Farewell to a Great Restaurant

Charlie Trotter's - Chicago IL

Tasted June 12, 2012 by Burgundy Al with 974 views

Introduction

Some of the greatest meals I have ever had in the United States have been at Charlie Trotters's, which alas is closing at the end of this summer. So I could not resist attending this small dinner with about 30 friends bringing about 100 bottles of great wine to honor this Chicago landmark. And of course enjoy another great meal.

Flight 1 - White Burgundy (11 notes)

White
2005 Domaine Amiot Guy et Fils Montrachet France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru
92 points
From 6L. Slightly floral start with concentrated orchard fruit aromas and lots of new oak spice. Brawny, concentrated fruit on palate with lots of extract, but this has not yet developed much charm or finesse. If served blind, I would not have thought it Montrachet.
White
2000 Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru
92 points
From magnum. Faintly floral start with under-ripe apple aromas and moderate spice. Apple flavors to start, finishing with lemon. Good acid and minerality, I remember slightly brighter fruit when last tried a couple of years back.
White
1995 Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
89 points
Fat, rich, buttery aromas to start. Slightly more austere on palate, with acid in forefront, giving it a leaner impression.
White
1978 Maison Leroy Montrachet France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru
flawed
Clearly showing lots of ripe fruit, but quite madeirized on nose and palate. Less interesting with more time in glass. Sad because it was not nearly at the same level as a great bottle from same case tried in early 2010.
White
1978 Maison Leroy Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru
91 points
Mature, lush, ripe stone fruit aromas with big spice. Great charm, holding well with good acidity and energy for its age. I was told the fruit was declassified Montrachet.
White
1998 Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
88 points
Rich stone fruit aromas with spice. Same fruit profile on palate but quite mature, more advanced than I'd have expected from Leflaive 1998 Grand Cru, but that is characteristic of the vintage at this age.
White
2000 Marquis de Laguiche (Joseph Drouhin) Montrachet France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru
91 points
A bottle and magnum were both brought to dinner and since they tasted so different, I'm writing two tasting notes, this one for the wine from magnum. Modestly floral, lots of spice with apple aromas and flavors. Showing a good deal of advanced age from middle to finish with moderate power.
White
2000 Marquis de Laguiche (Joseph Drouhin) Montrachet France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru
94 points
A bottle and magnum were both brought to dinner and since they tasted so different, I'm writing two tasting notes, this one for the wine from the (much better) 750 ml bottle. Enchanting floral start with lots of spice, ripe apple and lemon peel aromas. Great fruit on palate with lots of density. Well supported with balanced acidity and minerality, helping provide great textures.
White
1966 Louis Latour Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru
93 points
Shockingly fresh aromas of lemon, apple and spice. Palate is somewhat more advanced with rich, sweet, mature apple flavors. If served blind, I would have thought this at least 20 years younger than its actual age.
White
2001 Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru
95 points
Aromas of lush fruit and intense spice. Stone fruit on palate with citrus coming through with acidity on finish. Long, powerful, energetic.
White
2007 Marquis de Laguiche (Joseph Drouhin) Montrachet France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru
93 points
Slightly floral and rather ripe stone fruit aromas for a 2007. A bit more restrained on the palate with some sweet spice in background, then sneaky acidity providing lift at the finish. I'd expect this to be better in a few more years, possibly as good as the wonderful bottle of 2000 also tasted tonight.

Flight 2 - Red Burgundy (Mostly) (17 notes)

