I joined a few of the guys at King Fung in Chinatown for some delicious Peking duck before heading out to a fun evening of live music.
2002 Louis Jadot Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Poutures. This seems tight and certainly very earthy on the nose, with smoke-tinged aromas of tea leaves, tree bark, wild herbs, leather, black cherry and dark berries. Right now, it feels somewhat lean and stident on the palate, with some rawness to the acidity that makes it seem a bit lacking in flesh tone. It feels a little awkward and probably a bit closed down, so I’d suggest sitting on bottles of this for a while.
1989 Château Clerc Milon Pauillac. This wine presents an absolutely classic claret-styled bouquet of cigar wrapper, dirt pile, red currants, black cherries, and jalapeno pepper that I like a lot. On the palate, it leads out with bright cherry and berry fruit to go along with a lot of dusty earth tones, but it doesn’t quite seem to flesh out through the mid-palate like I was expecting it to. It stays a bit lean and coiled, really, and I think a little decanting time would be helpful when opening it. There’s a lot to like in the classic flavor profile, though.
2000 Cavallotto Barolo Riserva Vignolo. There’s a dark but high-toned nose to this wine—full of dried rose petal, fireplace ash, road tar, wild cherry fruit and brown spice aromas that are nicely holistic and classy in an old-fashioned and tightly-wound sort of way. In the mouth, the red fruit is pure and fresh and the texture is elegant and silky. But the fine-grained tannins are quite drying and have a way of slowly building up on the biting finish. There’s so much to like here with the classy old-fashioned cherry fruit, the subtle texture, the juicy acids and the sexy spices, but it needs like 7 to 10 years probably to start shedding those tannins. Put this one in the back of the cellar and forget about it for a while.
2005 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau. There’s a big, bold nose to this wine, but at the same time it never seems out of whack with its giving aromas of blackberries, cark currants and cracked pepper. It’s velvety and full-bodied in the mouth, with loads of cassis and raspberry fruit supported by mild but tangy acidity. The alcohol at times appears to be straining to stay contained, and it seems to be holding the line ok just now. Overall, it isn’t hot or jammy, but it is certainly large-framed, intense and packed with fruit. I think it’s going to turn out well, but it’s awfully young and primary just now for my tastes.