TN: Right Time, Right Bank (plus a Champagne still on ita lees!)

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Aug 4, 2023, 3:52:34 PMAug 4
A nice group gathered in Croton for a night of Right Bank wines. As we arrived, were greeted by the pup, a nice spread of charcuterie and cheeses, and a bottle of 2022 Ch. De Respide blanc (Graves). Clean, fresh, lightly grassy, crisp mineral finish. Nice. B/B+

NV Laborde “perpetuelle” Blanc de blancs.
A solera wine, rich with sweet fruit and an intriguing cinnamon/spice note. B+/B

And now for something really different, 2 bottles of the same wine, only one not disgorged
2018 Marguet Ambonnay Freedom Champagne
I’ve never had an undisgorged Champagne before. A little cloudy (but not as much as I expected), very leesy, a feral note. Interesting (but I preferred its sibling). B/B- but oh so fun to try

2018 Marguet Ambonnay Champagne
The same wine, but disgorged. Crisp and precise, very mineral, clear citrus notes. B+ with potential

Served with caviar and creme fraiche on that day’s potato chips. Both are about ⅔ PN and ⅓ Chardonnay.

On to the reds. Wanted to do in rough chronology. Some had brought blind, others not. John asked if any wines were younger than 1989, there was one hand up.
(note- unless otherwise noted, wines were double decanted a few hours before dinner)

Blind - We knew it was younger than 1989, and someone immediately called 1990 Pomerol. I wasn’t so sure, Pomerol for sure, but seemed a little leaner than ‘90, I was thinking ‘94 or ‘95. I was wrong! Elegant and perfumed, black cherry and green tobacco, nice finish 1990 L’Evangile B+ (I’ll note I had this early this year with very different notes, it’s why I put no claim of consistency in my disclaimer!)

1989 Gombaude-Guillot
A bit clunky to me, some coarse wood tannins, slightly pruney. Some others liked more. B/B-

1988 Angelus
Oak and a touch of barnyard, but with some air (this was only wine popped and poured) it seemed to smooth out, fairly balanced. B/B+

Another Blind - sweet fruit, herby, elegant. Some tobacco notes, juicy citric acidity Superb. 1989 Cheval Blanc A-/A

1985 Certan Giraud
Ferric, big for 85, sweet red fruit, good mineral finish. B+/A-
I didn’t realize the heart of the property is what is now Hosanna.

1985 Certan de May
Lovely black plum, leather, earth, just a great showing. A-

Blind - quite different,. Savory soy/balsamic notes, dark fruit, mocha, still some tannin. Takes a while to get property, 1985 Latour a Pomerol A-/B+

While John was putting finishing touches on excellent short ribs (with orange zest) and plating, the 2018 Marguet Avise. Apparently new bottling , Benoit buys from organic growers in Avise he has been mentoring. I assume BdB but didn’t look at label. Startling crisp, bright precise citrus and white apple fruit, floral. B++

1982 Lafleur-Gazin
Very sweet, chocolate, smooth, but maybe not as deep as some others. B/B+

1983 Latour a Pomerol
Didn’t seem very ‘83 to me, I thought ponderous yet lacking real depth. Others liked more, and it did have a pleasant flavor profile of dark plum, cocoa, and earth. B

Blind - guessing here was impressive, about time I took my first sniff Dan said VCC, and when Victor said yes Sasha said 1981. 30 seconds to solution. Elegant, long, cassis fruit but with bright light citrus zest notes. There’s a topnote of tomato juice, which sounds weird but was actually appealing. Really nice wine. 1981 Vieux Chateau Certan (double decanted at 9 AM) A-

1981 Certan de May
This was only bottle of night that I thought needed to be drunk up, but John said cork was loose and slid down into bottle when opened (actually served in a 69 Mondavi bottle). An aging dowager, dusty fruits and tasty herbs, B for this bottle, might not be representative. .

1982 Latour a Pomerol
Powerful yet lithe, rich black cherry and cassis, mocha, quite long. A-/A

Great night. Incredibly lucky for this era to have no corked wines.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C drinkable. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
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