This past Thursday, got together with local friends in San Francisco for a high end Burgundy Dinner, one of which was a lovely 1926 Musigny pictured at left! There were a total of 14 wines opened among the 7 of us, paired with a mult-course meal prepared by a local personal chef!
Each person brought 2 bottles, which is probably just about right for any normal dinner, but not so sure with wines of this level. Normally a dump bucket is actively used, but not in this case.
What made this dinner interesting beyond the excellent wine, was the distinct impact the glass type had on your perception of a wine. We tried many of the same wines in different high quality glasses and noted profound differences. That said, some future experiments are in order! The following is a list of all wines opened and brief notes sorted in order of personal preference.
White Wine of the Night:
2001 Coche–Dury Corton Charlemagne
Red Wine of the Night:
1990 George Roumier Bonnes Mares
1985 Krug – The Krug was reminiscent of a lighter 1985 Dom Perignon tasted at a previous wine dinner. Somewhat honeyed, a little oxidized, slightly flat, with a full mouth feel and fully mature. Having had an excellent 1982 and 1988 Krug in the past, expected more, especially more crispness and youth, so overall considered it just an ok wine. The wine was not flawed by any means, stylistically however, not personally enjoyable.
1981 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rose – An interesting bottle of wine. When first opened, one of the guests immediately said it was a flawed bottle! Always curious to learn, several of us took a quick taste. Half immediately agreed it was flawed, a few others not so sure. At first, thought the wine was very light, but pleasant. In about 5 to 10 minutes, faded further and was just flabby and tasteless. Agree, a flawed bottle.
2001 Coche–Dury Corton Charlemagne – The Coche was the white wine of the night. Initially closed, crisp and balanced, had some diesel and toasty oak notes up front. It was very elegant, could sense the hidden potential richness that slowly came out in time. This is a wine you really want a full bottle to enjoy slowly over a long evening, buckle in, and get ready for quite a ride!
2004 Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues Batard Montrachet – The not too distant second best white wine of the night, take the diesel of the Coche and multiply it by 10! Along with it, add tons of citrus, black tar, burnt matchstick and you have this Leflaive! It was intense, brutal on the palate, a monster wine! Set aside a glass and enjoyed throughout the evening as it opened up and balanced out. Domaine Leflaive is a world class producer and makes awesome White Burgundies.
1985 Joseph Drouhin Marquis de Laguiche Montrachet – How often can you say that the least enjoyable bottle opened at a wine dinner was a Montrachet? Such was the case with this dinner. The wine was funky, a little oxidized, and not too enjoyable. There was some discussion the funkiness might blow off, but skeptical it would ever come around. Tend to think it was just a bad bottle, the fill was pretty low. Would be interesting to revisit a different bottle.
1990 George Roumier Bonnes Mares – The red wine of the night, the Bonnes Mares was slightly barnyard on the nose in an appealing way, with rich, almost candied cherry notes on the palate. A gorgeous wine with perfect balance and awesome complexity.
1990 Leroy Vosne–Romanee Beaux Monts – A close second for red wine of the night was the Leroy. It was drinking far younger than the Roumier. Noted the wine as closed, but with significant depth dominated by chewy boysenberry fruits and distinct acidity. A huge wine!
1926 Jules Belin Musigny – The oldest Burgundy tasted to date, the Musigny was spicy, leathery, and tart with dark chocolate notes and surprisingly toasty. It had an absence of oxidation with firm acid and tannin. Once opened, started to decline in about a half hour.
1988 Bouchard La Romanee – An elegant smooth cola dominated Burgundy, initially tight, opening up quickly into a mature easy drinking wine. Have been fortunate to taste a lot of 1988 Burgundy and consistently pleased with the overall quality across producers.
1988 DRC Echezeaux – A very young 1988, the Echezeaux was gamey with big fruit, and subtle balance. It was clear the wine had a lot of life ahead of it and drinking wonderfully. It exceeded expectations and was a surprisingly lush fruit forward wine.
1998 DRC Echezeaux – Interestingly enough, the 1998 DRC Echezeaux was more mature drinking than the 1988. It was brighter, with strawberry fruit, and good underlying structure. It also has a long life ahead of it, but slightly more mature drinking at present than the 1988.
1993 DRC Romanee St. Vivant – Better than the 1991 RSV, it showed high acidity when first opened, and was relatively grassy, some spice, but predominately green notes. With air, it did put on some weight, but quality was not as high as both Echezeaux. Good wine to revisit.
1991 DRC Romanee St. Vivant – Had high expectations for this wine, but fell short. Found the wine light in style, somewhat grassy and forest floor. Not very complex, just an ok wine. The wine may improve considerably with air as some suggested, making it a good wine to revisit.
1937 Massandra Rose Muscat Gurzuf – Second time tasting this wine with consistent notes, it is liquified maple syrup, honey, thick and rich, and this is said in the most positive way. In the last year, have increasing become a big fan of Massandra as the ideal end of meal wine!
Cheers to world class Burgundy!
Santa Rosa Fine Wine