Category Archives: Burgundy

Michel Mallard et Fils: A Burgundy Wine Family

Michele and I visited Beaune two years ago and had such a wonderful time that we decided to return. We wanted to visit some wineries but since it was harvest time it was difficult to get appointments. We were traveling with a friend who suggested we visit Domaine Michel Mallard et Fils because he really likes their wines. Somehow he was able to arrange an appointment.

The winery is a short taxi ride from the town of Beaune.

We were welcomed at the winery by Maryse and Patrick Mallard and their son Michel, now the fifth generation of this father to son winery.

The winery is located in the commune of Ladoix-Serrigny a small village between the Côte de Beaune and Cote de Nuits. The domaine works 11 hectares of vineyards on and around the hill of Corton.

Charles and Michel -Photo credit E. DeSalvo

Michel Mallard took us to the cellars to taste the wines.

What followed was a master class on his wines and the wines of Burgundy in general.

As many of the new and enlightened generation of Burgundy vignerons, Michel believes that great wine begins in the vineyard where he works to conserve and improve the life of the soil by using grass coverage, organic composts and controlled treatments only when absolutely necessary. In order to get the right balance between sweetness and acidity, they limit the amount of grapes produced by each vine. Plants that start to grow wild are thinned, tidied, aligned and cropped to allow more air and light through their foliage. The grapes with the optimal balance and maturity are hand harvested and sorted.

At the winery the white grapes are treaded and gently pressed in a pneumatic press. Crushing is avoided and they prefer to obtain free run juice at low pressure which is then clarified by the force of gravity alone. Some of the juice is drawn off into stainless steel vats, and the rest is placed in French oak barrels. Fermentation begins by the activation of the indigenous yeast. Beginning in 2016 Michel began vinifying with no added sulfur.

The White Wines we tasted…

Ladoix Blanc 2017 made from 100% Chardonnay. The vines grow at the bottom of the hill on the climes (vineyards) Madones and La Vigne Adaim, with a southeastern exposure. The vines are 10 years old. The soil is very heavy with a clayey texture from the weathering of the geological formation of Bresse maristone deposits. Michel said the high clay content and its position at the foot of the slope allow the soil to receive a good supply of water.

The barrels are made using wood from the Allier and Vosges forests. The wine is aged 12 months in 30% new wood casks (228 Burgundian barrels). The wine has aromas and flavors of white fruit with hints of pear and lemon and a touch of spice.

Landoix 1er Cru Les Gréchons 2016 made from 100% Chardonnay from vines between 40 and 50 years old.

This climat is located in the commune of Ladoix-Serrigny. The term Gréchons comes from the word Grève, from the Latin grava meaning sand or gravel. The soil is composed of friable rock, fine scree, sand and gravel and is a great terroir for cultivating vines.

The wine is aged for 15 months in 50% new wood casks.

This wine has hints of peach, pear, citrus fruits and a touch of hazelnuts.

The Red Wines we tasted…

Aloxe-Corton 1er Cru La Toppe Au Vert 2017 made from 100% Pinot Noir from vines between 40 and 50 years old. Located in Ladoix-Serrigny, La Toppe au Vert extends over Corton’s northeastern slopes (with southeastern exposure) and sits just below Grand Cru vineyards on the Corton hill. The term Toppe or Teppe is a pre –Latin origin and refers to a land on a hillside that enjoys good exposure: a land left fallow waiting the planting of the vines. Vert, originally Vers, means steep terrain in the Burundian dialect.

The soil is heavy with clay and moderate stone content. The soil composition comes from the weathering of thin deposits from the formation of Combianchien limestone.

Michel said this type of soil causes the vine’s network of roots to spread out horizontally near the top of the surface.

At harvest unhealthy grapes are removed, are destemmed and whole clusters are stacked in stainless steel vats or wooden casks.

Michel said they do not like to interfere too much in the wine cellar and prefer nature to take its course and produce its own vintage. After about a week of maceration, the fermentation process begins. At the beginning they do punching down of the cap, to gently extract the liquids, and at the end of fermentation, pumping over to adjust the tannic structure of the wine. The wine is then drawn off and some of the pressed grapes are added to the juice. Once assembled, the cuvee is placed in French oak barrels. The wine is aged for 15 months in 60% new oak casks (228 Burgundian). This is a wine meant to be aged for many years with a floral bouquet, hints of red fruit, cherries,clove and spice. It represents perhaps the best value in the Mallard Cellar as it is preciously close in quality to his Grand Cru wines at a fraction of the price.

