Wine Talk

Snooth User: JonDerry

Burgundy, Barolo Dinner at BRERA Los Angeles

Posted by JonDerry, Oct 17, 2016.

This Thursday evening at Officine BRERA, I'll get a chance to taste some incredible wines. Well, they sure look incredible on paper anyhow.

Champs

1966 Bollinger 

1999 Clos des Goisses 

 

White Burgs

2004 Leflaive Batard Montrachet 

2004 Pierre Yves Colin Morey Chevalier Montrachet 

2007 Sauzet Batard Montrachet 

1999 Bouchard Chevlaier Montrachet

 

 Red Burgs

1966 Leroy Chapelle-Chambertin 

1966 Faiveley Clos de Beze 

1985 Jadot Musigny 

1988 La Pousse d'Or Volnay Clos de la Bousse d'Or 

1996 Bachelet Charmes 

 

Barolos 

1990 Giovanni Conterno Barolo

1990 B. Mascarello Barolo

1990 Cappellano Toro Assicurazioni Special Barolo

1985 G. Rinaldi Brunate Speciale Riserva (SUPER RARE)

1978 Giacosa Santo Stefano Riserva 

 

Dessert

1935 Château Mossé Rivesaltes 

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Replies

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Reply by Really Big Al, Oct 17, 2016.

Better have some coffee ready.  You're gonna want to try them all.  Are any considered '100' point wines?

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Reply by outthere, Oct 17, 2016.

Nice JD, very envious! Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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Reply by vin0vin0, Oct 17, 2016.

JD, that lineup looks tremendous, looking forward to reading your review!

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Reply by William Djubin, Oct 17, 2016.

Great job, and alot of pressure for the Cellar and Private Cellar keepers. Caves are obvious.

Jealous, as we dont have many below Sea-level rooms in SE Florida. I would have enjoyed this event as I do love properly cellared Burgundy and Barolo.

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Reply by JonDerry, Oct 18, 2016.

Al, I could be wrong but 100 pt wines are predominantly Napa Cabs, where the reviewers (Parker, Galloni, Spectator) tend to get a little carried away. It's a different ballgame for European wines like these, which are generally held to a much higher standard (graded tougher).

I know the Sauzet Batard Montrachet I'm bringing is a 98+ according to John Gilman, who is one of the only critics I look at/consider, along with the guys who made up what was IWC (Tanzer, Raynolds, D'Agata).

The Burgundy I may be most looking forward to is the '88 Pousse d'Or just because it will be the first Gerard Potel wine I'll have tasted, who is somewhat of a Burgundian legend. Ditto for a few of the Barolo's, and I'm real curious to see if the Jadot Musigny is still hanging on.

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Reply by rckr1951, Oct 18, 2016.

Especially curious about the Faively (have only been drinking them for a few years) and the Giacosa.

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Reply by JonDerry, Oct 20, 2016.

Well, tonight is the night. Prepping these babies for the long car ride over to DownTown.

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Reply by William Djubin, Oct 20, 2016.

2007 Batard ES is my choice. Nice young color in the pic.

Unless it is an empty bottle? funny and I see the line.!

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Reply by JonDerry, Oct 21, 2016.

Started with the two champagnes, and white burgundies. The White Burgundy flight was spectacular! As were the food pairings...

Simple Pizza/Pancake for the Champagne - Clos des Goisses

Some Salmon sashimi w/ the 66' Bollinger. Some life left, but it was a case of the 99' Clos des Goisses being a little young, and the 66' Bollinger a little too old. Preferred the Clos des Goisses, which was a nice start to the evening. Showed much younger than my last bottle 6 months ago.

The first pairing from heaven! The '07 Sauzet Batard Montrachet was a beautiful, pure expression of Chardonnay. There was not a single note of noise or impression of alcohol. The lemon fruit was subdued and silky. If one had a knit, it may be that it wasn't a powerful wine, it was the midpoint of light and medium body, but crystalline is a word that comes to mind. Very low tannin and oak impression.

With the Langostino? Forget about it!

Next up, Nova Scotain Lobster. One of the guys was talking about how Nova Scotian lobster is more desirable because it's colder water than Maine lobster, making the meat sweeter. I could see what he meant. It was a killer pairing with the 04' Pierre Yves Colin Morey Chevalier Montrachet, which was a little on the sweeter side, though not over done, I got more of a simple and direct lemon impression, with well integrated acidity and structure. Almost cartoonish how perfect the balance of the wine was, with the sweetness poking out just a hair. This is one that improved with air.

Somewhere inbetween, a 99' Bouchard Chevalier Montrachet was had. It was the gutsy-est of the lineup, though not overdone or too big, it simply had more guts to it, being the oak or winemaking style, etc. It was also very nicely done, and compelling, owing to the structure and how it was well balanced. Tough to leave this wine in 3rd out of 3, but I think it probably was. I'll take the '07 Batard most days of the week.

Now on to the red burgundies...this is where the ooh's and ahh's really started to come out.

