Salil put together a group to welcome Faryan to NYC at Grand Sichuan on St. Marks last night. Good to see a couple old friends and meet some new people. Fun table, though with 9 one always regrets not being able to really engage everyone. Food was cheap and delicious- soup dumplings, cucumber with scallion, tea smoked duck, pork with chestnuts, Chongqing chicken,lamb with peppers, lamb with cumin, and more.
Tuesday wasn’t my luckiest day- 2 out of 4 of the bottles I opened were corked. Plus my pen broke, so I borrowed my neighbor’s pen a couple of times,and then paid about $2 for a 10 cent pen at Hudson News on way home and wrote more from memory on train. So most notes partially from memory, and I might have missed some wines - certainly a sherry with an interesting nose- and may have screwed up some vineyards/designations (edit- with Salil’s notes, think I’ve corrected my bad Riesling vineyard IDs).
2009 Vouette et Sorbe “Fidele” Champagne
Yeasty, biscuity, big, very dry, pretty impressive but not really my preferred style of bubbly. B
2005 Radikon Oslavje
Very interesting, dry and complex, long, fresh despite the oxidative notes, gets funky sherry-like aromas after lots of air. B/B+
1989 Zind-Humbrecht “Turckheim” Riesling
Good freshness, gingery spice over citrus/apple fruit, some mineral. B+
1990 Zind-Humbrecht “Brand” Riesling
Vintage differences (or possibly vineyard differences, or maybe just Olivier finding his way toward his more opulent style). Honied, floral, tropical. I like a lot even if it verges close to too much. B+/A-
1988 Cos d'Estournel
I seemed to have liked this less than some others. Still showing a lot of ‘88 tannin, this is more sturdy than exciting to me. B
1995 Bachelet Gevrey-Chambertin (I think Corbeaux?)
Pretty tight at first, kind of angry acid with a bit o tannin, but I liked this once it got some air. Young. B/B+
I think again the combination of ‘88 and Montrose was a bit much, but while hard I thought this maybe had some real promise. B- for now, but would love to taste in 10-15.
Wow, this was shockingly good. I’ve liked 83 Talbot before, but never truly loved- this was a very very good bottle. Stable and dirt aromas, solid cassis fruit, cigarbox, a classy country gentleman. A pointe. A-/A
1978 Leoville Poyferre
This was a last minute addition, only red I had standing up when I realized ‘85 Dunn was corked, hard to believe but this was also corked. I was in a hurry when opening- one tap of the Ah So and cork was swimming, I decanted into another bottle, but when poured TCA was showing.
My first comment was “stern” and my neighbor Jay’s was “needs time” I had no clue re wine (though on muliple choiceI voted for Old World, France, and Rhone in multiple choice, it was without any certainty). 1999 Texier Hermitage. Last time I had I gave an A- in tough competition, this was far less appealing (previous bottle was decanted well in advance, this was basically PnP). B/B-
Complex, fleshy but bright, herby. Very good. 2001 Texier Cote Rotie. B+/A-
1986 Juge Cornas ( didn’t note if C, SC, or whatever if he used those back then)
Nose was a curious blend of tapenade, VA, and cherry fruit, though a bit better on palate.. C+
1996 Chave Hermitage
Classic, long, elegant but powerful. A-
1984 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (napa Valley)
1987 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)
I had brought this because an ‘85 I had promised was mildly corked (I didn’t really get when double decanting in afternoon, but a sniff before heading out made me leave the ‘85 and grab an ‘87). Showed well despite its travels. Full, rich black plum and cassis fruit, herb/mint, still some tannins. B+/A-
2002 Olga Raffault “ Les Picasses” Chinon
I found this ungiving now, others liked better. B-
1975 Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Riesling Kabinett
I liked more than my neighbors, quite lively, pit fruits, white flowers, a bit of petrol. B+
1983 Von Schubert Abtsberg Riesling Auslese
Beautiful, complex, long. A-
1988 JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese
Stunning bottle of Riesling, my white WOTN. A-/A
I just noted I liked the 1993 Egon Muller Wiltinger Braune Kupp Spatlese and the 1989 JJ Prum WS Spatlese. I didn’t write anything down re the 89 Haag Spatlese, and really can’t draw up an opinion. A 1998 Weingut Weegmüller Haardter Bürgergarten Riesling Eiswein was bright, sweet, and long.There was also a 2011 Schafer-Frohlich Spatlese, but I was gathering glasses, paying, etc and no clear notes, though I liked a lot.
Fun night, fun crowd, thanks Salil for organizing, and everyone for their contributions and good natures.
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 offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.