Corton Grand Cru “Les Renardes” 2013 made from 100% Pinot Noir from vines between 50 and 55 years old. At the heart of the hillside, the parcel Les Renardes flourishes on the southeastern flank of the commune of Aloxe-Corton. Renardes means vixens, indicating the presence of numerous dens of foxes living in the area, or it just may be the name of the original climat’s owner.

Shallow soil, with clay and moderate stone content, from the weathering of colitic and bioclastic limestone (skeleton remains of living organisms) from the formation of limestone deposits in Ladoix. These limestone deposits split into slabs a few centimeters thick, allowing the roots to penetrate the soil more deeply. The wine is aged for 16 to 18 months in 70% new wood casks, 228L. This is a wine with hints of blueberry, red currants, a touch of black pepper, licorice and subtle meat and game notes.

Michel asked if we would like to taste anything else. I asked him if he had the 2007 vintage of this wine. 2007 is a vintage for Red Burgundy that is drinking particularly well right now. Michel obliged and opened a bottle. It was fantastic and has all the qualities of great Burgundy. Michel was kind enough to give us the open bottle to take back to the hotel with us. We drank it a few days later and it was still fantastic.

Michel Mallard produces: Côte de Nuits-Villages, Chorey-les-Beaune, Savigny-les-Beaune, Ladoix, Aloxe-Corton, Corton and Corton-Charlemagne.

In the United States Michel’s wines can be difficult to find.  My friend who had introduced me to these wines told me that Amanti Vino in New Jersey carries much of the Mallard range https://www.amantivino.com/

Since these wines sell quickly, if you do not see them on the website, you can email info@amantivino.com and let them know that you want to be alerted the next time they do an offering of Michel Mallard’s wine.

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Filed under Burgundy, Michael Mallard & Fils, Michel, Uncategorized

A Chicken to Remember in Beaune

Le Bistro d’Hotel

Our first dinner in Beaune was just about perfect. As soon as we sat down at Le Bistro d’Hotel, we were served a little “amuse” of black olives, marinated

cubes of winter squash, and cheese sablees, savory wafers.

Chablis Premier Cru “Montée De Tonnerre 2007 Clotilde Davenne made from 100% Chardonnay. The wine was drinking very nicely with hints of dried fruit, almonds and a touch of honey.

A little “gift” from the kitchen was a tiny cup of porcini mushroom soup.

Premier cru Ile des Vergelesse “Pernand Vergelesse” 2014 Domaine Rollin Père et Fils. Made from 100% Pinot Noir from a vineyard situated in the middle of the Vergelesse hileside slope and composed of very pebbly, shallow clay-limestone. Beneath is very brittle bed-rock. The exposure is east and it was planted in 1946(two-thirds and 1989(one third). Harvesting is by hand, and careful sorting at the vat house. After pre fermentation maceration for 5 to 6 days at 10C the alcoholic fermentation starts naturally at regulated temperature. There are daily tasting and pumping down. After two or three weeks in vats the wines go into oak barrels (30% new) for 12 to 14 months. Malolactic fermentation occurs in the barrel naturally in the spring. After racking, the wine is assembled in vat, until bottling the following winter. This is a rather floral, elegant and intense wines

For a first course we had foie gras terrine served with salad and onion confit,

while our friend ordered the snails in a green vegetable butter. He said he liked it but would have preferred the more traditional garlic butter.

The main course was a perfectly cooked poulard de Bresse. A poulard, our waitress explained is a female chicken that is allowed to fatten a month longer than a poulet.

She carved the bird beautifully and served it with the pan juices.

We enjoyed it with a heap of frites and a bouquet of colorful seasonal vegetables.

We decided to finish with a sweet, so we shared an order of crepes Suzette, flamed with Grand Marnier and plenty of good butter.

It may be an old fashioned dessert, but it sure was delicious. 

