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On Friday evening I had the good fortune to meet with a series of other collectors to enjoy some stunning winea and very solid food at Rubicon.
We started the evening with a pre-tasting at Jon Gans' house. I have said many times, I am a Pinot dumbass. However, I was transfixed at the beauty, complexity and depth of the wines that Jon served. Holy Toledo, these could make anyone worship Burgundy!
  • 1990 Domaine Leroy Richebourg - Vosne-Romanée, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France
    Well this is something new! The nose is deep, smoky and earthy with layers of tar and peat moss. The palate is like silk with more layers of earth. The finish seemed a bit acidic at first with lots of sour cherry, but as my palate got used to the first red wine of the day this seemed to lessen. Wow, what a great bottle of Burgundy! In hindsight, as I compared this to the 1992 Leroy Musigny, this wine seemed rather closed and less giving in retrospect. (93 pts.)
  • 1992 Domaine Leroy Musigny - Chambolle-Musigny, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, France
    Oh my goodness, what a wine! The nose bursts out of the glass with dustry cherry, tar, peat, earth and a hint of ash. On the palate this is explosive, huge yet soft, with an amazing depth of vibrant fruit. This layer after silky layer of voluptuous yet caressing fruit, oh the texture is unreal. The finish is packed with minerals, ash, earth and fine dust. Wow, what an utterly stunning wine that clearly seems to be at peak! (97 pts.)
  • 1997 Marcassin Pinot Noir Marcassin Vineyard - Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California, USA
    This had such a difficult act to follow, not really fair. The nose was clearly new world in comparison to the stunning pair of Leroy's with raspberry, chambord, caramel and eventually some funky, cherry-inspired notes that screamed Pinot. On the palate this was a laser at first, big, bruising, yet with a surprisingly light palate weight at the same time. We only had about 45 minutes to spend with this, and I suspect it would have unfolded a great deal with more time, as the waning sips hinted a much more potential. (93 pts.)

We hopped in a cab to Rubicon and then started our evening for real. We started with a lovely White Burgundy off the list
  • 1999 Arnaud Ente Meursault La Goutte d'Or 1er Cru - Meursault, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy, France
    The spicy nose moves to a bit of truffle. The palate is oily and coating with butter-brickle and some pleasing nutty notes on the medium finish. Lovely wine. (91 pts.)

Then we poured our first two Bordeuax wines before regressing to a stunning and delightful sticky wine.
  • 1989 Château Cheval Blanc - St. Emilion, Libournais, Bordeaux, France
    Wow, this was a beauty with a high-toned, spicy nose. Initially it showed dusty lead pencil notes, but this kep building and opening with licorice, mint, ginger, and Asian 5-spice. The palate screams of Bordeaux with excellent structure, mineral and gravel. A spicy, exotic wine. Hmm, I think that Cheval Blanc is starting to grow on me... (94 pts.)
  • 1990 Château Lafite Rothschild - Pauillac, Médoc, Bordeaux, France
    The nose screams of black fruit with notes of honey and a roasted, ripe quality. The palate is big bruising with a nice layering of flavors. The finish is very long with loads of graphite. The seemed to be awfully young though and seemed to clamp down a lot with more air. I found it a bit tough to evaluate. (92 pts.)
  • 1998 Weinlaubenhof Alois Kracher Scheurebe TBA #5 Zwischen den Seen - Neusiedlersee, Burgenland, Austria
    Oh my, the nose explodes out of the glass with orange marmalade. Unctuous wine and a delight with foie gras. This has remarkable viscosity yet is vibrant at the same time. I can still feel this squishing through my teeth, pure bliss! (95 pts.)

Finally we finished off with the rest of the Bordeaux.
  • 1983 Château Margaux - Margaux, Médoc, Bordeaux, France
    This got off to a slow start and took an hour to really open up. Molasses and cinnamon could be found on the soaring nose. The palate is huge and broad, very tannic with so much structure yet to resolve. Nonetheless, with time this is absolutely delightful. (95 pts.)
  • 1982 Château Certan de May - Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
    Meaty notes, tar, very smoky with peat moss. This has a gorgeous texture, like a silk robe. At first this wasn't giving much fruit or depth, but it was so soft. A touch thin on the finish. Awfully nice wine though! (92 pts.)
  • 1982 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande - Pauillac, Médoc, Bordeaux, France
    F'ing A, this has a ripe, ripe nose with loads of bursting cassis and hints of olive and dill. Oh wow, the palate on this is just so stunning! The palate on this shows more structure than I recall with loads of life. (97 pts.)
  • 1991 Dominus - Napa Valley, California, USA
    Served blind, I guessed right bank Bordeaux. Wow, this showed such sweet, black fruit and got even sweeter and more delicious with air. This has awesome palate depth with roasted fruit. Very impressive depth and structure. Wow, this was a singular wine! (97 pts.)
  • 1970 Château Lafleur - Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
    Regrettably and hideously corked!

We finished off with the most immortal and stunning Sauternes I have ever tasted. The 1967 d'Yquem was surreal, and Iliterally couldn't keep my eyes open while tasting this stunning wine. A hearty three-minute finish reminded you of its majesty. Wow!!!
  • 1967 Château d'Yquem - Sauternes, Bordeaux, France
    Oh my! There are few words for a wine this beautiful. Immortal. Lush. Powerful. Endless, literally three minutes of finish. Such ripe botrytis, wow! (100 pts.)

It was also my pleasure to finally meet Paul Homchick, David Sankaran and Carl Steefel face to face. After a couple of years of email and posts on, it was very nice to put a name to a face.
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Outstanding and fantastic evening, with great wines and notes!

Although, while I do enjoy Cheval Blanc, I think the 1989 Cheval is less impressive and I would not have rated it so highly....But surely agree with your review of the 1991 Dominus, 1982 Pichon Lalande, 1982 Certan, and 1967 Yquem.

I have not had any of the other wines, But Wow, that was really an impressive event..
A number of folks were remarking at what a great showing it was for the Cheval. It unfolded so beautifully. It was a fun tasting, and Larry Stone took care of us very well. A terrific sommelier and a very nice guy to boot!

That tasting was actually just a warmup for the main event the next night.

TN: 'A Taste for Life' hosted by WineCommune (1982 & 1990 Bordeaux)

At that other tasting, I actually had a chance to chat with James Laube at dinner. He was a very nice, charming and rather humble fellow person face to face.

It rhymes with wine...

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