NV Champagne Roger Brun Rose (Rose Saignee, 100% Pinot Noir) 12%
Lovely bottle, strawberry in the nose and in the mouth, lots of minerality, with a long yeasty finish. Lacks the finesse and cut of the best champagne, but big, bold, and with considerable complexity for this price point.
2009 Mugneret-Gibourg Vosne-Romanee (Village) 13%
Very pure wine, lovely mouthfeel: blueberry, clove, turn into a dusty slightly vanillin and fruity, smokey finish. Drunk at an early stage owing to logistical considerations (my cellar being located elsewhere than the wine), the big surprise here was that this could easily have been mistaken for (a very good) California pinot. None of the concentrated sweetness of even some of the best Cali’s, everything was in balance, but also none of that labyrinthine, brooding complexity (no briar, forest floor and so on) that I look for in Burgundy. (One possibility is that this cleaner style is owed to total destemming, a practice confirmed by the winery website.)
2004 Chateau Talbot Saint Julien 13%
An old standby. Dark fruits, cranberry, rounding into classic tobacco undertones, which do not eclipse the fruit, climaxing in a long, satisfying finish, where the fruit, tobacco and some chocolate blend nicely. Slightly rustic perhaps, but with a solid core—it could easily age another five years and probably drink well for many more. It was the perfect complement to the (actually prime) prime rib roast (from Pino’s on Sullivan St, great butcher shop). Like the champagne, more of a treat and more satisfying than I had expected.