The 66' Faiveley Beze drew the most votes for wine of the night. It was indeed pretty spectacular. It had good fruit freshness, with a slight charcoal element that didn't really distract, in fact, it made the wine more memorable. Overall excellent acidity and tart red fruit, with a slight rusticity to it, and a graceful finish, still with some power left.

66' Leroy Chapelle Chambertin - This really made the 66' comparison interesting, as this was clearly in contrast to the Faiveley, being sweeter, denser, and more concentrated (no surprise there). It was 50 years old and still kind of brooding! Most of us preferred the crunch and freshness of the Faiveley, but the Leroy fit nicely with the course it was paired with, so who could argue?

While the 66' Chambertin's showed in their archetypal, masculine style. The '88 Pousse d'Or Pommard was by contrast showing in a decidedly softer, more feminine style, however it still held some tension and intruige, and plenty of delicious dark plum fruit. The wine showed very well, and above it's vineyard designation, which is no doubt a hallmark of the great Gerard Potel. Tasting history like this is such a treat.

And oh The Jadot Musigny, maybe I saved the best for last? This was a seemless wine, at the beginning of its plateau. One of the guys made a great comment, "have you ever had a musigny that was too old". I had fears of this wine being over the hill, but luckily we were blessed with a beautiful bottle of this. Fresh, and complex, a definite candidate for WOTN along with the 66' Faiveley. Paired with Black and White Truffle Risotto, deca wow!

 

There was great anticipation for the Barolos, and for this 85' Super Rare 100% Brunate Riserva. However, I'm afraid I got lost in Barololand. Most of the wines carried an offputting (for me) iodine note, that I just don't enjoy. The 85' was better than the rest I think, but our stomachs were full, our palates fried, and it wasn't the right kind of wine to mix with all that and the beef courses. Pity.

There were some oohs and ahhs over the first Nebbiolo as well, the red label Giacosa. Chocolate flavored red fruits, classic barbaresco, and I suppose I did get some enjoyment out of that. Too bad it wasn't under better circumstances.

However, this Sauv Blanc? 79' White showed fresh as a daisy. Made for a real nice and interesting palate cleanser.

 

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Reply by rckr1951, Oct 21, 2016.

Sounds absolutely wonderful.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts and pics.

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Reply by William Djubin, Oct 21, 2016.

Again "Oh what a night". Nice notes. Impressive.. www.youtube.com//watch?v=liyiT_DGREA

My Copy and Paste are not available now... Thanks Moderators of Snooth!  as I do type and try.

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Reply by William Djubin, Oct 21, 2016.

If you copy and paste the link you site it works.!  amazing job JonDerry and 1st class, pressure, 1000 Claps to you for the 1st class effort and summary for us..

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Reply by Really Big Al, Oct 22, 2016.

Very impressive, I must agree.  It's nice to see the wine and food pairing pictures, along with your tasting notes.

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Reply by outthere, Oct 22, 2016.

Kudos for being on top of the notes. In a big line-up I normally check out. Truly a memorable evening JD, thanks for sharing!

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Reply by JonDerry, Oct 22, 2016.

Glad you enjoyed gents, it was all really over the top. I suppose there is some head room there for even better wines down the road in life, but the food and set up was about as good as it gets. Al, for you and anyone scoring at home, I'd probably put most of the Burgundies between 93 - 96 points. With the Faiveley Beze tops, Jadot Musigny 2nd, 07' Sauzet Batard and Leroy tied for 3rd just ahead of the Pousse d'Or and the Chevalier Montrachet's.

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Reply by William Djubin, Oct 22, 2016.

CONGRATULATIONS JONDERRY you now are a scholar member of Snooth White Burgundy and a Class A rated Dijon-file. -Your Snooth profile is updated with the Award and Merit. (funny?) - William

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Reply by dmcker, Oct 23, 2016.

Great night for sure, JD. Your current focus on Burgundy shines through brightly, though I wonder why you thought one or two of the reds might be too old--maybe for the labels to hold up, but fortunately no problem for the wines, it would seem. I was even thinking the whites were too young.  ;-)  Too bad the barolos hit you with that iodine, though I do understand about palate overload. Was that you on the Montecristo at end-of-night?

BTW, that Joly palate cleanser is chenin blanc, not SB--most of Savennieres is planted to CB, even though it's in the middle of the Loire.  :-)   He's an interesting if sometimes cantankerous guy I've met before, and have been enjoying his wines since the '80s, with vintages from earlier, including that '79. Occasionally an off year or bottle, but always enjoyable in my experience, and unique in their way. They generally age well. He has his detractors, even amongst his neighbors, but no one doubts his ability to make great wine, and he had the pull to be able to get an A.C. specifically for just the Coulee, which has only a 7 hectare (<18acre) plot on a hillside.

Oh, and plenty of 100pt wines assigned in Bordeaux by the usual suspects. Even the Rhone from time to time. You don't see it in Burgundy because RP never made it there....

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Reply by JonDerry, Oct 23, 2016.

Yes, that was me on the Montecristo...went down much better than the Barolo.

Thanks for the info on the '79 Loire white. It was a nice contribution by one of the guys...sounds like an interesting back story there too.

