Firstly, welcome to Randall Pollard and Chris Lander as, I believe, first time guests to a Cellar Geek dinner. It was great to have both of you there and thanks for the wonderful wines you brought to our table. Welcome back, Paul, you are pretty much the unofficial Cellar Geek, as you have probably been to more cellar geek events than any other guests!
Sharad, thanks for organising this at Matteo's, an old favourite for us, and for choosing a very interesting theme, that of Chambolle-Musigny vs Volnay. I'll list the wines we had, and as usual, give a summary of my personal impressions of the wines and some comments. Attached also are photos I took that night - apologies that a couple of them aren't very clear.
CG Dinner #2 - May 19th 2017
Starter - Oysters three ways
Bracket 1 - Quail ballotine roasted with streaky mushroom, filled with chicken mousse and Chinese sausage
Bracket 2 - Duck twice cooked breast with Japanese okonomiyaki pancake
0. Pol Roger 2002 (ST) - starter
1. G. Roumier Chambolle-Musigny 1988 (CL) - bracket 1
2. Fourrier Chambolle-Musigny "Les Gruenchers" 2006 (ST) - bracket 1
3. Ghislaine-Barthod Chambolle-Musigny "Les Cras" 2004 (PT) - bracket 1
4. Comte Armand Volnay "Fremiets" 2009 (DC) - bracket 2
5. Marquis D'Angerville Volnay "Tallepieds" 2008 (MJ) - bracket 2
6. Joseph Voillot Volnay "Les Caillerets" 2013 (RP) - bracket 2
7. Jean Noel Gagnard "Morgeot" Chassagne-Montrachet (ST) - cheese
8. Warre's Vintage Port 1985 (RP) - cheese
Some brief notes:
0. Colour (C): deepish straw;
Nose (N): mature, stone fruits (mainly peaches), a hint of honey;
Palate (P): medium mousse, intense stone fruit, hint of citrus peel, subtle yeast/brioche as well as minerally/chalky notes, a good structure with lingering drying finish.
Comment: Superb champagne to start off with, very good acid/fruit balance. Just the thing to have with oysters
1. C: deepish maroon-crimson, a watery broad brick coloured rim;
N: delicate but developed aged nose, cold meats
P: still loads of primary sweet fruit - cherries and raspberries, with developed savoury aged characteristics and cold roasted meat, ultrafine silky tannins, a hot alcoholic but long finish.
Comment: Amazing old red burgundy at nearly 29 years! I thought it was around the late 1990s but was proven very wrong. My first taste of a Roumier, and what a powerful village-level wine that would easily walk over some producer's premier or even grand cru wines!
2. C: deepish crimson/maroon, with a medium watery rim that's deep brick colour
N: cherry lozenges, hawthorn with some savoury soy or bbq sauce notes mixed in.
P: Raspberry and hawthorn; still very primary fruit, not a lot of development save for the savoury notes, ultrafine but slightly grippy tannins, a very hot (alcoholic) but long finish
Comment: An elegant wine in the mouth, lovely primary fruit flavours just on the verge of developing more complex aged savoury characteristics. Alcohol a bit out of balance - hot year? (yep 2006)
3. C: deep, almost opaque maroon red, medium tight rim;
N: leafy, plant sap, sugar cane leaves dominate over black fruits
P: sweet fruit, still quite primary, black cherries but with a distinct herbaceous characteristics and quite hot (alcoholic). Very fine tannins and long finish.
Comment: Some discussion around the table about the 2004 vintage; whether the very leafy/herbaceous characteristics were due to ladybug infestations. Personally, maybe whole bunch and/or stalkiness?
4. C: deep, nearly opaque crimson maroon, fairly tight rim.
N: cherry/raspberry with hints of licorice
P: smooth, elegant silky fine tannins, with sweet cherry and raspberry fruit and subtle licorice, quite concentrated, framed by a powerful tannic structure; very long length.
Comment: Power and elegance integrated, feels very young on the palate, despite 8 years of bottle age. I’m not going to open my other bottle for quite a few years...
5. C: deep crimson.
N: clean fruit-driven nose of cherry and raspberry;
P: starts out elegantly with smooth mouth feel, then the tannic structure emerges with a grippy finish. Long length. Palate reconfirms the cherry and raspberry fruit flavours.
Comment: even though with 9 years of bottle age, this wine still tasted young with only primary fruit characteristics. Beginning to form a picture of Volnays…
6. C: deep-ish crimson (the least deep-coloured of the 3 Volnays).
N: cherries and raspberries and, interestingly, a touch of passionfruit/tropical fruits!
P: Sweet fruits as heralded by the nose, elegant and smooth at the start and then, like the other two Volnays before, a tannic structure emerges with a bit more grippy tannins at the finish.
Comment: the youngest of the 3 Volnays, delicious with the interesting hint of tropical fruits. Hopefully like the previous Volnay, the grippy finish will diminish with more bottle age.
7. C: straw, clear;
N: Subtly floral with hints of honey
P: Sweet entry, white peaches, hints of nougat held together with a good backbone of acid, surprisingly a bit of grip in the latter stages of a long finish
Comment: Classic white burgundy that has developed a bit of pleasant aged (honey/nougat) characteristics. Not sure where the grippy feeling came from, in a white!
8. C: deepish but not opaque (see through) maroon, still a little ruby red in the mix.
N: A touch of varnish that blew off quickly with a few swirls, dark fruits with subtle floral notes.
P: plums, black cherry, a touch of chocolate and not overly sweet, hint of tobacco leaves, very smooth with a very long finish.
Comment: Like the 1977, this 1985 Warre's tastes younger than it ought to be, still mostly primary fruit, but delicious! Thanks Randall for sharing this excellent vintage port with us. What a great way to conclude a wonderful night.
General comments relating to the theme (Chambolle-Musigny vs Volnay):
The three Chambolles presented that night had quite distinctly different characters, but all three had tasted hot (alcoholic) to me. Given the different producers, vintages and vineyards (well, two very PC and one was village) it is really hard to, based on a sample of 3 bottles to form what constitute a unique profile that identifies as "Chambolle-Musigny".
On the other hand, the three Volnays were very consistent, despite being from different producers, vineyards and vintages (though more tightly clustered spanning 2008 to 2013). All have a very similar fruit characteristics, and textural profile of starting smooth and then becoming more tannic towards the finish. But again, not sure if this is a solid way of identifying Volnays from a line of red burgundies. I will trawl through my tastings notes to find previously tasted Volnays to see if I've previously noted this textural characteristic.
Thanks everyone! Now, on to the next CG in about 7 weeks time.