Friday, December 18, 2009

Vintage Tastings BYOB Dinner at Tribeca Grill

The best thing about a large BYOB gathering, aside from the great wines, is meeting people who like to share their interest in, and love for, certain wines. There are the Bordeaux lovers, the Burgundy afficiandos, the Champagne specialists, and the members of the Cult. We had them all at our table. You all get thrown together and drink a bunch of great stuff and -- generally -- everyone gets along.

Then again, there's Table Number One. NUMERO UNO. Where they seat the heavy hitters - I could imagine Hardy Rodenstock sitting there, with his 1787 Lafite. And it's so stupid. Of course, the only wine I tasted from this table, the 1990 Montrose, was probably the Wine of the Night for me. So here I am - a hypocrite with a blog. But there it is. Overall, a great evening with lots of great wine and great people. Thanks to David Hamburger for MCing and the staff at Tribeca for wonderful service.

Thank you -- as well -- to the mystery woman who poured us all 1976 Yquem, just as the night was drawing to a close. To be honest, this display of generosity was something of a holiday miracle.

Notes in order of tasting:

1993 Dom Perignon *** a perfect start to the evening. Wonderful floral and tropical notes with lime and Mountain Dew on the finish.

1982 Leflaive Les Pucelles Puligny Montrachet ... tired.

2001 Meo Camuzet Corton ** dep rose and irridescence. Dired floral notes and melon. Developed jolly rancher on the nose and chalky tannins throughtout the night.

1983 Dom Perignon * (to replace the Leflaive) Prune and fig on the nose. Some green notes as well. Very traditional, to me a very different style from more recent vintages. Perhaps the age - the oldest DP I've ever tasted.

1984 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello **** (my wine) a very fresh bottle, with dark fruit notes, dried floral notes, violets, salty on the midpalate, but surprisingly short. Still, a stunner.

1996 Ponsot Clos de la Roche (flawed)

1998 Lignier Clos de la Roche *** ruby red; still tight and fresh, tannic, with sweet cherry and mellow well-trod earthy notes.

1986 Ch. Gruaud Larose ** deep black cherry color, still tight, with cherry and just a very mellow note of worn wet wood here.

1989 Ch. Pichon Comtesse de Lalande **** warm cinnamonny raisins, dark cocoa, and wooza supa-tight. Brings to mid-90's rap and the advent of Bling! I'm a sucker for the warm vintage 1989 Bordeaux....

1995 Ch. Mouton Rothschild *** tight purple, still dense with moderate chalky midnotes and very mellow mint. The fruit is elegant, not as voluptuous as I had hoped. A very traditional Mouton, perhaps.

1990 Ch. Montrose **** WOTN? Black olives. Black olives. and Black olives. Succulent black fruits. Electric and elegant. Just stunning.

1990 Clos de Tart **** remarkable sweet black cherry and silk. Tannins like a young woman's inner thighs. Then unctuous on the finish. Leaves one breathless.

1989 Ch. Lynch Bages ** mellow black fruit and medium body, elegant tannin. All there but ultimately no wowsa.

1986 Ch. Lynch Bages **** Black olives again. Dark fruits. Mellow mint with fine but chalky tannin. Superb.

1984 Katherine Kennedy ***- AHA! Just opened - tight, succulent, balsamic notes here. Needs air, badly, but this nicely concentrated, with black and dark blue fruit notes.

1999 Ch. Mouton Rothschild ** (my wine) Dusty with tart raspberry. Opens up nicely. This vintage has an undeserved poor reputation. Mostly fried floral notes, wonderfully elegant, with good balance, but not a blockbuster.
1976 Ch. d'Yquem. Wine of the Night. Gold color. On those nose, sweet yellow flowers, honey, apricot. On the palate, quite racy below the tongue, with surging salt towards the front of the mouth, then receding sweet white raisiny notes with mellow tropical melon notes and a slow, long finish. Perfect.

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