Tag Archives: Remoissenet

Double Blind Burgundy Dinner

Recently, we organized a Double Blind Burgundy Dinner with California ringers at the Fifth Floor Restaurant in San Francisco. While we do not typically enjoy blind or double blind tastings, as organizer, it was fascinating to observe the table discussion and what drove folks to think a wine was Burgundy vs California, not to mention discussions around personal preference.

As a result of the dinner, a few observations. First, despite notes from professional reviewers that say a California wine is made in a Burgundian style, nearly everyone pegged all ringers as distinctly California! The most challenging ringer was the 1998 Stony Hill Chardonnay. Second, some of the wines that expected to show best did not, and those with lower expectations showed surprising well. The double blind format removed any hint of label bias. Finally, the biggest surprise, given 15 bottles of wine among 7 people, two folks started the dinner with a beer and martini!

None of the wines were decanted, and given the number of folks attending the dinner, pours were good sized to allow a full evaluation of the wine over time. Before reveal at each flight, we guessed California vs. Burgundy, and ranked the wines in order of personal preference. Wines are sorted in the order of my personal preference.

Top White Wine:
1998 Domaine Leflaive Batard Montrachet

Top Red Wine:
1990 Jadot Bonnes Mares

Flight 1

2010 St Francis Intatto Chardonnay – Lemon, cream, round, a nice wine that should be opened young. This was a highly afforable unoaked Chardonnay that I enjoyed more than the group as a whole. Half the group thought it Burgundy, half California.

2004 Fevre Clos – Moderate browning in color and heavily oxidized. Have tasted this wine 3+ times in the past year or so, and nothing remotely similar to this bottle. Expected tight acidity, this bottle was completely flawed. Very surprised how poorly it showed.

Flight 2

1998 Domaine Leflaive Batard Montrachet – Easily the top wine of the flight for everyone. Young in color and style, highly reduced, flinty, tar, this was a gorgeous wine that did not move from opening through the next three hours. More masculine than the 1998 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet previously tasted. Nearly everyone guessed it blind as Leflaive.

1998 Stony Hill Chardonnay – Light browning, but surprisingly firm acidity. Chablis like in style, combined with a floral quality, thought it was very nice. Several folks thought it was oxidized. While certainly mature, thought it showed to expectations. A good mature California Chardonnay.

1998 Remoissenet Montrachet – Butterscotch, hint of acidity, tea, more browning than the Stony Hill, and more advanced. It was drinking less than expectations. Having tasted the wine three plus times, this bottle showed just ok.

Flight 3

1999 Jadot Clos St. Jacques – Game, leather, excellent balance and complexity. A beautiful wine with nothing out of place. Very good drinking wine right now, not minding a wine on the younger side, could easily age for many years.

2003 Kistler Vineyard Pinot – Bright candied red fruits, front and mid palate strength, not much on the finish. It was a good wine from a great California Pinot vintage, easily identified as California by nearly everyone.

1999 Jadot Estournelles St. Jacques – Corked. The underlying material appears to be very nice. Reminiscent of the 1999 Jadot Clos St. Jacques but more earthy and coarse.

Flight 4

1999 Rousseau Charmes Chambertin – A nice ripe wine, cherry liquor, first impression was it had no finish. Initially thought it was just an ok wine, with time in the glass, improved considerably. The vast majority thought this was the wine of the flight.

1996 Ponsot Chapelle Chambertin – Game meats, sweaty leather, nice balance. Initially thought this was the wine of the flight, but in time, came to think the Rousseau showed better. The Ponsot and Rousseau both rated in the 85 point range by Burghound, they were both appreciated more than the 93 and 92 rated wines that follow.

2000 Dugat Py Charmes Chambertin – Youthful, somewhat barrel sample like, but with a highly distracting bandaid brett. Expected this to easily be the top wine of the flight, turned out to be a disappointment. Highly anticipated tasting this wine, unfortunately it did not show well.

2006 Rhys Alpine Hillside Pinot – Quickly identified by everyone as distinctly California Pinot Noir, it was not a strong showing. Youthful and barrel sample like, clean and bright fruit, did not find anything particularly appealing about the wine, nor did the rest of the group. It did not show well.

Flight 5

1990 Jadot Bonnes Mares – Fantastic! This was a great wine! Thought it very young with rich ripe fruit, excellent structure and bold in style. If there was a Burgundy that showed more California like, this was the wine. Still a good bit of upside to further cellaring. Wine of the night!

2006 Marcassin Blue Slide Pinot – Blue fruits, barrel sample like, too young and unresolved. Difficult to tell where this wine is going in the long term, not particularly expressive or dense right now, a good wine to revisit with age.

