2006 Mommessin Clos de Tart

Vibrant, bright ruby with purple glints. Medium intensity aromas of perfumed red fruits layered with ripe cherry, raspberry and a touch of cola.  The palate is bordering on full-bodied (14% abv), there is a whiff of heat on the nose.  A slightly darker fruit profile when tasted, dark cherry, supple, acidity is crisp and gives the roundness of the mouthfeel a lift.  Tannins are soft, integrated, but present – an able backbone. The feel is graceful, flavors are complex and concentrated, the style is feminine.  Gets richer with air, gaining complexity and the already persistent, long dark cherry finish gets longer. Crazy balance.

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2005 Domaine G. Roumier Borgogne

The nose is beautiful and promising with lots of layered aromas, including a pleasant touch of anise way underneath. It’s a tiny bit foresty, but expansive and fruity, there’s an ever so light hint of asphalt. Ripe red fruits suggest a bright wine. Out of the gate, it is a little bit harsh on the palate. There I said it. Medium tannins that are a bit rough at first. I don’t care. It’s the first sip! The poor thing had just traveled across the water and had been thrown around in our warehouse. “Just let the poor thing settle down a few minutes.” And sure enough, 5 minutes later, it settles right down and gets broader, softening and filling out.

It continues to flesh out over the next half hour. The anise fades with time and it just became this floral, aromatic bouquet of loveliness. It is delicious, completely delivering on its earlier promise. Good length, plenty of fruit. Isn’t that what it should be about anyway? Will it evolve? Yes, of course it will, but I don’t even care if it does. Well-structured, with crisp acidity keeping the generous fruit in check, this wine is Mr. Right Now. Very good quality for a village-level Burgundy and this is a regional AOC! Sure it’ll evolve for several more years, but there are so many 2005s we are going to have to wait for and so many 2006s & 2007s that are uneven, why shouldn’t we just enjoy the generosity and ease of a youthful ambassador of this vintage? I don’t always want to work so hard. And besides, it’s Roumier…a rare treat.

1988 Georges Lignier Clos de la Roche

By all accounts, the 88s were forever coming around. Ok, so Jancis was right about the 20 year wait.  This one has arrived and showing a deep garnet core fading to a brick rim, announces himself assertively with a beautiful expressive nose with foresty, smoke-tinged, asian-spiced aromatics.  The flavors are are of earth, forest and meat.  Yes, it’s a man!  Although the mouthfeel is round with plenty of fruit to balance the acidity, it still suggests masculinity because of that persistent meatiness & sturdy tannins.  The flavors are deep and layered, the finish is sweet and laced with game.  Drunk mid-October at Staten Island’s own Ruddy & Dean North Shore Steak House, terrific lunch, terrific company, terrific wine.

2007 Sylvain Cathiard Vosne Romanee

The nose is clean, very ripe and bright with red fruits. Very promising and it delivers. Bright, rich fruit, fleshy, black cherry with a touch of cola nut. Pleasantly surprising. Not a lot of complexity or sophistication but this is a bottle that is very eager to please. There’s a lot of fruit here and the tannins are silky and soft with no hint of drying or astringency on the finish at all. With the bright acidity these two qualities provide a nice framework for this fruity, almost full-bodied wine. And obviously, it’s young. The fruit is all primary. This will evolve nicely over the next several years and it will be interesting to see what it does when some of the baby fat has slipped away. If you want pleasurable easy drinking Burgundy, but not necessarily a really cerebral experience, then this is your boy.

1979 Bertani Recioto della Valpolicella Amarone Classico

This bottle was a real pleasure and a journey from beginning to end, it evolved slowly over the hour or so it took to drink it. The color is garnet with bricking at the rim. The aromatics are very fresh and very promising with typical notes of dried fruits – raisins, figs, macerated cherries in brandy. Also detected was a very subtle dieselly note, similar to the light petrol seen in Riesling. The aromatics are very pronounced, fairly leaping out of the glass. A few more notes were added with time, light foresty notes, a hint of coffee, a touch of leather. In the mouth, it delivers beautiful structure, round with medium, tart acidity that hides its age.  Light tannin. Stewed cherries in brandy again on the palate, a touch of heat (not unpleasant) and a raisiny note. Can you drink a fig newton? This wine is complex, layered, very exciting and developed yes, but drinking beautifully. Further development entirely possible, but it is delivering the goods right now.