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TN: Ian, Patrick, Chris visit- Champagne, Burg, Rioja, Rhone at Noreetuh

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Aug 7, 2023, 12:19:35 PM8/7/23
Ramon organized a dinner to welcome some old out of town friends (from London, CO, and DC). We met st Noreetuh, where food was excellent as always - fried chicken, salmon poke, turnip cake, beef skewers, pork potstickers, grilled salmon, pork chop with miso, porterhouse with excellent cabbage, bacon fried rice.

2012 Billiot Essence Champagne (disgorged 2016)
Full, dry, creamy with vanilla pastry cream and pie crust, B+/B

2008 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne BdB Champagne
Comtes is my fave TdC, and this was a great bottle of a great vintage. Zippy acids, elegant mousse, rich pear with citrus blossoms and brioche. Long elegant mineral finish. A-/A

2013 Agrapart Avizoise BdB Champagne
Young but delicious, snappy and fresh with chalky mineral finish. A-

2014 Ramonet Caillerets Chassagne-Montrachet 1er
Cold and a little muted at first, opens nicely with mint and vanillin oak notes over rich bright fruit. Develops more and more complexity, retains precision, very good. A- (I had written B initially)

2010 Fevre Les Clos Chablis GC
Still young ( I love Diam)grapefruit and apple with a big dose of stony minerals. Nice long finish. B+/A-

2004 Chave Hermitage Blanc
Not a modern Chave fan, and this did nothing to change my mind. A bit advanced, with cidery notes, so maybe a compromised bottle, but think I wouldn’t have been a fan in any case. Some heat on palate, apple and walnut. This bottle a C+ for me.

2010 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Rioja Gran Reserva Rosado
My first LdH Rosado in a while, as always a big fan. Unlike any other rose. Watermelon, strawberry, and macadamia nut. Dry, spicy, tangy, unique. B+/A-

2010 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Rioja Reserva Blanco
Excellent but a baby. B/B+ for current consumption,but destined for greatness, I wish I owned this.

2005 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Rioja Reserva Blanco
Rich, bright acids, almond and citrus, young. B+

1996 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Rioja Reserva Blanco
Now we’re talking. Floral, nutty, saline, a cornucopia of flavors that somehow mesh seamlessly. A-/A

1991 Muga Prado Enea Rioja Gran Reserva
Young, rich black cherry with cloves and ginger,. Nice length. A-

1985 CVNE Vina Real Rioja Reserva
I thought this was quite muted , Jayson called TCA, I didn’t get at all, but then got some swimming pool from his glass. I’m betting to corked just at edge of my perception. NR

1999 Clape Cornas
As is often the case, Clape divides, and I’m on plus side. Big but balanced, black cherry and raspberry with leather, balsam, and black pepper. B+/A-

1998 Vallouit Rosiers Cote Rotie
Very lifted nose, but within my VA tolerance. Black raspberry, black olive, a little smoked meat. B/B+

1989 Jaboulet La Chapelle Hermitage
I think everyone else liked more than me. I’ve had up and down bottles of this, found this one more down though quite drinkable. Rich dark fruit, cocoa, a little roast game, but seems a bit heavy on palate. B

1985 Grivot Boudots Nuits St George 1er
Lovely, with black cherry, sandalwood, and orange zest. Fully mature with resolved tannins, but not tired, all finesse. A-

1985 Faiveley Clos De la Roche
A bit bigger, but also balanced, with coffee, black plums, smoke. I like Faiveley from this period. B+

1985 Drouhin Clos De Mouches Beaune 1er
I had double decanted this and the Prado Enea before traveling, this was worrisome when first decanted, with caramelized notes, but I thought it improved a bit with air, so decided to bring anyway (with a backup). Nope, DOA, clear maderization. That’s a bottle issue, this can still be very good.

1999 Chevillon Roncieres Nuits st George 1er
Backup, popped and poured. I had it in a bag, but said ‘99 NSG, Jay’s guesses were Chevillon (yes), Cailles (no), Roncieres (yes)- 20 seconds to ID. Red and black cherry, truffle, citrus zest. Very elegant for NSG. B+/A-
1996 Yquem
Apricot, orange marmalade, honey, pretty classic, excellent showing for an unheralded year. B+

Really fun time, good to see old friends.
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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