League of Gentle Men at Restaurant Marseilles
There was no theme for this meeting of the League of Gentle Men. Each member brought a wine that they particularly liked to share with the group. Unfortunately two of the wines this evening turned out to be corked.
As is our custom we begam with Champagne. I was looking forward to this wine because I have not had the pleasure of drinking it before and 2002 was a great vintage in Champagne.
2002 Pierre Gimmonet & Fils Champagne – Made from 100% Chardonnay grapes from the Cotes des Blances. This was a great way to start off the evening. The wine was drinking very well with nice fruit and a mineral character that put everyone in the right mood for the wine and food that was to follow.
1992 Batard-Montrachet Domaine Leflaive This is a great white wine from one of the best producers. It was rich and delicate at the same time with hints of butterscotch.
Barolo 1983- Marchesi di Barolo 100% Nebbiolo. 1983 was a very good but not great vintage. The producer owns vineyards in the Barolo area but I am not sure if some of the grapes were purchased. The wine was drinking very well and it had all the classic aromas and flavors of an old Barolo, including tar, leather, and tea, without showing its age.
1987 Chateau Latour (Pauillac) made from 75 % Cabernet, 20 Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the blend depending on the vintage. I first began to drink Chateau Latour in 1968 with the 1963 vintage. 1963 was a very poor vintage in Bordeaux and the wine was selling in a wine store in Brooklyn for $3.99. For that price I bought a number of bottles and would drink them only with my then girlfriend, now wife, who was very impressed. I still remember the aroma of the Latour when I opened the bottle. It wasn’t until later that I learned that Latour makes great wine even in off vintages. It has been my favorite Bordeaux ever since. It did not disappoint.
1996 Vega Sicilia Unico-Ribera del Duero made mostly from Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon and produced only in good years and aged a minimum of 10 years before release. This wine is aged in new French oak and new and used American oak for at least seven years and in bottle for about three years. This was a big wine but much too modern in style for my taste.
1994 Savennieres – Roche Aux Moines, Domaine Aux Moines(Anjou) made from 100% Chenin Blanc. The soil is clay and shale. After pneumatic pressing fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks, aging is stainless steel with a very limited use of new oak. This was a very interesting wine with a lot of flavor and fruit but with a dry finish.