Then of course there was the coffee and the Marc

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Filed under Beaune, Burgundy, Chablis, Le bistro d'hotel

Another Celebration

My birthday this year fell on a Saturday and to celebrate I spent a long weekend in Montclair, NJ at the home of a good friend. It was a wonderful time of eating and drinking including a 1942 “Chianti.”

For my birthday dinner, Michele made Anchovy Twists for an appetizer, sticks of tender cream cheese pastry filled with anchovies.

With this we had

Champagne “Chardonnay” Brut 1982 Pol Roger & Co. made from grapes from the Grand Crus of the Cõte des Blancs: Oiry, Chouillu, Cramant, Avize and Oger. There are two débourbages (settlings), one at the press house immediately after pressing, the second “a froid” in stainless steel tanks at 6°C for 24 hours. A slow fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks with each variety and each village kept separate. There is full malolactic fermentation prior to the final blending. The secondary fermentation takes place in bottle at 9°C in cellars 33 meters below street level. It remains here until it undergoes remuage (riddling) by hand, a rarity in Champagne today. The wine has hints of grapefruit, apricot a touch of apple and a note of hazelnut. Produced in limited quantities, this cuvee has been aged for 7 years in the cellars before release. It was showing very well.

Melon Soup – A refreshing chilled soup made with cantaloupe, orange juice, honey and yogurt.

Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2002 Eduardo Valentini made from 100% Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. The winery is organic and biodynamic. The wine is aged in large botti of Slavonia oak for 24 months. This is a very complex, full-bodied wine with hints of citrus fruit, apple, mineral undertones, good acidity, a great finish and aftertaste, and that extra something that is difficult to describe. One of the guests called it the wine of the afternoon.

Puligny-Montrachet “Les Folatieres” 1982 Joseph Drouhin made from 100% Chardonnay in the central part of the Cotes de Beaune. There are 10,000 vines per hectare and the pruning system is guyot. There is a very slow pressing and the juice from the last pressing is not retained. No yeasts or enzymes are added. The wine goes directly into the barrel after decanting. It is aged in French oak barrels, 25% new. This is a complex, rich, velvety wine with hints of honey, honeysuckle, almond with dried fruit notes, with a very long aftertaste. It was wonderful.

Grilled Skewers  on the BBQ of Lamb, Bacon and Bread

served with Green Beans in Salsa Verde and a Tomato Salad was our main course.

Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru “Lavaux Saint-Jacques” 1982 Domaine Maume made from 100% Pinot Noir grown in a 28 hectare vineyard of clay and limestone soil. The vineyard is worked by horse and plow and is certified organic. The grapes are hand harvested and destemmed prior to fermentation on indigenous yeast. The wine is aged in 70% new French oak for a period of 18 months and then the wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered. The wine has hints of black and red cherries with notes of violets and rose petals.

Barbaresco “Camp Gros Martinenga” 1982 Tenuta Cisa Asinari Dei Marchese Di Gresy made from 100% Nebbiolo (Magnum). This is a wine of elegance and structure with hints of tobacco and cherries, a touch of balsamic, well balanced and a long finish. There was almost half a bottle left and we drank it two days later and it was even better.

Cote-Rotie 1999 (Magnum) Jean Francois et Carmen Garon made from 100% Syrah. The Domaine is located in the municipality of Ampuis and it extends over 7 hectares in the extreme north of the Rhone Valley. This is a terroir- driven wine. It is a big, structured wine with flavors of red and black fruit and hints of cherry and blueberry. The wine needs more time and was drinking marketdly better two days later.

Brolio Rosso “Chianti Superiore” Castello di Brolio in Chianti, Siena, Casa Vinicola Barone Ricascoli Firenze 1942. The wine was made mostly of Sangiovese with the addition of Canaiolo, Malvasia and Colorino. I do not know if there was any Trebbiano in the blend or if the governo method was used. The wine was showing its age but still drinkable.

The dessert was a perfectly seasonal fresh peach cake which we ate with ice cream.

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Filed under Barbaresco, Birthday 2019, Brolio Chianti Classico, Burgundy, Champagne, Cote Rote, Joseph Drouhin, Uncategorized

The Wine Media Guild at I-Trulli Restaurant

The Wine Media Guild, an association of wine communicators, held its annual end of the year dinner at i-Trulli restaurant in NYC. I was formerly the wine director/sommelier at i Trulli and returning there always brings back a lot of memories.  In addition, Pat Savoie and I were stepping down as co-chairs and David Ransom and Nick Antonaccio. were taking over as the new co-chairs.

