2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

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Don Cornwell
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2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#1 Post by Don Cornwell » March 20th, 2020, 3:44 am

On Wednesday March 27, 2019, ten of us met at Spago Restaurant in Beverly Hills for the third and final night of the 2011 White Burgundy Vintage Assessment and Premox Check dinners. This was the annual dinner known as “Mostly Montrachet.” We were happy to be back at Spago after a several year absence for what is usually a celebration dinner at the end of the annual tasting series. Paul Sherman, who was the Sommelier for the first two 2011 dinners, was invited by Spago to work with Cristie Norman, the Assistant Somm at Spago, on this dinner. Paul and Cristie did a superlative job and so did Spago Chefs Lee Hefter, Tetsu Yahagi and Della Gosset. The food was incredible and the wines were excellent to extraordinary.

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The group hard at work tasting the wines with Sommelier Cristie Norman in the background

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the wines because on night one we had very few problems and a great deal of uniformity of color, but on night two we had a large percentage of wines with premox, reduction problems and other chemical defects. The Coche wines are usually predictable, but would the Montrachets be Dr. Jekyll, or Mr. Hyde? It turned out that, like the 2007 “Mostly Montrachet” dinner, except for one corked bottle, we had no problems with any of the wines.
My thanks to Andy Gavin for all of the great photos.

CHAMPAGNE AND APPETIZERS

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1996 Philliponnat Clos de Goisses
Medium gold color; beautiful complex citrus, light floral elements and light toast aromas; on the palate the wine was even more complex and highly layered for Champagne; extremely long mineral and fruit finish which really grabs you. This is still a WOW champagne. 95

2002 Philliponnat Clos de Goisses
Light gold color; forward floral aromas with some background citrus; this is a more fullsome and slightly sweet champagne compared to the 1996, but is outstanding in its own right; that back-end sweetness is something that I notice in most 2002s these days; very nice but I definitely prefer the 1996. 94

FLIGHT ONE:

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Olive Oils Poached Salmon
Turnip, Radishes, Bacon Oil


1 [2011 Olivier Leflaive Montrachet]
Light gold color; lightly floral aromas; a very light wine with good acidity, but seems too light for Montrachet (maybe Drouhin?); later on 2d pass: now a much larger aroma with citrus and pear profile and richer on the palate as well – more much intensity on the mid-palate and some minerality; much better than I initially thought. Six votes for the wine of the flight. My 8th ranked wine of the night. Group Rank: Fourth, 15 points (0/2/0/3/1) 92|94

2 [2011 Baron Thenard Montrachet]
Light gold color but a a shade darker than #1; some light tropical fruit and coconut in the aromas; sweet forward fruit and decent acidity. This just continued to improve with time in the glass. It lost a lot of the tropical element in the aromas with additional time. I wanted just a little more in the finish here. Group Rank: 9th, 2 points (0/0/0/0/1) 92|93

3 [2011 Louis Latour Montrachet]
Light gold color; lightly reductive, floral and green apple aromas; green apple and light citrus on the palate; great minerality on the mid-palate and finish. As this sat in the glass over the evening, the finish slowly developed some bitterness. One vote for wine of the flight. Group Rank: Tied for 12th (last), 0 points (0/0/0/0/0) 93|92

4 [2011 Maltroye Chassagne Montrachet “Dent de Chien”]
Light gold color; some floral elements but clearly corked wine; very dry on the palate. Group Rank: Tied for 12th (last), 0 points (0/0/0/0/0) DQ- Corked

5 [2011 Drouhin Marquis de La Guiche Montrachet ]
Light gold color; nice white flowers aromas; light and elegant green apple and citrus flavors; a fairly long if ever so lightly dry finish with an almost chalky element – nice but different. Four votes for wine of the flight. Group Rank: Tied for 10th, 1 points (0/0/0/0/1) 93

FLIGHT TWO:

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Pan Roasted Lobster Tail
Lemon Butter, Morel Mushrooms, Pea Tendrils, Squid Ink Tuille


