A Month End Review of What’s Filled Our Glasses
<Summertime and the livin’s easy, fish are jumping…ah pour me another glass>
June seemed to fly by, but not for lack of effort. We had a pretty massive month filled with tastings (Mongeard Mugneret, Northern Rhone, Leroy, & Bordeaux), corporate events (you can have one here, too! Email email@example.com to find out how), and plenty of weekend sips. Here are some of our highlights.
We began this month with a Monday afternoon tasting of some really spectacular Champagne. We tasted our way through different cuvees from P. Hostomme including 1991, 1992, 1994 Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, & 1997 Blanc de blancs Cuvee Melody. The recurring theme throughout these beauties was their purity, concentration, and complexity. We were advised these are definitely best decanted and also will last in the fridge up to a week after opening.
We wrapped up the Champers with an intensely concentrated and intriguing natural wine from David Leclapart (L’Apotre) who is quickly garnering the attention of collectors and organic wine enthusiasts alike. Intense!
June 2nd we popped open a sample of one of our new purchases, 2001 Chateau Le Grand Faurie, Saint Emilion Grand Cru. It’s absolutely it in its perfect window right now with dried fruit, leather, and dried herb flavors, so keep an eye on our mail outs for notice of its arrival.
The following day found me hugely impressed with the wines of Mongeard Mugneret. The tasting featured the wines of 2012 which proved to be delicious now, worthy of some aging, but probably best in the midterm. I personally loved the 2012 Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru for its structural soundness & massive potential.
Wednesday, one week later, saw an all Rhone tasting with most of our selection hailing from the Northern Rhone. We love Syrah! The standout wine of the evening for me was the 2006 JL Chave Hermitage for its alluring garrigue appeal.
On June 11th we opened several bottles of our favorite summer wines including the creamy and full NV Gosset Rose, complex and oak driver 2010 Valentini Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, and a ripe and totally seductive 2009 Michel Gaunoux Beaune red.
On the 12th we celebrated Vivian’s completion of her WSET tests with a beautiful 1995 Raphet Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru (LM93) and a very pretty and concentrated 2007 Corton Les Marechales from Prince Florent de Merode (LM94) with some over the top dim sum from Tim Wan Ho. This is now our second luncheon where we have undoubtedly proven the best pairing to dim sum is really awesome aged wine.
From Vivian about Saturday Sips: June 13th– The 1986 Paul Chapelle Meursault ($900) was incredibly youthful. Subtle citrus fruits, a touch of savoury (mushroom), good mineral notes (flint). Very sharp acidity. Most tasters loved it.
The 2010 Roty Gevrey Chambertin Champs Chenys ($520) is deep ruby with a purple hue. Dense fruits, sweet spices (cinnamon, clove), solid tannins. Good vintage needs time. Drinkable now but worth waiting. Most tasters agree on its ageability.
Flash forward to our next Wednesday tasting and you would find a room full of smiling faces and quickly emptied glasses. Each and every wine showed us how Leroy built a reputation for excellence. Pure, enchanting, balanced, and each with a sense of completeness, these are wines very much for enjoyment.
Have you ever noticed your Leroy leaking? Find out why here:
One of our more recent tastings featured not wine but liquor, specifically, Spring Heeled Jack, England’s first and only 100% Rye whisky. We had an un-aged version that was full of cereal and grain flavors, but what really distinguished it was its full, round, and totally viscous body. I look forward to trying the aged version upon release!
June’s last Wednesday tasting featured classic wines from Bordeaux, with 1990 Chateau Pichon Lalande (LM94+) winning over my good graces once again. It is just so pretty.
At a corporate event June 25th (email me to find out how to book your own corporate function: firstname.lastname@example.org) we tasted an assortment of delightful wines including one of my favorite Bordeaux whites, 2010 Chateau Malarctic Blanc (LM94). We enjoyed more of the 2009 Michael Gaunoux Beaune and also the super ripe and lively 2010 Chateau La Dominique (LM93) from Saint Emilion. We finished off the evening with a super complex and dried fruit laden 2004 Nero d’Avola from Guilfi Nerobufalefeg. This has me thinking we need to be drinking more Sicilian wines.
Last Friday found a wine that we do not carry here, but one that was intriguing if for no other reason than its rarity! The 1975 Joseph Phelps Pinot Noir (PINOT NOIR!) is a thing of mystery (try googling it) and has a wonderful aromatic bouquet. Unfortunately the palate was not as beguiling and came off unbalanced and alcohol heavy.
