April 25, 2007

Le Palais des Grands Crus 2007

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Last Friday I had the fortune of attending the Deutsche Bank wine tasting for the third year. From the wine list it seems that we are getting "cheaper" compared to previous years, as there were fewer "stellar" wines around this year. Or maybe it is because wine prices have soared in the last year, and for the same amount of cash spent, we cannot afford the same wines we tasted last year. In any event, there is never any plonk or average wines at these tastings so I should not complain...

As usual the Grand Hyatt Ballroom is set up with tables with specific themes, with either sommeliers or representatives from the wineries pouring the wines. Based on past experience, the plan is to prioritize and hit the best wines before it is gone.

My first stop was at the Red Burgundies table since there usually are several offerings from DRC. I tried a couple of 2003 grand and premier cru wines from Prieure-Roch, but was less than impressed. The Romanee-Saint-Vivant 2001 from DRC was much better (duh...), and the 2000 DRC Echezeaux was drinking very, very well - shows the power and concentration from a DRC grand cru. After seeing one person after another asking for the La Tache (most probably have no idea what it is, but have been told that it is an expensive wine so they must drink it...), I finally worked up to it...but was very disappointed. The '88 La Tache (served from methusalem no less) was definitely over the hill...a bit of stewed prunes and higher acidity than I expected. Certainly the biggest disappointment of the evening.

Next stop was the Jaboulet table. The '98 Jaboulet La Chapelle was not bad but not outstanding. The '83 Jaboulet La Chapelle was drinking quite well, although it never was a stellar wine. The highlight of course was the '90 Jaboulet La Chapelle served from magnum. Wow! This was my wine of the evening...everything I expected. There is enough concentration and fruit to last for a long time, and no question why Parker and others gave it 100 pts. Wonderful stuff!

I stopped by the Angelus table to greet Coralie de Bouard, Hubert's daughter. She had hosted their table at last year's tasting and I thanked her for participating again. I tried the '98, 2003 and '83 in that order. '98 Angelus was drinking alright but did not perform up to its potential. The 2003 Angelus was drinking better than I expected, and the '83 Angelus was beautiful. Missed out on the '70 because I waited too long.

Finally to the whites. The 2004 William Fevre Chablis Les Clos from jeroboam was a good starting point. The pair of 2004 Domane Leflaives - the Meursault Sous le Dos d'Ane and the Puligny-Montrachet Clavoillon - showed powerful nose of petrol and minerals, a bit too much for my taste, especially the Meursault. The 2000 Bouchard Meursault Charmes was more elegant. The 2002 Bouchard Corton Charlemagne from jeroboam was very, very nice.

And I spent a long time hanging around the sweet wine table. I started with the '24 Huet Vouvray le Haut Lieu - this was really wonderful. The pair of '78 and '79 Rieussec was great, as was the '85 Suduiraut. These are wines I would drink any day after a nice dinner. Of course, everyone goes for the Yquem, this one the '99 from Imperial. You will never have a bad Yquem, but this one was a little too young. Tonight, the winner was definitely the '24 Huet, and I managed to get the last pour out of the bottle.

It was a very good evening, and I finally went home some 4 hours after I started.

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