This is still a work in progress as I upload tasting notes and wine labels from as far as 1999... Check back once in a while to get the updates.

April 30, 2007

MNSC Dinner - Classified

Paulo hosted his MNSC Dinner in the private cellar at Classified.  We were served a bunch of old wines from around the world, which are always much harder to blind-taste...

First flight:
1967 Gaja Barbaresco - this was OK but we were not impressed, scoring it below 90 points.

1967 Latour - this was slightly better but again not a great wine.

Second flight:
1953 Marques de Riscal Riserva - most of the others complained about this being "madeira-ed" and felt it was off, but I, being a great fan of Madeira, actually really loved it. By popular demand we excluded this from our normal scoring.

1953 Canon - we could tell that this wine was fully mature as well, and scored it a bit above the '67 Latour.

Third flight:
1955 Inglenook Cab - none of us had any idea what this was and we all guessed it was Spanish...

1955 Cheval Blanc - this was certainly the wine of the evening! We gave it an average of 95 points

Fourth flight:
1969 Charles Noellat Romanée-Saint-Vivant - it's always nice to drink a very old Burgundy, especially one from a great vintage such as '69. Surprisingly the color was not as light as I would expect. This property was subsequently sold to Domaine Leroy.

1969 Paul Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle - this is the oldest La Chapelle I've ever had, and very enjoyable.

April 20, 2007

Le Palais des Grands Crus 2007

I had the good fortune of attending the Deutsche Bank wine tasting for the third year. From the wine list it seems that we are getting cheaper compared to previous years, as there were fewer "stellar" wines around this year. Or maybe it is because wine prices have soared in the last year, and for the same amount of cash spent, we cannot afford the same wines we tasted last year. In any event, there is never any plonk or average wines at these tastings so I should not complain...

As usual the Grand Hyatt Ballroom is set up with tables with specific themes, with either sommeliers or representatives from the wineries pouring the wines. Based on past experience, the plan is to prioritize and hit the best wines before it is gone.

My first stop was at the Red Burgundies table since there usually are several offerings from DRC. I tried a couple of 2003 grand and premier cru wines from Prieure-Roch, but was less than impressed. The Romanee-Saint-Vivant 2001 from DRC was much better (duh...), and the 2000 DRC Echezeaux was drinking very, very well - shows the power and concentration from a DRC grand cru. After seeing one person after another asking for the La Tache (most probably have no idea what it is, but have been told that it is an expensive wine so they must drink it...), I finally worked up to it...but was very disappointed. The 1988 La Tache (served from methuselah no less) was definitely over the hill...a bit of stewed prunes and higher acidity than I expected. Certainly the biggest disappointment of the evening.

Next stop was the Jaboulet table. The 1998 La Chapelle was not bad but not outstanding. The 1983 La Chapelle was drinking quite well, although it never was a stellar wine. The highlight of course was the 1990 La Chapelle served from magnum. Wow! This was my wine of the evening...everything I expected. There is enough concentration and fruit to last for a long time, and no question why Parker and others gave it 100 pts. Wonderful stuff!

I stopped by the Angelus table to greet Coralie de Bouard, Hubert's daughter. She had hosted their table at last year's tasting and I thanked her for participating again. I tried the 1998 Angelus, 2003 Angelus and 1983 Angelus in that order. '98 was drinking alright but did not perform up to its potential. The 2003 was drinking better than I expected, and the '83 was beautiful. Missed out on the 1970 Angelus because I waited too long.

Finally to the whites. The 2004 Chablis Les Clos from William Fevre from jeroboam was a good starting point. The pair of 2004 Domane Leflaives - the Meursault Sous le Dos d'Ane and the Puligny-Montrachet Clavoillon - showed powerful nose of petrol and minerals, a bit too much for my taste, especially the Meursault. The 2000 Bouchard Meursault Charmes was more elegant. The 2002 Bouchard Corton Charlemagne from jeroboam was very, very nice.

And I spent a long time hanging around the sweet wine table. I started with the 1924 Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu - this was really wonderful. The pair of 1978 and 1979 Rieussec was great, as was the 1985 Suduiraut. These are wines I would drink any day after a nice dinner. Of course, everyone goes for the Yquem, this one the 1999 Yquem from imperial. You will never have a bad Yquem, but this one was a little too young. Tonight, the winner was definitely the '24 Huet, and I managed to get the last pour out of the bottle.

It was a very good evening, and I finally went home some 4 hours after I started.
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