From Vivian about Saturday Sips: June 27th– 2012 Matchbox Riesling ($195) is fresh, fruity. An easy to drink, BBQ, summer white at great value.
2008 Penfold’s RWT ($720) is classic Barossa: very forward jammy fruits (plum, raspberry, red berries), a touch of pungent spices (mint) and sweet spices (cinnamon). I decanted for 1.5 hrs and put back in bottle. It opens beautifully throughout the entire tasting. Most tasters admire its strength.
And a cheeky glass of Thai white in Chiang Mai…
TASTING NOTES JUNE
LV2008 David Leclapart L’Apotre Blanc de Blancs LM94+ Super intense, yeasty, apple cider, medicinal, super complex aromas. Natural tasting with flavors of green olive & grippy texturous body. Lots of primary fruit (apples) with great purity. After decanting more vanilla and saline notes emerge.
2001 Chateau Le Grand Faurie Saint Emilion Grand Cru (coming soon!) Mature with a great nose of leather, dried red and black forest fruit, dried sage and thyme. On the palate the wine is dry with earthy flavors and soft well integrated tannins. Tertiary and in its perfect spot. Great balance and superb value. LM92
MONGEARD MUGNERET TASTING
2012 Mongeard Mugneret Vougeot 1er Cru ($700) Beautifully perfumed with tons of flowers, sweet fruit, and a hint of earth. The palate was dominated by bright and ripe red fruit and crushed flowers with hints of Chinese medicine and dried herbs. Perhaps the most approachable of the wines for its soft texture and flavors with firm acidity and long creamy finish. This is so drinkable now, versatile, and an absolute pleasure. I could drink this everyday! LM93
2012 Mongeard Mugneret Vosne Romanee Les Orveaux ($650) More masculine and broad than the Vougeot 1er Cru, the Les Orveaux had more fruit (red currant and black cherry) and bigger grippier tannins reminiscent of a black tea. Still a touch austere but with a long finish, this has huge potential and will be enjoyable for many years. LM93+
2012 Mongeard Mugneret Echezaux Grand Cru ($900) The prettiest of our Grand Crus, the Echezeaux is closest to its sweet spot and was described best as “open” by YC. Earthy aromas with lots of soft sweet fruit (sweet black plum) turning into tart cherry on the back palate with a sour fresh finish. As Peter noted, this wine was all at the back, so it will be interesting to see how the flavors develop with some time. Great balance. Great length. A solid wine. LM92
2012 Mongeard Mugneret Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru ($1,800) This has the guts. Of all of the wines the Grands Echezeaux shows the greatest potential for an extremely long life. On the nose, plummy, earthy, graphite, mineral, blue plum, raspberry black tea. The texture was seductive with great spice & dried flowers on the back end. Concentrated flavors with big yet well integrated tannins, nice weight, and a big punchy finish. This is one of those wines that lingers far after its been finished. Potpourri for hours (in the best way possible)! LM94
2012 Mongeard Mugneret Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru ($1,050) A very perfumed nose filled with tons of dried herbs and hints of pine, cardamom and nutmeg, and sweet purple fruit. This was totally even across the palate giving a seamless sense of balance and integration. A bit shy, this will probably need a couple of years to open up fully. Great potential! LM93+
2002 Mongeard Mugneret Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru BH91 ($1,650) Many people’s favorite of the night, the 02 Vougeot proved great evidence of not only the durability, but also of the appeal of aging these well built wines. Aromas of sweet fruit, animal, leather, herbs, potpourri, and spice with tinges of dried evergreen. The palate was laden with dried herbs and touches of vanilla. Great acidity, perfect balance, and in the perfect place to enjoy right now. LM93
2010 Valentini Trebbiano d’Abbruzzo ($620) Not your typical Trebbiano! This is from one of the region’s most iconic producers and it is no surprise that this is great quality. Tons of oak and ripe apple and pear aromas, fresh acidity, and a very even attached across the palate. Great length and evidence of an age worthy white! LM91
2009 Michel Gaunoux Beaune ($380) Berry, bramble, candied plum, and pressed violets. Soft and juicy, totally approachable and enjoyable now. Chalky tannins and nice balance. Soft and supple and great right now! LM92+
2012 Domaine Grand Nicolet Rasteau Cuvee Les Esquerons ($210) Intense raspberry & blackberry aromas with cream, cassis, and alcoholic nose. Soft with chalky tannins, vibrant red fruit flavors, bright acidity, and an oaky creamy finish. This has me thinking of summer BBQs sitting on the porch- a perfect sundowner! LM90
