They don't make 'em like they used to

New York City, NY

Tasted February 20, 2016 by acyso with 517 views

Introduction

To escape the excessibeness of Rieslingfeier, a few of us decided to do a little side event at Grand Sichuan, mostly featuring the wines of producers who have retired (so they wouldn't have shown up anyway). The wines were alright. The company could have been better.

Flight 1 (17 notes)

White - Sparkling
2008 Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Blanc de Blancs Heurtebise France, Champagne
95 points
This is champagne right in my wheelhouse. Electricity abounds. Riper yellow and white fruits are all bound together by a current of white-hot acidity. Creamy yet minerally, this is a big beast of a wine that will leave you salivating for more... and the dentist's job secure.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1994 Raymond Trollat St. Joseph France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
95 points
Elegance bottled in syrah form. Perfumed, light, and breathy. It feels as if just breathing on this wine would cause it to float. But don't get me wrong, there's so much stuff going on here. The nose has some green olive notes, as well as some tart red fruits. The palate has lovely acidity; the savage elements of meat and char and blood take a backseat to floral and red-fruit tones. This picked up some heft with an hour of air, and started showing a little bit more of those animale elements, though that was never present in great quantity.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1994 Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
95 points
There's a marked contrast between this and the Trollat St. Joseph. Whereas the Trollat was light and breathy, this is dense and brooding. Rich and dark, and much more sultry. This has a very thick texture, bound together with leather and meat notes, as well as sweet black fruit. Velvety, but prominent tannins.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1986 Marcel Juge Cornas France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
flawed
Not only was this corked, it was also oxidized. Tears were shed.
Red
1998 Domaine Gallet (Henri et Philippe) Côte-Rôtie France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
90 points
There was some talk that this was corked, but I didn't notice it. That said, this was quite funky. Restrained, perfumed, and smoky on the nose. Quite light, with fresh acidity on the palate. This struck me as a bit simple, without too much power. I'm told other bottles have been more powerful and meaty, but that just wasn't the case tonight.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1999 Domaine Michel Gaunoux Pommard 1er Cru Les Grands Épenots France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pommard 1er Cru
88 points
Quite unenjoyable at the moment, this is tough as nails. The nose throws a bit of red fruited acidity and a slight touch of dirt, but that's all you're getting. The tannins on the palate are the headline here... and there's a huge wall of them to smash through. Plenty of acid, and there are nascent signs of fruit waiting to emerge. Totally shut down; this needs lots more time.
5 people found this helpful Comment
White
1973 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
98 points
#04-77, 10% abv. Wow. The archetype of Kabinett. You ask yourself, what would you expect from a properly stored bottle of old Kabinett, and this is exactly what you think of. Incredible power and density, despite the "lower" tier of this wine. White fruit, apples, honey, petrol, lovely acidity, and a surprising rich sweetness. A spot-on bottle, and absolutely brilliant. Now if I could just cellar my Kabinetts for 40 years...
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
1990 Von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
88 points
#17-91. Seems tired and worn out. Muted everything except acid. There are a few slight traces of green apples, but that's pretty much it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
1989 Von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling Auslese Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
93 points
#57-90. Can it be? A von Schubert wine that actually impresses me? The nose on this is amazing. There's a wisp of smoke that is just absolutely alluring. Despite the high concentration of extract here, the palate is restrained, with the acid and sweetness working in excellent balance here.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
2001 Müller-Catoir Haardter Bürgergarten Riesling Spätlese #2134 Germany, Pfalz
100 points
#09-02. Holy shit. A riesling to end all wines.
3 people found this helpful Comments (2)
White - Off-dry
1998 Müller-Catoir Haardter Mandelring Scheurebe Auslese Germany, Pfalz
98 points
#16-99. From half-bottle. "This is your brain on drugs." The thing I love about scheurebe is the passion fruit. But there's just so much more. Pineapple, honey, mangoes, lemongrass, all sorts of things. The palate is rich, sweet, sappy, and super dense, but with acidity that gives all of these characteristics a narrative and flow. Wow.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
1995 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese *** Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
93 points
#12-96. The botrytis is just so powerful on this bottling, especially in contrast to the 1996 which has basically none. This is intensely sweet, with lots of pineapple and grapefruit, and a rich creamy texture. There's a lovely freshness to this despite all of those rich elements. On the other hand, I much preferred the sprightly zip of the 1996 more.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
1996 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese *** Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
95 points
#09-97. An incredible difference between this and the 1995. You'd never guess they have the exact same designation on the label. This is much more of a Spaetlese++ than an Auslese, since there's nary a hint of botrytis. This is more of an intensely sweet and acidic combination. Tart green apples and lemongrass on the palate. I loved the raciness on this -- it's also much easier to down obscene quantities of this wine in one go than the 1995.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
1992 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Beerenauslese Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
90 points
#21-93. From half-bottle. This was more like a Sauternes than a BA. Tons of sugar, kind of syrupy, and a lot lower in acidity than a riesling with this amount of sugar ought to have. To top that off, in addition to the potent botrytis, there was a pronounced orange peel tone (and that's about it -- this came off a bit simplistic). Granted, there's no mistaking this for Sauternes even if served blind thanks to that acidity. But this is definitely one of the lowest-acidity rieslings (or wines) of the evening.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
1994 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Beerenauslese Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
95 points
#20-95. From half-bottle. Here we go, this is more like what I'd want in a JJC BA. This is simultaneously heavy and light. Showing absurd amounts of botrytis, but at the same time, lots of fresh fruit and acidity to balance it all out. A touch less sweet than the 1992, and more green- and yellow-fruited than the orangeish 1992. Thankfully, all the acidity you'd expect from 1994 is here too, making this the much better wine of the pair.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
1992 Müller-Catoir Mußbacher Eselshaut Riesling Beerenauslese Germany, Pfalz
95 points
#12-93. From half-bottle. Dark amber coloured. Ridiculous amounts of botrytis. Comical amounts of sugar and acid. You know those physics problems where you have two equal masses balanced on a lever, and the smallest perturbation causes the system to crash down around it? That's this. Cooked pineapple (a la Taiwanese pineapple cake), bolo de mel (and yes, this is madeirense in colour), coffee, and god knows what else.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
1996 Müller-Catoir Haardter Bürgergarten Riesling Eiswein Germany, Pfalz
98 points
#14-97. From half-bottle. Dark brown. You know that episode of Rick and Morty where Morty asks for a love potion but then Jessica has a cold so everyone gets infected with the mutated love virus and then Rick tries to reverse the effects of it but ends up turning everyone into Cronenbergs? This is Cronenberg riesling. Hilariously massive. Totally overripe, and completely in balance. 200 g/L of sugar, 20 g/L of acid? Probably not far off. If this was made in the old days, you could probably slap a Trockenbeerenauslese on the label as well as the Eiswein. Descriptors? Who cares?
3 people found this helpful Comments (1)
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