Weekend. Aug 5 6 7

A few lovely bottles for Friday in the sun. Light and Rose was the theme / thought.
Realm La Fe to start. Light enough in colour but a cali rose. Opened as I have six so best get on with them. Pretty good.

Bilecart Salmon cuvee Elisabeth 2007. A little more open that last bottle with sweet fruit core, almost a Vilmart 2011 tizer like quality initially. Let it chill and open and it sharpens up a little. 50% PN, 50% chard. Very subtle aged nose with just a hint of Bolly LGA 04 about it. Lovely fresh profile though.

Envinate Lousas 2019 Vina de Aldea. I thought it may be a little young but it’s very accessible now and will continue for years. Really lovely with some pesto and spicy pasta. Lovely fresh nose, loads of fruit and only 13%. Great combo. Touch of coffee and forest leaves on the nose when colder.
 
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This lived up to expectations. A lustrous, deep, dark ruby in the glass with little deviation. It even looked velvety. A gorgeous nose of spice, funk and that intoxicating allure that is the hallmark of mature red burgundy at its best. On the palate great balance and smooth texture with some earth and game to remind you that you are still in Nuits and not in Vosne. A wonderful LSG and a reminder too why one cellars red burgundy like this for 20 years.
 
I was in Andrew Edmonds in Soho last night - actually yesterday afternoon at 545pm because you can’t book at a more normal dinner time for as far as the eye can see - and I chose this off the list, at three quarters of retail in the unlikely event you could actually source a bottle. I must admit to having a fetish for Ygrec, just like an old sparring partner used to go gooey for Ch. Grillet, with some commentators writing both off for being overpriced.

This is a rare specimen, with 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% semillon, it has a lively grapefruit zest on the entry with a luxurious palate characterised by waxy lemon rind and lime citrus and other exotic fruits, cantaloupe, acacia, thyme, saffron and lemon grass, with laser like precision and perfect acidity. There is nothing brash about this wine but it is effortlessly classy, 94 pts. This is one of two Bordeaux wines I regret not owning in greater quantity. The other is La Fleur Petrus. I might sell some of my stash of Yquem to acquire a case or two.

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I love Ygrec too. It has been many years, sadly.

There's a big difference between recent wines, where the grapes are grown to make this dry - if not quite bone dry - wine specifically, as opposed to older vintages constructed from leftovers that were not used for Yquem. So expect less Semillon, less sulphur, probably drier and definitely much cleaner wines, rather than something which was a far more quirky Yquem offcut.

The one worry I would have with the aging the newer wines would be the cork dependency, but I don't know the track record of the recent wines wrt premox and whether the most recent vintages are bottled under DIAM.
On the other hand, unlike Pavillon Blanc de Margaux say, the price seems to have been remarkably stable over the last few years.
 
Early visit to the Akropolis and then lunch at a lovely little spot nearby called Thespis, in Paka.

It was 37c so we went with white wine and a selection of dishes, all excellent.

They had an Argyros Assyrtiko on the list but I’m visiting that estate in a week or 2 so asked the waiter to recommend something different, specifying something that didn’t contain any international grapes.

He suggested this Malagousia, but I don’t know much more than that, other than it was delicious with the food. Relatively full, some richness to the fruit, which was all about apricots. Definitely reminiscent of Viognier. Went down well and interesting to try something I wouldn’t have gone for.

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On the food front, a stand out was predictably the olive oil but specifically the treatment thereof. Dried oregano and lots of salt in a dish was laid in the table and lashings of very peppery, luscious olive oil were poured over to create the most scintillating of dips.

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A few of the other dishes. The pork souvlaki was next level. Massive chunks of moist pork. There was also a superb bbq’d octopus dish I ate so quickly I forgot to capture…

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Had our own Burgundy villages theme but not quite the best of unlike Jason's!

