Champagne RL Blanc de Blanc : Light toasted, vibrant, very beautiful indeed. Champagne Henri Giraud Rose NV : This is good stuff, beautiful at the beginning and tight after 3 hours.
2003 DRC " Grand Echezeaux " Good from the start and after 2 hours, it's stunning, full-bodied, great balance, delicious with impact aftertaste. 95-96/100
2003 Leroy " NSG Boudots " My first bottle of 2003 Leroy (bottle No. 0009/1970) and it's different. For good vintages, Leroy seems to let the nature speaking and show the true terroir. Hints of flowers, almost no sign of Leroy's typical smell that reminds me of 2002 Boudots. The texture is dense and full of structure with an aggressive aftertaste in a good way. Longer to be finished than DRC ?? 95/100
2003 Rouget " Cros Parantoux " My 2nd bottle and much better than the last time. Vosne-spice at the beginning then becomes fresh and clean, beautiful scents blended into one. This is like the truth and classic. The vineyard is high on the slope next from Richebourg so the vibrant is here. With the close-knit texture, wonderful balance, very special feeling drinking this wine. The aftertaste is linger and long. 93+/100 (My WOTN)
2003 Bouchard " La Romanee " As I expected, even my first time from Bouchard but I already know the style of the producer. Bouchard produces all the wines to express the terroir and vintage. The wine-maker is just doing his job, making the wine, showing how the wine should be, very classic style. Hints of old barrique, dark fruits and lower acidity that is the true character of the 2003 vintage. Full-bodied and delicious in a proper way. Very good finish is telling me 2003 is one of a great year. 94/100
A memorable dinner wtih Barolis and Burgundy (Fleet Street Kitchen - Baltimore, MD): I usually find nothing in common between Burgundy and Californian pinots but this is a rare exception. Jammy Californian fruits, strawberry jam and earth. Excellent concentration, sweet jammy palate and fully integrated tannins. For me, this is a bit cloying. This is a typical 03 with opulent jammy red fruits. I wonder how this will evolve.
Perfect magnum bottle. Very dark and powerful for a Grands Échézeaux. At first lots of warm fruit and alcohol, but with + 3h in the glass it comes around and shows the terroir from Vosne. Elegance, spice box, curry powder, roses, wild strawberries, oak, structure, balance, mineral ... Yet this 2003 is not so representative for either DRC or Grands Échézeaux. Blind I first end up in Gevrey-Chambertin ... or even Morey-St-Denis ... and if I have to choose a producer in Vosne I would go to the fabulous Liger-Belair because of the power and energy mixed with the oak. Don't get me wrong. This is a fine Grand Cru. Just atypic for DRC and the vineyard.
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(Romanée-Conti Grands-Echézeaux) The nose is deeper and darker of aspect; dusky, fecund - quite exciting. Slowly the nose 'brightens' to bring higher-toned spicy elements to the fore, aniseed and red-wrapped fruit. The palate is less obviously sweet, some separation in the mouth between the impression from the fruit vs the tannin and extract that comes through on the mid-palate. The length is haunting, slowly drying out onto your teeth. This is an enigmatic wine today, almost two personalities in one glass - if they marry this will be a superb wine - it is anyway a larger step-up from the Echézeaux than in recent years.
(Romanée-Conti Grands-Echézeaux) There won't be so many press tastings for this vintage as the average harvest across the domaine was a mere 18hl/ha - I guess I was lucky to taste this. Medium-plus colour. The nose is wide and deep with fresh berries, a little time in the glass gives up an extra spicy edge and extra purity to the fruit. In the mouth it's fat and creamy and is loaded with velvety tannin and concentrated dry extract of fruit on the finish. This is a fascinating expression of the vintage, drier and less fresh than 2004 which I prefer.
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