2011 Domaine Grand Nicolet Rasteau Cuvee Vieilles Vignes ($185) Awesome aromas of farm & funk, red currant, black cherry, and horse sweat. The palate was a lot less animal with super bright flavors of sweet red cherry. Fruit, fruit, fruit, and soft tannins, again this is the perfect al fresco red, best enjoyed with sunshine, pizza, and BBQ pork. Awesome value. LM89
2006 Chave Hermitage WA96 ($1,700) WOTN for its brilliant structure, complexity, and completeness. Aromatically this stood apart from the crowd, again, the word that best comes to mind is complete. Red & black fruit, dash of black pepper, hints of farm, and sweet vanilla pod with oak and garrigue. I could sit with my nose in the glass all day. Balanced with pretty floral notes and bright fruit, powdery tannings, and big acidity. This wine is mostly in the front and will even out over a few years with some age. Super potential! LM95+
2004 Jean Michel Gerin Cote-Rotie Champin le Seigneur WS91 ($620) It was totally unfair to put this next to a great vintage Hermitage, but so goes wine tasting. Earthy & pure aromas of graphite, mineral, candied berries, vanilla. This was fuller bodied with rounder texture than the Hermitage, with less intensity of flavor (2004 was a meh vintage). Pretty, soft, smooth, and in a great place for enjoyment right now. The pretty yet not overpowering fruit make this versatile in terms of food pairing- a great dinner wine and proves value for money! LM92
2004 Guigal Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis ST93 ($730) On to the signature wine of the producer who brought Cote Rotie back into vogue. The Ampuis is a blend of fruit from 7 sites across the Cote Blonde and Cote Brune. Absolutely awesome! Sous bois, dried fruit, sage, spice, vanilla cream- these aromas scream comfort. Earthy with great chocolate & pepper notes, very textured tannins and a great finish. Texture-ly exciting with classic Northern Rhone flavors. I could drink this everyday and not get sick of it. LM93+
2001 Guigal Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis WA91-95 ($770) I suspect this bottle was not showing its true colors as it was quite oxidative. Lots of mushroom, sweetness, chocolate powder, bacon, and dried leaf aromas. I quite enjoyed the tertiary nose and flavors but think a 2001 should probably be showing quite a bit more bright and youthful. Proof again that wine is alive! Soft with chalky backward tannins, big acidity, and very developed flavors- a wine to revisit! LM91
1986 Guigal Cote Rotie La Turque WA92 Having this after the very developed 2001 Ampuis came as quite a surprise to myself and all of the tasters. Youth! Great perfume of dried flowers and fruit, graphite, cooked porcini mushroom, and sous bois. Flavor wise it was younger yet with earthy red fruits, pepper, dried herbs, garrigue, and late attack. Absolutely seamless with great grippy tannins and an undeniably long finish. Just lovely. LM93+
FRIDAY LUNCH AT THE OFFICE
1995 Raphet Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru Stunning! Rich and buttery with great concentration and rich honey, baked pear, and earthy pollen flavors and aromas. LM93
2007 Prince Florent de Merode Corton Les Marechaudes Grand Cru Totally aromatic with tons of bright red fruit (plums, currants) and dried flowers on the nose. Pretty aromas met with a very pretty and balanced palate. Perfectly powdery tannins were super well integrated and made for a super enjoyable with chicken feet! LM94
MAISON LEROY TASTING
2006 Leroy Montagny 1er Cru ($500) So youthful at 9! Pale lemon color with bright citrus, stone fruit, and hints of earth & mushroom on the nose. As the wine opens the citrus gets sweeter and cream & caramel notes are revealed. This wine gives a completeness through a very even attack across the palate, seamless balance, and long finish. Great value from one of Burgundy’s top producers. LM93
2009 Leroy Meursault ($990) Salty pear, lemon & lime, apple & forgotten apple core, cider, with hints of pollen, after a few hours of breathing brilliant notes of apricot cream were revealed. Intense fruit on the front of the palate with creamy flavors that opened up after several hours of breathing. Long finish with crisp acidity. This is not your typical overripe 2009, although there was great intensity and purity of fruit, and will surely continue to improve in the bottle for many years to come. LM93
2011 Leroy Meursault Perrieres 1er Cru ($1,780)From the get go the Perrieres screamed Meursault. Smoke, oak, & butter laden nose. Deft use of oak with a big back palate makes us think that this need a couple of years to mellow before showing its best. Huge potential with brilliant acidity, soft flavors which are sure to explode in the coming years, and a long creamy finish. LM93+
