Ok, so my theoretical 12 Days of Christmas was only six. I hear everyone likes half-price lol. Well, let’s now officially call it seven, as I just had to get one more article out in 2018, and there will never be an article as appropriate as this for New Year’s Eve. It’s funny, I was telling someone the other day that if someone doesn’t like wine, I do not know how to even talk to them. It’s like they are some backwards, inbred alien race that needs centuries of evolution before I can relate to them. Or they can just fall in love with wine, much easier. Suffice it to say, Bad Boy and I have been getting along for almost two decades, and while he has a head start on me, I told him I would handle the finish lol.

There are lots of great wine events throughout any given year in many given places, but there is one event that is always the fine wine party of the year. The Bad Boy has seen a few things over the years from his lifetime in the music industry, and he has found the translation when it comes to fine and rare wine. Every year he invites a few friends (he tries to cap it at fifty), and everyone must bring a couple of bottles or a magnum…at least. He set the table this year with five magnums of DRC Montrachet…and a Jero. Go big or stay home lol. And on this incredible day, Bad Boy was the only one who could do both.

Those that know Bad Boy well know to get there a little early. I thought I was early around 130pm, but the Punisher was already holding court. He brought the Lobster Club sushi guy with him who was fantastic, and that held us over for the afternoon. Well, that and the kilo of Caviar, the few pounds of white truffles and the thirty pizzas, and that was before dinner. There were a lot of Hungry Men in the room:. The afternoon also saw a who’s who of Vintage Tastings lore, such as the aforementioned Punisher, Big Boy, the Rev, Alexander the Great, the Attorney General, Pitts, the Hillbilly and even the one and only King Angry. I think he has decided to finally reclaim the throne lol. I took 51 tasting notes over the course of the afternoon and evening, although the last ten or so got a bit snippy, as in shorter than I would theoretically like. I did spit a bit, mainly for the young Champagnes, but as usual, it was not enough.

The 2008 Cristal Rose started our day. Bad Boy had been talking about this wine for a while; he is one of the most knowledgeable Champagne guys out there, so when he says something is one of the greatest, I listen. The 2008 Rose was like a rocket ship with a zippy, endless finish. Strawberry and citrus were King and Queen of this prom, and while young, there was no questioning its greatness (98).

The 1996 Cristal Rose magnum had a great nose and was more open with the same leathery edges as the 2008 but smokier fruit. This was another rocket ship of wine with the acidity poppin’ like synchronized twerking. It was tough to get the red out of the Rose, but the intensity felt like it took 2008 up one notch (98+M).

The 1996 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rose was showing off its full-bodied greatness with all the acid of the vintage and more fruit than one could imagine present in a 1996. This was full of rich and zippy strawberry flavors and a touch of garden goodness (95+M).

The 2008 DRC Montrachet was the first of our multiple Montrachet magnums, and it was ‘so stylized with botrytis,’ the Punisher noted. This was pure pleasure and one of the Punisher’s favorite DRC Montys for drinking now. It was rich and creamy but not too over the top. There was nice yellow fruit, straw, and golden flavors to this delicious and creamy wine (96M).

Bad Boy always brings the Soldera, as he knows this is one of the world’s great, unique wines. We began, as one should, with the very rare 1978 Soldera. This was clearly an older wine with great leather, spice, and dried red fruits. There was that Sauvage goodness in a dried leafy way. Underneath, there remained a core of sugar, sweet and delicate on a plateau, but it still had a slap of rocky goodness on its finish. There was nice dryness, and both the Attorney General and Bad Boy blessed it as ‘great,’ and I found it incredibly Burgundian. What was so amazing about the 1978 was the fact that when I came back to it an hour or two later, it was even better (97).

The 1982 Soldera was so voluptuous and full-bodied with great chocolate and smoke aromas. There were ripe, rich blacker fruits and twangy blackberries along with round sweet cherry and citrus flavors. This was perfectly plump and Sims’ favorite for now (96).

We interrupted the Soldera vertical, as Bad Boy wanted to try the Jero of 1985 DRC Montrachet. it was corked FUCK! Corked bottles always hurt, but they definitely hurt a lot more when they are 30k bottles OUCHHHHHHH. I tried to look past its corkiness, which is always difficult, and it had gamy, creamy, waxy and honeyed flavors on the palate, which was far superior to the nose. There was some mesquite on the finish. It was definitely mature, on the older side versus the younger side and more than unfortunate (95A-J).

The 1985 Soldera was a bit glue-y on the nose with more leather and citrus tanginess. The wine was rich with a bit of herbal goodness but a monstrous finish, but I couldn’t quite get past the glue-y element. Chocolatey and caramelly flavors began to emerge with lots of tobacco (95+M?).

The 1987 Soldera was milder and easy drinking with a brighter and lighter style. There was more citrus and autumn action here, along with nice garden, chocolate and jerky flavors (93).

The 1990 Soldera was phenomenal and still my favorite Soldera of all time after all these years. It was so exotic and creamy with great richness. There were smoky, nutty and rich chocolatey and caramelly flavors with some tobacco at the end, like a great dinner unto itself. This was so thick and so delicious (98).

The 1995 Soldera Intistieti was solid; it was dry and crispy but I couldn’t pay it much attention. Things were starting to heat up (93).

The twelfth wine I tasted on this glorious day was a 1988 DRC Romanee Conti. Only the Punisher could punish in RC fashion! It had an autumnal nose with forest floor, lots of leather and a tangy, smoky sweetness with a drop of honey. This was smooth and satiny stuff with nice citrus and a bit of good dirty to its flavors like a mouth full of…insert your own word here lol. The tannins of the vintage still shined through (95).

It was time to check out the bevy/assortment of 1996 Champagnes. There was one table set up with all the magnums of the best of the best of the best, sir! I powered through them quickly for the sake of Academia, as despite my affinity for 1996 and Champagne (it may be the greatest vintage ever), there was just too much going on even older and rarer. The following is my summary:

1996 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne . (97M)
1996 Krug. (95+M)
1996 Cristal . (97+M)
1996 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses . (95M)
1996 Dom Ruinart . (93M)
1996 Salon . (97+M)
1996 Krug Clos de Mesnil . (96M?)

The Taittinger was butterscotch city, with sweet yellow fruits and a creamy, honeyed deliciousness. The Krug was leaner and a little tight. It was great, but not showing as well as the others. The Cristal was rich with more fatness and a yellow goodness. It was zippy with rich butter flavors and dense minerality, nipping on the heels of the Rose sampled earlier. Roederer definitely killed it in 1996, an opinion I have held for twenty years. The Clos des Goisses was ‘so Pinot’ per the Attorney General, and I found it very bready and full-bodied. It had that gamy, Pinot Noir thing going on, for sure. The Dom (Ruinart) was creamy and classic with a sprinkling of herbs, while the Salon was like diamonds cutting through a rock (star finish). Very appropriate for a Bad Boy production! Lastly, the one and only Clos du Mesnil was very rich and creamy with tasty, vanilla cream and honey flavors. However, it was a bit clumsy and oaky with maybe too much of that there for me. It had a great mouthfeel but awkward flavors, and I usually rate this higher, usually the highest as a matter of fact. Perhaps the magnum wasn’t ready yet.


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