6 [2011 Coche-Dury Meursault Perrieres]
Very light white gold color; light reduction aromas with green apple and citrus; on the palate it was tight, etched flavors of green apple and citrus. This strikes me as the Coche MP. Later on this was still fairly reductive, but it wasn’t over the top at all – like Leflaive from 1990 to 2002. Everything seems to come rushing forward on the finish. Fabulous. Eleven votes for wine of the flight. My No. 3 ranked wine of the night. Group Rank: 2nd, 39 points (1/4/6/0/0) 95+

7 [2011 Rhys “Horseshoe Vineyard” Chardonnay]
Between light and medium gold color but slightly cloudy; fairly tropical flavors, a fairly rich wine; pretty good wine but different, so I would guess it’s the Rhys chardonnay ringer. Since everyone agreed No. 6 was the best wine in the flight, we voted for 2d best in flight two. Two tasters thought this was the second best wine in the flight. Group Rank: Tied for 12th (last), 0 points (0/0/0/0/0) 92

8 [2011 Chateau de Puligny Montrachet Le Montrachet]
Very light, white-green gold color; definitely reductive, almost baby poop aromas at first which cleared up with time to be be green apple and citrus; very bright, green apple and citrus flavors with excellent acidity and great viscosity particularly on the finish. Sneaky minerality on the finish. Based on the bottles from nights one and two, I think this is the Chateau de Puligny Le Montrachet. Six votes for the second best wine of the 2d flight. Should be long-lived. My No. 7 wine of the night. Group Rank: Tied for 6th, 5 points (0/0/0/2/1) 94

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Was there really a Rhys chardonnay in that flight?? Yes, there was

9 [2011 Bouchard Montrachet]
Very light gold color with greenish hints; white flowers and green apple aromas; quite sappy green apple flavors with good acidity and incredible elegance that just materializes on the mid-palate and continues through the long finish. A wow wine. Bouchard? Three votes for second-best of the 2d flight. My No. 4 wine of the night. Group Rank: 5th, 10 points (0/0/0/3/4) 95

10 [2011 Sauzet Montrachet]
Very light white gold color; light citrus and sweet white flowers aromas with an odd chemical top note that seems to come and go; the wine has some concentrated lemon-lime flavors and a degree of power on the nascent finish. This was way better on the second pass – the chemical note seemed to disappear (reduction), and the wine, while powerful, became more nuanced and interesting. Seems obviously to be Sauzet. Group Rank: Tied for 10th, 1 point (0/0/0/0/1) 91?|94

FLIGHT THREE:

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Slow Roasted Chicken Breast on the Bone
Black Truffle, Emmental Cheese Soufflé


11 [2011 Ramonet Montrachet]
Light yellow gold color; intense white flowers and green apple and pear aromas; incredibly concentrated wine, yet subtle and not overpowering – the antithesis of # 10; very bright, lifted wine; incredibly long sweet citrus and pear finish – but as this sat in the glass over the evening, the finish slowly developed some more bitter phenolic elements. Jadot? One vote for wine of the flight. Group Rank: Tied for 6th, 5 points (0/0/1/1/0) 95|94?

12 [2011 Marc Colin Montrachet]
Between light and medium gold color; beautifully perfumed floral and citrus aromas; bright citrusy flavors which are very nice but somehow didn’t quite deliver the depth that the aromas promised; still a very nice Montrachet. Marc Colin? Two votes for wine of the flight. My No. 5 wine of the night. Group Rank: 8th, 3 points (0/0/0/1/1) 94

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The very impressive final flight

13 [2011 Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne]
Very light gold color; lightly reductive aromas which partly gives way to bright citrus and green apple aromas; this has intense green apple and citrus flavors with multiple layers and fabulous acidity; this is incredibly tightly wound wine that begs for more time and yet is obviously amazing stuff; fantastic. Coche Corton. Three votes for wine of the flight. Group Rank: 3rd, 37 points (3/2/4/1/0) 95++