Red
1976 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Richebourg France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Richebourg Grand Cru
95 points
From magnum. An exceptional 1976, the best I can ever recall having. Aromas of brown sugar, brown baking spice, roses, leather and well reduced mushrooms. Fully mature fruit on palate, everything in incredible harmony. Long, clean and elegant finish.
Red
1959 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Grands-Echezeaux France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Grands-Echezeaux Grand Cru
94 points
Lush, ripe and powerful fruit aromas with good spice. Black fruit on palate with lots of mushroom character and even more intense baking spice flavors. Excellent.
Red
1959 Maison Leroy Grands-Echezeaux France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Grands-Echezeaux Grand Cru
94 points
Ripe red fruit aromas with good spice and woodsy character. Palate has equally exciting spice and fruit profiles with good earth hints. Great balance, energy and length. Consistent with the other two times I've had this wine.
Red
1959 Maison Leroy Mazis-Chambertin France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru
89 points
Ripe, fully mature fruit aromas and flavors. Simple spice, slightly compact, simple finish. Very good balance.
Red
1964 Maison Leroy Chapelle-Chambertin France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru
94 points
Robust fruit aromas with meaty spice. Very powerful black fruit on palate with charming earthy character and great spice start-to-finish. Really exciting.
Red
1970 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, La Tâche Grand Cru
flawed
Dead...obvious from the first whiff.
Red
1966 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, La Tâche Grand Cru
94 points
From same case as another bottle I tried a few weeks back. This had a little more time to rest post-travel and had a slightly better fill level, so no surprise...was definitely better. Moderately floral start with great spice and some good red fruit. Red cherry and strawberry flavors alongside great earthy character. Lots of spice on palate, coming through most prominently on its long, charming finish.
Red
2001 Domaine G. Roumier / Christophe Roumier Musigny France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Musigny Grand Cru
96 points
Great aromas of fresh herbs, intense red fruit with some floral hints. Palate also showed bright, intense red cherry with great cloves, allspice and licorice, all in great harmony with structure so refined you'd think it were wearing a top hat. Finishes with a long and weightless character. I don't believe this bottles was even decanted, but it was one of the few wines I kept in glass for an extended period, and really enjoyed how the power seemed to intensify with more air while maintaining that sensational ethereal quality.
Red
1993 Christophe Roumier Ruchottes-Chambertin France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru
93 points
All black fruit aromas. If served blind, I would have thought much younger at this point. Blackberry and black cherry flavors with super firm tannins, intense concentration and a big gamy element. The big-scaled tannins dominate the middle today, but the great fruit and spice emerge beautifully on a long finish. Give this more time in the cellar.
Red
1961 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
flawed
Corked.
Red
1941 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino Stravecchio Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
91 points
Delicately floral start with charming rose petals. More earthy and rugged on the palate with lots of character. This didn't last that long in glass. It had been decanted for about an hour...wish we did something closer to a pop-and-pour.
Red
2000 Domaine Robert Groffier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru
90 points
Ripe black fruit on nose and palate with modest spice. Very easy to enjoy today. A bit simpler and more one-dimensional than I'd expect from a top producer's Amoureuses in a good, accessible vintage.
Red
1990 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru
Perhaps I didn't give this enough time tonight, and it was certainly tough to quickly assess this "middle aged" wine in context of so many well aged bottles of Burgundy. Dense, ultra-ripe black fruit aromas with lots of spice. Similar flavors, but i found this very bulky on the palate. This didn't show me much nuance or charm, but others appreciated this wine more than I did tonight.
Red
1959 Remoissenet Père et Fils Clos Vougeot France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
89 points
Ripe black fruit holding up well with good forest floor character. Very good flavors that didn't exactly show a lot of Grand Cru charm to me, and I wasn't 100% certain if this seemed to be 100% Pinot Noir.
Red
1937 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru
92 points
Amazing opportunity to taste this wine, particularly alongside its 1947 counterpart in the next glass. Spice-driven start with elegant combination of sous bois aromas and lingering red fruit. Palate was all about great earthy flavors, nicely supported and lengthening by good remaining structure. Long and lean finish. While I preferred the 1947, others preferred this wine which is a little more of what you classically want in older Burgundy.
Red
1947 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru
93 points
What a treat to be able to taste this wine alongside its 1937 counterpart in the next glass. Starts with ripe fruit aromas with some sweet spice and the smells of autumn. Palate also had almost as much fruit as earthiness from start-to-finish. There was a slightly surprising little minty green hint at the very end.
Red
1990 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Chambertin-Clos de Bèze France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru
95 points
I was only able to enjoy a single taste of this sensational wine. Vibrant, ripe black fruit aromas with intense sweet spice. Exactly the same on palate.

Flight 3 - Bordeaux (11 notes)

Red
1949 Château Margaux France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
90 points
Very pretty start with some roses and autumn aromas. Somewhat less interesting on palate with just modest charm and nuance, perhaps not completely pristine.
Red
1947 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
93 points
From magnum. Second time I have tasted this wine in four days! I think this magnum might have been a little better than the 750 from this weekend, with a bit more fruit left. Lots of power and great textures along with enticing earthy/mushroomy aromas and flavors.
Red
1945 Château Latour Grand Vin France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
flawed
Had an odd mustiness to it, Larry Stone wouldn't say it was corked but did consider it "corky." Ironically, this bottle was apparently recorked at the Domaine in 1993.
Red
1970 Pétrus France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
Perhaps my expectations were too high, but this seemed good and fully mature, accompanied by some Asian spice and a bit of brown sugar. But it didn't wow me.
Red
1947 Château Lafite Rothschild France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
92 points
Cigar box aromas with good earthy character. Very classic and refined start-to-finish.
Red
1959 Château Montrose France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
93 points
Ripe, powerful still showing generous fruit. Great spice, liqueur hints. Impressive density in middle and finish.
Red
1905 Château Latour Grand Vin France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
This wine was another thrill tonight, and it was great to try once again (I remember tasting it also last year). Incredibly classic and interesting with lots of cedar, tobacco and mushroom aromas. Incredibly elegant, still nicely balanced.
Red
1982 Château La Conseillante France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
93 points
Intense, ripe, concentration plum, cassis, black currant. Palate showed ultra ripe flavors as well, but good supporting structure providing balance.
Red
1979 Château Lafleur France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
90 points
Fairly advanced with tannins and acidity a bit assertive for the level of fruit.
Red
1990 Château Lafleur France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
94 points
Intense and ripe black fruit with some exotic spice aromas. Lush and almost jammy on palate, but hearty structure kept everything well balanced and energetic. Lots of power on finish.
Red
1982 Château Palmer France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
90 points
From 6L, decanted into multiple decanters. Dense dark fruit aromas with spice hints. Firm and dense on the palate with ripe fruit behind austere tannins today, so just moderately forthcoming. There were several decanters of this wine remaining when I left, so I asked for one decanter to be poured into a bottle for me to take home...which I refrigerated, then brought to a dinner the following night, where it was more supple and certainly showed better.

Flight 4 - Sweets (3 notes)

White - Sweet/Dessert
1928 Château d'Yquem France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
To me this was more exciting and interesting than great, but it has a fascinating lush, caramelized nature with plenty of energy, then a slightly burnt, almost bitter, note on the very end.
White - Sweet/Dessert
1990 Château d'Yquem France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
95 points
From magnum. My notes are hard to decipher from this point in the evening but it looks like I wrote: "Ripe peaches on the grill. Great in every way."
Red - Fortified
1948 Taylor (Fladgate) Porto Vintage Portugal, Douro, Porto
Great fruit, slightly subdued and incredibly elegant. Long finish, great charm.

Closing

I know I tasted several other fine wines but didn't take notes - Cheval Blanc 1986, Margaux 1961, Grahams 1966, Bryant 1997.

There were also some other great wines I don't think I got to try - DRC 1990 Echezeaux, Margaux 1982, Montrose 1966, Barolet 1935 Malconsorts.

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