Since December ended so nicely with The Don, and since I have severely missed his company at the dinner table for much of 2012, I made another date with The Don for early 2013 to catch some football and bring the whole family on out. Of course, at the time, we thought we would be watching the Giants together. Ahem, ahem. At least we were still the current defending World Champions for a few more days.

Now That’s A Tree

As customary, The Don sent me down into the cellar to make a few selections. My son, Nicholas, who is age 13 going on 25, followed me down into the cellar to ‘check it out’ and help with the selections. Upon entering the cellar, he couldn’t believe how many rooms and bottles were below. After a barrage of ‘how much is this bottle worth,’ he soon decided that we should have something from his vintage, 1999. ‘Good idea,’ I concurred. I see many great tastings in his future . My daughter Maggie soon entered, and upon discovering what we were doing, she quickly decided we should have something from her vintage, too, which is 2001. Of course, we couldn’t exclude little Katerina from 2010, and her Mama, Vintage Tastings alum Alexander the Great, from 1982. Last and definitely least, I found something for Old Man Kapon from 1971.

Snooping Around the Cellar

Upon returning upstairs, The Don loved our idea, and the evening was off and running with a 2010 Dauvissat-Camus Chablis Preuses. For those of you that don’t know, the Dauvissat-Camus and ‘standard’ Dauvissat are the same wines, divided up for economic reasons within the family. Its nose was packed with aromas of smoky, scallop-y fruit along with crushed seashells, lime, citrus and a round, intense minerality that carried over to the palate, which also possessed hints of exotic guava. The character of 2010 was self-evident immediately, and The Don quickly commented how he thought 2010 was the better overall vintage, not trying to take anything away from 2009. When it comes to Burgundy, The Don is like EF Hutton, and I listen (94).

Fireside Chat

A 2001 Haut Brion Blanc was next, as Bordeaux made a rare interjection into The Don’s rotation. He is a closet lover of Haut Brion Blanc, which I completely understand. Dry white Bordeaux in general still remains a bit of a secret; the quality overall is better than ever before when you look at wines like Pape Clement, Smith Haut Lafitte, Domaine de Chevalier, etc. There are a lot of great wines being made there today. Back to Little Miss Maggie and the 2001, aromas of glue, honey and yeast were out and about in its forward, pungent and gamey nose. The palate seemed ready to go, ‘in the middle’ of its drinking window as The Don put it. There was a heaviness to its character, along with a soft, plush body. Amazing marzipan aromas developed in its nose along with dried pineapple flavors in this delicious white (94).

The Whites from the Girls’ Years

It was on to Nick The Pick and the reds with a 1999 Meo-Camuzet Vosne Romanee Les Brulees, which had a tight, pungent nose, especially for a 1999. There was a touch of gas up front with purple flowers and bricks behind. It gave more fruit on the palate, ‘tight but juicy’ The Don noted. There were a lot of ceramic qualities to the Brulees, which also had a citrusy bite. Its acid was long and extraordinary; this wine felt too young. Touches of rubber and leather rounded out its bright finish (94+).

These Two Always Get Along

A rare 1982 Roumier Bonnes Mares was up next, an ode to Mama. I always love tasting old, forgotten vintages from master producers, and this bottle reminded me why. It had a fabulous nose full of rose, cherry, tea leaves and bread crust. There was great t ‘n a as well to this complex nose. The palate was showing autumnal flavors, which were balanced with great citrus and broth qualities. This was very special, especially given the vintage, possessing lots of complexity in its flavors. Even though it started to fade a bit more quickly than the others, it was a beautiful and mature wine. I suppose if I drank a whole bottle of this by myself, I may have given it a point less, as the vintage might not have held up over time as well (94).

We lastly sampled a sumptuous and rare 1971 Dujac Echezeaux, in honor of yours truly. At the time, I believe they only made a barrel or two of this beauty, and this was only the third vintage commercially released for this now legendary Domaine. The ’71 was underbrush city, like crawling through the forest floor while seeking out a bowl of mushroom soup. Its soupy, meaty nose had a delightful, brown sugar glaze. The palate was soft and tasty with a love me tender finish. This was a perfectly mature beauty of a Burg (94).

Sweet Music

It was another wonderful evening with The Don, five of a kind, both in ratings and family. In the end, everyone was saying ‘Uncle,’ both to the wines, and to the man, the one, the only, The Don.

Now That’s A Fire

In Vino Veritas,

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