1999 Joblot Givry 1st Cru Cellier Aux Moines – Gamey, light body, not a long going on, but all together not unpleasant either.

Nick Wittman
Santa Rosa Fine Wine
www.santarosafinewine.com

Burgundy Kickoff

A smaller than normal group of us got together in Sonoma this weekend for a Burgundy tasting to kickoff the new year. As always, the group was very generous and brought some excellent drinking wines to the tasting!

Cannot think of a better way to expose an individual to fine wine than to be part of a wine tasting group of like minded individuals. You certainly enjoy good wine across a broad range of producers, but also enjoyable and knowledgeable company! As luck would have it, our Burgundy group will often “go deep” where basically, we dig a little “deeper” than normal into our respective cellars and pull special bottles! Such was the case this evening.

Brief observations follow of all wines opened and are listed per flight in order of personal preference:

White Wine of the Night:
1998 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet

Red Wine of the Night:
2000 Domaine Des Chezeaux Chambertin

White Burgundy Flight

1998 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet – Initially the wine was light bodied, elegant and flinty, yet showed considerable balance and no signs of oxidation. It slowly put on weight over time, becoming far more powerful. The white wine of the night, a gorgeous Leflaive!

2005 Pierre Yves Colin Morey Batard Montrachet Hospices de Beaune – An excellent drinking young wine, showed sweeter fruit, distinct petrol, and firm acidity. Should age very well! Thought it was a very close second to the Domaine Leflaive, but for very different reasons.

1997 Remoissenet Montrachet – Advanced deep golden color, was initially orange peel, honey, and beeswax. Got funky and oxidized shortly after opening. A disappointing wine overall. Have had less than great experiences with this producer in the past. Quickly coming to the view Remoissenet does a far better job with its red over white wines.

Red Burgundy Flight 1

2000 Domaine des Chezeaux Chambertin – The red wine of the night, thought this was a rich, clean, very pure drinking wine with black cherry fruit, cola, and well integrated spice on the finish. An awesome wine!

2001 Drouhin Chambertin – Another very nice wine, had an almost cotton candy nose with raspberry fruit on the palate. Kept going back to this compelling wine, found it nuanced and easy drinking. A solid well made wine.

2000 Domaine des Chezeaux Griottes Chambertin – Initially showed some plum and prune, as well as spice and black cherry, the wine improved considerably in time. While not as strong a showing as the Chezeaux Chambertin, a nice wine nonetheless.

2002 Pierre Gelin Chambertin Clos de Beze – The wine never quite came around through the evening. It was grainy, baked, and funky, thought it may have been an off bottle. Did not think the wine showed well.

Red Burgundy Flight 2

1997 Francois Lamarche Les Malconsorts – A very nice drinking wine, more rhubarb than anything, had firm acidity and a nice medium bodied palate. Based on previous 1997 wines opened, generally do not have high expectations, but this one showed well for the vintage.

1993 Domaine Bertagna Chambolle Musigny – A light bodied wine and grassy, did not find the wine very appealing. Opposite to 1997, generally have a higher than normal expectation from 1993 vintage Burgundy wines, found this one disappointing.

2004 Rochioli West Block Pinot – A curiosity wine opened while we let the second wine flight open up did not show well. Overall, a simple, light and grassy Pinot. Clearly it was in tough company next to the Burgundy. The wine had been opened for some time prior to the tasting, so certainly a good wine to revisit from this solid producer.

Cheers to a good Burgundy start in 2011!

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

Medieval Burgundy Dinner

For the second year in a row, a group of us got together at Estate Restaurant in Sonoma for our annual “Medieval Burgundy Dinner”. It is part birthday celebration, part Sonoma Burg Team grand finale, and all around amazing time where we pull cellar gems to share among good food and friends!

Two examples of some amazing wines opened are pictured, a 1957 Remoissenet Richebourg and 1969 Leroy Echezeaux. Both were surprisingly youthful and drinking extremely well. Among the group, 16 wines were opened and enjoyed over the span of a long evening. Brief observations of all wine opened follow. Within each flight, wines are sorted in order of personal preference.

Coche Dury Flight

2004 Coche Mersault Genevrieres – The wine of the flight, was the most pure and clean of the white wines. Distinct Coche in style, noted cedar, flowers, pine nuts, with a thicker more textured mouthfeel than the other wines. Acidity was well buried but present.

2004 Coche Mersault – Big nose of sulfur and matchstick, lemon, almost loamy texture, the wine was very powerful. No question a young wine, would age this one for some time before opening. Not minding White Burgs on the younger side, found it highly enjoyable.

