetness and a purity on the nose that all other wines tonight lacked. The palate, while excellent, was certainly holding back. Outstanding detail, and a million flavors but you could tell this will just explode one day. I hope I can try this again when it does. Long, pure and lingering finish.
Great Dinner Wines (Healesville Victoria): Will be 100+ in another ten years but because the Rousseau next to it blew everybody away and was the far more approachable of the two today it gets a rather meaningless score. Meaningless because these two wines are perfect. The Rousseau has reached the peak a bit sooner than the LaTache but it will also be off the scale, other worldly, with more time. A great opportunity to see this wine and will I ever get the chance to see it again? Who knows but at the price it commands today I doubt Ill ever be able to stash a few away. Tonight this has been donated by James and I am absolutely blown away by it. Dont expect to see that hedonistic LaTache aroma for at least ten years I reckon as this wine is backward. There are hints of beauty in this. At the moment its losing its rawness of youth but is like a sleeping giant yet to awake. Its all there, power, finesse mindblowing stuff. Two of the most profound wines I've ever had. I will make myself a promise to try this wine again one day somehow but not in the next decade.
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(DRC La Tache) Last and never least was a 1999 DRC La Tache, which was clearly the best in our flight of the last three. Its nose was so deep; it felt like I could literally dive into its aromas. There was an oceanic feel to the breadth of its violet fruit. That plush 1999 signature fruit was everywhere. Sweet caramel and nut were balanced by smoke in this behemoth of a nose. The finish was so thick, I had to undo and work the wine back out of my mouth after each sip. It is rare that a wine this young makes me do cartwheels and handstands, but the ’99 LT is that great, especially for such a young wine. Stem and stalk flavors added zip and vim to the fantastic fruit. So long, so strong and so balanced, the 1999 DRC La Tache is an anywhere, anytime wine that has never delivered anything but an extraordinary experience.
(DRC La Tache) As if there could be another wine that could stand up to the first two in this flight, oh, that’s right, we had yet to sample the 1999 DRC La Tache. There was more elegance here but still meat on dem der bones. There were also more vitamins and cola, but some expressive black cherry as well. The palate was rich, long, elegant but fat, also showing more cola. While reserved and more backhand than forehand, the ’99 was still a winner all the way. It got more aromatic in the glass as its crushed qualities became more fragrant. Jim also noted that fact, saying that ‘the ’99 has lost its initial baby fat but is gaining in harmony,’ also finding it the most enjoyable of the three right now. Gil found the 1999 ‘woodsy, like a lukewarm sauna,’ as well as ‘crushed nutshells and cranberry red fruit,’ although he did find the ’99 closed as well. Manny called this flight one of ‘three superstars’
(DRC La Tache) The 1999 DRC La Tache was/is no slouch, either. Pure game, Pat admired. The LT had a spectacular nose as well. The wine seemed more mature with its gamy notes and animal fat, but it was actually more spiny and full of enough brick to make a very very very fine house. Great appeared over and over in my notes. It was qualitatively equal to the RC yet LT all the way
(DRC La Tache) another ‘wow’ wine. Its nose was incredible as always, with so much fruit, spice and finish. Rudy found it ‘so primary – still way too young,’ but it was still dripping with saucy rose, cherry essence and young tannins. In the mouth, it was so fabulous, so rich, so creamy and with great spice and tannin flavors. The 1999 DRC La Tache had the best nose in a young wine (less than ten years old) that I have ever had. Rudy came around and cooed, ‘it’s so pure and balanced’ and likened it to ’49 and ’29
(La Tache) was arguably the wine of the weekend. Bruce was in awe of its 'jammy' quality, especially since it was so young. Intense, super thick, full of t 'n a, the 1999 was so dark and deep, spilling out of the glass with its midnight-like black fruits. There was also menthol, musk, tree bark and minerals in this intense, rich, long and deep wine. 'Wow,' I wrote; I could see why Wilf chose this for the grand finale. There was great acidity. It was so juicy and tasty that 'you could nibble at it,' someone said. Allen called it 'impressive'
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