Last night I joined Mark on the train to the city, then we headed down to Franco’s place for SOBER (Craig was hosting, but Franco has more space and isn’t in Brooklyn). Some misfortune and encounters with an a**hole had changed Craig’s dinner plans, yet it ended up a very successful evening.
The toddlers were in full showoff mode as we arrived (and very cute). We were greeted with deviled eggs, a nice cheese assortment, and a couple of non-blind bubblies:
2002 Foreau Vouvray Brut
Maybe not quite as fresh and expressive as a bottle last week, but I still found enjoyable. Apple and lemon curd, a little Parker house roll. B+
NV Egly Ouriet “Les Vignes de Vrigny” Champagne Brut
Fuller, heavier style, dark fruit and bread, quite good if not in my most preferred style. B+
White Wine Flight
#1 - this is a volatile nose, quite oxidizrd with stewed apple peels, too bad, this would have been very interesting, 1999 de Montille " Caillerets" Puligny-Montrachet 1er (made by Roulot)
#2 -some concern re premox, but to me I’d make the distinction that this is advanced but not truly oxidized, Butterscotch, tropical fruits,not a lot of acid. This is fully mature, which would be fine if a 1990, a bit sad for a 2002. But interesting. 2002 Pinson “Les Clos” Chablis Grand Cru B/B-
#3 - this was a replacement for the premoxed 1999. Cathleen got Chablis immediately. Good fruit, chalky, full, long, I apparently liked more than most. 2007 Brocard “Les Clos” Chablis Grand Cru A-/B+
First Red Flight
Some quick calls for Right Bank, once we established St. Emilion I made a stab at Magdelaine.
#1- red fruits, a touch ashy, really nice but this bottle outclassed for this flight
1970 Ch. Magdelaine B+
#2- good dark fruit, lush but delineated, perfumed, lovely.
1975 Ch. Magdelaine A-
#3 -ripest and densest, full, good
1982 Ch. Magdelaine B+/A-
#4 - young, cassis and black plum, cocoa, cigarbox. Plenty of time left, but interesting development.
1989 Ch. Magdelaine A-
Craig used his fallback plan and ordered excellent pizza and antipasti from Motorino
Second Red Flight
I think Tim and Mark both call Piedmont right away.
#1 - John D called Gattinara early . Mature, medium bodied, redder fruits, lots of mushroom, 1964 Berteletti Gattinara. B
#2- wildly divergent opinions on this wine. Some convinced it was corked. I didn’t get corked, but got VA, and some bretty aromas. But from Mark’s glass it did smell cardboardy. Cathleen (our TCA mine canary) say not corked, but it smells like vomit. Whew, that’s ok, because vomit blows off! This stayed weird and funky, but we disagreed on exact flaw. 1967 Berteletti Spanna C-/D
#3- Mark got appellation and vintage quickly. Red fruit, tar, rose petals, quite nice and ready to go. Craig says $90, amazing bargain at that price. 1971 Bel Colle Barolo A-/B+
Third Red Flight
#1 (a) first bottle was a bit muddled and tired, so Craig opened the backup (bottle b) Much better, dark fruit, coarser than wine #2, but lots of life, and our guesses started in the ‘60. 1928 Ch. Malartic-Lagraviere. B+/B
#2 Since initial guesses were Burgundy, I jokingly said it was Beychevelle when Craig said it was Bordeaux. Lovely, hauntingly complex, elegant, black and red currant fruit, tobacco, leather, sandalwood. 1929 Ch. Beychevelle A
Really nice dinner/tasting, despite the stresses.
Really fun night, 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.