This has been a different year for everyone, a lot of ‘Home Alone’ on the playlists for sure. Slowly but surely, one must poke one’s head out of the ground and say hi to the world…responsibly, of course. Everyone I know has no problem with masks and social distancing; one would think this wouldn’t be an issue. In fact, responsible people want to go out and see their friends; it’s the strangers everyone is concerned about. After limiting most of my summer movement to deserted beaches and island hopping, I took a big hop to the Hamptons to deep dive into a few familiar wine lovers’ cellars. The expedition was deeper than I expected, and that was a very good thing. The concert was officially sold out, and it was time to get back to what we all knew best.
The Moose is Loose
A magnum of very aged Krug MV was served first as a cocktail and estimated to be a release between 1966 and 1976 by the world’s foremost Champagne expert, Big Boy. It was 100% delicious, vanilla cream soda tasty, so easy to drink and so scrumptious. Amazing how well the Krug ‘non’ aka ‘multi’ vintages age (95M).
A flight of Ramonet was the first official sit-down occasion, beginning with a 1992 Ramonet Batard Montrachet. It had a mature nose in a great way. Caramel, honey, carob and nut all integrated well in its round nose. Its flavors were on the dry, honeyed side. The wine was rich and fat but starting to lose focus. It was still nutty and tasty with corn kisses and a wheaty finish. It was rich but lost its center in time (94).
The 1988 Ramonet Bienvenues Batard Montrachet ultimately proved to be the best wine of the flight, which is definitely an underdog story. There was more waterfall and acacia in its nose, with lots of matchbox flavors to complement. Nutty, tasty and dry, the ’88 exploded with lots of acid and its bigger finish (95).
The nose of the 1986 Ramonet Bienvenues Batard Montrachet had me thinking best of flight, but the palate didn’t back up the thesis. It had the sweetest and most exotic nose, very tropical in character. It got fatter and also more floozy with time. It was too early for that (93).
The 1971 Vogue Musigny VV was good not great per the consensus. It was ‘a little stewy, you can still sense the grip,’ Big Boy acutely observed. The palate was round, a little earthy, zippy yet tangy. There are better bottles of this wine (90A).
The 1966 Vogue Musigny VV was a better bottle, for sure. Its nice red fruits were ‘working’ per one of the guests. ‘Delicious’ came from another. There was a floral, sensual quality to its great, red fruits. Its fruit went va va with the voom and even gave me a kiss of charcuterie. I think the French would say, ‘oh ho ho.’ More kisses of earth, a touch of tea and a smack of leather held my attention. Its acidity sealed the deal (97).
We continued with the Musigny theme and a rare 1955 Jadot Musigny, which was rich and decadent but also a touch square, most likely touched up/reconditioned at some point. Attention all Burgundians: it doesn’t work well for Pinot Noir please cease and desist! Its finish was quite dry with desert-like flavors. There was some discussion about the wine’s bottling, and Vogue’s name came up (92).
There was one more Musigny – for now. It was an outstanding 1971 Drouhin Musigny. ‘Fantastic bottle’ started my note. It was on the chalky, citrusy, garden-y style. Its palate was round, tangy and zippy, reinforcing the citrus before its dry finish. It was a tightwire act, showing more citric tension than any other Moose. Its acidity was still lifting, but its fruit was a touch taut (95).
In Love with One
Meet Me in the Penthouse
It Was a Very Good Year
The next flight was a rare trio of Roumier Chambolle Musigny Les Amoureuses, led by the 1995. Its nose was fantastic and alluring, ‘spectacular’ per Big Boy with its aromas of wafer, citrus and black cherry. Dapper Dave found it ‘super clean,’ while The Mogul found it ‘too young.’ It was tight but with amazing structure, and it was still so elegant. This was clearly the best of the forthcoming flight, and its finish smacked sexy in its desert of a finish (96+).
The best way to sum up the 1993 Roumier Chambolle Musigny Les Amoureuses was ‘not perfect’ (DQ), and the 1988 was strong but a bit squirrely and confused with its expressions (93).