I didn't know what to expect out of the two from '66, though I trusted the more experienced crowd I was with more than my own guesses, and they proved themselves right with how the wines showed. Very educational for me, the whole thing. I posted my notes on the red burgs on the Facebook Burgundy group and heard from Erwan of Faiveley, who never got a chance to try the 66' Beze crafted by his grandfather, but he really appreciated my thoughts on the wine, consistent with what he's heard I imagine.

As to the '85 Musigny, I've had some lighter, tired 85's and was a little worried the Jadot might have seen better days, but luckily that fear was dispelled. It was a touch lighter and nearer peak than the two '66, which were almost built like tanks.

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Reply by dmcker, Oct 25, 2016.

Sounds like storage was good for all. Did everyone else provide a few bottles each as you did? Any info about how they've acquired and stored the bottles? Always worrisome when you see labels like the Faively's, but then I've had TBAs, etc. from the Mosel and Rhein with far worse labels that were in great shape after 50 years--they just were stored where the humidity was too high and mildew ate the paper and glue.

 

The Coulee plot was planted back in the middle of the 12th century, during the time of Eleanor of Aquitane. At age 14 her dad died and she became Duchess of Aquitaine (and Poitou and Gascony and others)--the richest woman in Europe and probably the world at that time, and supposedly an utter knockout, so all-in-all the most eligible heiress on earth. A great deal of her wealth came from her vines in Bordeaux (a city founded by the Romans so you know they were making wine for a long time before Eleanor's day) as well as the Loire. The Loire vineyards were pretty much all getting going by her time,  within Poitou (and Anjou, Chinon, etc. owned by her future 2nd husband, Henry II of Anjou, Normandy and England).

Before his death Eleanor's dad got her betrothed to Louis the 7th of France, the future King, though France at that time was much smaller than it later became. He was an idiot when it came to military planning and deeds (he later personally led the utter failure of the 2nd Crusade, which she also went along on), and political processes and machinations, and ultimately allowed himself to be browbeaten by the church into being penitent according to their definition--thus leading to the utter fiasco of the 2nd Crusade amongst other questionable actions. Before that turnaround, and at Eleanor's instigation, one of his swifter deeds was warring against Champagne's lord who was pissed because his sister got dumped (marriage annulled after 20 or so years and several kids because of consanguination, which basically meant incest as defined by partnering with anyone up to 5th cousins--hey, they had to find ways to divorce when that wasn't technically possible under the Catholic Church) by the seneschal of France so he could marry Eleanor's sister, also a hottie and 30 years younger than him. Champagne's lord owed fealty to Louis but basically lost the plot and figured he'd ignore the 'school kid' who happened to be King but didn't know squat, and was able to finagle an ex-communication for the seneschal and Eleanor's sister. Louis invaded Champagne 3 or 4 times and burned and pillaged all over, including one incident where 1500 villagers were sheltering in a church but his troops burned it down anyway. He was only able to get the ex-communication rescinded temporarily, and gave back all the land he took for no political gain. I'm sure plenty of households wondered why their male members had to die during that kind of war.

Anyway, while the Loire was being actively planted with vines everywhere that made sense and Bordeaux was raking in plenty of lucre for its juice, Champagne was being turned into a wasteland. Dom Perignon didn't come along for another 500 years, anyway. Burgundy was a whole 'nuther country not anywhere within France's control at that point.

Ironically, Eleanore got tired of the later overly repentant, monkish and rather childish Louis and had her marriage annulled, too, for the same reason of consanguinity (there was a 4th or 5th degree relationship there--is it 'kissing couzins' at that degree???). She later married Henry II, combined her fiefdoms with his, and helped found the Angevin/Plantagenet dynasty that continued on for another 300+ years in England (and France with all sorts of good events like the 100 Year's War). Richard Lionheart, and Prince/King John of Robin Hood fame, were among her progeny. All the while, of course, she was drinking the best wine around and spending lots of money from its production within her lands. Oh yeah, and they were still eating with their hands in those days, even if wearing the best silk and other garments while drinking that wine. Forks hadn't yet been 'imported' from Constantinople, and points east.

I'm sure George RR Martin used plenty of her adventures as inspiration for Game of Thrones plot twists 850 years after her lifetime, though I haven't seen anything in his plot lines involving wine. Shakespeare also got plenty of story lines from the Plantagenets.

I'm guessing there were more than a few good winemakers toiling with the grapes from the Coulee plot before Joly...

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Reply by JonDerry, Oct 25, 2016.

I heard the 66' Faiveley was direct from Faiveley's cellar about 10 years ago, and that's when these collectors grabbed it. I imagine the same for the 66' Leroy. They sure tasted like well kept bottles, and I do see offers for old Faiveley and Leroy through the same retailer/importer we all like to buy from, Envoyer, out of Lake Forest, CA. They rely mostly on direct e-mail for their sales.

All participants I believe contributed at least two bottles.

When I mentioned that it seemed like an interesting back story, I had no idea what to expect. That's quite a chunk of history there. 

I did recognize the bottle for the first time while walking through Binny's the other day. In Chicago for business, took a drive through southern Wisconsin today. NY Thirsday, then home for Halloween.

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