>Memorial Weekend Burgundy

>Three weeks in a row for the Sonoma Burg Team, and a very strong showing of wine this past Friday! The wine of the night was easily an amazing 1961 Domaine Henry Lamarche la Grande Rue. Older wines can sometimes be a wild card due to so many factors, one of the most significant being, how they were stored over the decades. Fortunate for us, this wine showed extremely well!

The white wine lineup was a slightly different story, a very strong wine selection however, with three serious contenders for wine of the night: 2004 Bouchard Montrachet, 1990 Domaine Leflaive Combettes, and 2002 Coche Dury Meursault Les Rougeots. Not separated by a large margin, thought the Coche Dury showed best. Impressions of all wine opened follow:

White WOTN: 2002 Coche Dury Meursault Les Rougeots
Red WOTN: 1961 Domaine Henry Lamarche la Grande Rue

Krug NV – Nutty, crisp, full mouthfeel, a little lemon, slightly better than the 70’s/80’s NV Krug tasted last week, but overall, not a big fan of the non vintage Krug wines. Just an ok wine.

White Burgundy

1990 Domaine Leflaive Combettes – Deep yellow in color, it showed some hazelnut, smoke, straw, buttery characteristics in a clean, thick, full bodied wine. Thought the wine was excellent, one of the 3 best whites of the evening. It was fully mature and should be opened sooner rather than later.

2002 Bouchard Corton Charlemagne – Immediately on the nose, picked up an unpleasant sherry note and some funk. In time, the funk blew off and the wine improved, but never seemed to fully let go of the underlying sherry component. Thought it had early signs of premox or perhaps a corked wine. Not a good showing by an otherwise great white producer.

2002 Coche Dury Meursault Les Rougeots – Characteristic Coche Dury diesel, matchstick and sulfur on the nose, the palate was smooth drinking with creamy lemon cake notes. With air, the wine balanced out and was simply a pleasure to drink. The Coche was the white WOTN.

2004 Bouchard Montrachet – Initially closed with firm acidity, the wine opened up throughout the evening at a glacial place. Only near the end of the evening did it even begin to show a refined style of wine that was nicely balanced with floral, citrus, custard and spice notes. The wine should be aged considerably longer before opening.

2007 Bouchard Corton Charlemagne – Like the Montrachet, the wine was opened a little before its time. It was lean, with firm acidity, and a distinct mineral component. Despite being decanted, it was just too closed down to fully appreciate. Given Bouchard’s excellent track with Corton Charlemagne, may turn out to be a great wine, just too young to enjoy right now.

Red Burgundy

1961 Domaine Henry Lamarche la Grande Rue – The red WOTN, it was initially tannic with an absence of any signs of oxidation, lighter in style, the cloudy wine quickly put on weight becoming more leathery, spicy and carmel. The wine was consistent over time, complex and gorgeous! Without a doubt, a wow experience!

1978 Grivot Vosne Romanee Les Suchots – The wine initially showed game, earth and stewed ripe fruits in a full bodied wine. The more it sat around in the glass, the better it got and overall considered it an excellent wine!

1988 Dujac Charmes Chambertin – Laser tight, notable acidity, stemy and cola, it was an enjoyable wine that showed very well. In the flight it was opened, thought it was slightly better than the 2000 Roty Charmes Chambertin, but not as good as the 2000 Hudelot Noellat Richebourg.

1990 Jadot Gevrey Chambertin Clos St. Jacques – A very nice drinking Jadot that showed baked raspberry fruits, brown sugar, and a full mouthfeel, it was a smooth easy drinking wine. Have had a great run of high quality Jadot over the last few months.

1994 Domaine Leroy Vosne Romanee Les Beaux Monts – A little cloudy in appearance, it was an excellent drinking wine in what many consider an off year. A dark fruit focused wine, it was quite cool and clean with menthol and underlying sweetness. Drank young, but an awesome wine that will age gracefully for many years!

2000 Roty Charmes Chambertin – Some asian spice, cherry, cola, easy drinking, enjoyed the wine considerably. No notable acidity, it was mature drinking and showed well against the 1988 Dujac Charmes Chambertin and 2000 Hudelot Noellat Richebourg.

2000 Hudelot Noellat Richebourg – Exotic game meats, cinnamon and nutmeg, some grass and baked fruits with everything in balance and highly complex. Thought this was a mature wow wine, and second best red of the evening.

2001 Nicolas Potel Clos de la Roche – Initially a little funky and gamey in a good way, overall, it was lean and did not develop well over time. Stayed lean and overall thought the wine was not very exciting.

2002 LignierMichelot Clos de la Roche – Cleaner than the Nicolas Potel Clos de la Roche, had a similar gamey profile, but with brighter red cherry fruits and overall, a more powerful wine. A good, but not great experience.

1997 Arlaud Gevrey Chambertin Les Combottes and 1997 Joseph Drouhin Griotte Chambertin – Both poured near the end of the evening, did not take notes on either wine. Recall both a little on the lighter side consistent with so many wines tasted from the 1997 vintage, but pure and clean. While drinking ok, they were not as memorable as other wines opened.

Other Wines

Mystery Wine – Initially light cherry, a little simple, guessed it immediately as a California Pinot! One of our members, “El Hefe” guessed it as a 1986 Dujac! After some discussion, it was unveiled to be a 1996 William Selyem Sonoma Coast Pinot! A little older than expected, an “interesting” wine.

2004 Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee – Opened near the end of the evening, did not take notes, but found it infinitely more enjoyable than the 2003 Reservee or Cuvee Capo, and for one big reason, a lack of plum and prune notes. A very good drinking wine!

Overall, this was a very enjoyable group of wines. In discussing the wines, we frequently came back to the 1961 Domaine Henry Lamarche la Grande Rue. In the substance of discussion, it was remarked how nice and fortunate it was to buy an excellent condition older wine that is drinking so well right now, in which the quote of the night was quickly made in relation to the current approach toward wine purchases, “Buy a lot, and lay it down”!

Cheers to buying a lot, and laying it down!

Nick Wittman
Santa Rosa Fine Wine

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