2002 Coche Mersault les Rougeots – Less sulfur and more resolved than the other two Coche, a gorgeous drinking wine with firm acidity, toasty oak and a pleasant yeasty component. Had far more in common with the 04 Mersault than the 04 Genevrieres.

White Burgundy Flight

1996 Domaine Leflaive Puligny Montrachet – A blind village white wine turned out to easily be the wine of the flight! Accurately guessed it as Domaine Leflaive, pre 2000 prior to its reveal. Noted petrol and crisp citrus in an elegant drinking wine. Showed extremely well!

2002 Remoissenet Montrachet Thenard – Very strong orange peel with a deep yellow color suggesting a much older wine. A huge wine at first with high acid, went through some odd changes over the span of a few hours, got astringent, than balanced out, then caramel, ultimately becoming funky. Overall, thought it off and uninspired.

1999 Leroy Les PucellesPremoxed! What was particularly sad about this bottle, opened the same wine less than a month ago and it was gorgeous, absolutely everything you want in a well aged White Burgundy. Very disappointing and again pointing out that White Burgundy can be quite a minefield.

Aged Burgundy Flight

1969 Leroy Echezeaux – Very youthful looking in color, initially showed brighter blue fruits than expected and notes of forest floor and spice in a highly nuanced and complex wine. With some air, some of the exotic aged rustic components came out in a very appealing way. Was an awesome wine, and strong contender for wine of the night.

1957 Remoissenet Richebourg – Like the Echezeaux, youthful in appearance and taste. Noted primary fruits, cranberry, spice, mint, and grass with firm acidity and structure. It was also an excellent wine that tasted significantly younger than a 1957. Only on the finish, an hour after being open, did you notice some slight aged characteristics.

1999 Dujac Chambolle Musigny – A wine served blind, was stemmy, with bright fruits, and some mint, immediately guessed it as a Dujac. On reveal, we were surprised to see a bottle of 1996 Henri Jayer Vosne Romanee Cros Parantoux! Turns out it was a little joke funneling a Dujac into a Jayer bottle that seemingly lead to the quote of the night, “It’s the person, not the bottle that matters.”

Leroy Flight

2001 Leroy Clos Vougeot – Initially thought the 89 Leroy Chambertin was the better wine, but with time, came around to think the Clos Vougeot best. A flashy, big, bright ripe blue and black fruit wine that was both spicy and powerful. Became more nuanced in time and had an exceptionally long finish.

1989 Leroy Chambertin – A gorgeous wine, though more toned down in style than the Clos Vougeot. Showed more mineral, earthy, dryer fruits, the wine was more consistent from the point of opening through finish. Plenty of youthfulness and structure that would allow for extended aging.

Miscellaneous Flight

1991 Leroy Corton Renardes – A highly concentrated, dense, and gorgeous wine. Found it had more in common with the 01 Clos Vougeot than the 89 Chambertin, brighter blue fruits, minus the spice, it was an equally powerful wine. Very young, would cellar for many years before opening again.

1988 A. F. Gros Richbourg – Lighter in style than the 91 Corton Renardes, what it lacks in power, it makes up in balance and complexity. More earth and mineral with a hint of blue fruits, showed extremely well and viewed by others as the wine of the night. No question, an excellent wine.

DRC Flight

1991 DRC Richebourg – A gorgeous highly complex wine that was more earthy and had darker fruits than the 88 Richebourg, combined with some asian spice. Found it balanced and elegant with exotic secondary fruits. A wow wine that will age considerably longer, however could easily be enjoyed now.

1989 DRC Romanee St Vivant – Wet grass and some spice, baked fruits, a nice, but not a profound wine. Had a similar experience recently where we tasted a 91 and 93 DRC RSV, had high expectations, but ended up thinking other RSV producers would have shown much better.

Massandra Finish

1937 Massandra MadeiraPredominately coffee, bitter dark chocolate, sweet butterscotch and caramel. An awesome end of meal wine.

Several of our high end wine dinners are held at an excellent and highly recommended restaurant in Sonoma called Estate. Chef Chris Jones and John Toulze prepared a special menu for us that was simply outstanding. As always, service was excellent, and the food well prepared. The specific menu was game focused, and included some wonderful items: Beausoleil Oyster Gratin, Mediterranean Rouget, Burgundian Escargot, Autumn Game Terrine, and Roasted Bison Strip Loin.

Cheers to another wonderful evening among good food, friends and wine!