There were many great bottles of wine drunk that evening, too many to list here thou I did get a chance to taste some of them

The list below were just the wines that we drank at my table. As always we started with Champagne.

Champagne Henriot “Millésime 2008 made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 6 Grand Crus: Maily Champagne, Verzy, Verzenay on Montagne de Reims, Mesnil-su-Oger, Avize, Chouilly on Côte des Blancs. The wine has hints of raspberries and strawberries with a touch of hazelnuts and brioche and a long finish. Ed (Champagne for Dummies) McCarthy, was sitting at my table, and said this house is finally getting the praise it deserves. Great way to start the evening.

Champagne Deutz Blancs De Blancs 1989 in magnum made from 100% Chardonnay. It has lemon and lime aromas, a note of cream and a touch of hazelnut. It was in perfect condition.

Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2005 Eduardo Valentini made from 100% Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. This is one of my favorite white wines. We should have decanted the wine because it took some time to open up in the glass but when it did it was wonderful.

Among the appetizers there were panzarotti, crisp  fried  turnovers  filled  with  tomatoes  and  mozzarella.

Meatballs

For the pasta cause there was  orecchiette with broccoli rabe.  The pasta is handmade by Dora Mazovilla,  the  mother  of  the  owner.

The main course was sliced steak with an arugula salad.

 

Chateau Haut Brion 1983 made from 45% merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Cabernet Franc and a note of Petit Verdot. It was a pleasure to drink.

Château Corton Grancey Grand Cru 1999 Louis Latour in magnum. It is a blend of four areas of Domaine Latour Corton Grand Cru: Bressandes, Perrieres, Gréves and Clos du Roi, proportions depending on the vintage. Traditional fermentation takes place in open vats. 10 to 12 months aging in oak barrels, 35% new. Louis Latour cooperage, French oak, medium toasted. This is a wine with supple tannins, wonderful aromas with great length and finish. It also took some time to open up in the glass.

Pormmard Grands Epenots 1979 Hurbet de Montille made from 100% Pinot Noir using a significant proportion of whole clusters, varying by vintage. They are known for wines that can age. It was drinking very well.

Carema 1989 Produttori di Carema (a co-op in the Northern part of Piedmont) made from 100% Nebbiolo. Small plots are hand harvested from various members of the co-op. All the vineyards are southeast facing and range in altitude from 300 to 600 meters. Traditional vinification, the wine is fermented and aged for at least 48 months in large Slavonian oak casks. It has hints of red cherries, red roses; leather and tar. The wine was in perfect condition.

Chateau Coutet a Barsac “Cuvee Madame 1989 made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Muscadelle. Barsac is technically part of the Sauternes region but its sandy and limestone soil produce a lighter sweet wine with balanced acidity. The wine has hints of tropical fruit, ginger, candied apricot and a touch of honey. It was a perfect way to end a wonderful evening.

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Filed under Bordeaux, Burgundy, Carema, Champagne, Chateau Coutet Cuvee Madame, Deutz Blanc de Blances, Henriot, Uncategorized

Six Wines

Listed below are 6 wines  I had with lunch or dinner and I have not had a chance to mention in other blogs.

Champagne Grand Siecle “Alexandra” Rose 1997 Laurent-Perrier. Made from 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay. This Champagne is made in extremely limited quantities and only in the best vintage years. The 1997 was only the fourth bottling of this Champagne. It has all of the characteristics of a great Rose Champagne but it was also so subtle.

Chianti Rufina Riserva 2010 “Vigneto Bucerchiale Fattoria Selvapiana made from 100% Sangiovese. The vineyard is 12.50 hectares, at 200 meters, the soil is of medium density clay, dry and stony, well drained. There are 5,200 vines per hectare and the exposure is south/southwest. Vines were planted in 1968 and 1992 and the training system is spur cordon. Hand harvested the first week of October. Fermentation is in stainless steel with all natural yeasts. Fermentation and maceration is for 25 days. The wine is aged in 225 hl French casks. This is a wine with hints of cherry, violets and plums with a touch of tobacco.

