I have to say, I am a bit overwhelmed this summer with all these bottles opening themselves up all around me. Actually, I last left everyone in late January, I know. Here is my semi-annual, self-imposed pilgrimage to catch up on some of the year’s most amazing evenings. I feel a lucky streak coming, as far as getting some wine notes done, but it could not possibly be as lucky as the drinking streak I have been on the past six months!
I arrived a bit ‘en retard’ one Sunday afternoon East of New York City in a far away place called the Hamptons. I actually stayed almost a month straight there, and it was a great time, but not so great for my inventory value lol. BJ was our gracious host, and we all know everyone loves BJ’s. The caviar was out by the time I arrived, and we knocked off that first tin pretty quickly.
A magnum of 2005 Raveneau Chablis Les Clos was already open, standing in the middle of the ice bucket like a white Burgundy centerpiece of the highest magnitude. The Jackal was already circling the ice bucket ready to pounce on his prey. The Raveneau was a classic Clos with its oyster shell and sea breeze aromas along with a flash of citrusy sweetness. It has a big nose that was broad-shouldered, and its palate was long and a bit smoother than the nose led me to believe. It was still young, even younger out of magnum, and just showing a touch of nutty goodness on its finish (95+M).
Welcome to The Hamptons
A Nice Start
There were a lot more bottles in the ice bucket, which was more like a mini Stanley Cup, and a 2009 Raveneau Chablis Les Clos seemed like a logical next place to go. There were even more oyster shells to go with more slate and mineral expressions. This was better with richer fruit, perhaps aided by the bottle size versus the magnum, and/or by the forward 2009 vintage. I also wrote it had better flavors, showing more yellow hues (96).
The 2011 D’Auvenay Meursault Narvaux was very popular early on, and it was easy to see why. This was a big contrast to the Raveneau, showing huge smoke and toast in the best of ways. It was richer in the nose, much more forward and ready to party. I kept writing toasty again, along with big and chewy. As precocious as the Narvaux was, it softened in the glass sooner and fell short of outstanding status accordingly (94).
It was a wonderful group of white wine appetizers, but there was still the main course: a trio of Coche-Dury. Somehow, the 2009 Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne emerged first, and it was a bit reticent and unyielding at first. A touch of glue marred its nose, and it was more brooding than I remembered or expected. Slowly over time, it started to show more roundness, more richness, and touches of nuttiness. Leather flavors emerged on its thick finish, and after an hour or so, the classic Coche kink was finally there, and the glue was gone. It was a bit of a sleeping beast, or perhaps there was something mildly chemical occurring (96).
The 2008 Coche-Dury Meursault Perrieres that followed stole the show. It was immediately classic, with much more smokehouse, minerals, and yellow mesquite goodness. It was long and silky, with this lemon, Italian ice flavor profile. Its finish sparkled like diamonds stuck in ice, with the yellow sun shining various hues of flavor upon it. Miss Congeniality, indeed (97).
The 2001 Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne was unfortunately slightly corked. It sucks when those 4k bottles are genetically defective : ( One could still appreciate its full mouthfeel, its rich, smoky flavor, and its slaty, sturdy finish. It definitely was in that 96/97 category, let’s call it (96+A).
There was one more white, a 2007 D’Auvenay Auxey Duresses. This was in a great spot, with the vintage singing and the house style shining through, overcoming the ‘lesser’ terroir. It was again super smoky, round and tasty with a nice kiss of citrus. This was a drinkable, delicious wine (93).
Laser Focused Leroys
Even though it was a brilliantly sunny afternoon on a gorgeous summer day in the Hamptons, it was time for some red. And what a red we began with, a 1990 Dujac Clos St. Denis. Dujac killed it in 1990 for sure, what a fabulous nose. There was so much red cherry fruit, blending in with the alluring forest and this edge of the wilderness. Its finish was thick like bouncing asses in rap videos; someone confirmed my ‘cherry,’ but it was too early to be popped. There was this grassy kiss of fresh Hamptons lawn, but it wasn’t the fresh Hamptons lawn lol. ‘So good,’ I wrote, there were great perfume and a sweet, maple tree-hugging goodness (98).
