2005 Raventos i Blanc Elisabet Cava

A revelation for all, this bottling presented an upscale look at this famous Spanish sparkler and it is only the second best wine from the producer! Wine production at Raventos I Blanc started in 1497.  The philosophy of the winery is “completely terrior driven,”  with 44 individual parcels managed separately. The careful treatment of this wine verges on the obsessive with all riddling done by hand and otherwise also mimics the treatment of the more famous and expensive wines from Champagne. The wine is aged 4 years on its lees, more than the legally required aging for vintage Champagne, and as a result of shows a creaminess and soft body rarely seen in Cava. The soft delicate body is balanced by trademark acidity and a solid core of fruit. The grape blend is Xarel-lo, Chardonnay and Monastrell. The wine is made Methode Champenoise.

1976 Jadot Clos de Vougeot

“Joe’s Picks” – From the Vault

Brick core consistent to a watery russet rim, showing its age.  Developed, complex, sweet aromas of an antique Burgundy with a nose full of pretty roses, light cinnamon and red fruits. Inviting and warm, rather than savory and foresty, more towards baking spices and ripe fruits with a whiff of spearmint.  Medium-bodied with sweet red fruits, rhubarb over autumnal flavors. Firmly but pleasantly structured with tannins fine-grained but slightly drying on the finish.  Acidity is medium.  While the flavor profile isn’t terribly complex, there is certainly concentration and balance.  This beauty is still on its plateau but likely waltzing ever so slowly toward the southern end of its day at the ball; it is delicious right now.  Lovely.

2004 Dominique Gallois Gevrey-Chambertin

Bright, cheerful red fruit nose with cranberry and raspberry, but something a bit more dense and weighty running underneath lending a slightly darker profile. Inspiring for 2004 with no greenness or wet herbaceousness present at all. A touch of kirsch liqueur with an underbrushy note. Fruity entry on the palate is on the leaner side, light – medium bodied. More structure/frame than generous fruit but hanging on to balance. Definitely a linear experience, light tannins, very pleasant. Bright red fruits and a touch of white pepper. Straightforward and enjoyable.

1997 Chateau Petrus

Medium ruby core with a pink rim. The nose is incredibly heady and complex. Layers of cassis liqueur, dark chocolate-covered ripe cherries, currants, a subtle whiff of catmint (nepeta), briar and very light tomato leaf, which is not herbaceous or vegetal. The palate is medium bodied and soft with supple texture and layers of flavor. Flavors of cassis, currant, dark chocolate and cedar are delivered with medium(+) acidity and vibrant, fine-grained tannins. Plenty of development ahead.

2006 Domaine Arlaud Morey St. Denis 1er Aux Chezeaux

Medium ruby color with a pink rim. The nose is layered and  lightly floral with baked raspberry tart, compote, baking spices and a touch of asphalt. The palate is medium bodied with darker fruit, blackberry(?)than on the nose. Texturally it is very silky with medium, fine-grained tannins. It is supple with no tar flavors and medium acidity. The structural elements are in balance and the finish is medium plus. Four hours later, while there wasn’t much change in the wine, it remained an extremely pleasant Burgundy experience.

1985 Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon

Deep garnet color with no signs of oxidation. The nose presented an expressive bouquet of blackberry and cedar. Not much was expected on the palate, this made the discovery of how good the bottle was a very nice surprise. Gorgeous, seamless, dark fruits, blackberries, earth and slight floral flavors with a silky mouthfeel and very long finish.

1994 Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru

No signs of oxidation in the appearance. Medium gold color. The nose delivers a lot of complexity with honeyed, ripe pineapple/tropical fruit juice, shortbread and cream. On the palate, not much was expected given the vintage, but it was very pleasantly surprising. A round, medium+ body and a creamy texture matched the nerve of acid, delivering far more on a structural level than expected. Delicious tropical fruit juice, no current signs of decline but it is quite clearly at its peak.