14 [2011 Jadot Montrachet]
Very light gold color; light mint and flowers aromas; very bright citrus and green apple flavors with an amazingly mineral driven late mid-palate and finish; the finish is incredibly long and minerally. An absolutely complete wine. Ramonet? Seven votes for wine of the flight. My No. 1 wine of the night. Group Rank: 1st, 47 points (7/3/0/0/0) 96

DESSERT COURSE

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Madagascar Vanilla Bean Crème Brulée
Candied Almonds, Tangerines, Saffron Syrup
Blood Orange Sorbet


1990 Chateau Suidauraut
Medium gold color; very nice orange aromas; I didn’t pay too much attention to this wine, so it doesn’t seem fair to rate it. NR

Some general comments on what we experienced in the night three dinner ---

• We experienced a very large divergence in the number of oxidized and advanced wines during the 2011 vintage. We encountered very little premox on night one, and none at all on night three (the only other time this happened was with the 2007 vintage), but we had a large percentage of premox on night two. It demonstrates the risk of judging a vintage based on wines from a limited number of samples or just a few of the appellations. (Hard to figure….)

• The DIAM closed wines continued to perform flawlessly from a premox perspective. Once again, there were no oxidized or advanced bottles closed with DIAM. There were also no unusual or unexpected aromas. Over the past three years we have now had 30 bottles closed with DIAM in excellent condition (but we did have one chemically flawed bottle of Jadot Bienvenues on night two.)

• The large number of wines that had chemical flaws of one type of another was disturbing.

• The 2011 Montrachets and the two 2011 Coche wines were extremely impressive. I thought these wines would hold their own very well with the 2010s.

Jadot -- The 2011 vintage was a stunning success for Jadot due to the DIAM closures used for the first time. Four of the five Jadot wines we tasted over the three nights finished in the top three wines rated by the group for each night. Jadot is back on my “buy” list for their top wines starting with 2011. DIAM will probably restore Jadot’s reputation, but the badly flawed 2011 Bienvenues on night two proved that you can still have bad wines despite DIAM.

Coche-Dury – Both bottles were off the charts good. I preferred them to the 2010 versions we tasted a year ago, although I recognize that the 2010 Corton Charlemagne at its best is a monumental wine.

Montille and Chateau de Puligny Montrachet – Another impressive performance here from Etienne and Alix de Montille, along with the Montille Puligny Caillerets (No. 5 overall on night two), the Corton Charlemagne and Meursault Perrieres. Like Jacques Carillon, Jean-Marc Pillot and now Jadot, here’s another former poster child from premox that is now back on the leaderboard for making superlative wines in top condition.

Domaine Olivier Leflaive – another impressive Montrachet from the “other” Leflaive. A producer who had been off my radar for 20 years that’s worth watching again.

Ramonet – While the Montrachet was very good and will likely round out with time, overall, I found the 2011 Ramonets to be the most disappointing vintage since the 1996s. I can only hope that this was a one-time phenomenon.

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Sommelier Paul Sherman with “Mostly Montrachet” in front of him

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Here is the premox report for the three nights combined. My count on the total number of bottles that were advanced was a bit higher than the group's overall count, as is frequently the case. While we had a much higher than expected incidence of premox on night two, the overall percentage of oxidized or advanced wines over three nights was 8% for the group and 12% for me. But since this includes 12 bottles over the three nights which had DIAM closures, which had zero problems, it was also apparent that the DIAM closures were pushing down the overall incidence figures. So, it occurred to me that it would be a useful exercise to look at the incidence of premox by limiting the comparison to those bottles which continue to be closed with conventional cork closures. This would allow a comparison of apples to apples to determine whether the premox performance for the the producers of the top wines who continue using conventional corks has improved over time. The following chart does that:

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What this suggests to me is that while the incidence of premox among the better producers is definitely somewhat better from 2007 onward than it was from 1996 to 2001 (and the worst year in 2005), the percentage of advanced or oxidized bottles under conventional cork closures from the best producers is still far too high (ranging from 13% to 19% per year). Given the astronomical pricing being asked for grand crus these days, this is simply unacceptable.
Last edited by Don Cornwell on March 20th, 2020, 3:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#2 Post by Karl K » March 20th, 2020, 5:28 am

As always, thanks!
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#3 Post by Dave McCloskey » March 20th, 2020, 5:50 am

Wow, what an amazing opportunity. Thank you for sharing this experience.

