So where were we? It was still Friday night, I was still in LA, and I swear I didn’t inhale. It was time for a Cristal intermezzo before the Burgundies, that’s right, and it was a pretty good one. The 1966 Roederer Cristal got ‘fresh,’ ‘great’ and ‘beautiful’ from the crowd. It was sweet and flavorful with a long backside. It had an outstanding finish, showing the greatness of the vintage, and its sweetness dominated (95).

Hey, That’s Me

The 1976 Roederer Cristal Rose was only the third vintage ever for this luxury cuvee. It had a gorgeous nose of orange blossoms, rose petals and rainwater. It was also sweet but more restrained and stylish on the palate. This was rock solid every which way, and The Canadian Baked One was all about the ‘butterscotch.’ Oh, that’s right, he is now to be known as The Bulldog (97).

We began the Burgundies on the wrong foot, with an off bottle of 1937 Leroy Richebourg (DQ),but the 1949 Leroy Richebourg that followed was spectacular. ‘This is more like it,’ I wrote. Its nose was sexy with a minty freshness. Its fruit was sweet with a citrus smack to it. Its finish was brick city. This was an older release and a spectacular bottle that was deep, deep inside (98).

We continued with the Riches, but this time with DRC. The 1955 DRC Richebourg was quite sappy and full of menthol. It was a flashy and fleshy wine, with lots of alcohol that was still reined in. It had a painted quality in the best of ways. Flavors of garden and oil joined the mint and menthol. It was an exciting wine, but twisted in a way, and a celery soda kick emerged on its finish (94).

The 1978 DRC Richebourg was another great bottle. There was signature menthol, along with sweet meat and loads of autumnal qualities. Its palate was oily, so much so I wrote it three times. Long and brothy, this was a great ’78 (96).

The 1985 DRC Richebourg was ‘surprisingly’ disappointing. It felt weak by usual standards, and it had lots of cherry diaper going on (91?).

We were back to the spectacular with a 1990 DRC Richebourg. There were loads of vitmains in this rich, saucy and sappy red. Aromas of tree bark and green moss supported massive t ‘n a. Its palate was Superbad, not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good lol. Minty pine flavors tickled the roof of my mouth. This bottle was about as good as it gets for this wine (98).

So was the 1999 DRC Richebourg. It was so young, so primary, the only one so much so. While super rich, it was more about the stalks and stems, along with an ocean of purple fruit. Keep these babies on ice another decade (97+).

A 1953 DRC Romanee Conti was unfortunately shot (DQ),but the two La Taches that followed were not. The second was a 1978 DRC La Tache, which all I wrote was ‘solid’ (95). The previous ’78 Richebourg actually outshined the La Tache for a change, but it was also all about the other LT that preceded it.

The 1971 DRC La Tache showed why this is one of the legendary La Taches of all time and in a peak performance zone right now. Come to think of it, it’s been there about 10-15 years. Its nose was beyond spectacular with crazy complexity. The signature menthol, the red and purple fruits, and spices from seemingly every country on earth – Asian, Indian, Jamaican, insert your own country here. Its finish was endless as its acidity continued to rock on past the witching hour (99).

I Am Legend

There was one last intermezzo to the DRC’s, that being a 1969 Rousseau Chambertin, usually the wine of the vintage that transcends its overall quality. This bottle had a bit too much brown sugar, and more menthol in the DRC direction than usual. It was a bit forward and faded quickly, but you could tell the raw materials were great (95A).

Ok, one last flight to go:
1. 1985 DRC La Tache (DQ)
2. 1990 DRC La Tache (98+)
3. 1996 DRC La Tache (95)
4. 1999 DRC La Tache (99)

Grand Finale

While the ’85 was unfortunately an off bottle, the 1990 was ‘delicious’ per The Punisher. Hollywood Jef agreed. This was a deep, rich, ripe and saucy LT. ‘A nice bottle of 90,’ The Punisher continued, ‘a great bottle of 1990,’ someone countered. The Punisher’s perspective is a bit 20,000 feet lol. This was a heavy wine with a spicy finish, which was also thick and lickety-split, so to speak. The 1996 was smooth and solid, a bit mundane after the 1990, and a bit green, gardeny and weedy by usual standards. The 1999 was another powerhouse, adolescent perfection. The only criticism was that it was too young. Antonio summed it up, ‘the two 1999s are staggering.’ There is a reason Aubert once said to me that it may be the best vintage the Domaine has ever made.

Round two and night one were over. See you again soon!

The Happy Recap

In Vino Veritas,

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