Tag Archives: Robert Arnoux

Les Suchots Dinner

Every once in a while, we attend a more focused wine dinner, for example, one by a single producer, or a particular vintage, or perhaps a particularly region where the goal is to compare and contrast the wines. In the case of a tasting last week, we had an interesting Burgundy Dinner centered around Les Suchots.

Fortunate for the group, we had numerous Domaine Arnoux on the table, arguably, one of the better producers of Les Suchots. And as good as they were in the flight pictured, once again, an excellent Louis Jadot showed best! All wines were served pop and pour as well as double blind, except each individual knowing what they brought. The wines are sorted in order of personal preference by flight and were ranked prior to reveal.

Pre Dinner White Wine:

2008 Henri Darnat Meursault 1er Cru Clos Richemont Monopole – A little disjointed, high acidity, some funk on the finish and a lemon citrus palate. Did not find the wine particularly exciting, just ok, served more as a curiosity than anything.

Pre-2000 Les Suchots Flight:

1985 Domaine Robert Arnoux Les Suchots – Rustic, cherry, definitely aged, light body, more toned down style, but excellent overall balance. Mineral, earth, and very good structure. Really enjoyed the wine, considered it best in the flight, an example of elegance showing better than power.

1996 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Sonoma County – Rose petal, barrel sample like, tart red fruits and plum. After tasting the first and last wine in the flight, it was clear this wine was not Les Suchots. Pre reveal, the group guessed the ringer correctly as first, from California, and second, as Williams Selyem!

1988 Domaine Joseph Drouhin Les Suchots – Wet saddle leather, some sherry, stale fruit, a little funky, and tart. Despite it being from an excellent Burgundy vintage, did not think this bottle showed particularly well.

Post-2000 Les Suchots Flight:

2000 Louis Jadot Les Suchots -As one guest accurately put it, “the wine of the flight by a long shot!” Agree, initially young, spicy and balanced, put on weight and got fatter in time, nuanced rich red fruits, game, earth and mint, an excellent complete wine.

2000 Domaine Robert Arnoux Les Suchots – An exotic , rich, powerful wine that was meaty and had plenty of pleasant raspberry fruit on the palate. Acidity was pretty firm in this wine, and remained consistent after revisiting it several times through the evening.

2001 Domaine Robert Arnoux Les Suchots – Gamey, funky and barnyard in a good way, more raspberry fruit. Went back and forth as to which I preferred better, the 2000 vs 2001, in the end, thought the 2000 held up slightly better as it sat in the glass. The overall group thought this wine was superior to the 2000 Arnoux.

1998 Domaine Robert Arnoux Les Suchots – Green and grassy, lean and a little funky, the wine got better in time, but never quite hit its stride. Was pretty surprised on reveal to see a 1998 Arnoux, would have expected a far better showing.

Post Dinner Dessert Wine:

2006 Baton Charles Heintz Vineyard Late Harvest Chardonnay – Pleasant, sweet and honey, not a lot of complexity at this young age, but a nice end of meal wine.

It was educational to sample so many Les Suchots in one dinner. In the case of all the Les Suchots, particularly the post 2000 wines, could taste enough commonality to know they were Les Suchots, yet enough contrast to make the tasting interesting.

Cheers to a very enjoyable dinner!

Nick Wittman
Santa Rosa Fine Wine

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

Clos Vougeot Wine Dinner

A few weeks ago, attended an outstanding dinner at Lupa Restaurant in San Francisco. As always, Lupa did a superb job providing quality food and excellent service. The wine theme of the night was Clos Vougeot Burgundy served blind.

Under most circumstances, prefer non blind tastings, especially when pours are relatively small offering a limited opportunity to revisit. Generally speaking, find more value in knowing what you are tasting in order to more fairly evaluate and handle the wine given the year, producer and type of wine. That said, in the case of this dinner, knowing all the wines were Clos Vougeot, flighted in relatively close vintage ranges, and being an informal as opposed to a formal tasting, blind tasting worked.

Brief observations follow concerning wine opened. Within each flight, wines are sorted in the order of personal preference.

White Wine of the Night:
2006 Louis Jadot Meursault Les Genevrières

Red Wine of the Night:
1997 Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot

Flight 1

2006 Louis Jadot Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevri̬res Рmineral, floral, citrus, ripe, good structure and acidity in a pleasant drinking wine.

2002 Domaine Michel Niellon Chassagne-Montrachet – slightly oxidized, flat, sherry, not appealing, one of a string of not so great 2002.

Flight 2

2002 Jacques Prieur Clos Vougeot – scorched earth, high acidity, in time more well rounded and enjoyable. A nice wine that took time to come around.

2000 Domaine Anne Gros Clos Vougeot Le Grand Maupertui – cooler wine, tight, lean and grassy, not very complex, an ok wine.

2001 Domaine Robert Arnoux Clos Vougeot – funky, lean, little harsh, laser fine, not sure if this wine was ever going to come around.

Flight 3

1997 Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot – dark berry, good acidity, brown sugar, a very well put together wine. Another high quality Jadot.

1990 Leymarie Clos Vougeot – most barrel sample like of the wines, light, after some time, improved considerably. Possibly the best of the flight.

1996 Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot – baked raspberry, funky, foxy, stewed fruits, normally qualities that are not good but worked in this wine.

1990 Jacques Prieur Clos Vougeot – green, barnyard, grassy, yet light on the palate, was not a very thrilling wine, just ok.

Flight 4

2000 Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Rangen de Thann Clos St. Urbain – orange peel, honey, rich, sweet, nice end of meal wine.

1970 Warre Port Vintage – purely a stylistic thing, did not enjoy the wine. No flaw noted in the wine, just do not enjoy Port.

Cheers to a nice evening of Clos Vougeot!

Nick Wittman
Santa Rosa Fine Wine