Chambolle Musigny 1978 Domaine Robert Groffier made from 100% Pinot Noir. Burgundy at its best.

Aglianico del Taburno Riserva Vigna Cataratte 2009 DOCG Fontanavecchia The grapes are selected and hand harvested. Fermentation is in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for about 20 days. The wine is aged for 14 months in barriques and aged for 34 more months before release. This is a bold wine with hints of cherry, spice, chocolate and a touch of licorice.

The Emidio Pepe winery is Organic and Bio Dynamic . The training system is cordon spur and tendone. Only natural yeasts are used. The grapes are crushed by  hand. No sulfites are added to the wine. The juice is placed in glass lined cement tanks of 20/25 hl for two years. Since this is natural wine, malolactic fermentation may take place in the tank or in the bottle. The bottles are corked by hand.

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 1983 Emidio Pepe This bottle was showing its age but was still very drinkable.

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 1985 Emidio Pepe this bottle was showing very well with deep red fruit aromas and flavors, hints of cherry, spice and leather- it is a great wine. I have had the 1983 before and it too is a great wine. As someone once said “ the are no great wines, only great bottles of wine”

 

 

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Filed under Aglianico, Burgundy, Champagne, Chianti Classico, Chianti Rufina, Emidio Pepe, Laurent- Perrier- Grand Siècle, Selvapiana

Celebrating the Year of the Pig

Ever year Michele and I go out with friends to celebrate Chinese New Year. Our favorite place to celebrate is Oriental Gardens in NYC’s Chinatown. This year is the year of the pig.  The year of the pig occurs every 12 years and we tried to bring wine from past years of the pig.  The vintages would be 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971 1959, 1947, etc.

As always we started with Champagne

Champagne Deutz Blanc de Blancs 2007 made from 100% Chardonnay from its own Grand Cru vineyards in the villages of Aviza and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Only produced in selected vintages. It is crisp but at they same time has a hint of toast and brioche from extended aging on the lees. Dosage: Brut: 12/g. it was drinking very well now and it can age.

Champagne Jacques Selosse Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs– this was not vintage dated but it was disgorged in 2007. This is a complex champagne with hints of toast and honey but without any sweetness and a slight touch of oxidation.

With the Champagne we has an assortment of dumplings, including one filled with scallops, another with shrimp and another with pork.

Domaine Gourt de Mautens Jérôme Bressy 2013 made from Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picardan, Roussanne, Maesanne, Viognier, Picpoul Blanc and Picpoul Gris. The age of the vines is 30 to 50 years. The soil is chalk, clay, gravel and marl and the vineyard is at 220 meters. There is hand harvesting, pneumatic pressing, and natural yeast fermentation tank. The wine is aged for 10 to 18 months in tank and French oak demi-muids. Now labeled Cotes-du Rhone Blanc, because Rasteau Blanc is not authorized. I do not know if this wine was made by Jean-Charles le Bault de la Moriniere or by his father- there methods were somewhat different. This is a difficult wine to describe it does not have the richness one would expect but it a complexity wine with nice minerality and a certain something that I liked.

Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva Mirum 2007 La Monacesca made from 100% Verdicchio from a 3 hectare, north-south facing vineyard at 400 meters. The vines are about 30 years old and the soil is mostly clay. The vines are vertically trained arched or double arched cane and there are about 1,800 vines per hectare. The hand picked grapes are left on the vine an extra two weeks until they are slightly overripe. Harvest is the third/fourth week of October. The grapes are quickly and lightly pressed. with no addition of S02. Fermentation for 20 days at 20C in stainless steel. The wine remains on the lees until spring and undergoes natural malolactic fermentation in early summer. Aging for 18 months in stainless steel and 6 months in bottle before release on Dec. 1 two years after the harvest. This is a complex wine made in only the best vintages. It has hints of citrus, toasted almonds, honey with a very nice aftertaste and long finish. I was very impressed with this wine!  

