G contributed this Volnay 1er cru Santenots du Milieu 2011 from Domaine des Comtes Lafon one evening. It transported us right back to Caveau des Arches in Beaune where we have been fortunate enough to drink rather a lot of the Comte's offerings. It was polished, glossy, smooth, coherent and typique with a great finish, and there was a lot going on! We found black cherries, sloes (that was G not me - I'm not entirely sure what a sloe tastes like) and loganberries or possibly even poached damson fool. There were also woody things such as liquorice root, and a herbaceous note, which could have been mint leaf. It was remarkably ripe and intense considering it was from 2011, and there was no rush to drink it. This stuff isn't cheap but it was worth it, and we gave it a 9 on the premier cru project scale.
G also provided this Chablis 1er cru Beauroy 1995 from E.A.R.L. Hamelin as he had an urge to "try some weird old Chablis". This was a beautiful golden colour and our first impression was that it was surprisingly rich and oaky, with a touch of honey on both nose and palate. It was mature but not over the hill and went very well with our chicken salad. It also didn't cost a huge amount considering its age, confirming that Chablis remains the best value white burgundy. Unfortunately another 1995 Chablis, this time 1er cru Vaucoupin from Pascal Pica, turned out to be undrinkable, so there is a risk when you go back this far.
Instead, we drank this Rully 1er cru Raclot 2012 from Celine et Vincent Dureuil. This may have been served a little too cold. It had some mushrooms on the nose and was well-made, with good acidity, but perhaps a slightly short finish. It was enjoyable, and a solid 8.
G also contributed this Gevrey-Chambertin 1er cru les Champonnets 1998 from Lucien Boillot. This looked like old, mature pinot with a faded rim. It had a very Cote de Nuits nose with forest fruits and dark chocolate and a hint of the farmyard, but also quite a lot of volatile alcohol. We decided it needed to spend more time in the fridge, which led to the discovery that a decanter I was given recently actually fits in the fridge door - thanks J! It was smooth, with a nice weight, and fully mature and powerful but quite short. It improved over time but we felt it was possibly on its way out and gave it an 8.
This sparkler from Damiani Wine Cellars 2011 is one which we picked up in the Finger Lakes last September. I remember that day being particularly hot and it was our last tasting of the trip. This had fine bubbles and we wondered if it was a blanc de blancs but having just checked, it was actually two thirds pinot noir! We drank this very cold and it was brisk up front, with a floral mid-palate. It didn't seem that old but then these Finger Lakes wines are built to last. It was approachable and not too serious (just as well, as we were eating fish fingers with it) and went down real easy. G thought it would make a good party wine and the price, currently $34, compares well with sparkling wines from certain autres regions.
A rummage in the wardrobe one evening produced this bottle of Auxey-Duresses 2011 from Jacques Bavard. I do adore red Auxey and was delighted to get this back in the day, particularly from this lovely vintage. It was a very pretty example of a Cote de Beaune red, with perfume, lots of red fruit, and a certain sweetness. G wondered if some white grapes had got in there to give it a lift. All in all, a very pleasurable wine to drink and it went down in no time.
I had a wine delivery last Friday and have tried two of the four delivered so far. This Pernand-Vergelesses Les Belles Filles 2010 from Ludovic Belin went AWOL in the storage facility for a long time but was finally located, so I got it out rather later than I normally would have done. I had also been under the impression it was a red, but actually given the heatwave, was quite pleased it turned out to be white. The label was certainly promisingly appalling, although the name always made me cringe slightly. Its extended term in storage had done it no harm at all and it was still very fresh and lemony, with a floral mid-palate. It was classic Pernand, relatively light and not terribly serious, but good summer drinking.
Last Sunday we had this Santenay "Comme Dessus" 2009 from Domaine de la Choupette. Again this had a perfumed nose with summer fruits - raspberries, plums and G's new go-to description, loganberries. It had "lovely filigreed tannins" and was pleasantly croquant. I served it slightly chilled and it was very refreshing, with good acidity. It's that nice middle-weight style which is very versatile and had a sweet note which reminded G of those "hint of the sugar bag" Burgundies from the 1970s. I'm delighted with it, it's everything I love about Cote de Beaune reds. G thinks it needs to be drunk over the next year, and there's another six pack tucked away in storage. I don't think getting through a bottle every month or two is going to pose any problem whatsoever!