BURGUNDY VILLAGES - (5/8/2022)

Burgundy village theme that had more disappointing bottles than those that punched above their weight, perhaps the 2018s and 19s need more time to settle down.
Whites
  • 2013 Domaine Jacques Carillon Puligny-Montrachet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet
    Quite lean and tensile, lots of citrus fruit that I felt wasn’t as delineated as it would have been in a better vintage. Correctly identified as a Puligny at around 10 years, drinking well now. (90 pts.)
  • 2015 Buisson-Charles Meursault Vignes de 1945 - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault
    Tropical and ripe fruits, had an off-putting apple cider, spritzy note. Guessed this as a 2016 Meursault. (88 pts.)
  • 2014 Domaine Jean-Marc Morey Chassagne-Montrachet - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet
    Brought this for a friend. Last vintage before Caroline took over I believe. Made in an old-school style with rounder fruit and lower acid that made people think this was from a warm vintage. Some pear and spice notes. Most managed to identify this as a Chassagne, definitely a relic which wasn't to everyone's taste. (89 pts.)
  • 2017 Domaine François Mikulski Saint-Aubin Blanc - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Saint-Aubin
    Served at the end, thought this was much older than it actually was. Some advanced notes of honey and caramel, more than a hint of sweetness on the finish. (89 pts.)
Reds
  • 2018 Domaine Jean-Marc / Thomas Bouley Beaune 1er Cru Les Reversées - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru
    The first of many deeply unimpressive 18/19s unfortunately. Candied and jammy red fruit, distracting cherry cola note, alcohol was very prominent on the finish. (87 pts.)
  • 2009 Domaine Jean-Marc / Thomas Bouley Volnay - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay
    My extra bottle that turned out to be the one I liked the best. Very pretty and elegant nose, the high acid led most to guess a cooler vintage. Most also managed to guess that this was a Volnay. Very good and showed that Bouley has been setting very a high bar for a long time. Drink up before the acid subsumes the fruit. Perhaps the 18 will turn into something like this? (91 pts.)
  • 2013 Claude Dugat Gevrey-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin
    Showed similarities to the 2012 but with higher acid. I actually liked it a lot on pop and pour when it was more classic and palatable, but with air it became strangely more candied. Guessed 2012 NSG because of the earthiness and rusticity. (90 pts.)
  • 2012 Claude Dugat Gevrey-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin
    A more muscular and tannic wine than the 2013. Rich black, plummy fruit that seemed to have mellowed from its youth. Think I guessed NSG for this too. (90 pts.)
  • 2019 Alain Hudelot-Noëllat Chambolle-Musigny - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny
    The most overtly jammy wine in the line-up, think everyone was shocked that this turned out to be a Hudelot-Noellat. Blue and purple candied fruit, so dense that some guessed Syrah. Was thinking of a producer that didn't manage 2018 so well like Bertheau so was similarly surprised when this was revealed. (86 pts.)
  • 2018 Domaine Duroché Gevrey-Chambertin Le Clos - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin
    My contribution. Wasn't as jammy as the other 18/19s but more than a hint of warmth in the fruit and an alcoholic note on the finish. Very blue-fruited, think I prefer his 2017/16s by a large margin. (89 pts.)
  • 2017 Domaine Bertheau (Pierre et François) Chambolle-Musigny - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny
    Dark fruit with some muddled earthiness that made others think Gevrey but the floral nose and elegance made me guess 14 Chambolle as it was clearly from a relatively cooler year. (88 pts.)
  • 2017 Bouchard Père et Fils Nuits St. Georges - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges
    Pretty, spicy red fruit on the nose, palate was a little candied and anonymous. (88 pts.)
  • 2002 Domaine Laurent Roumier Chambolle-Musigny - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny
    Probably the standout of the line-up because of the complexity that age brings. Quite old-school wine making, perhaps a little heavy-handed in its youth but age has seen the wine mellow. Guessed Gevrey 99 or 02. (91 pts.)
  • 2013 Bernhard Huber Spätburgunder Alte Reben - Germany, Baden
    Inserted as a ringer, no one figured that it wasn't a Burgundy. On a spectrum this was probably one of the most classic in the line-up, very pretty sweet red fruit and a silky and elegant palate. Much better than the Furst and less heavy-handed than the Molitor I tried a few months ago. (91 pts.)
  • 2016 Gerhard Markowitsch Pinot Noir Ried Scheibner - Austria, Niederösterreich, Carnuntum
    Small leftover sample. Quite earthy but with a candied nose so I thought old-world but not French, apparently most people at the dinner guessed German too. A little greenness that was distracting. (88 pts.)