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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#4 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » March 20th, 2020, 6:20 am

Thanks Don!

I hope to get back to buying post-COVID, and Jadot is definitely on my list!
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#5 Post by alan weinberg » March 20th, 2020, 7:24 am

as always, thanks much, Don.

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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#6 Post by C. Keller » March 20th, 2020, 8:56 am

Thanks!
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#7 Post by Joel Singer » March 20th, 2020, 10:34 am

Great read as always. Thank you!
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#8 Post by Rauno E (NZ) » March 20th, 2020, 5:47 pm

Thanks for the notes, Don. I haven't checked back explicitly to the '10s and '09s events, but I recall large houses like Bouchard did very well then too. Not to disparage these wines, but it is a little surprising they would consistently do so well compared to the far more pricey "trophies" or flasher Domaine wines. Do you have a view on whether:
- it is simply the case that for a large portion of experienced tasters, the (say) Bouchard wines are just as good
- some of the "flasher" domaine wines tend to under-perform in this type of tasting format (limited ml and time vs having a whole bottle)
- some of the "flasher" domaine wines tend to require more time to show superiority (if any)
Would be very interested in your thoughts, as well as those of other experienced drinkers of course.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#9 Post by Don Cornwell » March 20th, 2020, 7:02 pm

Rauno E (NZ) wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 5:47 pm
Thanks for the notes, Don. I haven't checked back explicitly to the '10s and '09s events, but I recall large houses like Bouchard did very well then too. Not to disparage these wines, but it is a little surprising they would consistently do so well compared to the far more pricey "trophies" or flasher Domaine wines. Do you have a view on whether:
- it is simply the case that for a large portion of experienced tasters, the (say) Bouchard wines are just as good
- some of the "flasher" domaine wines tend to under-perform in this type of tasting format (limited ml and time vs having a whole bottle)
- some of the "flasher" domaine wines tend to require more time to show superiority (if any)
Would be very interested in your thoughts, as well as those of other experienced drinkers of course.
Hi Rauno:

All of the wines in these dinners are tasted and voted on totally blind. So nobody knows that those wines that they preferred were say Bouchard or Jadot until they ended up being unbagged. So there's no chance of label or expectation bias here. Moreover, the group of people that attend these dinners are all very sophisticated burgundy collectors/drinkers.

The Bouchard Corton Charlemagne, Chevalier Montrachet and Montrachet have done consistently well every year. Their Meursault Perrieres has been much more variable. The "flashier" wines which are sometimes the least evolved (i.e. Raveneau grand crus and Coche-Dury and sometimes Ramonet Montrachet) usually end up being highly preferred by the group too.

I think the fact that the wines from Bouchard and Jadot really shined is driven by two things: (1) the vines in question are owned by Bouchard and Jadot; and (2) excellent winemaking and attention to detail. The Bouchard wines from Corton Charlemagne, Chevalier Montrachet and Montrachet consistently finish among the top five wines from those vineyards against all competitors year after year. These wines come from great parcels that Bouchard owns and farms themselves. They list them as "domaine" wines. The other white wines from Bouchard, with the occasional exception of the Meursault Perrieres, don't show nearly as well. These other wines are well made, but they aren't wines that are among the best produced from those particular vineyards.

