I went to dinner last night at a friend’s house in Hong Kong and, to my chagrin, he decided to serve all the wines blind. I came close on identifying many of them. And a few I got completely right, like the 1990 Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réservé and 1970 Quinta do Noval.
One of the other guests at the dinner hosted by the now 50-year-old Peter Lam (I only say that since I went to his birthday a couple of nights ago) thought a Burgundy was a Pomerol. So I didn’t make a complete fool out of myself.
Granted, I was off by 20 years on a 1982 Domaine Leflaive Bâtard-Montrachet. It was served very cold, so it was hard to tell it was so old.
We drank the following wines: 1975 Dom Perignon Rosé, 1982 Domaine Leflaive Bâtard-Montrachet, 1990 Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Mouline, the 1990 Rayas, 1982 Château Certan-Giraud, 1990 Henri Jayer Vosne-Romanée Les Brûlées, 1987 Henri Jayer Vosne-Romanée Cros Parantoux, 1990 Le Pin, 2000 Château Gracia, 1970 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti, and the 1970 Noval.
The wine of the evening was the 1990 Henri Jayer Vosne-Romanée Les Brûlées. It had amazing concentration of fruit, and such clarity and definition. It was the essence of Pinot Noir. It was almost jammy on the palate, yet fresh and refined. It had loads of strawberry and light vanilla character. Full body, with super silky tannins and a long, long finish, it was all about purity in fruit. 97 points, non-blind.
Peter and another guest at the dinner probably have more bottles of Jayer in their cellars than anyone else in the world, including the best restaurants in the world. They started collecting Jayers decades ago. And now the wines sell for silly prices. Granted, you will never see new wines under the Jayer label following his death last year. So they are super-rarified. But prices are steep. They start about $1,000 a bottle and go up a tenfold for older vintages ...
I want to note these for the record, because they were fantastic and Jayer was the master:
1996 Henri Jayer Vosne-Romanée Cros Parantoux: Fresh and perfumed with strawberry and flowers. Medium to full body, with silky tannins and a fresh finish. A little short compared to earlier Jayers. 91, non-blind.
1996 Henri Jayer Echézeaux: Ready to go with lots of plummy and strawberry character, full body and round tannins. Some tea and fruity character on the finish. Very pretty. 92, non-blind.
1993 Henri Jayer Vosne-Romanée Les Brûlées: Very floral with hints of ripe strawberries underneath. Still a little tight and needs a few more years of bottle age. But full, rich and racy on the plate. Refined, silky tannins. Best after 2010. 95, non-blind.
1993 Henri Jayer Echézeaux: All there on the nose with lots of strawberry, flowers and cedar. The palate is rich and racy but it falls a little short compared to the Vosne-Romanée Les Brûlées. But wait and see. Best after 2010. 93, non-blind.
1994 Henri Jayer Echézeaux: This is a pretty weak vintage for Burgundy, but Henri could always pull it off even in such a year. Gorgeous aromas of lemon rind, strawberry and lemons. Medium to full body with strawberry fruit and a long, clean finish. 91, non-blind.
1990 Henri Jayer Echézeaux: Aromas of sweet strawberries, plum skin and flowers follow through to a very silky and soft palate. Full bodied and packed with fruit. This lasts for minutes on your palate. A perfect Burgundy. 100, non-blind.
1990 Henri Jayer Vosne-Romanée Les Brûlées: See above.
1989 Henri Jayer Nuits Saint Georges Meurgers: Super intense aromas with roses, strawberries and berries, Full and balanced with wonderful silky tannins. It’s still a baby. 97, non-blind.
1985 Henri Jayer Nuits Saint Georges Meurgers: What marvelous aromas to this. The reputation of the 1985 Jayers is legendary and this wine shows it on the nose. Such purity. Pure wild strawberries. Palate, however, is less impressive but outstanding with a full body and silky tannins. Long focused finish. 93, non-blind.
1983 Henri Jayer Echézeaux: Interesting aromas of orange peel and plum with hints of cedar. Medium body, with sweet fruit and a slightly short finish. Starting to fade. 90, non-blind.
1982 Henri Jayer Echézeaux: This is one of the big surprises so far. It has a super complex nose of floral, cedar, strawberries and honey. Medium-bodied and very delicate with super fresh acidity and a long, long silky finish. It is an absolute joy to drink. 95, non-blind.
Hoyt Hill Jr — Nashville, TN — August 10, 2007 1:38pm ET
Tom Hudson — Wilmington, Delaware — August 11, 2007 10:47am ET
James Suckling — — August 12, 2007 2:39am ET
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions