Mazoyères-Chambertin Dinner (Sepia - Chicago IL): Tasted single blind in Rousseau vertical. Open two hours before serving, quickly double decanted when opened. Fleshy red and black fruit with good spice and earthiness. Not super complicated, but very pleasurable and interesting.
French Tasting - Cepages Tasting Group (12th Street Osteria, New York City): White & Red French tasting with Rick, Dave & Alessandro at 12th St Osteria in NYC. 1st wine was Giroud Chambertin 2003: Ripe pinot showing it's age, looked older than it was. Some spice on the nose, ripe fruit too. Lots of ripe red cherries, wood, nothing memorable here. The wine was fairly one dimensional & a definite disappointment for all. Blame it on the hot vintage. This wine's fading fast.
Next up-Messorio 2001, which we drank blind. Lots of cedar, wood on the nose. Dark purplish color, looked to be the youngest of our wines today, modern style. Al pinned it as Italian. I thought it to be Calif. Everyone was shocked to discover it to be 100% merlot. I found it overly tannic and still very young, which interfered with my enjoyment of the wine. Great depth of fruit, blackberries and plums, pretty well integrated & complex wine. All liked it. I scored it a 93
#3 was the CHARMES CHAMBERTIN Rousseau 1996. Pale redish brown in the glass, definitely showing its age. Lots of spice, barnyard, dirty socks, & overall tertiary notes on the nose. Classic mature burg nose. The wine was a shocker to me as I didn't expect much (this was my contribution), esp. after reading up on this wine. It still had great fruit, lots of spice, & forest floor with a certain musty complexity. Af first it seemed to fade in the glass, but then it came back strong with all the notes mentioned above. I scored it a 94; Al gave it a 98 and claimed this to be the essence of red burgundy. A surprisingly well-preserved and delicious bottle of wine.
No.4: Gruaud Larose 1988: Deep red color, seemed very youthful still in the glass. Somewhat muted nose, but I detected dark fruits/plums. On palate, tannins have receded & integrated well into the juice, no real harsh edges here as this wine sometimes gives. Lots of plums, currant, good length. This wine has matured nicely, all its elements coming together into a very pleasant, if not overly complex mix. Never my favorite bdx but very much enjoyed this one to my pleasant surprise. I scored it 93
Finished with a 2000 Sine Qua Non Noble Man Viognier. Drank blind and no one could guess. Some thought a vin du pays or a tba. Rich amber color in the glass, honey and ripe apricots on the nose. Very viscous, very decadent. Rich apricots, hints of butterscotch, a very definite nuttiness, almonds, very vibrant acidity. Very enjoyable and a nice way to end a great afternoon lunch and tasting. 94 in my humble estimation.
Pale brick colour. Classic Burgundy farm-yard nose, with just a hint of blackcurrant. Palate provided some sweetness, light tannins and decent overall balance - and then beyond the initial sweetness, the finish becomes earthy, mineral, stony. Overall, more interesting than expected, and a juicy, but light bodied texture which gave pleasure, if not ecstasy !
I approached this with very little enthusiasm but was pleasantly surprised. Pale brick red. The nose was initially singed sugar but this gave way to a warm undergrowth and on the second night under argon it was sappy and distinctly mature. The palate surprisingly gentle with little tannin and the acidity not too prominent. Maybe the 96's are worth waiting for to find their balance. I can't see this getting better but it might hold 5 years, and even if it never lived up to the initial promise (or price!!!), it's turned into a satisfying mature Burg. Perhaps my score is a little generous--points for survival and pleasant surprise!
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