2003 Leroy Bourgogne Rouge ($350) One of our favorite everyday wines, the Bourgogne Rouge smashes its “equals” in appellation out of the water. Savoury with notes of mushroom, dark pressed fruit, and dried currants on the nose. Chalky tannin structure, fresh acidity, and a nice creamy finish. You will not find a better Bourgogne Rouge at this price with this kind of age on it. LM93
2009 Leroy Cote de Beaune Village ($700) Pure! Candied red fruit (currant) with a touch of savoury and oak. Soft yet present tannins, big acidity, with notes of tea, red fruit, Chinese medicine, plum, and pressed flowers. Quite masculine and rustic in texture and flavor with great balance (a theme with Leroy!) and purity. LM92
2009 Leroy Savigny les Beaune ($950) Beautiful crimson color with dark fruit, mineral, popcorn, evergreen, & sous bois aromas. Rich and round with slightly tart flavors of tea, forest berry, and oak. Nice balance with well integrated tannins and a long finish; further proof of Leroy’s deft wine making across all levels. LM92+
2009 Leroy Vosne Romanee ($2,150) The star of the show. This is what wine is all about. Elegant, classic, and very complex with aromas of popcorn-y oak, roses, and just a beautifully intense perfume. Lovely flavors that were a tad tight, showed some spice with tart cherry, and ended with a big racy finish. This is an incredibly youthful wine that will stick with you all night and hopefully into the next morning! LM95
BORDEAUX: SEE HOW THEY AGE
2010 Chateau Rauzan Segla WA95+ ($850- GREAT PRICE!) Deliciously intoxicating sweet ripe plum & red currant meld with graphite & charcoal before opening into creamy red fruits. This is totally concentrated with sublime structure; structure that surely suggests many decades ahead. Elegant with immense intensity and breadth of flavors, this is one of the best Rauzan Segla’s made. I cannot wait to revisit this in another few years to see how it has progressed. HUGE potential. LM93+
1983 Chateau Rauzan Segla WA91 ($2,100) Absolutely enchanting! Leather & cigar box upon first opening. Come back 3 hours later and the sweet fruit with mushroom nuances leap out of the glass. Great tertiary notes with raspberry and tea notes and a tart cherry finish. Our Palmer fans thought this could have used some more oomph where others swooned over its restraint and balance. This is in a great place and is best enjoyed right now. LM92
2009 Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste WA95 ($690– BEST VALUE!!) Another wine with outstanding potential, the 2009 GPL is a close second for my wine of the night. Vanilla & toastiness with well integrated & complex aromas of rich black fruit, caramel, and a touch of chlorine. The flavor profile was similar with some chocolate thrown in. Powdery tannins and a totally decadent & opulent palate that remained balanced with its refreshing acidity. Absolutely a joy and will continue to improve for many, many years to come. LM94
1988 Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste WS 91 ($1,000) Many of our taster’s wine of the night (Cammi!), the 1988 was in its absolute perfect drinking window. Pretty nose with dried flowers, black fruit, with some earth, animal, charcoal & smoke. Masculine tendencies with broad tea, pressed violets, and smokey flavors- big front palate and great big finish. The prime time for drinking is now. LM91
2007 Chateau Pichon Lalande WA89 ($1,280) Elegant and pretty nose with brambly red fruits and a touch of earthinesss- great nose! Soft and backward tannins with lightly tart and very pleasant flavors and a lovely tea and cream laden finish. This is a wine that is drinking very well now & is probably best consumed in the mid-term. LM90+
1990 Chateau Pichon Lalande WS94 ($770) My wine of the night! Beautiful perfume of pressed flowers! There is something so comforting about the densely packed dried fruit (black strawberry anyone?), raspberry leaf, graphite, animal, leather, charcoal-y aromas. The same sweet fruit can be found on the palate interlaced with soft integrated tannins, seamless balance, and a finish that keeps on going. This still has years to go. LM94+
2010 Chateau La Dominique Saint Emilion Grand Cru WS94 ($450) Gorgeous! Nose of stewed fruits and vanilla is met with massive palate of ripe red fruit and spice. Chalky tannins with vibrant acidity, this is not your typical Saint Emilion, but is absolutely glowing and a pleasure to drink! LM93
1975 Joseph Phelps Heinemann Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir Boozey nose with sweet fruit, dried strawberry, some leather, and dried currants. The palate is equally as boozey (only 13%) with faded fruit. Good tannic grip, big alcoholic taste, and a touch of cream and oak on the finish. Past its best. LM88