La Paulee Gala (San Francisco CA): La Paulee Gala. Starts with lovely white flowers and apple, perhaps slightly candied apple on nose and palate, then shows lots of silky texture, and then (wham!) power along with finesse on the long finish. That's what i wrote, even if I don't fully understand it in hindsight. This was the first DRC Montrachet I have ever had the good fortune to try. Where do I go from here? Of course I had the chance to try two more vintages (78 and 73) in the next 15 minutes, so really...where do I go from here? The 1985 is the finest white wine I have ever had.
My notes are a little short on this wine as I was still enraptured by the previous wine, but there was no loss of appreciation.
Still youthful colored, with some honey, almonds and minerality. This wine has cleaned up and leaned up over time, with great minerality, custard, and lemon curd. An ethereal level of balance here and texture, that belies its palate weight. More flowers and perfume. A beautiful wine at peak. 97 pts
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(DRC Montrachet) The 1985 DRC Montrachet quickly shrugged the 1990 aside, and ultimately knocked the 1990 out of outstanding class, so to speak. Its palate was superb, hitting all the right spots and still ascending. Cocoa butter and mixed nuts were accentuated by sprinkles of yeast and earth, and a full-bodied, buttery skin encased it all well. When this wine hits, it hits hard (96+).
(DRC Montrachet) The next white was clearly white Burgundy and an extraordinary one at that. It had a toasted head that reminded me at first of Leflaive. Its nose was smoky and powerful, with big kernel aromas along with butter and yellow fruit. Someone noted, ‘turpentine and minerals.’ The palate had great earth and minerals with impressive acidity and long flavors. It was a 1985 DRC Montrachet. While there was less botrytis and more toast than usual, this DRC Montrachet was every bit as impressive as any other
(DRC Montrachet) The 1985 DRC Montrachet had a cleaner nose and came across elegantly with flashes of yellow, waterfall, hints of apple, grilled something a la sea bass or some sort of white fish, along with nice sprinkles of white Asian spices. The palate was a bit dirty in is flavors, soft, easy and round with more milky flavors. It was a bit stewy, with some alley and backwater as well. Mark observed ‘sawdust,’ and Gil ‘crushed Triscuit.’ It did gain in the glass and evened out with the 1986, and JB also found it ‘funky in the beginning but getting sweeter and more structure.’ For both these bottles, though, I wanted more
(DRC Montrachet) I had almost forgotten what Burgundy tasted like but soon remembered! Reticent aromas of wax, corn, butter, alcohol and minerals graced the nose. A bit of yeast and wild field were on the outskirts as well. The palate was very toasted and buttery, burnt like smokehouse wood in jerky. Very tasty, the 1985 was creamy, lush, oily, rich, long and smooth, with hidden acids, exotic yellow fruits and wax and nut flavors. Although it might be at its best now, the DRC was still very fine indeed. I asked Bipin if it was at its peak, and he said yes, but then a philosophical discussion regarding the concept of peak begun with Paul Pontallier. To paraphrase Paul, 'over time we lose some things yet gain in others, what is a peak? Not sure there is such a thing.' He continued the wine was 'absolutely delicious - not sure it's at its peak but it's everything I like.' The food brought out the alcohol and acid on the palate a bit, supporting Paul's thoughts
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