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With due diligence and exceptional attention to detail, Matt & Bryan put together one hell of an event last night. From the fantastic selection of artisan cheeses to the laminated programs, these gentlemen went all out. A special thanks to Matt's parents for hosting, and another for their hospitality. On to the wines!

Italian Flight



- 1958 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino

Burnt orange core, fading into a light amber rim. A fantastic nose that popped from the decanter, with notes of Bing Cherry, Chai, and a very nice, but delicate floral component.

Initially a bit shy on the palate, this really blossomed after a couple hours of air. Fruit perhaps slightly beyond full maturity revealed notes of allspice & dark berry. Wonderful expansion with resolved tannins lead to a 30+ second finish. An all-around amazing experience. My #6 of the night. (94)

- 1978 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Santo Stefano

Medium ruby core, with only slight signs of bricking at the rim. One of the most complex noses of the night, dominated by dark fruit, burnt rubber (perhaps "Tar," but in a good way), and sandalwood.

The palate on this one was fantastic, with mouth-coating tannins that could still see some resolution. Notes of Blood Orange, Spice Box, and menthol give way to a 45 second finish. Although there was no official vote, I believe the Giacosa was the unofficial WOTN for most of the group. It was my #5. (94+)

- 1947 Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Barolo Riserva Antichi Vigneti Propri

Burnt orange throughout. An absolute brilliant nose of Raspberry Preserves, aged leather, and wintergreen. Gorgeous on the palate, with fruit that is not only still alive and well, but fresh! Remarkable, considering that this was the oldest bottle in the lineup. Additional notes of Earl Grey Tea, Dark Cherry, and Cinnamon. Expansive mouthfeel gives way to a 45 second finish. My favorite of the Italians, #4 of the night, and perhaps the best Barolo I have ever tried. (97)

- 1961 Fontanafredda Barolo

A nice, but fragile offering that was but an echo of a drinking window that has come and gone. Delicate and faint notes of tea, herb, and rose petal lead to a hollow palate and finish. This was more of an educational experience. Not Scored

Champagne Flight

- 1988 Taittinger Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne

Deep straw & micro-beaded. Exceptional nose of Yeast, Baked Apple, and Black Walnut. Very rich with high acidity on the palate, with more notes of Mousse, Vanilla bean, and Green Apple. 45+ second finish. Absolutely delicious, and my favorite Champer of the evening. (96+)

- 1988 Krug Champagne Brut

Deep Gold in color & tiny bead. This one needed some time in the decanter, and was open for business after about (90) minutes. Tell-tale Krug nose of caramel, apple pie, and toast. Slightly oxidative on the palate, revealing additional notes of baked bread, almonds, and sherry. Glorious mouthfeel and expansion with a finish that approached 60 seconds. Though my preference was with the Comtes by a small margin, the group seemed to unofficially deem this as the Champer of the night. (96)

Hermitage Solo Flight

- 1988 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage

Deep, dark ruby, with no noticeable signs of bricking. Explosive nose of Game, Steak Blood, Smoke, Black Cherry, and Wild Flower was the most complex of the evening. On the palate, flavors of plum, smoked meat, leather, and anise coat every nook and cranny of the mouth. The finish didn't want to let go, lasting for almost (90) seconds. A mind-blowing wine, that will be a future addition to my cellar. My #2 for the night. (98)

Champagne Interlude

- 1995 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon

A nice addition to the lineup, the Dom was a light straw, with a slightly larger bead than the two '88's. A bright nose, with notes of Sourdough, Green Melon, Vanilla & Meyer Lemon. On the palate, sweet fruits, medium weight, with a lot of minerality, & long finish. A very nice Champer among a long list of heavy-hitters. (92)

Bordeaux Flight

- 1966 Château Haut-Brion

Added to the lineup, courtesy of Gkapoor. This wine was beyond words, but I'll give it a try. Dark, nearly opaque ruby core with only the slightest tinge of amber on the rim. On the nose, it is as if I have walked into a cigar shop. Notes of aged Maduro, Black Licorice, Saddle Leather, Blackberry, and Gravel make up a truly haunting nose. On the palate, seamless & integrated tannins accompany flavors of Black Truffles, Cedar, Tobacco, and rich Dark Fruit. (60) second finish. This wine is in a perfect place right now, but will provide drinking pleasure on this level for a least another decade. Majestic on every level, with no noticeable flaw. I cannot ask for any more in a wine. My #1, and WOTY so far. (99+)

- 1983 Château Margaux

(Flawed) This bottle appeared to have suffered heat damage at some point.