The air was getting rare, as out crept a 1991 Rousseau Chambertin next. I could get used to this Hamptons thing lol. This was another thoroughbred, a photo finish with the Dujac. It was a bit more regal, with more forest and animal edges and not quite the sweetness of the Dujac, but it had so much depth to its fruit. Its palate was rich, round and dusty, super deep and complex, lingering seemingly forever after it went down the hatch. It might have been the elusive 99 points BJ, but I couldn’t get it in writing (98+).
A powerful duo of Red Burgs were next, beginning with a pretty spectacular 2000 Leroy Clos de la Roche. Its nose was super fragrant; it had this combination of rose garden and gravel that reeked of French aristocracy. Its palate was so deep, rich and expressive, freakishly good. There was a vimful, slaty edge to its backside. Dare I say this was the best 2000 Red Burg I ever had? Yup (97).
The 2002 Leroy Clos de la Roche that followed had a deeper, darker nose. It wasn’t as expressive and personable as the 2000, but it was clearly more serious. Wine Daddy agreed, finding it ‘darker and brooding.’ It had the full kaleidoscope of colors in its flavor profile: red, purple and black. Ok, I guess it was missing the blue, but that was pretty appropriate since it made everyone giddy (97+).
Not A Lot to Go Around
Rhones For the Cooler
Proper Cheese Wines
It was on to the Rhone and a 1989 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape Hommage a Jacques Perrin. This was a rich and decadent wine, with great aromatics even though it was a sharp left turn. It had the garrigue thing going for it, and great sweetness and animal as well. The classic CduPs are ok by me (96).
A 1988 Guigal Cote Rotie La Landonne had a spicy and spiny nose along with light bacon aromas. It was zippy and long but seemed less dimensional than all of the other star-studded reds that preceded. I moved on (94).
The 1985 Guigal Cote Rotie La Mouline gave me a good reason to move on as it was an incredible bottle. If the La Landonne had light bacon, this was “Super Bacon,” warding off evil vegans and their healthy agenda lol. It rippled with iron and minerals in its long and extended finish. There were lots of violet hues and gyro meat flavors. There was no doubting that this wine was special; my notes started to become less so (97+).
First Vintage from the Comte
There was a cellar raid and a fabulous flurry of incredible wines at the end:
|2007 DRC Montrachet||(DQ)|
|2011 DRC Montrachet||(95)|
|2007 Ramonet Montrachet||(96)|
|2002 Comte Liger-Belair La Romanee||(96)|
|1999 Henri Jayer Cros Parantoux||(DQ)|
|1990 Georges Jayer Echezeaux||(99)|
|1991 DRC La Tache||(97+)|
The next thing I know, everyone was naked. Just kidding. A 2007 DRC Monty was corked, ugh! The ’11 quickly subbed in, but the Ramonet won the battle of Montrachet, and while the DRC was classic and delicious, still young with lots of butter, the Ramonet had that extra minerality and minty complexity that makes it extra special. There was more definition on its finish. The La Romanee, the first vintage made by Comte Louis Michel Liger-Belair, was a beautiful transition back to red. Perfumed, elegant and sensual, its playful red fruits tickled the back of my neck and my mouth. I have never had a bad bottle of Liger-Belair, it is literally incredible. The 1999 Jayer was corked! Fuck! Only a 10k bottle, no big deal. We drowned our sorrows with another Jayer, and this one didn’t disappoint. It was so damn delicious, that Jayer hedonism at its finest. All I wrote was delicious, 98/99 points. It definitely got the drunken +1 lol. I can barely remember the 1991 La Tache, but I do remember it was fucking great lol.
Check, please. It was time to call it a day. I think I was asleep before 8pm but cannot confirm nor deny that fact. Many thanks to our gracious host BJ and what is hopefully an annual tradition. Happy Summer everyone, drink ‘em if you got ‘em!
In Vino Veritas,