By: Ryan Tedder
Another day another great bottle or 20…So is the Graileys mantra and this last Friday was no exception. The night started early and briskly with a few of our favorite members showing up around 2:30. he day started with Dominus and Quilceda Creek and then things got interesting…The bottles were popping early and often as we explored the world of wine, albeit it through a French lens. These were most 5 most favorite for the night. I decided against mentioning any of the great Champagnes we had that night, simply because I am biased and I would have ranked the single vineyard Godmes and Voeutte et Sorbee quite highly for the night.
2011 Domaine Long-Depaquit Moutonne Grand Gru Chablis was showing power, saline tension, green apple, granite and steel undertones with fresh flowers and sea spray on the nose. There was a cheese rind and lemon rind note that came out with air. This wine needs a few more years in bottle but is drinking beautifully. This is the unofficial 8th Grand Cru of Chablis-the family never registered the name with the government-doh! They can still use the name though on the label. This is a monopole owned by the negociant Albert Bichot now. Full throttled Chablis.
2000 Groffier Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru was riveting as always. There are few Burgundy domaines that are as consistently great as the wines of Groffier. The wine is modern with sappy red fruit, roses, sandalwood, forrest aromas, black truffle and a velvety texture with sweet, caressing tannins. The finish was delish and long from the get go and the animal character of the site was held in check. The oak added a nice element to the wine and it is aging beautifully. Bravo! This and the Amoureuses are always fantastic if you are looking for a can’t miss bottle of red Burgundy to enjoy.
2010 Dominus was surprisingly open knit, round, lush, sweetly fruited and oaked, and somewhat flamboyant! Quite a surprise especially drinking it next to the 2007 vintage was shut down, monolithic and meaty-reminiscent of a fien vintage of Montrose or Cos. The 2010 just got a perfect score from Parker and the wine did not disappoint. It will get better and weightier (I hope) with time in the bottle. The cassis, blackberry cobbler, violets, chocolate, coffee, and sweet tobacco were delightful. The wine tasted too young and was a little unsettled for my palate.
1990 Canon-la-Gaffeliere was opened by one of our more inked members and boy it was sensational. Probably my wine of the night! The haunting aromatics of dried flowers, leather, plum, barbeque, pipe tobacco, wild ferns, bay leaf, and minerals filled the room. This is a wine you spend 80% of your time smelling and 20% of your time drinking. The 1990 is drinking in a perfect window. If the 2010 is anything like this I would stockpile it. The roasted coffee, cassis, licorice, anise and blueberry is hard no to be impressed with at 23 years!
2003 Pape Clement was the eye-opener of the night! The wine is a powerhouse of flavor, tannin, and length. It was a pop and pour stick of dynamite that easily blew away lesser bottles that were being drank. We are lucky enough to have just gotten a case of this gem and I know where a few bottles are headed…The cedar, smoke, meat, lead pencil, cloves and espresso were balanced by the lush black cherry, sweet red and black plums, cassis and blackberry. Quite a glyceral wine with an unctuous texture and a mouthfeeling presence. Definitely a victory of the vintage. Quite a great bottle of vino!