My friend Mark had put together a couple of tables for the Wine Media Guild’s annual dinner. Unfortunately, Mark ended up ill, but Stuart and others filled in on hosting duties. We arrived at Abe and Arthur’s on 14th street and were ushered upstairs. The reception wine was the NV Gosset “Excellence” Brut, a rather fatter styled Champagne with more apparent dosage than I recall. B-
When we went to table, Mark’s two tables traded bottles. Food at dinner was good- I had tuna tartare tacos, followed by a good dry aged steak with mushrooms and potato puree on side.
1985 Dujac Morey St. Denis
A lot of controversy about this one. Some thought it tired and fruitless. Me, I thought damn nice for a 27 year old village wine. Some red cherry, lots of exotic sandalwood/spice notes, good acids. Lots of interest here. One person said “I’ve had better Dujacs” - sure, so have I, this isn’t the ‘99 CdlR, but very fine for what it is. B++
1985 Phelps Insignia
Wines starting going around and I didn’t give this one enough time. Seemed a little tight, but nice package underneath. B/B+
1983 Chave Hermitage
My wine of the night. Just classic- solid fruit with smoke, meat, and light barnyard notes. A-/A
1988 Lynch Bages
Typically brawny ‘88, lots of cassis and leather. B/B+
1988 Ch. Lagrange (St Julien)
This was certainly correct, but for some reason this didn’t really appeal to me, though I have liked a lot on previous occasions (I am nothing if not inconsistent). B-
1986 Ch. Cos d’Estournel
Good showing, very 1986, big and tannic, but also rich and full. Great with steak. A-
Very very young, but good with steak. B for drinking now, lots of room for improvement.
1966 Ch. Beychevelle
Double-decanted before I left, held up fine. Classy and classic claret, Bordeaux for Burg fans. B+/A-
1996 Ch. d’Issan
I generally like ‘96 Medoc, this is pretty bland, but come to think of it it’s usually Northern Medoc I like. B-/C+
1988 F. Rinaldi Barolo
I saved a bit towards end, while tight at first air really helped this. Classic old school Barolo, still on young side. B+
1974 Ramonet Batard Montrachet
Another “appreciate it for what it is” wine. Indeed, one could say “it’s dead Jim.” But I thought underneath the oxidation there’s good acidity, apples in pasture, warm cashews. There’s a good core here, would have loved to taste 15 years ago (despite iffy vintage). Some cool stuff. B
1989 Foreau Reserve
Another stellar bottle of this, one of my all time favorite Vouvray Moelleux. Rich, full, long. A-
1974-Landed Harveys Oloroso Sherry
If I understood correctly, this was probably produced in 50s, aged in cask, and in 1974 bottled in Bristol. Nutty, caramelly, good length. I’m not a big sherry fan but thought this interesting and fun. B
Pretty good night. The WMG presented scholarship contributions to 2 impressive students (one from NY City College of Technology & one from Fairleigh Dickinson University's School of Hospitality Management) for advanced wine courses. Tony Aspler, Terry Robards and Eric Asimov were inducted into the Wine Writers’ Hall of Fame. Restaurant was nice, food and service fine, but so loud it was hard to hear speakers. But overall a good night of wine and company (we just missed Mark).
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I [/b]offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.