In the case of Jadot, it's again great vineyard parcels that are owned by Jadot. A lot of people have forgotten that the Jadot Corton Charley, Chevy Demoiselles and Montrachet used to be among the top wines of their respective appellations every year. Jadot had a really horrible period from 2000 to 2010. Now thanks to adoption of DIAM (starting with 2011) and a change in winemakers, Jadot again seems to be at a top shelf level at least for those three vineyards and I think for the Batard Montrachet (which we didn't have included in the 2011 dinners.)
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#10 Post by James Billy » March 21st, 2020, 1:34 am

Don Cornwell wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 7:02 pm
Rauno E (NZ) wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 5:47 pm
Thanks for the notes, Don. I haven't checked back explicitly to the '10s and '09s events, but I recall large houses like Bouchard did very well then too. Not to disparage these wines, but it is a little surprising they would consistently do so well compared to the far more pricey "trophies" or flasher Domaine wines. Do you have a view on whether:
- it is simply the case that for a large portion of experienced tasters, the (say) Bouchard wines are just as good
- some of the "flasher" domaine wines tend to under-perform in this type of tasting format (limited ml and time vs having a whole bottle)
- some of the "flasher" domaine wines tend to require more time to show superiority (if any)
Would be very interested in your thoughts, as well as those of other experienced drinkers of course.
Hi Rauno:

All of the wines in these dinners are tasted and voted on totally blind. So nobody knows that those wines that they preferred were say Bouchard or Jadot until they ended up being unbagged. So there's no chance of label or expectation bias here. Moreover, the group of people that attend these dinners are all very sophisticated burgundy collectors/drinkers.

The Bouchard Corton Charlemagne, Chevalier Montrachet and Montrachet have done consistently well every year. Their Meursault Perrieres has been much more variable. The "flashier" wines which are sometimes the least evolved (i.e. Raveneau grand crus and Coche-Dury and sometimes Ramonet Montrachet) usually end up being highly preferred by the group too.

I think the fact that the wines from Bouchard and Jadot really shined is driven by two things: (1) the vines in question are owned by Bouchard and Jadot; and (2) excellent winemaking and attention to detail. The Bouchard wines from Corton Charlemagne, Chevalier Montrachet and Montrachet consistently finish among the top five wines from those vineyards against all competitors year after year. These wines come from great parcels that Bouchard owns and farms themselves. They list them as "domaine" wines. The other white wines from Bouchard, with the occasional exception of the Meursault Perrieres, don't show nearly as well. These other wines are well made, but they aren't wines that are among the best produced from those particular vineyards.

In the case of Jadot, it's again great vineyard parcels that are owned by Jadot. A lot of people have forgotten that the Jadot Corton Charley, Chevy Demoiselles and Montrachet used to be among the top wines of their respective appellations every year. Jadot had a really horrible period from 2000 to 2010. Now thanks to adoption of DIAM (starting with 2011) and a change in winemakers, Jadot again seems to be at a top shelf level at least for those three vineyards and I think for the Batard Montrachet (which we didn't have included in the 2011 dinners.)
Don, very interesting. How far down the scale do the Jadot white wines perform well. All their Domaine wines? Any Negociant wines? All the way to villages wines? Beyond? TIA!

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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#11 Post by Don Cornwell » March 21st, 2020, 3:22 am

James Billy wrote:
March 21st, 2020, 1:34 am
Don, very interesting. How far down the scale do the Jadot white wines perform well. All their Domaine wines? Any Negociant wines? All the way to villages wines? Beyond? TIA!
James:

I think you might be misunderstanding me. I'm saying that you should not generalize from the experience that we had with the 2011 Jadot Montrachet, Chevalier Demoiselles, Corton Charlemagne and the Jadot Meursault Perrieres and assume that everything with a Jadot label is outstanding in its class. The 2011 Bienvenues was certainly a very flawed wine. Those five wines were the only 2011 Jadots that I personally tasted. A long time ago I used to get invited to the annual Kobrand tasting in Los Angeles, but that stopped several years ago after I became pretty outspoken about the problems at Jadot. If Jasper Morris or William Kelley are monitoring this thread (they both posted in the night two thread), they could give you a far better answer than I could about where Jadot stands today as an overall white burgundy producer.