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

Eclectic Burgundy Tasting

This past Friday, got together with the Sonoma Burg Team for an eclectic tasting of some interesting wines. Over the past year, the tasting group has been very fortunate to have opened relatively few off bottles. As luck would have it, there were a record number of flawed wines this night!

Two white wines were premoxed, one red wine was corked, and another red wine was off from some undetermined cause. One additional wine showed some Brett, which if significant, would be considered a flaw, however in this case, it was relatively minor, and only an issue if sensitive. Brief observations of all wines opened follow:

White Wine of the Night:
2004 Domaine Leflaive Les Folatieres

Red Wine of the Night:
1996 Armand Rousseau Clos St Jacques

Starter Wine

2004 Dumol Chloe Chardonnay – A little pre Burgundy Chardonnay, the Dumol was a nice and distinctly California wine. Sweet, leesy, ripe, orange peel, a very pleasant drinking wine from a solid Chardonnay producer.

White Burgundy Flight

2000 Bouchard Corton Charlemagne – Premoxed! The wine was immediately identified as flawed by the group. Disappointing and far more oxidized than another premoxed bottle tasted this summer, a 2000 Bouchard Chevalier Montrachet La Cabotte.

2004 Domaine Leflaive Les Folatieres – Another awesome Leflaive, white wine of the flight and night. Heavily toasted oak and scorched earth with a very long finish. In time, became more nutty, yet retained considerably power and intensity.

2007 Jean Noel Gagnard Les Caillerets – Tight, lemon, oily, restrained but with definite potential. Put on weight and became more floral in time. Noted a slight wet cardboard characteristic later in the evening, but not altogether unappealing.

Burgundy Flight 1

1981 Philipe Leclerc Gevrey Chambertin Combe Aux Moines – Rich, big, and spicy, had a sappy almost liquor like quality to the wine. With firm acidity and exceptional balance, this was unexpectedly the wine of the flight.

1990 Albert Morot Beaune Teurons – A light and lean wine, was dry and noted some faint leather. Over time, noted brett, which was not over powering, but certainly existed. Did not find this wine particularly enjoyable.

1993 Remoissenet Mazis Chambertin – An excellent wine, thought it a close second to the 1981. Cola nose, clean blue fruits, and celery. Initially liked the nose better than the palate, but in time, became a beautifully balanced and elegant wine.

1993 Laboure-Roi Lavaux St. Jacques – A funky unusual wine initially, very quickly picked up predominately baked fruits and sherry. Color had some light browning, appearing far older than a 1993. Went downhill quickly, an off wine on both the nose and palate.

Burgundy Flight 2

1996 Armand Rousseau Clos St Jacques – An awesome wine of the flight and night! Was smoky, funky in a good way, and exotic with red fruits, meat, earth, minerals and game. Perfectly balanced, this was a great wine in a nice sweet spot.

1998 Robert Arnoux Clos De Vougeot – Another excellent wine in the flight, noted clean and pure raspberry and cherry fruits. In time, became a little grassy, but subtle. A very nice drinking wine, and second best of the flight.

1999 Louis Remy Clos de La Roche – Corked! The third of four off bottles! Attempted to decant thinking maybe it was not corked, perhaps something odd that might blow off, but turned out the initial identified flaw was indeed correct.

2002 Comte Armande Auxey Duresses – Bright strawberry initially with a light body, the wine became more muted and green in time. In tough company next to the Rousseau and Arnoux, it did not show as well.

Burgundy Flight 3

2000 Esmonin Charmes Chambertin – Primarily blue and black fruits, had a barrel sample like quality to the wine. Decanted, it showed good overall structure, but remained youthful tasting after revisiting a few times through the evening.

2000 Nicolas Potel Vosne Romanee Les Gaudichots – Initially the second wine of the flight, thought it best in time. Barnyard, asian spice, tea and cola, became far more expressive with patience. As a female guest aptly put it concerning the wine, “Treat it like a woman.”

2001 Robert Chevillon Les St Georges – Initially impressive and wine of the flight, noted aged leather, iron, sweet earthiness, and game meats, it was very interesting. Opposite to the Nicolas Potel however, the wine declined over time, not as structured or ageworthy.

Some of us went to dinner afterward, and several more wines were opened, two of note. First was a premoxed 1996 Ramonet Les Ruchottes, the forth flawed bottle of the night, and completely undrinkable. Second, and a much better experience was a 1998 Meo Camuzet Hospices de Beaune Corton. While not flawed, it was impossibly shutdown and unapproachable, even after an hour plus decant and plenty of swirling in the glass. Suggest not opening this wine for another 10 years. When it does finally come around, should be a very nice drinking Burgundy!

Cheers to less flawed wine in the future!

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