1988 chambertin and 2000 RSV

Hudelot-Noellat Romanee St. Vivant 2000Armand Rousseau Chambertin 1988Both bottles are heavyweight wines (which are some of my favourite appellation), and sipping them on a weekday afternoon with a bunch of good friends was a real treat. The RSV gave off an enticing aroma which cut dangerously close to a young Clos de Beze and it took me awhile to register the subtle differences. What really surprised me was the flavour and texture profile – the tannins were very pronounced with a distinctive greenness lying underneath all that bright red cherry fruit. I think of all the RSVs I have tasted, this is by far the most tannic of the lot and I would have mistaken it for a Richebourg had it been a blind tasting. I suppose this has more to do with the winemaker/winemaking style than the typicity of the appellation? The Chambertin, on the other hand, exhibited a very old traditional Gevrey style as far as sensory perception is concerned. Lots of dried dark cherries, dried rose petals and even notes of violet were present in the glass with a muskiness that I usually associate with aged Gevrey-Chambertin. The tannin structure was educational, to say the least. The wine must have been a beast when it was in its youth as the years of potential tannin polymerization (in bottle) didn’t seem to tame the somewhat astringent texture of the wine. Not quite as elegant but tasty nonetheless.

Drouhin-Laroze Chambertin Clos de Beze 2004

Drouhin-laroze chambertin clos de beze 2004Opened this bottle deliberately on a flower day, with a huge trepidation in my heart that the vintage’s flaws (and also possibly provenance) will be too pronounced to make this anywhere near drinkable. You can imagine how relieved I was when the wine was bursting with plenty of ripe red cherries, some nuances of spice, and young fragrant tea leaves in the glass. Good texture and structure introduced by some chewy tannins with just a subtle touch of bitterness in the finish. The only drawback of this wine – it glided down me throat too easily and I wanted more! The food pairing – chinese roast chicken.

can there (ever) be too much alcohol

Armand Rousseau Chambertin 1997Leroy Vosne-Romanee Les Genaivrieres 1999
*click on images to view the entire set on flickr.*

These are two of my favourite wines during a gathering yesterday afternoon. Admittedly, they are both famous, much sought-after producers in burgundy with a somewhat hefty price tag (on their bottles) to match. I was too lazy to jot down any notes but suffice to say they were both lovely and singing beautifully without any airing at all. The chenin blanc by Olga Raffault was pretty good given its vintage; Frederic Esmonin’s 1993 Griottes-Chambertin surprised a lot of us, and definitely left an impression. There were quite a number of Equipo Navazos sherry on the table too but didn’t manage to snap any pics to show here. My favourite, without a doubt, is still their Palo Cortado, which is currently La Bota #34. The Manzanilla Pasada, if I may add, is bloody excellent!