The Thirteenth Annual Stonefields Dinner (Guelph, Ontario, Canada): Sheer perfection... Nose is entoxicating, powerful, enthralling and humbling all at the same time. How did I get to this place...to drink this wine...in this moment? I am a lucky man. Aromas of spice, mineral, nutmeg, cherry liquor, dried red flowers, earth, soy, orange zest, stems and forrest floor. The palate is so svelte....layered, pith and pure. Pure tart red fruit, earth, forrest floor, cedar, stems, spice, nutmeg, sandalwood, and violets. Finish is never ending, the flavours are never ending...this wine never stops. Minutes go by and I still taste it. I want to cry....but there are all these damn people around. Awesome and jaw dropping wine.
Jeremy Holmes stated the profile spot on. Never had a wine like this before. So much going on. Opened for an hour. Really hit stride 3 hours later. Only second time in my life with the RC. Had Latache probably a dozen times, and this was quite different.
The 1978 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti was on fire, drinking just the way you’d expect and like it to. The aroma was comprised of aniseed, juniper, sandalwood, rose petals, balsamic and a touch of vegemite. In the mouth it was complex, layered, lacy and cerebral. There’s so much going on but it has such great poise and restraint. The finish is full of what the Japanese would term umami and every sip was an absolute delight.
Kruger's 75th (Corsair): Another DRC when after it is poured, everyone takes a sip, yet no one has anything to say! Absolutely stunning. Very meaty nose, touch gamey? Smoked and cured meats, almonds, bing cherry and plum. Warm spices, delicate touch of forest floor and mushroom. The palate is where everything comes together into a seamless, complex experience. In a very good place right now. The fruit isn't dried out quite yet and the acid and structure is very well alive.
Now at an age when bottle variation results in a game of Russian roulette. Some bottles make you wonder why anyone ever made a fuss. Other bottles leave you speechless, kneeling down before your glass thanking God you lived long enough to pop the cork. This bottle was definitely in the latter camp. Reducing the experience to a tasting note would be akin to blasphemy.
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(DRC Romanee Conti) The 1978 DRC Romanee Conti that followed put everything to bed. The nose screamed ‘WOW’- it was menthol city, built upon iron, rose and blood. Some garden came in, providing some nice recreational aromas for this budding metropolis. Layers upon layers of every shade of exotic fruit unfolded, and beef satay with hints of peanuts joined the party in its incredibly decadent nose. The palate was smooth and lush, dripping with oil and full of bloody mary flavors. It separated itself from the pack, although we could all see the sibling rivalry with the Richebourg. Big brother won. As I settled in on my score, I had to put this wine in that ‘best wines of my life category’ and one level up from outstanding. At the same time, I felt like this was a wine that was as good as it was ever going to be, and I didn’t see as much long-term potential as in other big-time vintages of RC. It was definitely plateau-ing, but it could possibly do so for another thirty years, to be fair. Big Boy agreed that while extraordinary, it will never be on that mega-level of the greatest RC’s of all time, citing ‘not in the top 10 of the 20th Century.’ So my point is while the ’78 RC is 97 points right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if this slipped to a 96 over the next decade or so (97).
(DRC Romanée-Conti) Feeling frisky, the Man with the Golden Cellar returned with a magnum of 1978 DRC Romanée-Conti. Say hello to my big friend. The ’78 was slow to unravel out of magnum; a lean nose started to unfold slowly into meat and light brown sugar aromas, thickening into exotic oil and syrup edges. It had the rust, the tar, the menthol and all the flavor components of great, old R-C. Its razor sharp finish left no doubt as to its greatness
(Romanee Conti) which was also extraordinary. While I am not as big of fan of the 1978 DRCs as other vintages and often find them on the earthier and beefier side of DRC.s style, this bottle had insane menthol flavors and incredible texture, being all it should be and then some. Its richness, mouthfeel and length all proved why this wine is $5000 a bottle or more
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