We drink good wine. At our last dinner, Morten brought an elegant and balanced 1988 Chave Hermitage. I love Chave. He also brought a 1986 Chateau Margaux but it was corked. What a disappointment! Anywhere from 3 percent to 15 percent of all bottles with cork are "corked" or tainted; it is a huge problem for our industry. TCA, or 2,4,6-trichloroanisol, has a characteristic odor of wet cardboard or damp basement. In almost all cases of corked wine the wine's aromas are muted and a very tainted wine could be undrinkable. Interestingly, most consumers do not detect and recognize this flaw. To me, the smell is as distinctive as hydrogen sulfide, or the foul smell from rotten eggs. With training, it is easy to detect. If a fish smelled "fishy" it is likely spoiled. Likewise, when a wine is "corked", it is spoiled. Be sure to send back the wine to the restaurant or the retailer if this is the case. Luckily tonight, all our wines were sound and singing. We started with a split of Pol Roget at the bar to start.
Based on our menu and tasting through the wines, I decided to drink in the following order:
- 1995 Krug- I am a big fan of vintage Krug. The 1996 that was released last year is showing much better and I would cellar the 1995 for another five years. Gorgeous signature nuts and richness. Krug is distinctive as it ferments the wine in oak and then ages in stainless steel.
- 2000 Corton Charlemagne Bonneau De Martray- a baby. Still tight and reserved. Elegant and perfect with the seafood platter.
- 1983 Comte de Vogüé Bonnes Mares- I love de Vogüé. Winemaker Francois Millet describes the Bonnes Mares as the unmarried uncle: very masculine with some flamboyance. '83 Burgundies have been hit or miss for me but I have found that this year they are starting to come around. The wine belied its fifteen years of age and initially, I experienced a beautiful perfume of dried flowers and faint cherries. With 30 minutes in the glass, it evolved yet again and the secondary components of leather, cigar, cedar and licorice revealed themselves. Very sexy and yum! My wine of the night.
- 1982 Branaire Ducru- Obviously a great vintage and a value at current market values. Drink now. Leather, earth and black spice on the nose with sweet earth and soft plum fruit on the palate.
- 1996 Cos d'Estournel- Still too young, needs more time. Great right now for a new world wine lover. Black spice and black and blue fruit in the nose. Gripping tannins and bracing acidity. Cos is one of my favorite Bordeaux.
- 1995 Grand Puy-Lacoste- still a bit angular. I am finding a lot of 1995 Bordeaux disjointed and green. I would drink this all now.
After dinner we headed to Hudson Bar and Books to smoke some Cuban robustos, then swung by Socialista, headed next to the place that was formerly Rhône and then back again to the Soho House to drink Ruinart Rose before heading to our respective homes. One of those crazy NYC nights with good friends and good wine!
Wines from dinner #1 in SF with the 1943 Latour being the wine of the evening.
- 1990 Dom Perignon
- 1985 Charles Heidsieck Charlie
- 1992 Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot
- 1990 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin GC Le Chambertin
- 1990 Leroy Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts
- 1996 Mugnier Chambolle Musigny GC Musigny
- 1970 Drouhin Vosne-Romanée GC Richebourg
- 1976 Leroy Volnay
- 1943 Latour
- 1999 D'Yquem