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Dale Williams

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WTN:RB Bdx, Burgs, Loire, Champagne, Rhone, Pfalz

by Dale Williams » Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:57 am

John and I decided time for a tasting, a fun and disparate group of my wine friends gathered on my patio Sunday afternoon into evening. The table spread included local cheeses (Chaseholm Nimbus, Mcgrath Goliath), saucisson sec, smoked duck breast, pate de Campagne, radish leaf pesto on radish, & smoked mussels.

You gotta start with the bubbles
2007 J. Lassalle 1er Cru Special Club Champagne
Elegant mousse, subtle notes of brioche and hazelnut over apple and lemon fruit. Seemingly high dosage, but well integrated and once I fell into its style I quite enjoyed. B+/A-

1982 Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon Champagne
Sweet rich fruit, still good fizziness, French toast and caramel touches. A-/B+

I did some shucking, a couple of oysters each, plus a scallop/smoked scallop/avocado crudo
2006 Pepiere Clos des Briords Muscadet.
Some disagreement here, some thought atypical flavors. I thought it rounder than usual for Briords (and more so than a previous bottle), but to me the oystershell/saline thing was classic Briords. (note - this has a little bit of blueing on bottom of cork, but wasn’t oxidized). B+

1989 Ch. de Chamboureau Savennieres
A bit cheesy, some wooliness, interesting if not compelling. B/B-

Let’s have the first blind wine.
Mark had told me he was bringing a Rhone, so I didn’t guess.
Group centered on Rhone right away, though first guessing CdP. Lovely complex nose, a little animal, smoked meat, saddle leather. A bit more reticent on the palate at first, but unfurls nicely. Quite a treat . 1969 Bruno Thierry Cote Rotie A-

When it was time for Burgs I seared the duck breasts from the sous vide, along with mushrooms (maitake, yellow and bluefoot oyster, cremini, button) & John’s delicious couscous.
2006 Chandon de Briailles Corton-Bressandes .
I was a bit surprised at how approachable this was, but Sasha and John said that Bressandes is more forward than other Corton climats. Smoky, with brambly fruit and good length. I’d still hold, but fun now. B+

1986 Lafarge Clos des Chenes Volnay 1er
Red cherry and plum, mushrooms, forest floor, spice. Holding well and just lovely.Definitely outperforms vintage rep A-

.1985 Tollot-Beaut “les Lavieres” Savigny-Les-Beaune 1er
Lovely in an almost N. Rhone style, meaty, fragrant, with a punch. B+

1969 Chandon de Briailles“Ile de Vergelesses” Pernand-Vergelesses 1er
Quite alive, strong brown sugar note, some coffee and plum. I liked ok, some others really liked. B

Next up was the blind blind wine, Mark had a bottle in his cellar with no label, didn’t have any clue what it was. . But I recognized the bottle/label remnants as the 1959 Charles Vienot Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and sure enough cork agreed. My greatest ever showing with a blind bottle, before I tasted the wine! Herby, red fruited, nose better than palate, still holding. B

Now to the right bank Bdx - skirt steak in soy/mirin marinade, grilled vegetables (squash with zaatar, scallions, Japanese eggplant),more couscous, sage potatoes from Sasha.

1997 Lafleur
This was my blind wine. First guesses were 90s Pomerol, but group flailed a bit at chateau (because no one expects that I own any Lafleur). John did guess Pensees, and then Lafleur when I said close. They worked their way through most vintages of the 90s before getting 1997 (like the Spanish Inquisition, nobody expects 1997 Bordeaux). This has rounded out and filled out nicely- somewhat ripe plush texture, black plum and mocha, the finish is the clue not from a great vintage. But quite enjoyable. B+

1995 Angelus
Most divisive wine of night, lovers and haters, I’m in middle. Still pretty tannic, firm with wood still showing, but nice core of ripe black fruit underneath., B/B+

1985 Belair
Some loved, I liked, a bit lean, a touch green, but with nice oldschool cigarbox and leather notes. B

1985 Certan de May
Lovely showing. Blackcurrant and ripe plum, leather, cedar, espresso. Nicely put together A-

1982 l’Evangile
Corked, though some felt they could see the great wine underneath.

1971 Latour a Pomerol (mag)
If you’re going to have too much wine, might as well be a ‘71 Pomerol. Beautiful example
Resolved tannins, fresh acids, red and black fruits bracketed by smoke, tobacco, and cedar shavings. Quite long. A-

That was end of our set agenda. But I had a recently discovered bottle of 2006 Breton Franc de Pied Bourgueil, that I noted with dismay had a synthetic cork. Yet this one survived- lots of Cab Franc-y green pepper, celery, but also super savory raspberry fruit Tangy and tasty. B+/B

And I couldn’t let them escape without ridding my cellar of at least one bottle of dessert wine. A 375 ml of 1998 Müller-Catoir Haardter Bürgergarten Rieslaner Beerenauslese. Pineapple, grapefruit, honeycomb and caramel sound like flavors that don’t mesh, but this is all of that (and more) yet molded together coherently. Good though not sharp acids, a waxy note on palate, good length. A-/B+

Really fun afternoon/evening with a great group. Everyone was quite tolerant of Ruby (she got plenty of treats, yet still tried hard to steal food- getting my duck trimmings while I was prepping steak). People from different groups, with different palate preferences, so it made for interesting (cordial) arguments. Need to do it again soom!

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.
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Rahsaan

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Re: WTN:RB Bdx, Burgs, Loire, Champagne, Rhone, Pfalz

by Rahsaan » Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:34 pm

Nice. I saw John post about that on Twitter and was amazed by those well-aged Burgundies. Must have been interesting! Was the 1969 Briailles IdV a recent auction purchase? Who had been holding onto that wine for so long!
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Dale Williams

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Re: WTN:RB Bdx, Burgs, Loire, Champagne, Rhone, Pfalz

by Dale Williams » Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:47 pm

That was Johns , recent Winebid (as he said, good bottle condition, best 1er in PV, vintage he loves, worth taking a chance even though CdB didn't have a rep back then).
I think most older bottles were secondary sources (I did buy the Lafleur, the Pepiere, Lasalle, Breton, MC at or close to release). All but one of us are in our 50s or 60s, one in 40s. .

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