TN: Dinner @ Crush (Salon, Chave, Comte Armand)

DINNER AT CRUSH WINE BAR - Crush Wine Bar, Toronto, ON (10/19/2012)

  • 1996 Salon Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs - France, Champagne, Le Mesnil Sur Oger, Champagne
    Popped and poured, followed over the course of the next couple hours. Medium gold in the glass, still showing some persistent micro bubbles. On the nose, lemon rind, slate, caramelized sugar, florals, brioche, yeast, and with time, showing light coffee grind, mushroom, roasted hazelnuts, honey and fresh grated ginger. On the palate, this is very crisp, with a strong acidic spine, but still showing some creamy richness and excellent depth, with notes of citrus zest, burnt sugar, mineral, with a touch of green apple skins. I was expecting this to be piercingly acidic on the palate, but that was not the case, as this showed tremendous balance, with a round, rich mouthfeel, while maintaining a good level of focus and precision. An exceptional pairing with the oysters. While this was excellent tonight, I would expect this to continue to improve and evolve for the next several years. (95+ pts.)
  • 1989 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
    Popped and poured, following over the next couple hours. Deep garnet in the glass, and more transparent than the Clos des Epeneaux served along side it. A touch of brick is present at the rim. Right from the test pour, I knew this was rocking. The nose burst out of the glass with a perfume of red fruits, a touch of blackberry, campfire, black olive brine, crushed rocks, underbrush, fresh cut grass, earth, cured game and with time, developing some exotic spice notes, subtle coffee undertones and a healthy serving of that illustrious ball sweat. On the palate, this was totally seamless, showing some moderate acidity, and some very light silky tannin on the long finish framed with red fruit, mineral, olive, smoke and underbrush notes. In the mouth, this showed extreme elegance, especially next to the more brute and rustic Burgundy. I was absolutely enamoured with this wine, and could not wipe the stupid grin off my face all night. For my tastes, this is good to go now, although, I would expect this to hold on for many years. (98 pts.)
  • 1993 Comte Armand Pommard 1er Cru Clos des Epeneaux - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pommard 1er Cru
    Popped and poured, followed for the next couple hours. Deep ruby in the glass, showing some opacity, and nearing the end of the bottle, some almost milky fine grained sediment. On the nose, this was a touch reticent at first, but blossomed as the night went on, revealing scents of deep lush fruit; predominantly red, though there appears to be a smattering of blue and black in the mix; spice, earth, a touch of mushroom, and as it warms in the glass, soy, hoisin, brown sugar, fresh cut strawberries and maraschino cherries. On the palate, this is still quite structured showing moderate tannin and brisk acidity on the long finish. The mouthfeel is rich and rather lush for a Burgundy, showing some heavy concentration. An exceptional wine, but currently seems just a touch clunky and chewy on the palate, with quite a bit of power. If I had any of these, I'd tuck it away for 5-10 years before trying another to let things smooth out a bit more, as I think there is more than ample fruit here. (96+ pts.)
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