Corton-Charlemagne “Grand Cru” 1995 Bonnrau du Martray location. Pernard Vergelesse, Cote de Beaune, Burgundy made from 86% Chardonnay and 14% Pinot Noir. Vinification with indigenous yeast alcoholic fermentation, aging with up to 30% new oak, very light fining and filtration. The winery is certified organic (Ecocert). I do not know if this wine was made by Jean-Charles le Bault de la Moniniere or by his father, their methods were slightly different. This is a very difficult wine to describe but I liked it.

With the white wine we had fried soft shell crabs, one of my favorites

Then we had lobster with ginger sauce.

Steamed whole fish with soy, scallions and ginger.

 

Morey Clos de la Bussiere 1959  Pierre Ponnelle 100% Pinot Noir and drinking very well.  I could not find any information about this wine.

Domaine Gourt de Mautens “Rasteau” 2008 Jerome Bressy made from Grenache, Carignan, Mourvedre, Syrah, Counoise, Cinsalut, Vaccarese and Terret Noir. The soil is chalk, clay, gravel and marl, the age of the vines, 30 -100 and the vineyard is at 220 meters. There are 13 hectare of vines. The grapes are hand harvested, triple sorted, crushed and fermented by natural yeasts in tronconic oak vats. The wine spends 24 to 36 months in concrete, founders and French oak demi-muids. The winery is certified biodynamic (Demeter). This is the second time in a week that I have had this wine and I enjoyed it both times. It is a wine with hints of black fruit, blackberries and blueberries with a touch of cherry, spice and good acidity. It is just starting to drink now but will be better with a little more age. The wine no longer has Rasteau on the label because Mr. Bressy has left the appellation because they limited the number of grapes he could use the wine is now called Vaucluse Rough.

Fiorano Rosso Vino da Tavola 1993Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot Boncompagni Ludovisi Principe di Venosa. Burton Anderson, in his landmark Italian wine book Vino, called Fiorano Rosso “the noblest Roman of them all”.  The Prince’s few acres of vines are planted along the Appian Way about 20 kilometers southwest of the center of Rome and almost right next to Rome’s second airport, Ciampino. It is the best cabernet/merlot blend made it Italy and one of the best in the world!  In my opinion–and I am in the minority here–one of the best places in the world to grow Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot is in Lazio close to Rome. Alessia Antinori, granddaughter of the Prince and owner of Tenuta Fiorano, brought the wine. The wine is all leather and cherry, showing no signs of age and I love it!!!!!!

Chianti Riserva Ducale Ruffino 1947 made from 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, 10% Malvasia and Trebbiano and 5% Colorino, Ciliegiolo and Cabernet. Made by using the governo method. Once common in Tuscany, governo is a secondary fermentation created by the addition of dried grapes 10-15%, or the must of dried or concentrated grapes.  Colorino was usually the grape of choice to be dried. The best gapes from Ruffino’s vineyard were used for the Riserva Ducale, which spent at least three years in large oak casks. The Riserva Gold Label is a selection of the lots of the best vintages of the Riserva Ducale.

With the red wine we had peking duck, here served in a steamed bun, pigeon and fried chicken.

 

 

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Filed under Burgundy, Champagne, Deutz Blanc de Blances, Domaine Gourt de Mautens, Fiorano Rosso, Oriental Gardens, Ruffino, Verdicchio

An Extraordinary Wine Dinner

A wine collector friend decided to have a party in order to share some of his best wines so he arranged a dinner at Gramercy Tavern.  There were 16 of us in the private dining room.

The Wines

Champagne “ Grand Dame” 1990 Double Magnum Veuve Clicquot made with 62% Pinot Noir and 38% Chardonnay from the estate’s 100 percent rated Grand Cru vineyards. This is refined, elegant champagne with a hint of brioche and a smooth silky finish.

All of the following wines are Magnums

Batard Montrachet 2004 Joseph Drouhin made from 100% Chardonnay purchased from regular supplies. Hand harvest and a very slow pressing. Juice from the last pressings is not used. The wine is decanted directly into barrels. The wine is aged in French oak, 25% new for 12 to 15 months. The wine has hints of honey, almond, ripe fruit and a touch of wood. It has a great feel in the mouth with a long finish and very pleasing aftertaste.

