I'm back in Burgundy for a week or so of special tastings and visits. I arrived in Paris this morning, after about two hours of sleep, armed with my Avis reservation and 7,600 songs on my iPod. The drive to Beaune began in the early morning darkness, which gave way to fog and eventually rain once I passed the Chablis exit. I listened exactly to one-tenth of one percent of my music.
The Trois Glorieuses, essentially three dinners, surrounds the Hospices de Beaune auction and culminates in La Paulée, an annual harvest fête that began in Meursault in 1923.
Tonight, I am having dinner with a former colleague from Burgundy Wine Company, Peter Julian. Peter is an artist from New York who fell in love with Burgundy and, since 1997, spends half his time in Nuits St.-Georges.
But first, I'd like to share with you a few interesting wines drunk the weekend before the New York Wine Experience with Two Hands coproprietor Michael Twelftree of Australia.
My colleague Kim Marcus and his wife, Wendy, generously hosted us in Queens. Twelftree brought a few bottles with him and I opened a few from my cellar.
Twelftree and I share a common interest in Krug's superb Brut 1996, having swapped notes on the occasions we have tasted it. We shared a bottle about a year and a half ago in New York. So I thought it only fitting that we begin the evening with Krug '96.
Though it announced itself with a rich, toasty nose, deep woodsy notes and citrus, on the palate it seemed the structure was dominant. Nonetheless, it was powerful, in an incisive way, with a linear, taut structure driving its toast, lemon and spice flavors (97 points, non-blind).
The Hanzell Chardonnay Sonoma Valley 1993 was oxidized, unfortunately, so I opened a Marc Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Les Caillerets 2002. It had the mineral, iodine, seashore elements like Chablis, yet was fuller and richer, with peach and oak spice notes, creamy texture and good length (92 points, non-blind).
Twelftree brought the Côte-Rôtie La Landonne 1979 from Guigal. It seduced us with its gorgeous nose of bacon fat, blackberry and lavender bouquet. On the palate it was ripe, mature and smoky, with sweetness at the core and a long spice and mineral finish (92 points, non-blind). It seemed fully mature and ready to drink.
The wine that really wowed us and evolved in the glass over an hour or so was Bonneau du Martray's Corton 2002. Very pure, it showed aromas of cinnamon, sappy cherry, berry and spice, followed by floral and fresh fruit flavors, terrific harmony, balance and length (95 points, non-blind).
I was also impressed with Twelftree's second bottle, the Wendouree Cabernet Sauvignon Clare Valley 1994. An intense, stony, Graves-like mineral, cedar and tobacco bouquet introduced this wine. Then it was rich and sweet in the mouth, with ripe black currant and cherry, a sense of elegance, all balanced and long (94 points, non-blind). Wendouree is a super cult winery that I have rarely seen in New York.
We finished the evening watching the Yankees go extra innings with the Anaheim Angels over a bottle of Dow Port 1977.
Matt Scott — Honolulu HI — November 10, 2009 3:10pm ET
Scott Webster — Mississauga, Ontario, Canada — November 11, 2009 12:23am ET
Thomas Matthews — New York City — November 11, 2009 3:43pm ET
Bruce Sanderson — New York — November 11, 2009 5:18pm ET
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