This is a follow on post from this time last year when Mr P hosted a very generous and challenging (in the good sense) dinner at 67 Pall Mall. There is another blog featuring this fine chap when I was kindly invited to his 50th.
The format on this evening matched that of last year namely – everything is blind. The Champagne only for a bit as we had one bottle. Then a pair of whites – with a link – followed by a quad of reds where there are always links but often not to all 4 wines.
Confused? Well we were and there was a fair bit of experience in the room. Also – forget fishing for answers as Mr P is not someone I advise you to play poker against – he seemingly has no tells…
So to the Champagne and it was – Krug 1996 – one of our number got it and others were close. I have had a fair few Krugs recently and loved many of them – especially many of the Grand Cuvees – but this is to my mind a wine that manages to share a fault with a few other 1996s. The acidity is still prominent and yet the fruit is mature, almost over mature…the two are a little jarring. It may be that it comes together but right now is more academically interesting than enjoyable or hedonistic.
On to the whites and a combination of Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2010 from Dauvissat and Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 2010 from Domaine Leflaive two producers I can’t remember having side by side. The Dauvissat (I had separate guesses of Roulot and Raveneau) was limey with cool fruit, stones and almost a kerosine note, very moreish, there was a saline, almost anchovy edge – delicious, it showed well from the off. The Leflaive was harder to get a handle on, it evolved more in glass possibly tightening up over time. It was more gourmande as a whole. A little mint came through later to replace a bit of nougat. The Dauvissat was more the stereotype of the two wines and shaded this flight, both good. The Leflaive certainly made it harder to get the vintage.
So on to the Reds – when this are poured – the real “work” starts. First up, they were all splendid and all quintessentially Burgundy. But then, after floundering around for a while (it felt like an hour!), we listened to some links – 3 are the same “status”, 2 from the same producer, 3 are linked in another way. Not sure that helped but it makes you think.
Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos Saint Jacques 2010 from Domaine Rousseau – Bright and lifted, red fruit then a little darker pepper, very pure and focused but at the same time the fruit was fully mature enough to be supple. A little spice kicked in at the end. Clearly a very fine vintage and a fine wine, I wasn’t deciding on a vintage but felt this might have been Romanee-Saint-Vivant from DRC. I was wrong, clearly.
Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 2010 from Domaine Roumier – More bruised fruit, graphite, darker pepper, quite brooding, quite masculine but classy. This was tasting as though it were at an earlier stage than the CSJ above. Still an adolescent. I wondered if it might be a de Vogue wine. Wrong again but the right village. Very good.
Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru 2010 from Domaine Romanee-Conti – Plush red fruit and real precision, less pepper or spice than the two above. This really grew in the glass and became quite pungent, in a good way. So refined but full at the same time, very poised and a joy. I can’t remember what I thought it was.
Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru 2005 from Domaine Romanee-Conti – A little menthol, almost some liquorice, darker fruit, more adolescent like the Roumier but coiled up tight with a latent power. This was in many ways the more muted of the wines, it gave far less away. I have to say I didn’t spot the link to the 2010 GE.
A really fascinating dinner, the 2010 vintage showing its class as ever. The vintage doesn’t appear to have closed down a great deal at any point and I would certainly urge people to enjoy a bottle from most cases of 2010 Burgundy sooner rather than later as you get a good idea already.
Mr P – thank you!!