Hello again! It’s been a while. It’s been a busy year in quite the good way, and equally as good when it comes to all the great wines I have tasted this Fall. Now that the 2018 season is officially over as of today, I have been struck by some Christmas spirit, and I am ready to commit myself to something other than my family and my work: my writing. So here goes the first of 12 articles in 12 days, and I hope you enjoy the fruits of my labor, and that it encourages you to drink many great wines this holiday season.
So where to begin? Well, December in New York makes one think of summer, and when it comes to summer, one of my mandatory stops (or two) is ‘The Boat.’ There’s lots of boats out there, but as far as wine lovers go, there is only one, the Mogul’s, of course.
The Mogul and I have lots of busy friends, so we jammed a couple handfuls of couples together for a full day and night of fine wine and friend appreciation as summer started to wind to a close. We kept it simple during the day with magnums of Champagnes and White Burgs, beginning with a magnum of 1982 Dom Perignon Rose. It was full of strawberries but a touch dirty with a bit of wheat germ and whiskey. This was round and dusty but meaty, elegant and regal at the same time. There were red fruits and dark chocolate here, too, but honestly I am usually a bit underwhelmed by DP Roses (93M)
Next up was a 1982 Krug magnum, which was super zippy and intense, very rustic and powerful. The zippy, long intensity of this wine left me more than impressed, as Krug is prone to do. While Jetski found it ‘tart,’ I found it statuesque, quite appealing and still very young (96+M).
A Kiss of Cris
The 1988 Roederer Cristal Rose magnum was rich and buttery with nice zip and fruit. There was great, sweet fruit, full of strawberries again, with great length as well. This was a long and stylish Champagne, round and creamy on its palate. Big Boy found it ‘a little soft on its edges,’ but I thought it was crisp and larger than him. I guess that made me a Bigger Boy lol (95M).
The 1979 Krug Collection magnum was full of rocks that held gemstones and waterfalls that could compete with Niagra. Such length and intensity reminded me of razors, rocket fuel and an angry woman. There was real precision here. This had a crazy minerality and became delightfully slutty after I coaxed it out of its anger. I’ve had lots of practice lol (97+M).
We broke into White Burgundy with the first vintage of Roulot’s Clos de Boucheres, the 2011 Roulot Meursault Clos de Boucheres, again in magnum. This was a fantastic white from a vintage that is great to drink now for White Burgundy. There were white fruits, icy fruits, and star fruits as well. It had that Roulot style of great and unique smoke flavors, as well as fantastic length and acid (95M).
The 2000 Raveneau Chablis Les Clos magnum was steel and flint central. It smelled like it could build a small city. ‘Insane flint,’ I wrote. This was clean and fresh but ‘perfume-y’ on the palate per Jennie P. It kept getting fresher with a ‘lick stone’ limestone quality; i.e., one would want to lick the stones in the wine, literally. The Raveneau was mellow and round with milky, lemon chiffon flavors. There was great richness here in a unique Chablis way, still keeping that classic stony, oyster shell finish (94M).
Wild Bill found the 2005 Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet perfect for lobster, and he was right. This was a rock solid wine, full of minty, white fruits and crystals on its finish with a nice minerality as well. It’s all coming back to me, everything on this glorious day was served out of magnum (95M).
And that was it for lunch. We meandered to dinner at 11 Madison, the pop up in the Hamptons, and we started fresh with a spectacular 1971 Krug Collection magnum. This had lots of vanilla and nuts with a tangy, musky and honeyed nose. This was well-rounded on its palate, a little dusty and tangy yet vimful. I was starving at this point, so it was not surprising that it got better with food (97+M).
We kept the Krug and Cristal theme going with a 1982 Roederer Cristal magnum, which was round and easy with a slightly dark color. This had orange blossom and caramel flavors with a creamy and toasty finish. Big Boy thought it to be affected, and ultimately I agreed with him (93A-M).
No surprise, we came back to Burgundy, with a surprisingly profound magnum of 1990 Ramonet Batard Montrachet. It was full of corn, menthol and zippy BBQ grilled rub. Mmmmm. This was a minty magnum with superlative complexity. What a rich, decadent wine! There was great length and a rich spiciness here that made zippy play with its dusty, minerally notes. There was also a great lemony spank and twist, and I was pleased to meet this ravishing Ramonet, likely the best Ramonet Batard that I have ever had (97M).
There was another Batard, a 1986 Domaine Leflaive Batard Montrachet that had a slight musty or chemical note. There were some nice corn syrup, orange marmelade and honey aromas and creamy, honey and orange blossom flavors. It was so creamy but not a perfect bottle, I mean magnum (95A-M?).
We headed into red, red wine territory with a magnum of 1995 Dujac Clos Saint Denis. This was a fragrant Burgundy with lots of complexity. Aromas of forest, citrus, red cherry and a sweet core of fruit penetrated my nostrils. It was a musky wine with a palate full of acid and a sappy finish. This had a touch of cedar and olive, but one thought it was a tiny bit ‘dry,’ a typical knock on 1995 (94M).(94M).
One of the Greatest
The magnum of 1993 Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Beze was so rich, so decadent and so oily. Multiple people called it the ‘best wine so far,’ including myself. This was so fragrant and so intense with such clear red fruit and hearty flavors that it was the perfect wine to kick off 12 Days of Christmas lol. 1993 Rousseaus are always near the top of my any time, any place wines (98+M).
There’s only a handful of places to go after Rousseau, and DRC is one of the better ones. The magnum of 1985 DRC Richebourg was as good as this wine gets. Jetski immediately cooed that ‘they killed it,’ and Wild Bill smothered himself in its ‘velvet.’ It was musky, sexy and possibly better than the La Tache in ’85 some wondered. Jennie P called it ‘GREAT’ with lots capital letters. This was a rich, decadent and spectacular Burgundy, indubitably better due to its magnum format, as older DRC’s are very prone to be (97M)
Big Boy immediately found ‘spice box’ on the 1990 DRC La Tache magnum. This had all the cedar any forest would need. It was a soupy, sexy city, still so young but oh so good. It was much, much better than a recently had bottle. There was so much spice it made me sneeze. It was a truly great magnum, as good a wine as there is. So young, so long and so good kept reappearing in my notes (99M)
Bordeaux had last licks, even though Burgundy before Bordeaux is definitely a topic of conversation. I am generally not a fan of 1982 Pomerols, but this magnum of 1982 Lafleur made me feel warm and fuzzy. It was full of Pomerol chocolate and purple fruit. This was a rich and sexy Bordeaux with great smack and lots of swerve on its chalky finish (97M)
The magnum of 1982 La Mission Haut Brion had decadent cassis aromas with rich, buttery and purple fruit. There was gravel, toast and leather flavors. I was running out of words (96M).
A spectacular magnum of 1961 Chateau Latour finished the night in fine fashion and was one of the best experiences I have ever had with this wine, if not the best. This was a classic claret in every which way and kept gaining and gaining and gaining in the glass (99M).
On the first day of Christmas, may your true love give you magnums. See you tomorrow : )
In Vino Veritas,