TN Midweek drinking Feb 19th-22nd 2024

I went to a Chateau Montrose tasting last night which was fun. 19, 12, 11, 04 and 95 of the Grand wine, 19 and 14 of Le Dame and the 19 white and red Tronquay.

I went along just to see how young Bdx looks nowadays, and the answer is ‘very well’. The 2 Tronquay wines were very open, modern and accessible, with no harsh edges. Was it Bdx ? Probably, but these and the 2 Dame wines had an accessibility that the wines I remember from 20+ years ago didn’t have.

The absolute star of the tasting was the 19, that had balance, complexity and beautiful fruit. Superb wine, but it comes with a price tag above all but a handful Auz Cabs ($560). The 95 was in its drinking window, but was not quite at the level of the 2000 or 1989 Con provided last year.

I enjoyed the event, but prices of around £200 for the 04 (which must have been about €50 on release) show that it’s not a wine for the average drinker and you can get much more here in Auz for your money.
 
Lovely evening last night in Deptford - a romantic dinner for two with @GuyD'nis at a dodgy vietnamese.

A bottle of Riesling (Guy will recall what it was) and a Vignoble Guiilaime Pinot VV 2020 from Franche Comté which was crunchy and feral at the same time.

Not 100% convinced by the minging shrimp paste that was a grim grey colour.

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Lovely evening last night in Deptford - a romantic dinner for two with @GuyD'nis at a dodgy vietnamese.

A bottle of Riesling (Guy will recall what it was) and a Vignoble Guiilaime Pinot VV 2020 from Franche Comté which was crunchy and feral at the same time.

Not 100% convinced by the minging shrimp paste that was a grim grey colour.

Not a pho ami, surely!
 
This week, in rainy Norfolk as well as Ardanza we’ve drunk:
2021 Riverby Chardonnay, Marlborough, NZ, this is stunning, so complex and mouth filling. Balanced and ready to go. Consistent over three days, which perhaps show there’s more development to come.
Also David Moreau, Santenay 1er Cru, Clos Rousseau.
Earthy and fruity, well made but lacks any complexity. Ultimately a no and half left as it didn’t survive well overnight.
Julien Pilon St Peray les maison de victor 2021.
Nice example of northern Rhone white. Peach and almond kernel. Good and very inviting.
Hugel Gewürztraminer 99, Selection de grain Noble
Deep caramel colour. Very sweet and lush. I’ve not had a sweet gewurz before and surprised there’s no real variety expression. Brought at domaine and very much enjoyed as a finish to our time away.
Pilon's wines are lovely . I like his Dimanche a Lima St Joseph - though I have never been to Peru on a sunday .
 
From different nights recently:

2012 Lafarge Volnay First from a case of 12. In a closed phase? Otherwise perhaps not a representative bottle as it lacked freshness and vitality.

2017 Stéphane Magnien Morey-St-Denis Faconnières About a year ago I opened a bottle of this wine, the first from a case of 6, where everything was dialled up to 11, the texture like satin. My favourite bottle drunk in 2023, absolutely meriting its high score from JM. The remaining bottles weren’t as exceptional, albeit 2 were very good. A bottle from a new case this week was somewhat surly. An example of a 2017 closing up? In my experience, the Magnien wines also have a lot of dissolved gas, making it hard to tell quite how well they will show.

2013 Ar Pe Pe Sassella Riserva Nuova Regina I’m yet to have a revelatory bottle from Ar Pe Pe. I liked this but felt the extra layers of complexity you might find in a bottle of top Barolo or Barbaresco were missing. The wine also seemed more advanced than one of those would be at its age. Beautiful light weight, though. Nomacorc closure.

2020 Trapet Marsannay The vinous highlight of the week. Relatively deep in colour but fresh, fabulous density, super-enjoyable but also complex. Lovely with fegato alla veneziana.
 
Lovely evening last night in Deptford - a romantic dinner for two with @GuyD'nis at a dodgy vietnamese.

A bottle of Riesling (Guy will recall what it was) and a Vignoble Guiilaime Pinot VV 2020 from Franche Comté which was crunchy and feral at the same time.

Not 100% convinced by the minging shrimp paste that was a grim grey colour.

