Allemand, Dauvissat, Jamet, and more to welcome Jeffrey Snow
Jeffrey Snow previously worked for Bacchus Importers then moved to France to enroll in wine studies. He was in town this past weekend for a brief visit so a group of his wine buddies got together. As Jeffrey still lives overseas I offered to host the gathering. Despite the heavy cloudiness the skies held back any rain so we gathered outside on the back deck. There was a slew of good wine, some certainly better than others, that kept us busy all night.
A bottle of 2006 Vazart-Coquart, Champagne Blanc de Blancs Special Club Brut accidentally received some 2000 E. Guigal, Côte-Rôtie La Mouline through a decanting mistake. Thus turned into a rose, the bottle was found improved and quickly drained. The 2005 Thierry Massin, Champagne Brut drank solidly for days thanks to it being a double-magnum. We had mixed success with the white wines. Fortunately, the 2005 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent), Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses offered all one could hope with great potential. This was my first time drinking Dauvissat and now I can see why it is a favorite of Roland. In terms of the red wines, the 1999 Domaine Jamet, Côte-Rôtie was my favorite. It was aromatic, unique in the mouth, and a generally lifting experience to drink. What a treat! Whereas the Jamet offered up bacon the 2000 E. Guigal, Côte-Rôtie La Mouline offered bloody meat. This bottle drank at a good, mature spot. The 2003 vintage provided our biggest wines. The 2003 Thierry Allemand, Cornas offered way more fruit than I expected, but it was good in its youth, reflecting both the vintage and its southernmost location in the Northern Rhone. Moving south the 2003 Clos des Papes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape exuded power. It took until the second night to show properly and with that time, great complexity came out in the middle. I would cellar this wine another five years. There were many other enjoyable wines so take a look at my notes below. I do wish to comment on the 1995 Domaine du Pégaü, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Maxim. Darryl managed to score this unicorn of a wine. This one-off cuvee was created to celebrate the birth of Laurence’s first child. Just over 600 bottles were produced and apparently, given only to friends. So good was this wine that it and 1997 cuvee Justine eventually became the precursors of De Capo. Unfortunately, our bottle was off.
2006 Vazart-Coquart, Champagne Blanc de Blancs Special Club Brut
A Becky Wasserman Selection imported by C’Est Vin. Alcohol 12%. Through a decanting accident, this contained a proportion of 2000 Guigal, Hermitage La Mouline. So perhaps better as a rose with yeasty, ripeness! Not Rated but good!
2005 Thierry Massin, Champagne Brut (double magnum)
A Becky Wasserman selection imported by C’Est Vin. Alcohol 12%. There were fine, structured bubbles that integrated well with the grippy texture on the tongue tip. There were lemon flavors and baking spices in the finish. ***/**** Now-2025.
2008 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles
Imported by Wilson Daniels. Alcohol 13.5%. There were maturing, lean flavors of tart lemon before a young impression came out. There were tangy lemons in the short finish. Something not quite right about this bottle.
2005 Domaine des Malandes Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos
Imported by JAO Wine Imports. Alcohol 13%. The stinky nose made way to linear flavors in the mouth with a grippy finish. With air an earthiness pervaded, taking over the lemon citrus note, then finishing tired with apple orchard notes. Note Rated.
2001 Domaine and Select, Chateauneuf du Pape
Imported by MacArthur Liquors. There were plenty of berries in this robust wine. The dense core of fruit made way to cherry and even took on glycerin. A lovely wine. **** Now-2020.
2007 Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier, Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Clos de la Maréchale (en magnum)
A Becky Wasserman selection imported by Veritas. Alcohol 13%. The nose was rather expressive. In the mouth were ethereal flavors before the tighter finish. With air it developed some midpalate ripeness with delicate spices and a good length for the soft, lipsticky finish. *** Now.
2004 Château du Cèdre, Cahors Le Cèdre
Imported by Elite Wines. Alcohol 14%. The fresh nose developed deep and dark aromas. The wine was dense in the mouth with good intention from the structure and acidity. The flavors had a cool aspect and when combined with the greenhouse notes, I imagine this will have a nice future. ***(*) Now-2025.