Chambertin 1989 Domaine A Rousseau P&F Made from 100% Pinot Noir. The soil is limestone and clay and the vineyard is 5.3 acres making them the largest landowner in Chambertin. Following a cold maceration the must travels by gravity into barrels where it will stay for the entire vinification process lasting from 18 to 24 months. The wine is blended unfiltered. This is a structured, dense, powerful wine but it is not heavy and is a joy to drink. One on the two best Burgundies I have had the pleasure to enjoy. The other I also had with this same generous friend.

PommardLes Rugiens Bas” 1988 De’Montille made from 100% Pinot Noir from Les Rugiens Bas, a Premier Cru composed of 5.83 hectares. With 1.02 hectares, they are the largest owners. The soil is clay with the presence of iron. The wines are certified organic by Ecocert and they use biodynamic practices. This wine is balanced and elegant with nice fruit and will age for a number of years.

Ornellaia 1988 Marchese Lodovico Antinori made from 80% Cabernet Sauvignon,16% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc.  The grapes are hand harvested. The grapes were de-stemmed and gently crushed and put into wooden fermenters and stainless steel tanks. Fermentation maceration lasted for 15 to 20 days. After fermentation the wine completed malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels.  The wine was aged for 11 months in French barriques 40% new and 60% once used. The wine was aged for 16 months in bottle before release. This is a full-bodied wine with with hints of dark fruit, violets and a touch of vanilla.

Brunello di Montalcino “Montosoli” 1990 Altesino made from 100% Sangiovese. Traditional fermentation. The wine is aged for 4 years with a minimum of two years in barrel and 4 months in bottle before release. The wine has hints of wild berries, chocolate and tobacco with a touch of violets and vanilla.

Hermitage “La Chapelle” 1988 Paul Jaboulet Aine 100% Syrah planted in a diversity of terroir. The age of the vines is 40 to 60 years. The grapes come down from the slopes of l’Hermitage on small sledges and then are sorted manually and vinified traditionally in the cellars. The final assembly is made during aging in the cellars in wood for 15 to 18 months. During this time the wines are also racked. This is a complex and elegant wine with hints of black fruit, black cherries, spice and leather. It has a long finish and very pleasing aftertaste. A very impressive wine.

Chateauneuf –du- Pape Cuvee Reserve 1995 Pegau made from 80% Grenache, 6% Syrah 4% Mourvèdre and 10% other grape varieties allowed  by the AOP. There is a strict selection of carefully hand picked grapes. No de-stemming and the blend of 13 grape varieties are gently crushed before fermentation takes place for ten days in a cement vat. No added yeasts and no temperature control in this natural process. An absolute minimum amount of tartaric acid and sulphites are added. After pressing, the wine is aged for 2 years in select large oak barrels. The wine has hints of cherries, raspberries and plums with a touch of leather and spice.

Bordeaux 1983 Pomerol Chateau Lafleur made from almost equal parts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The vineyard is planted on 3 different soils: northwest there is sandy clay gravel, to the south and east clay gravel and in the heart of the vineyard gravelly sand. Vinification takes place in traditional cement vats. The vats go from 30 hl to 8o hl. The wine ages in French oak barrels and a portion of them are new where the wine remains for about 15 months. The wine has hints of cherry, blackberry, plum and spice. 1983 was a very good year for the Chateau and it is one of the best Pomerols.

Bordeaux 1983 St Julien Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. There are 10,000 vines per hectare. Vinification is in stainless steel vats of different sizes and malolactic fermentation takes place in concrete vats. Over 50% of the wine is aged in new French oak barrels for 18 to 20 months. The wine has hints of cherry and raspberry and a touch of tobacco and spice.

With dessert, we drank two 750’s.

Ruby Port 1963 Graham a fortified wine that is aged for 2 years in wood. 1963 was a memorable vintage for port. This is a full-bodied wine with hints of caramelized fruit, notes of plum, raspberry, blackberry and dried figs.

Madeira Verdelho 1966 D’Oliveira, a fortified wine made from the white Verdelho grape. It is drier then Bual but not as dry as Sercial. This is a lush and balanced wine with hints of roasted nuts and a very long finish and a lingering after taste.

 

In all, we enjoyed one double magnum of Champagne, one magnum of white wine, eight magnums of red wine, one 750 bottle of Port and another of Madeira.

 

 

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