Tag Archives: Leflaive

Burgundy Dinner

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 CocheDury Corton Charlemagne

Red Wine of the Night:
1990 George Roumier Bonnes Mares

Champagne:

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.

White Burgundy:

2001 CocheDury 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.

Red Burgundy:

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 VosneRomanee 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.

Dessert Wine:

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!

Nick Wittman
Santa Rosa Fine Wine
http://www.santarosafinewine.com/

A trip back in time in 2009

Looking back on 2009, had the fortunate pleasure of attending quite a few enjoyable fine wine dinners! The aged bordeaux dinner we had in San Francisco was amazing, and a smaller dinner at Bungelow 44 in Mill Valley equally outstanding, how could we not mention our incredible Cajun Harvest Party, but the one we had in early December may arguably be the best wine get together of the past year! Nine of us over a nine course meal and over 25 fine and rare wines at Estate in Sonoma!

The lunch opened with a lovely magnum of 1975 Deutz Brut. It was as young and fresh as any Champagne I have had in recent years. First time having had this wine, it was a crisp and nutty. A champagne starter is always a nice way to open up a lunch or dinner. It is a good way to cleanse the palate before more seriously getting into the wines to come!

Champagne

1975 Deutz Brut Vinotheque 1.5L

After the Champagne and some conversation, we moved onto the White Burgundies. The 2004 Laflaive Chevalier Montrachet was the top wine of the flight. It was full bodied, petrol, yeasty, some citrus, just an amazing complex wine. Lighter in style but still enjoyable was the Batard Montrachet. Take away the petrol characteristics of the Chevalier Montrachet and some of the richness and you have the Batard Montrachet. The final wine was the lightest of the three, the Les Pucelles, which was fine, but in tough company.

White Burgundy Flight

2004 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet
2001 Domaine Leflaive Batard Montrachet
2001 Domaine Leflaive Pulighy Montrachet Les Pucelles

A lot of folks like to finish the evening with a Sauternes, but find them more enjoyable as the last flight just before opening red wines. The d’Yquem was simply too young and sugar driven to fully enjoy. Do not think in the long run this is going to be a world class d’Yquem. It will likely be an average wine. The 1923 La Tour Blanche on the other hand was a lovely aged Sauternes, quite young looking in color and balanced to the palate. The more Sauternes I taste, the more I really like them well aged.

Sauternes Flight

1923 Chateau La Tour Blanche
2003 Chateau d’Yquem

Instead of opening the oldest Burgundies first, we moved on to the DRC’s realizing they will likely be young drinking, and would need to sit in the glass and revisit several times throughout the afternoon. Sure enough, the first taste of each showed they were incredibly young! The 1996 was the most complex of the group. The 2000 started out with a funky nose, but fortunately blew off in time, and ultimately opened up quicker than the others. Ideally, all will be much better with age and would not rush to open them.

DRC Flight

1996 DRC Grands Echezeaux
2000 DRC Grands Echezeaux
2001 DRC Grands Echezeaux

An excellent year for Burgundy, 2 of the 3 wines in the 1969 Burgundy flight were outstanding. Like all wines this old, provenance and condition are key. Primary fruits are long gone, but what sometimes remains is great structure, earth, mineral and game meats along with resolved tannin and light acidity. That was the case for all the 1969’s. Having had a lot of new Burgundy, find the older ones in great years to be highly compelling.

1969 Red Burgundy Flight

1969 Belin NSG Clos Des Forets Saint Georges, Cuvee Hors Ligne
1969 Forey Malconsorts
1969 La Tour Corton Grancey

The mid aged Burgundy flight was also outstanding. The wine of the flight had to be the Jadot Bonnes Mares, which was in a real sweetspot, perfectly balanced, rich fruits, and great structure. Close behind it was the 1988 Leroy. Both 1985 and 1988 are excellent Burgundy years. Approaching 25 years old, these wines were ripe, fresh, and great drinking.

Mid-Aged Red Burgundy Flight

1985 Jadot Bonnes Mares
1985 Leclerc
1988 Leroy Beaumonts

After some pretty rich mid aged Burgundy, opened the aged Bordeaux. The 1952 Calon Segur was the best wine of the flight. Similar to the 1969 Burgundy, primary fruits are long gone and you have what remains, a lot of saddle leather, meats, mineral earthy components. Was refreshing to taste no significant signs of oxidation with it or the 1949 Cos d’Estournel. The 1982 Calon Segur showed well as did the 1986 Haut Brion.

Bordeaux Flight

1986 Haut Brion
1982 Calon Segur
1986 Latour
1949 Cos d’Estrounel
1952 Calon Segur

The wine of the Rhone flight was the 1994 Guigal La Landonne. Think the Guigal LaLa’s are among the best Syrah based wines in the world. Having had many years of La Landonne, La Mouline, and La Turque, always thrilled to see one on the table! It was a seductive, rich, dark fruit based wine with an incredibly long finish and awesome mid-palate. The 1989 Jaboulet was better than previous times opened.

Northern Rhone Flight

1994 Guigal Cote Rotie La Landonne
1991 Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie Blond
1989 Jaboulet La Chappelle

After so many great wines, you would think everything starts to taste the same! In this case, not at all. The Massandra was nothing short of world class. The 1929 Tokay Ai Danil was as rich, gorgeous, complex, and distinct as any end of meal wine you could open. This was the best Massandra I have ever had, and certainly left a big impression on all of us!

Sweet Ending Flight

1929 Massandra, Tokay Ai Danil
1937 Port
1977 Calem Port

What a great wine year it has been. We at Santa Rosa Fine Wine wish everything a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year filled with great wines, great friends, and great experiences!

Cheers to 2010!

Nick Wittman
Santa Rosa Fine Wine
http://www.santarosafinewine.com/