 
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Tonight another of the Chevillon Big 3 - NSG Les Cailles 2009.

The Chevillon Cailles is a wine of elegance and finesse that remains true to its NSG roots. So you find aromas and flavours of animal fur and lead pencil but also a haunting quality that reaches parts that most NSG does not reach. As usual Chez Chevillon the structure of the wine is immaculate and even in a full on vintage like 2009 the sheer sensuality of the Chevillon Cailles (which comes from 70+ year old vines) leaves an indelible impression. This 2009 is ready to go.
 
There's a big difference between recent wines, where the grapes are grown to make this dry - if not quite bone dry - wine specifically, as opposed to older vintages constructed from leftovers that were not used for Yquem. So expect less Semillon, less sulphur, probably drier and definitely much cleaner wines, rather than something which was a far more quirky Yquem offcut.

The one worry I would have with the aging the newer wines would be the cork dependency, but I don't know the track record of the recent wines wrt premox and whether the most recent vintages are bottled under DIAM.
On the other hand, unlike Pavillon Blanc de Margaux say, the price seems to have been remarkably stable over the last few years.
The most significant consequence of this change in style is, in my view, the fact that the more recent vintages are not markedly tinged with botrytis. It used to be said that Ygrec tasted like a dry sauternes, which in my (unfortunately limited) experience it did. I loved that distinctive style. It was flavoursome and characterful, especially with reasonable age.
 
2004 Bruno Clavelier VR La Combe Brulee - after good showing earlier in the week of 2004 Gerard Raphet Clos Vougeot thought I would chance my arm at another from the difficult vintage. Nicely mature, showing some pleasant autumnal notes. Tannins quite refined, just a prickle of mirepoix. Quite good really.
2016 Boscarelli Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva - not sure it's any better than the normale. Acid is a bit pokey at the moment. Dusty cherries, quite fine and tad reticent at this stage. Hold.
 
A semi mature but highly pleasing bottle of Beychevelle 2005. Deep ruby colour, expressive nose of red berries, cassis, even raspberries, medium to full bodied, some tobacco on the palate, again lots of red berries, still some Fine tannins in the background, from this performance I would guess 5-8 years to go before peaking. Friendly 13 % alcohol, all in all a very nice bottle with our Steak & Sauce Bearnaise with fresh herbs from the garden.
Cheers
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Went large down under this weekend with these two iconic wines/producers, my last bottle of each.

The 2014 Neudorf Moutere’s claim to fame is that it was the first New Zealand wine to be awarded 100 points by a - New Zealand - wine critic. I would love to know what drugs he was taking at the time because this is no such thing, and the oak treatment is depressingly heavy handed - something that I encounter too often with some hifalutin kiwi wines. But the upside is that the fruit quality is very high and this wine will age for another decade, by which time the oak may become better integrated.

The Henschke was picked up from the Sampler about a decade ago when it was in its prime time drinking period. I sat on these - 2000 and 2001 Cyrils - for too long and they really do need drinking up. But the wine is not gone yet, and still has an alluring mintiness, combined with some leather notes. The dash of Cabernet franc and merlot helps out but it did have the sense that it was at the point where it was hanging on.

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From a recent selection bought at Les Caves du Forum while passing thru Reims on the way back from Provence. Never heard of the producer, it was part of a mixed case of up and coming producers that Madame recommended.
100% Pinot Noir Rosé de Saignée bottled 2019 and disgorged in 2021. Big, rich, and red fruited, very red wine like. Interesting to try and very tasty, but not sure I'd like to have it all the time!

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