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Best photography on the forum so far this year - nothing so far comes close to capturing the subject's experiential dimensions. Bravo!

The wine was a 2021 Knewitz Riesling - dry and 12.5% (or 12% - can't remember). Certainly not a grand wine, but a great match to food, with plenty of cut-through.

Really good night - cheers! And the pinot you brought was lovely.
 
A week ago I opened these two auction purchases from the same lot: both of them had dodgy corks, which disintegrated and both wines were horribly corked as well.

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Exasperated I reached for this 2010 St-Innocent Pinot Noir from Oregon, a kind gift from my friend Patrick in Denver, a producer which has a big fan base on BWE.

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While this bottle was reassuringly sound and had a classy Pinot attack, and was drinkable, it turned out to be disappointingly ponderous, soporific and maladroit.

The next wine I reached for was the reassuring safe haven of the excellent and dependable Riverby Pinot Noir 2019, which was a welcome respite from what preceded it.

We took the half finished bottle down to Cornwall last week. We also took another unscrewed Kiwi bottle, the Kumeu River Ray’s Road Chardonnay 2022, first introduced to me in Auckland in November by Ian Craig an Auckland academic who gave me a bottle to take home with me.

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I have been a consistent critic of the heavy-handed oak treatment of the Kumeu Chardonnays. They must have been listening because this creation from Hawkes Bay is delightfully zesty, light on its feet and unencumbered by the dead weight loss of excessive new oak. This wine is available for £15 ib and I think it is a bargain.

The Bartolo Mascarello 2009 was in my opinion a better bottle than we had in May last year, which probably tells you more about the quality of its flight mates on that occasion. This was just so effortlessly delightful and brilliant in what is regarded as a hot and decidedly average vintage in Barolo. I plan to enjoy my remaining four of these 2009s and eventually sell my absurdly priced 2010 six pack.

The Chateau Magdelaine 1975 was a glorious bottle of old school St-Emilion. It still had rich red berry and plummy fruit with a smorgasbord of beguiling and complex tobacco and woodsy notes with plenty of life left in it - I recently acquired two more of these from an illustrious fellow forumite - happy days! - no ABV on the label, but my guess would be 12%.

The Jacques Carillon 2017 villages Puligny was slow out of the blocks and my SO companion preferred the Kumeu in an impromptu blind tasting. But this imposes itself and is a very satisfying bottle in a good place in its 7th year.

We popped the Mugneret-Gibourg Vosne Romanee 2004 last night and I am polishing it off now, whilst typing this and watching Match of the Day - archetypical multi-tasking. This absurdly priced wine has pleasing and intriguing herbal notes with subtle cherry fruit, with its various nuances hanging off a stern and austere tannic spine. I like this very much but unlike the Bartolo and the Magdelaine it was not a contender for wine of the photo here.
 
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From the first of Gareth’s dinners for 4 at Noize earlier this week…

  • 2008 Deutz Champagne Rosé Brut Millésimé Amour de Deutz - France, Champagne (20/02/2024)
    64%/36% blend of PN/chardonnay with 10 g/l dosage. Salmon pink/provencal rose colour. Lovely, elegant and precise from first pour. So enjoyable. Deeply rich nose and palate with air. Only problem with this wine is that hardly anybody will want to give it the extra hour really to develop given how flat out delicious it is from the start.
  • 2016 Louis Jadot Corton-Charlemagne Domaine des Héritiers Louis Jadot - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru (20/02/2024)
    Very pale colour. Surprisingly soft/lacking in acidity. Plenty of buffering extract. Pale, steely fruit profile with a hint of coconut. Normally, would think this would benefit from more time but not sure with such low acidity.
  • 1999 Domaine Bruno Clavelier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru La Combe d'Orveau Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru (20/02/2024)
    Cola, black fruit, brooding still. Silky mouthfeel with a bit of wet dog. Slightly bitter and dry finish. 2nd pour, redder fruit and more energised with sweeter fruit right through the finish.
  • 1999 Domaine de la Vougeraie Clos Vougeot - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru (20/02/2024)
    Slightly darker colour than the clavelier combe d’orveaux served alongside. Sweet fruit, red and purple and very in your face. Supple through the finish. Cool fruit profile. Voluptuous, rich and forward.
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