So the planning started like the usual Boston get-together with a go-round of choices.
“I was thinking of bringing the A and B or the C and D. Any preference?”
“Well, I can bring anything from E, F, G, or H. What do you think?”
And with that Joe and I converged on a mini-Chambolle fest with a few other assorted goodies.
After a fairly innocuously sweet but typically tasting 2005 Patrizi Moscato d’Asti we started on the Burgs.
We had two from 2001 and one from 2002 (or did we?) and decided to start with the ‘01’s as they may need more time to open. The first wine was what we thought to be a 2001 Frederic Magnien Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Charmes VV as umm, that is what the label stated …but after peeling back the cap, the top of the cork said 2002. Which do we believe, the label or the cork? Anyone else ever run into something like this? The openly expressive nose and bright fruit essence led us to believe this was probably a mislabeled 2002. A very nice, elegant wine and an unexpected surprise.
Now continuing with ‘02’s we opened what we thought was a 2002 Louis Jadot Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Sentiers and it there was nothing to make us think this wine was other than ’02. Not as expressive as the Magnien but considerably more acidic and tannic structure. This was good now and should be even better with age.
And finally to the lone ’01. 2001 Louis Jadot Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Baudes. This wine wasn’t in the best of places. It was all a bit disjointed and never quite came together as the night went on.
Moving south to Rhône, we had the 1995 J.M. Gerin Champin le Seigneur Côte Rôtie. Yes, it’s leaning towards a more modern style with noticeable new wood and a silky clean texture, but there is a goodly amount of ripe fruit, smokey bacon, and roasted meat. The tannins are ripe and still fairly aggressive so I don’t plan on opening this one again for a couple of years.
Another wine needing more time was the 1997 Beni di Batasiolo Corda della Briccolina Barolo (Serralunga). This wine is a Thoroughly Modern Millie with the winemakers website boasting of “The new look (of our winery)..is of shiny steel and electronically controlled, automatic processes”. The nose showed faint hints of tar and fruit but never really did open up over the course of 4 hrs. The taste was clearly nebbiolo and the tannins were pretty solid but this wine is just far too young to open.
We ended with 1997 Hopler Welschriesling Icewine, (Neusiedlersee). As Joe said “It’s sweet and it tastes of botrytis”. That about sums it up. Decent but nothing special. Three days later it's showing much more depth of flavor, walnuts and pecan pie, with much more acidity showing. Pretty good, after all.