February Rotating Wine Dinner

Mon Ami Gabi - Chicago, IL

Tasted February 16, 2015 by tooch with 383 views

Introduction

This was my month to host the rotating dinner series, so I went with the theme of "my favorites". Overall, I thought that the wines I chose showed decently. The Vatan flight was horribly disappointing, and the Foillard's were, not showing as well as they could have.

Nevertheless, it was a fun night with the group. Thanks to the team at Mon Ami Gabi for helping out with dinner. It's a great venue for friendly (and reasonable) wine service.

Flight 1 - Champagne Starters (2 notes)

White - Sparkling
N.V. Savart Champagne Premier Cru L'Accomplie France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
92 points
Another great showing! Beautiful melange of pears, apples, cherries, yeast, and chalk. I love this wine because it's got the bready/yeasty notes I love in champagne, but it doesn't approach the weight of the big houses. A bit lighter on its feet...one of Savart's better cuvees.
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Savart Champagne Premier Cru Bulle de Rosé Brut France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
91 points
Thought this showed well. Bright cherry and orange notes mingled with some rose tones and chalkiness. Great combination of bright fruit and a steeliness. Yum!

Flight 2 - Edmond Vatan Flight (3 notes)

White
2007 Edmond Vatan Sancerre Clos la Néore France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Sancerre
87 points
Decanted for 2 hours before dinner. I had high hopes for this wine, but it was muted to me. Had the floral, airiness on the nose that I was looking for, but the palate was firm and only showing some bright citrus tones. Just didn't have the second or third level of complexity I usually hope for with Vatan's sacnerres.
White
2008 Edmond Vatan Sancerre Clos la Néore France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Sancerre
93 points
Decanted for 2 hours before dinner. Hadn't had this in 5 years, and it was really on this night. The bright citrus and floral tones I noted before were more developed and deeper this time. Add to that the intensely rocky/stony element and what you end up with is a precise, delightful sancerre with lots of potential for years to come.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2009 Edmond Vatan Sancerre Clos la Néore France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Sancerre
Decanted for 2 hours before dinner. Much like the 2009 Foillard drank later in the night, this was an absolute brute. Very high alcohol in this vintage definitely comes into play on the palate and made it hot and gummy. I have 2 more bottles in my cellar and I probably won't open another one for 15+ years. Not overly enjoyable to drink right now. No score from me.

Flight 3 - Jean Foillard Flight (3 notes)

Red
2007 Jean Foillard Fleurie France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Fleurie
91 points
Gave this about 2 hours of air before dinner. The nose had some classic Foillard meatiness with a dark berry profile. The palate was in a nice spot with some secondary tones of earthiness, leaves, and dried floral notes. The masculinity of Foillard's Gamay was there too with some meaty notes that I always love. Overall, while I think the air helped this may be in somewhat of a dumb phase. Didn't have the fireworks that it had 3 years ago...
Red
2008 Jean Foillard Fleurie France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Fleurie
85 points
This was open for 2 hours before dinner. I've never been overly impressed by Foillard's 2008 Fleurie. It's always come across very simplistic and one-noted. This was more of the same, to me; a bit shrill with basically a dark cherry note and not much else.
Red
2009 Jean Foillard Fleurie France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Fleurie
Opened 2 hours before dinner. Drank alongside the 2007 and 2008 Fleurie this was remarkably darker and denser. Intensely rich (for a Beaujolais) and structured I think that this may develop into something nice in another 10-15 years. Just a complete brute at this point.

Flight 4 - Rioja Flight (3 notes)

Red
2001 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Especial Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
In a flight of older Rioja's this absolutely stood out. Denser, darker, and years away from the beautiful 1985 vintage open alongside it. I think the material here is quite good, but I worry about the oak here. Tons of oak everywhere you look in this wine and you have to wonder if this will age in a similar arc as the 1985?
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1985 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
92 points
Thought this showed really well! Drank alongside the 2001 Viña Ardanza and the 1981 La Rioja Alta 904 and while the 2001 was just too young, this was in a great spot. Definitely juicier than the 1981 904 I was really fond of the berry tones, subtle meatiness, and spice notes. A great wine that made me realize that aging these wines should be more of a priority for me.
Red
1981 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
94 points
Gorgeous wine that is drinking in a very good place right now. Had that beautiful combination of roses, nuttiness, some leather tones, and spice that I love in older Riojas. The palate was incredibly silky and the tannins were barely there. Beautiful stuff!

Flight 5 - Cheese Course (1 note)

White - Fortified
N.V. Equipo Navazos Jerez-Xérès-Sherry La Bota de Fino "Macharnudo Alto" Nº 35 Spain, Andalucía, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry
94 points
Oh boy was this great. Intense saline notes with beautiful floral and smoked nut flavors. For me, this hits everything I look for in Fino. A wonderful wine!
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