On a recent evening in New York City, dozens of collectors gathered to celebrate the 40th birthday of Dapper Dave. It was a who’s who of wine loving New Yorkers, all coming together to celebrate the one and only Dapper Dave’s 40th birthday. Vintage Tastings alumni in attendance included Big Boy, Jetski, Sir Robert, Big Mike, The Inspector, Diamonds, Tom Terrific and many more, even a Comte.

While the theme of the evening was 1979, there were a few other wines from other vintages that snuck in the party, beginning with a magnum of 1996 Raveneau Chablis Les Clos. Its nose was very smoky, a little fatter than I expected, toastier and richer with more oak showing out of magnum. Its palate was super citrusy, tangy and again woody. Honestly, I expected more from this theoretically phenomenal wine, which was a bit awkward out of magnum (94M).

There was a quartet of fast and furious whites to officially begin our 1979 program:
1. 1979 Delagrange-Bachelet Criots Batard Montrachet (90A)
2. 1979 Comtes Lafon Meursault Charmes (95)
3. 1979 Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne (93)
4. 1979 Bitouzet-Prieur Meursault Perrieres (94)

The Delagrange-Bachelet was a bit funky and mature, with some tea qualities. It felt advanced and felt like 92 points even if it were perfect. The Lafon was an outstanding wine, smoky, rich and toasty. This was a buttery classic, smooth and creamy wine that was still very fresh. This bottle showed the greatness of the vintage for white Burgundy, and the greatness for older Comtes Lafon. Old Louis Latour CCs have always been pet wines for many Burgnuts, and this bottle showed why. It was tasty and sweet, with lots of corn, honey and stalk flavors. It was on the sweet side, and the Comte found it ‘good for cooking’ lol. The Perrieres in our first flight was also smoky and toasty, with some nice mint complications. The is was a very nice wine, tasty and with great balance, elegant and long.

We were pleasantly interrupted by a Jeroboam of 1999 Roulot Meursault Perrieres. The Roulot was lemony and zippy with great tang and rich and creamy flavors. There were kisses of hay and honey in this oh so tangy wine (95J).

Sir Robert brought another Jero, this one being an incredibly rare 1979 Marc Colin Montrachet. I ended up having at least four or five glasses of it; it kept getting better and better and better. What a great nose. Melted butter with that old, mature honeyed and musky sex appeal. There was also vanilla bean , more butter, more musk and some tasty caramel flavors. The Colin family is a historical one when it comes to Chassagne. I think many people overlooked this wine in the beginning, but after towards the end of the night, there was no doubt this was one of the wines of the night (97J).

We went back to Roulot with a 2007 Roulot Meursault Perrieres. I was a bit perplexed by this magnum, which was a bit tinny and served a bit too warm (92M?).

The Inspector had somehow gotten his hands on my 1979 Jadot Chevalier Montrachet Les Demoiselles, and I am pleased to say that it passed inspection. This was a rich and hearty white with great verve and edge. There were smoky, caramelly corn flavors in this outstanding white (95).

We warmed up with a trio of reds:
1. 1979 Pousse d’Or Pommard Jarollieres (91)
2. 1979 D’Angerville Volnay Caillerets (93)
3. 1979 Mugneret-Gibourg Clos de Vougeot (91)

I’m not a huge fan of Pommard in general, and this Pousse d’Or didn’t do much to change that opinion. It was rich and taut ‘but still Pommard’ I wrote. The D’Angerville had lots of orange, autumnal action in its nose, and it was also fleshy, beautiful and excellent. This was in a perfectly mature spot. The M-G was big and rich but seemed so young in comparison to the previous two wines. There were lots of black fruits, but this bottle felt reconditioned and was very, very rocky and a bit square.

I was lucky enough to get a taste of a magnum of 1979 DRC La Tache. Arabian nights was the first thing that came to mind with its exotic spices. It was rich with nice autumn flavors, excellent earth and red fruits. It was towards the end of the magnum, so I didn’t feel like I got the full picture. That wasn’t an issue, because out came a Jeroboam of the same wine thanks to the one and only Big Boy. He immediately declared that his Jero crushed the magnum and was 105 points lol. The Jero definitely felt richer and had more of that classic minty spice. There was great vim and great balance to this spicy, dusty and heady Jero (97J).

There was a Jero of DRC Richebourg that followed courtesy of the Bassmaster, and it was another ‘wow’ Jero. Of course, Big Boy was constantly reminding everyone how superior his La Tache Jero was, which it was, but ever so slightly and not quite as far apart as Mr. Boy would have everyone believe. There was a touch more dirt in the Riche, but there was no doubting its greatness as well. It was quite consistent with the LT jero, actually, with a touch more tootsie pop. The leather, the oil, the citrus, the rose, all were there (96J).

We had a flurry of more wines, and everyone started to get up and mingle around, so my notes became quite brief, especially after some healthy servings from the Jeros. Wines tasted include:

1. 1979 Arnoux Romanee St Vivant (95)
2. 1979 Chave Hermitage (93)
3. 1999 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino Riserva (95M)
4. 1979 Petru (94M)
5. 1979 Bruno Giacosa Santo Stefano (96)
6. 1979 Margaux (93D)
7. 1979 Lafleur (96)
8. 1979 Lafite Rothschild (92M)

The Arnoux was friendly and flavorful, showing lots of citrus and iron. The Chave was a bit on the dirty side, showing lots of animal and leather. The Conterno was ‘punchy’ per the Comte, and its usual combination of tar, leather and zip did not displease. The Bordeaux were all solid, with Lafleur leading the way. It had the most concentration and great plummy fruit. Its finish was in a different league. The Petrus was delicious but more elegant, an excellent showing for this forgotten vintage. The Giacosa, which was a white label/non-Riserva, really stole the show. It was so damn delicious, so open and expressive with lots of tangy and fleshy fruit, showing all the hues of red and brown. Great saddle leather and tobacco added just the right amount of spice. This wine was a real lip smacker. Don’t sleep on old Giacosa white labels!!!

Happy Birthday Dapper Dave, don’t worry, it’s all downhill from here ; )

In Vino Veritas,

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