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Dale Williams

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WTN: Burgs, Baroli, Soldera, and more at Ben's

by Dale Williams » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:19 pm

Ben and Wendy host an annual pre-holiday dinner, usually themed around older Piedmont and fresh white truffles. As 2017 wasn’t a good truffle season, leading to high prices for not so great truffles, we decided to change menu and format. So dinner was truffle-less, and wines were a free for all, with theme being “bring something good, blind.” As we entered their lovely GV loft we each got identical bags. Reds were mixed up, so no one knew which was theirs.

As we waiting (one person got dates mixed up), Suzanne shared 2 bottles from her wine lunch (!!!!) earlier.
2006 Falkenstein Niedermenniger Herrenberg Riesling Spatlese feinherb
Lovely, orange blossom and ginger, peachy fruit, nice balance. B+

1994 Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Josephshofer Riesling Spatlese

A little odd and waxy, a bit heavy. Didn’t enjoy but had been open for hours.

Blind wines at table

With potato chips, Champagne
Champagne A - table consensus favorite, bright and fresh, easy for me to guess BdB, 2008 Pierre Peters “Chetillons” Blanc de Blancs Champagne A-
Champagne B = seemed a little older, slight oxidative note, bready/toasty, good length. 2009 Ledru “ Goulte” Blanc de Noirs. B/B+

With the blind whites, Ben and Wendy’s homemade buckwheat blini with Scottish smoked salmon from Russ & Daughters, crème fraiche, and either Hackleback caviar or dill.
White “Pi” - slightly cloudy, lighter, great acidic backbone, herby. 2014 Raveneau Chablis. B+/B
White “ Gamma” - a little reductive matchstick blows off, ripe but good acids, some vanillin oak, easy to guess Burg, mineral and white fruit. Good length. 2006 Bouchard Chevalier-Montrachet B+/A-

Homemade pappardelle with long-cooked duck sugo (recipe from Lidia Bastianich) served w/ homemade baguettes
Red Wine #1 Cherry and sandalwood, latter made me guess Dujac though not noticably stemmy. Lovely balance, excellent length. 1989 Meo-Camuzet Clos Vougeot A-

Red Wine #2 Lots of consensus on Italian, but hard to peg as Nebbiolo or Sangiovese. Black fruited, some oak, noticable acids. Nebbiolo/Barbera. 1997 Gaja Conteisa B/B+

Red Wine #3 Young, tighter, a little cough drop, needs time. 2008 Cathiard “Les Murgers” Nuits-st-Georges 1er B for now

Rib roast, both 21-day and 45-day, with a red-wine jus made from oxtail and beef soup bones.

Red Wine #4 Someone guessed Barolo right away. Young, structured, tight. 1999 Conterno Monfortino. B for now, A potential

Red Wine #5 - Mature, clear rim, red fruit and mushrooms. 1950 Mascarello Barolo B+

Red Wine #6 I loved even though I thought it was also Piedmont. Red fruit, spice, herbs, truffles. Mature and balanced. 1964 CVNE Vina Real Rioja Gran Reserva A-/A

Red Wine #7 - funky, lifted, a little green, but with nice structure and good finish. I originally was thinking Loire, but doubtful anyone would bring, so Northern Rhone made sense. Got better. 1983 Pierre Barge Cote Rotie B+

Red Wine #8 As we were down to 2 and I knew mine was NOT #7 easy to know. Drinking well (forward year), red cherry and dried cherry, some rose petal and leather. Someone said “polished (in a good way)”. 2000 Soldera Brunello di Montalcino Riserva A-

Homemade apple and oatmeal crumble, with vanilla ice cream. There was also a 2003 Coutet and a 2005 de Fargues, but I didn’t note anything (though both were fine).

Group voting
1989 Meo 22 pts
1964 CVNE 16 pts
2000 Soldera 13 pts
2008 Peters 5 pts
2014 Raveneau 1 pt

Great night, thanks “Bendy”

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C drinkable. 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.
Last edited by Dale Williams on Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: Burgs, Baroli, Soldera, and more at Ben's

by David M. Bueker » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:33 pm

Well that didn’t suck.

I do love the Péters Chetillons. I have not yet opened any 2008. The 2007, not a great Champagne year, blew away a wide swath of big house prestige cuvées at a tasting not long ago.
Democracy dies in the darkness
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Tim York

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Re: WTN: Burgs, Baroli, Soldera, and more at Ben's

by Tim York » Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:13 am

What a wonderful line-up :D . Thanks for posting.
Tim York
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Paul Winalski

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Re: WTN: Burgs, Baroli, Soldera, and more at Ben's

by Paul Winalski » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:25 pm

I thought that the 1964 CVNE Vina Real Gran Reserva was a great wine in 1985. It's good to see that it's still going strong.

-Paul W.

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