First of all, it’s been an amazing week tasting up and down the Côte. The 2005s are indeed quite special – it seems to be one of those vintages where virtually everyone succeeded, and the entire range of wines is good. Should be a great year to stock up on village-level wines and even the Bourgognes have good stuff. Both white and red seem to be on form.
A first look at the 2006s show great promise – it appears to be a vintage where one must choose wisely, but there will be many excellent wines. There will also be wines showing signs of rot. Between the hail and the mildew and rot issues that faced most viticulteurs, it was a tough one, but those who worked dilligently and wisely seem to have dodged the bullet. Biodynamic producers seemed to have been especially fortunate this time around. I’ll have a better look at these in the spring…
If you had told me a few years ago that I’d be hanging out in Burgundy on a regular basis and going to parties with Domibique Lafon, tasting all of these amazing wines, being invited into people’s homes that I’ve been reading about all my life – I surely would not have believed it. I am truly living the dream, and I am thankful for all the wonderful opportunities that have come my way.
Last night was one of those magic evenings in Burgundy where great people, food, and wine all come together in perfect harmony. At Benjamin & Libby Leroux’s (Domaine Comte Armand) stunning restored stone farmhouse in Merceuil (just 5K below Meaursault), I joined Dominique Lafon, the legendary Jasper Morris, David LaCroix, and a group of 12 for a stunning evening.
We began with a vertical of Vega Sicilia Unico. It is pretty rare for me these days to taste anything other then Burgundy and domestic Pinot, but this was simply amazing. Some brief notes: 1994 (their 2nd wine, not the Unico) – very sexy and deep, silky and very long. 1997 (also the 2nd wine) – incredible nose of earth and smoldering fruits, very very long, showing more acid than the ’94. 1995 Unico – gorgeous nose, still young and showing some bite. 1994 Unico – A touch hotter than the ’95, but very fine. 1980 Unico – ridiculously complex nose, extremely long, still young, marked a touch by the wood. 1979 Unico – Pure silk, extremely elegant, nose a little closed today. 1973 Unico – Tremendous nose, pure silk on the palate, very very long, a little heat on the end? (Many picked this as their favorite 1st time around, but it got rather fat and heavy over an hour or two. 1972 Unico – Nose a bit roasty, rather rough and rustic in comparison, tired. 1970 Unico – Absolutely estraordinary in every sense of the word. Clearly wine of the night, a wine I’ll remenber all my life. 1967 Unico – Great nose, but fading all around, more than a little tired now. 1966 Unico – Lacks the complexity and sheer brilliance of the ’70, but extremely fine. 1965 Unico – CORKED! We finished this flight with a 1954 Marques de Murietta Ygay (coincidentally my birth year) – a stunning nose of honey and apricots – Jasper nailed it as smelling exactly like a 5 Puttanyos Tokaji. It was elegant, lovely, simply divine – and stayed that way over the course of the next 3-4 hours.
Then before dinner, a quick horizontal of Gevrey 2004s from Rousseau:
Clos St. Jacques – the most elegant and finesse-driven of the flight, my favorite today. My notes read “fantastic. Silk. LONG.” Clos de Beze – more powerful and concentrated, but lovely still, shows a bit of wood right now. Chambertin – Perfectly balanced, pure, and fine. Very elegant. The true iron fist in a velvet glove. Also showing wood right now.
WIth an amazing multi-course feast catered by Le Chassagne, we had a few more goodies -
2003 Meursault-Perrières – Comtes Lafon. The best 2003 white I’ve had. Period.
1989 Clos Des Epeneaux – Magnum. Absolutely delicious but still very young and primary.
1978 Clos des Epeneaux – Magnum. Simply spectacular – a great wine at it’s peak. This is why you buy Pommard young and cellar it, so it can turn into this!
1962 Clos des Epeneaux – My notes simply read “Magnificent. Out of control great. Near perfection.
Huge thanks to Ben & Libby for an amazing evening!
I’ll report later on the action at the auction, and of course the full blow-by-blow from tomorrow’s La Paulée extravaganza in the cellars of Drouhin…