One good Roumier flight deserves another, and we went straight to the penthouse with a 1999 Roumier Musigny. ‘Miraculous,’ ‘other shores’ and ‘stellar’ came from the crowd. It was deep in an inverse, mountainous way. It had deep, dark fruit and was coiled like a rattlesnake. I couldn’t stop drinking this nectar, a big-time Rocky Mountain high experience (98+)!
The 1996 Roumier Musigny was much more shy and tight. It was long, dry and zippy, a bit square and make that very dry. ‘Tight’ and ‘Sahara’ were my last observations (94).
The 1995 Roumier Musigny was an intense wine. It was zippy, stony, long and dry. It was still tasty, but it was definitely iron fist strong. Long and acidic, this was another ‘wow’ Roumier, although as is the case with most Roumiers of the last 25 years, still young (96+)!
It was definitely some time for some Bordeaux, even more especially so thanks to a spectacular flight of five wines from the 1945 vintage. 1945 Palmer? Why yes please, thank you very much lol. This was a phenomenal bottle of Bordeaux, everything one would need to explain the region to anyone. Its nose was rich and buttery, a testament to the vintage, and it had a kiss of honey as well. Its palate had pencil, minerals and chalk, and tobacco graced the finish of this delicious wine (96).
The 1945 Lafite Rothschild had signature lead pencil but also a bit of locker room to its nose. Its palate was light and elegant, atypical for the vintage. It was Burgundian in style compared to the rest of its counterparts in this spectacular quintet. This was an elegant wine, a 93 point bottle at best but really a 92. It was ultimately the least wine in this best flight (92).
Someone said nothing was ‘close’ to the 1945 La Mission Haut Brion. The La Miss had a deeper, darker nose which was full of chocolate. It wasn’t quite as open as the Palmer, but it was certainly more serious. Dapper Dave got deep with ‘cool smokiness, almost embers. It’s a smoky minerality.’ The Mogul talked me up a point, but he was right. He always knows when the stock should go up. He’s a good financial advisor lol (97+).
The 1945 Latour was not the best bottle that this wine can be; it wasn’t off, but it was a touch gamy and more fruit forward. There were some classic components and nice cherry, but this wine can be a beast, and this bottle was clearly domesticated (93).
Late Night Additions
The 1945 Mouton Rothschild was perfection as always. It had everything it should have and dream to could have. This remains year after year one of the Top Ten wines I have had in my life – really Top Five. That eucalyptus edge a la 1974 Heitz Martha’s is that characteristic’s best it ever could be. The caramel, carob, cream and candlelight qualities were Captivating with Capitals. The wine reeked capital. I will never be able to drink enough bottles of this most incredible wine. Thankfully, I’ve already had it close to twenty times (99+).
A 1966 Faiveley Bonnes Mares was classic and delicious. It had red fruits that were fleshy and softer, aged in a great way. It was an excellent wine (93).
The 1966 Vogue Bonnes Mares was cut from the same cloth as the Musigny but not as complex. It didn’t have the density of the Moose, but it was still a sturdy, complex wine (94).
There were two more wines, a 1971 La Tache being the first. It wasn’t the best example of this wine, but it was still really, really good. It was a slice more mature, a bit saucy compared to prime examples, but it had density and complexity. I am a good judge of this wine; unlike the 1945 Mouton, I’ve had ithe ’71 LT more than twenty times 😉 (97pts).
The last wine of the night was as spectacular as anything we had had so far. It should have been, as it was a 1971 Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Beze. It had the citricity meets electricity that would light up anyone’s palate. The red rainbow of fruits were on full display, starting with currant and let’s not forget the berries straw, cran, rasp and lingon, of course. This was a spectacular wine that would be hard to defeat no matter who the opponent (99).
The music was still loud, but it was time for the show to be over. It was good to get the band back together thanks to Jetski and his incomparable chronicles!