2005 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent), Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses
Imported by Wine Brokers International. Alcohol 13%. There were rounded notes of white and yellow fruit in this beautiful wine. It was almost spritely with a chalky middle, lovely integrated acidity, a good grip, and even more minerals in the finish. Top notch! ****(*) Now-2025.
2004 Terredora di Paolo, Taurasi Pago Dei Fusi
Imported by Vias Imports. Alcohol 13.5%. The nose was very fresh with greenhouse aromas, small berries, and eventually a fine, wood aroma. In the mouth the linear flavors took on licorice. With air the gentle fruit existed within a resolved structure that made a return in the finish by drying the gums.
1999 Domaine Jamet, Côte-Rôtie
Imported by Robert Kacher. Alcohol 12.5%. Very aromatic with bacon and stems. In the mouth were good, controlled powerful flavors of violet fruit. The wine became salty with air and maintained a sense of purity to the acidity driven red fruit. Lovely. ****(*) Now-2025.
2000 E. Guigal, Côte-Rôtie La Mouline
Imported by Ex Cellar Wine Agency. Alcohol 13%. There was a lifted nose of bloody meat. In the mouth were acidity driven flavors that were savory, dense, and glycerin infused. There was still fruit and very fine, fresh structure. **** Now – 2023.
2003 Thierry Allemand, Cornas
Imported by Kermit Lynch. Alcohol 14.5%. The nose was aromatic with fruit power, camphor, and a touch of raisins. In the mouth was a load of tangy, red and pruned fruit with good acidity. With air the wine remained quite fruity, building in flavor towards the middle where mineral and sweet spiced fruit came out. ****(*) Now-2030.
1999 Tardieu-Laurent, Côte-Rôtie Vieilles Vignes (en magnum)
Imported by Bacchus Importers. Alcohol 13%. This was aromatic with roast notes from the oak. In the mouth were soft flavors and vintage perfume. The structure was still there but there was low acidity and a generally limp impression. Not Rated.
2003 Clos des Papes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Alcohol 14.5%. This was beautiful, powerful, and earthy. The wine really packed in the components, exuding power as well as grainy black then red and violet fruit. On the second night it had expanded more to show very good midpalate complexity. ****(*) Now-2030.
1995 Domaine du Pégaü, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Maxim
Imported by T. Elenteny. Alcohol 14%. Oddly morphing, seemed clearly corked at first then as if through sheer determination powerful fruit tried to come through. Not right so bummer. Not Rated.
1995 Château de Fonsalette, Reserve, Côtes du Rhône
Imported by Le Vin. Alcohol 14%. This was aromatic with bloody and stinky notes. Very firm and linear at first this developed a weighty start with midpalate ripeness, cedar, and sweet fruit. In the end it came across as very mature. Drink up. ** Now.
2003 Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve, Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT
Imported by Vinifera Imports. Alcohol 14.5%. This remained young over two nights but showed future potential. Clearly powerful, with tart acidity, good components from wood, and a perfumed finish. Should improve but needs time. ***(*) 2020-2030.
2000 Chateau Quinault L’Enclos, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Imported by Bacchus Importers. Alcohol 13.5%. This smelled increasingly mature and earthy with air. In the mouth it was cooler tasting with very fine grained structure. This bottle seemed very mature with the structure outliving the fruit. ** Now.
2008 Bodegas y Viñedos Paixar, Mencía Bierzo
Imported by Grapes of Spain. Alcohol 14%. The nose was very aromatic with floral and black fruits. In the mouth was a perfumed, black fruited start with some cedar notes picking up in the middle. The wine showed more acidity by the finish becoming lively. The structure revealed wood that had fine texture which combined well with the mineral finish. *** Now-2020.
2001 Gelchw Albertz-Erben, Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
Imported by Michael Skurnik. Alcohol 8.5%. There were hints of petrol on the nose. In the mouth were weighty flavors that fleshed out, filling the mouth with ripe fruit and residual sugar. The wine turned youthful with weighty, lemon flavors, and structure in the end. It left a fresh impression. **** Now.