There is nothing quite like a summer night full of great food, wine and friends, and there was one night this summer that stood out above all the rest, save The Tasting of the Year, of course. The ingredients were all set thanks to The Mogul, Gentleman Jim, Lady Agah, Alexander The Great and the one and only Big Boy, and we gathered on The Mogul’s very big boat for a doubleheader of sun and fun. Despite two minor jet ski accidents, everyone ended up OK and at the dinner table for a spectacular meal, although one of the guests didn’t remember a thing about dinner. We like to keep things anonymous here at Acker Merrall 😉

Now That’s a Boat

I didn’t keep track of the wines before dinner, although I remember a great bottle of Comtes de Champagne Rose, a couple of top Chablis from Raveneau and Dauvissat, and a slightly skunky, very old and expensive Salon. The cocktail round started with an outstanding magnum of Salon, however, a 1988 Salon to be exact. This was a Big Brother, full and rich, with a positive oaky edge. ‘Big and Biggie’ were in my notes, and its finish cascaded like Niagra Falls (96M).

Nice Lineup

The next Champagne was also outstanding, this one being a 1973 Krug Dinner had begun. The Krug had a great, fresh nose full of apples and crackers, with a touch of anisette. Its palate was long, zippy and tasty, with some ‘old school Creamsicle’ per Dapper Dave. The Krug had plenty of stuffing to it as well, but it had more balance, too (96).

There was a 1973 Dom Perignon Rose which was a dirty birdie of sorts, ‘grungy’ according to one of the guests. It was an accurate comment; I just never have loved old DP Roses (92).

A pair of Montrachets covered the white flight well, beginning with a 2008 Lafon Montrachet. This was a toasty, buttery, popcorny rich wine, flirting with kettle corn. It was sweet, delicious and rich, falling somewhere between rock star and porn star. Not sure that’s a place where I want to be lol, but the Lafon surely rocked and rolled right on over. Gentleman Jim found it ‘bigger’ and Dapper Dave ‘nutty’ (96).

Red Light District

The 2004 DRC Montrachet surprisingly felt a step behind, more surprisingly so because I recently had an all-star bottle of this. This bottle was more milky and yeasty with a bit of fresh pencil and a kiss of eucalyptus. It was creamy with green apple and corny goodness. It was buttery and sweet, yet oaky and austere. Maybe it needed a little more time, but time was not something we wanted to give with the red wines that were on tap (95).

The pairs continued with 1961 Bordeaux, St. Emilion versus Pomerol. The 1961 Ausone had loads of licorice and red fruits in its nose, along with dates, tree bark and a peel quality of some sorts. Dapper Dave found it ‘intense,’ and its palate was rich and coconutty with a ‘cool smoky thing’ happening. This was creamy city, and someone noted ‘coffee’ (94).

Righteous Bankers

Well, well, well, 1961 Petrus again, my second bottle in three months. That officially constitutes a good year, and while this was ‘freakishly great’ per the Dapper one, it didn’t quite hit the highest of high notes for me like the bottle I had with The Rev a couple months prior. Don’t get me wrong, this was still best wines of my life category, ie 97 points and up. This bottle had that rich and creamy Pomerol nose with plums, honey and sex all over the house. It was delicious and rich, chewy and deep purple, with traces of game and lots of exotic things happening that only happen abroad (97).

The flights were getting larger, and the night was getting longer in a great way. Dujac took center stage next, beginning with a 1985 Dujac Clos de la Roche This was gamy and kinky with rich, teabag aromas. It was delicious and creamy with a long, slippery personality. Foresty fruit was dabbed in honey in this tasty wine (95).

Drink Dujac

The 1978 Dujac Clos St. Denis was rich and beefy, ‘dirty’ per The Mogul. There’s a joke to be made in there somewhere, but the CSD got better and better as the dirt blew off, and the fruit blew in. There’s a joke to be made there, too, lol. 1978 is probably the greatest expression of Dujac ever, and after some air, the CSD showed why (96).

The 1969 Dujac Bonnes Mares was a rare bird, and its first commercial vintage, I believe. It had a rich and gamy nose, and Big Boy found it ‘crazy’ in a good way. There was lots of autumn howling in the glass, and its finish was neverending. This was a creamy and satiny wine, although it got more gamy with time. It was a ‘drink up’ kind of bottle (96).

The next and final flight was all 1971, and all DRC.
1. 1971 DRC Grands Echezeaux (97)
2. 1971 DRC Richebourg (96)
3. 1971 DRC La Tache (96)
4. 1971 DRC Romanee Conti (98+)

Four Horsemen

The Grands Echezeaux almost stole the show, were it not for the biggest and baddest of them all, the RC, or ‘RC RC’ as many like to call it. The GE had everything you could ask in a ’71 DRC wine: beef, blood, menthol, citrus, red fruits, game and autumn leaves. There was a great expression of fruit perfectly balanced by its long finish, which was singing with acidity. The GE outperformed the next two wines/bottles on this rare occasion, but the RC showed why it is the most expensive wine in the world. It should almost be forbidden to open a bottle of this wine before it reaches age 30, as the older ones are where you can really taste the difference. On this amazing night, we were able to taste four differences for this legendary vintage of DRC, which may be drinking better for this Domaine than any other older, mature vintage as far as consistency and reliability.

We had a few more bottles of Champagne as we danced away the rest of the night on the deck. Alas, there are no more summer nights, but there is still plenty of drinking left to do this Fall. Start your engines!

Summer Nights

In Vino Veritas,
JK

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