Dessert Flight

- 1983 Château d'Yquem

This one required the most amount of air in the lineup. Rather cloying and unctuous upon first taste, I didn't get much. However, once this reached room temperature after (2) hours in the decanter, it was an ethereal experience. Extremely complex on the nose, with notes of Creme Brulee, Roasted Marshmallow, Papaya, Orange Peel, & Apricot. Super rich and oily on the palate, with explosive flavors of Heavy Whipped Cream, French Vanilla, & Pineapple. Pure, delicious, liquid silk. This wine is drinking superb, and will probably outlive me. The best Sauternes I have had to date. My #3 for the night. (98+)

- 1989 Huët Vouvray Cuvée Constance

Last, but certainly not least in the company of these gems. A bit lighter in color than the d'Yquem, with a great nose of Honey, Caramel Apple, & Vanilla. On the palate, wonderfully smooth, and lightweight compared to the Sauternes. Rich flavors of Honeysuckle, Lemon, Pecan, and French Vanilla lead to a 30+ second finish. A brilliant wine in its own right, the group seemed to prefer this over the d'Yquem. For me, there was no comparison, and the Sauternes provided a much more complex experience. (92)



* My only regret for the night was leaving too early. Matt's father graciously invited us to stay for a steak dinner, but the wife and I had already arranged for transportation to Bouchon. They say hind sight's 20/20. We should have stayed! Bouchon ended up being a complete joke of an experience, not even in the same room as its Napa counterpart. "Cheesecake Factory stealing some food from Mc D's" just about sums up the quality of the dinner. Actually, I shouldn't knock Cheesecake Factory that bad!

At any rate, I'd like to offer another sincere thanks to Matt, Bryan, & Matt's parents for putting this event together. Great people, great wine, and we look forward to doing it all again soon.
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Nice notes ShaneT and it was good to finally meet you. I did not take any detiled notes as I was too busy drinking but had marked the 78,47, and 66 as my top in that order. We had a better exp at Bouchon that night, though I agree that food is average. It was the 2002 Selosse we enjoyed during dinner that buckeled my knees, easily the best champagne that night. The destiny and complexity of that wine is haunting and finish....I can still taste it 3 day later
Shane, thank you for the kind words. It was a real pleasure meeting everybody and sharing a wonderful afternoon/evening of great wine and conversation.

Thank you also for taking such detailed notes. On the whole, I share most of your perceptions, although I am one who tended to prefer the Cuvee Constance over the d'Yquem. Then again, these wines should keep for quite a while, so my experiences over the next couple weeks may yet change my mind.

Regarding the Italian flight, I am a bit conflicted, but I may have to give the edge to the '47 Borgogno. The Monfortino and the Giacosa were excellent wines, but the nose on the Borgogno was something truly remarkable. The Fontanafredda was a nice foil, and I did feel that there was a brief period of time during which it was drinking quite well. Unfortunately, unlike the other Italians, it did not improve over the course of the event.

The Chave really impressed, and I hope to add it to my cellar as well. Finally, I am in total agreement about the Haut-Brion. Bryan and I tasted this a couple months ago, and with similar results. For my tastes, wine does not really get much better, and I will definitely be stocking up on this, as it seems to have plenty of life ahead of it.
Last edited by mjg87
quote:
Originally posted by Shane T.:
Bouchon ended up being a complete joke of an experience, not even in the same room as its Napa counterpart. "Cheesecake Factory stealing some food from Mc D's" just about sums up the quality of the dinner. Actually, I shouldn't knock Cheesecake Factory that bad!
What did you order? We had a nice dinner at Bouchon that night. I agree with gkapoor that the food is not going to knock your socks off, but if you are in the mood for classic bistro fair, they seem to consistently prepare solid food for a reasonable price.
quote:
Originally posted by GlennK:
quote:
Originally posted by Shane T.:
Bouchon ended up being a complete joke of an experience, not even in the same room as its Napa counterpart. "Cheesecake Factory stealing some food from Mc D's" just about sums up the quality of the dinner. Actually, I shouldn't knock Cheesecake Factory that bad!
What did you order? We had a nice dinner at Bouchon that night. I agree with gkapoor that the food is not going to knock your socks off, but if you are in the mood for classic bistro fair, they seem to consistently prepare solid food for a reasonable price.


