This particular evening was born out of a conversation between Mr Magnum and “CNDP RFC” at the relatively recent Tardieu-Laurent dinner. Both being members of 67 Pall Mall they were comparing the wine they have in “reserves” at the club and a “battle of the reserves” was muted! A date was set – we were delighted to be joined by Fiscali!
I arrived to find a few “premoxed” bottles (wisely being checked) being poured away, three in a row, two Clavoillon 2006 and a 2002 Ramonet Chassagne…we moved on from this disappointment, dwelling gets you nowhere…
We kicked off with the ever reliable Dom Perignon 2006, which I first tasted in this Dom Perignon 2002-2006 tasting, it a really balanced and very promising wine…we were so busy chatting away that we didn’t really discuss it too much but it just does all that it should.
We then moved to a pair of whites – Naude Chenin Blanc 2013 and the Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Folatieres 2011 from Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey. The “Naude” I didn’t know at all but it came with the dangerous strap line of “the Coche-Dury of Chenin”, as colleagues at work will ratify, I am no fan of these throw away comparisons, they are very lazy! It all started with Masseto being the “Petrus of Italy”and recently stooped as low as “the Latour of Cahors” (which at least, almost, rhymes)…anyway back to the Naude. It was very very good, reduced, gunflint nose (that must be the “Coche” bit) and wonderfully oily whilst precise at the same time, lovely, lovely wine. The Folatieres was precisely as it should be, the 2011 white Burgundies certainly seem to be drinking well…generous and so readily appreciable, I do not think they will fall apart but they are so good now that I see no reason not to just crack on and drink them – that’s what they are for after all. This 2011 from Pierre-Yves has lovely balance a little reduction and saline to balance a (lemon) citrus palate.
Now to reds and what a pair – Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses 1992, de Vogue & Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 1992, de Vogue – the later was a brilliant opportunity to further my experience with Bonnes Mares from de Vogue after this amazing vertical – 1949-1999. Both these were splendid, many would expect that the Amoureuses (most peoples idea of a shoe-in for Grand Cru in quality along with Clos-Saint-Jacques) might just shade it but good as it was the Bonnes Mares was the clear star. Vibrant sweet and expressive, just gorgeous on the nose and following through so well on the palate. A pair of 25 year old wines from a far from lauded vintage – just what Burgundy from great domaines can be all about.
Hermitage La Chapelle 1997 from Jaboulet came next and was good, deep fruit, gentle but secure structure and a ferrous grip of slightly bricky fruit, this will hold well for some time to come but I feel that at 20 years of age it is mature. Nicely different to the Pinots.
CNDP RFC then took us off piste with a wine he bought totally of a recommendation (that was his disclaimer!) – La Roque 2012 from Domaine Gauby – it’s certainly an odd skin-contact scenario…I don’t say this with any anti-orange wine agenda but it just lacked freshness on the palate, the nose was interesting but needed the palate to have either sweetness or acidity or both…we tried to like it but struggled…He grabbed his reserves list and “re-loaded” with Domaine de Trevallon 2000. A really very good choice, this is a blend of equal parts Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Neither tends to dominate though you do get a good sense of black fruits, some spice and a little tobacco…a nicely elegant 12.5% alcohol means the wine has intensity but with no overpowering side to it. I would say still on the upward curve, lovely now but no rush.
One last glass was called for with a little cheese – Graacher Himmelreich Rielsing Spatlese 2015 from Weingut Max Ferd Richter – was the choice. Refined, really driven and totally refreshing, I know many people feel that the quality Rieslings of (especially) the Mosel should be given a long time to mature but I love them young (often clumsily decanted) with the amazing energy they deliver.
It had been a splendid evening the Naude is a great new find and the Bonnes Mares was spectacular, maybe they stole the show BUT Trevallon 2000 is certainly a wine I want to have again….many thanks chaps…