Thursday, November 2, 2023
LeDomduVin: Happy Halloween
What a great lineup of amazing wines. Opened tonight for a private dinner.
Beautifully balanced, dry, crisp, and fresh at opening. Then, developing enticing yellow fruits and yeasty aromas and flavours, golden apple mingling with floral and mineral notes. The palate was perfect! Elegant, graceful, generous, fresh, dense and intense, showing all the aspects of a beautifully aged champagne opened at the perfect time of its evolution. Magnificent!
While displaying all the characteristics of a "1er Cru" (and above), "Les Enseignères" is a "village" wine. Located just below the prestigious Grand Cru vineyard of Bâtard-Montrachet, it often shares similar traits to the Grand Cru wines.
The 2018 vintage in Burgundy was characterized by warm weather, which resulted in generous wines that have ripe and concentrated fruit flavours, as well as well-balanced acidity. Coche-Dury Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignères 2018 is a prime example of such a vintage.
At first, a bit subdued, tight and angular, it developed nicely after about 1 hour of opening. Decanting is highly suggested. By angular, it seemed slightly disjointed, unharmonious if you prefer, presenting a combination of sourness and bitterness I could not describe precisely. However, after about one hour, it rounded up and displayed more charm, harmony and volume. It revealed intense aromas of citrus fruits, green and yellow apples, and white flowers mingling with buttery, oaky nuances and distinct minerality characteristic of the limestone soil. The palate was complex, generous, ample, and well-balanced, with refreshing acidity and a long, elegant, mineral finish. It was gorgeous despite my first impression at the opening.
Over my 32-year career as a Sommelier and wine Buyer, when people ask me what I think of "Lafite Rothschild", my answer is always the same:
"Lafite Rothschild is an old, tight, dry, austere, rich, bored, reserved, pompous and phlegmatic English Bourgeois who wants to be an Aristocrat". - Dom
I know I won't make any friends with such a description of one of the most illustrious wines in the world. Yet, let me explain. As described in my quote, Lafite Rothschild is more often than none dry, austere, tight and reserved, with firm tannins, and is usually difficult to taste in the first decade. Fortunately, it usually rewards the most patient of us after a decade (or so) by gradually opening up, integrating the tannins and displaying more aromas and flavours as well as concentration, complexity, richness and elegance.
And this 1986 is no exception. What a stunner! This 37-year-old wine is still alive and kicking, even showing some youthfulness and potential to age for a few more decades. I was confident opening this bottle wouldn't disappoint, as 1986 Lafite has been showing extremely well over the last 20 years and will continue to do so for some years. Of course, it now shows a lot of tertiary earthy aromas like leather, graphite, cigar box, tobacco, cedar and mushroom notes. Yet, it still presents red and black berry nuances, with hints of kirsch and blackcurrant. Medium-bodied and somewhat light on its feet toward the end, it possesses a great balance, lively acidity and a good grip of chewable tannins, providing respectively freshness and vibrancy, as well as both texture and structure, complemented by a fairly long earthy finish. Although somewhat rustic, it showed a lot of elegance, presence and charisma. Loved it.
In fact, I loved these 3 wines that I selected for this private dinner, and the guests were delighted, which, in the end, is all that matters!
I love my job!!! Who wouldn’t when you open wines like these on a regular basis?
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