I ordered the Steak Frites (8oz filet/ rare). The Mrs. ordered the Chicken & Spaetzel. I received an overcooked piece of meat, that was Choice, at best. The fries, seriously, looked like "bag fries" from Carl's Jr. Call me crazy, but for $49, I expected more Crazy

In their defense, the manager acknowledged the overcooked steak, and removed it from the bill. We skipped dessert, and ran straight to Mastro's for the Warm Butter Cake (The best dessert on the planet, IMO Big Grin).

Anyways...enough with the rant. Hah!! It was great to meet you, and I look forward to seeing you at additional offlines.
Nice notes Shane. It was great to me you and your wife and to see wineplease again. I agree that Matt and Bryan did a great job pulling this together. It was much appreciated. Overall a really fun night.

For the tasting, this was a bit of a new experience for me as I don’t drink wine this way or go to tastings. I’m a food and wine guy so every time we took on a new flight, all I was thinking about was the potential food pairings! This was most needed in the Nebbiolo flights. I think the Conterno and Giacosa would have been mind blowing if they were enjoyed with 4 people slowly over a nice risotto. That said, it was a fun and educational experience and if I had to pick a wine of the night, it would be the Chave. The HB and Krug were not that far behind though. I’m not a sticky fan in general, but I did enjoy the Huet, especially with some of the cheese. The Sauternes was cloying and one note to me, but again I just don’t have a palate that appreciates sweet wines.
quote:
Originally posted by Shane T.:
quote:
Originally posted by GlennK:
quote:
Originally posted by Shane T.:
Bouchon ended up being a complete joke of an experience, not even in the same room as its Napa counterpart. "Cheesecake Factory stealing some food from Mc D's" just about sums up the quality of the dinner. Actually, I shouldn't knock Cheesecake Factory that bad!
What did you order? We had a nice dinner at Bouchon that night. I agree with gkapoor that the food is not going to knock your socks off, but if you are in the mood for classic bistro fair, they seem to consistently prepare solid food for a reasonable price.


I ordered the Steak Frites (8oz filet/ rare). The Mrs. ordered the Chicken & Spaetzel. I received an overcooked piece of meat, that was Choice, at best. The fries, seriously, looked like "bag fries" from Carl's Jr. Call me crazy, but for $49, I expected more Crazy

In their defense, the manager acknowledged the overcooked steak, and removed it from the bill. We skipped dessert, and ran straight to Mastro's for the Warm Butter Cake (The best dessert on the planet, IMO Big Grin).

Anyways...enough with the rant. Hah!! It was great to meet you, and I look forward to seeing you at additional offlines.
Yeah, doesn’t sound very good. Nothing worse than an overcooked steak. The fries we had were actually pretty good but I think the fresh seafood is where Bouchon delivers. We can all roast a chicken or grill a steak at home, but I do not have access to that fresh seafood at home.

Hope to see you again as well.
quote:
Originally posted by Red guy in a blue state:
quote:
Originally posted by Javachip:
Darn computer! My invitation to this event must have been misdirected to the spam folder. Amazing wines and great tasting notes as well. I hereby pass the baton to you for note-taking at local offlines. Cool


Yeah, as if! Razz

+1. Nice notes and great wines. Winner


Java, there's no way in hell I'd take that honor from you! LOL

Looking forward to seeing you guys again soon. First or second week of April, perhaps?
quote:
Originally posted by clayfu:
damn my cathiard malconsort got left off the tasting notes ;0D


Off the notes, but highly appreciated gesture, nonetheless. Big Grin

Great to meet you, and I'd really like to be in the loop for any upcoming Burg-themed offlines. I have very little experience with the region, and after your generous offering, I'd like to change that.
quote:
Originally posted by spo:
quote:
Originally posted by clayfu:
damn my cathiard malconsort got left off the tasting notes ;0D


I thought they banned you years ago. Razz

Good to see you again.


alive and kicking. My boy Mr. Kapoor invited me to this on the day of the tasting as his wife got sick. Only dinner in the past year I've been to where there was more wines that weren't burgundy than were! Smile

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