"Bring your Best" Reno tasting

Mark and Megan's
Tasted Friday, November 16, 2007 by thomaskeil with 824 views

Introduction

Fairly impromptu gathering of Mark, Megan, Devlon, Greg, Mike, my daughter Jaimie and me. This was a week ago and everything is from memory, so I apologize for a lack of detail. Everything was decanted and even the Les Clos (which required violent swirling and active shaking to wake it up - but wake up it did!). With so few people we had lots of time with each wine and some of each was left over and tried the following evening. Also the flights overlapped so much that they really weren't flight at all.

Flight 1 - The white. (1 Note)

Actually this followed several 'grower' champagnes and accompanied a wonderful wild mushroom quiche.

  • 1999 François Raveneau Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 93 Points

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru

    After a vigorous decant this started to show an interesting nose of flowers, nuts, stones, slate and a hint of citrus. It took a big effort to imagine any white fruits. In fact, I would not say this wine is much about fruit at the moment. On the palate this has sensational balance and mouth-watering characteristics. It hit the entire mouth, including lighting up taste buds on the sides of the tongue. Nice very clean, balanced finish. This is my first experience with Raveneau and I will seek more. The others seemed to really love this wine as well.

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Flight 2 (3 Notes)

With this we had an incredible confit of duck with rich, complex pureed parsnips.

  • 1995 Bernard Dugat-Py Charmes-Chambertin 96 Points

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru

    Decanted 90 minutes. This was a fairly deep violet red with minimal (no) browning. It had a completely captivating nose of deep red fruits and berries but with equally expressive flowers, asian as well as peppery spices, earth, pine, toast and slight vanilla. The nose would not let its spell off of you. The palate was fruit-driven with a light touch, but with layers of flavors and a terrific balance. Mouth-coating finish with complexity and length. The next morning this was every bit as expressive as the evening before, but it did, mercifully, finally come completely apart the following evening.

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  • 1983 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage 94 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    Decanted 90+ minutes. Lighter brownish red. Really nice nose of meaty, bloody iron but with significant spice and some cherry fruit. Elegant mineral-driven palate with more fruit showing than on the nose and spice doing what it should - adding spice to the experience. Finally a Chave with in-control tannins, but tannins were still in play as was a touch of acidity, giving this a laser-like focused finish and decent length. Nicely paired with lamb chops (Chave's own recipe).

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  • 1995 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage 93 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    Decanted 90+ minutes. Very dark reddish violet. Big almost gamey aromas of deep red fruit with loads of steely red meat and peppercorns and and something green like pine needles. The palate has loads of fruit and tannins. The tannins were in my opinion a little too much in play here and this would do well with many more years in the cellar. However, everything was in balance and it improved immensley along side the lamb chops. On night #2 this was still big and aromatic with the fruit gaining the upper hand on the tannins, but just barely.

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Flight 3 (3 Notes)

With marinated lamb chops and a potatoe cakes.

  • 1966 Château Léoville Las Cases 92 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    Decanted 90 minutes. Deep violet core with browing rim. Intruguing nose of tabacco, cedar, coffee, earth and even some cassis and dark fruit in the back. Surprisingly pleasing palate that while lean on the sweet fruit end and fat tannins, nice acidity that was in proportion to the fruit. The finish was complex, balanced and long. This went great with the beef short ribs.

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  • 1983 Château Palmer 94 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    Decanted 90+ minutes. Deep red/violet with some browning. Evocative, almost pretty, somewhat perfumey, nose of earthy flowers, light spice and dark fruits. Super-refined palate of very soft (but present) tannins, flowing fruit and dancing acidity. Greatly balanced round finish with great length.

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  • 2004 Thierry Allemand Cornas Sans Soufre 95 Points

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas

    Decanted 60+ minutes. Deep dark garnet. Dense nose of mineral, smoked meats and dark red/black berries with some kind of sharp, focused spice. On the palate huge, almost hard to penetrate fruit with big-time structure (tannins and acidity) to match. This was almost too much for the food. On night 2 this was a whole 'nother ballgame. The nose was much bigger with layers of fruit and gamey meats and spices. The palate showed fleshy fruit, spice and the tannins were much more manageble, giving a finish that was great with the the second night's amazing cassoulet made by Greg. Obviously this fantastic wine will benefit from some cellar time.

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Flight 4 (2 Notes)

With the most incredible braised Kobe beef short ribs ever and braised carrots.

  • 1995 Château Angélus 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru

    Decanted 90 minutes. Dark violet red. Soaring nose of cassis, mocha, vanilla, leather and toasty flowers (if there is such a thing). Fruit-forward palate with in-control tannins and a light acidic touch to balance it out as balanced it was. This was a great bottle of wine.

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  • 1985 Château Margaux 95 Points

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux

    Decanted 90+ minutes. Garnet with edges browned. Attention-grabbing nose of red fruits, flowers, earth, leather and spice which really flowed from the glass. The palate was edgier, more focused, yet more complex than the '83 Palmer. Except for the slightly tart finish which led into an incredibly long finsh, this would have been completely off-the-charts wne.

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Closing

A great tasting with nary a clunker. Everyone was pretty worn out by the end, probably from protein overload.

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