Historically, Jadot's top white wines have been the Montrachet, Chevalier Demoiselles, Corton Charlemagne, and Batard Montrachet. The Montrachet comes from Boillerault de Chauvigny (parcels 118 to 121 on the Montrachet cadastre map). They also supply grapes to Louis Latour. The Chevalier Demoiselles, Corton Charlemagne and Batard are all domaine owned vineyards. The Meursault Perrieres is a negociant wine. From memory (and we have to go back to pre-2000 vintages for good Jadot before 2011), in the 1980s and 1990s the Meursault Perrieres was sometimes exceptional (as it was in 2011) and in other vintages the MP was only average to above average. (You could say the same thing about Bouchard's MP -- sometimes it's exceptional, but other times it's merely very good but not great. But Bouchard owns its own vines in MP.) I don't ever remember being particularly impressed with any vintage of Jadot Bienvenues Batard, Jadot Criots Batard or the "regular" Jadot Chevalier (which I've tasted only a couple of times). All of those wines are apparently negociant bottlings.

As noted, I haven't tasted any of Jadot's other Meursaults and Chassagne and Puligny bottlings in years. I do remember two vineyards from the old days where it seemed that Jadot made impressive wines from those vineyards -- Chassagne Caillerets and the Puligny Clos de la Garenne. The latter is a Domaine bottling but I think the Chassagne Caillerets is a negociant bottling.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#12 Post by A. So » March 21st, 2020, 5:39 am

Don, I believe since at least 2017 there is now a domaine bottling of the Meursault Perrières at Jadot. I tasted the 2018 version while visiting earlier this year and was very impressed by the quality, and doubly so given the price.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#13 Post by James Billy » March 21st, 2020, 6:19 am

Don, thanks very much for the detailed reply.

When you said, "The other white wines from Bouchard, with the occasional exception of the Meursault Perrieres, don't show nearly as well", I wondered if you were contrasting this with Jadot wines. I know now that that is not what you were saying.

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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#14 Post by Chris V. » March 21st, 2020, 8:05 am

As always, thanks for doing this and posting such detailed information, Don.

What an endorsement for Jadot. I've tasted some whites from them post-2011 that I've really loved. This really validates that their quality is rising and that it might make sense to actually age them them rather than pound through them shortly after release.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#15 Post by Don Cornwell » March 21st, 2020, 3:12 pm

A. So wrote:
March 21st, 2020, 5:39 am
Don, I believe since at least 2017 there is now a domaine bottling of the Meursault Perrières at Jadot. I tasted the 2018 version while visiting earlier this year and was very impressed by the quality, and doubly so given the price.
I am happy to hear that. Do you know by chance where the vines are located? I have a couple of cadastre maps for MP, but none that recent.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#16 Post by Don Cornwell » March 21st, 2020, 4:52 pm

Rauno E (NZ) wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 5:47 pm
Thanks for the notes, Don. I haven't checked back explicitly to the '10s and '09s events, but I recall large houses like Bouchard did very well then too. Not to disparage these wines, but it is a little surprising they would consistently do so well compared to the far more pricey "trophies" or flasher Domaine wines. Do you have a view on whether:
- it is simply the case that for a large portion of experienced tasters, the (say) Bouchard wines are just as good
- some of the "flasher" domaine wines tend to under-perform in this type of tasting format (limited ml and time vs having a whole bottle)
- some of the "flasher" domaine wines tend to require more time to show superiority (if any)
Would be very interested in your thoughts, as well as those of other experienced drinkers of course.
Rauno:

Your comments about the performance of the Bouchard wines at these dinners intrigued me a bit. So today I went back to look at the results from 2007 through 2011. Starting in 2007 we left all of the wines bagged until the very end of the dinners after everyone had submitted their votes to rank the the top five wines from each dinner. (In prior years everything was served blind but we did the reveal at the end of each flight. So it was possible for there to be some level of label bias when people picked their top five.)

Here is how the Bouchard wines have performed under totally blind voting from 2007 onward. All of the scores are my own:

BOUCHARD – Performance from 2007-2011 vintages

2007
Meursault Perrieres - Group 2d, My No. 1 wine 97
Corton Charlemagne - Group tied for last (0 top five rankings) 93
Chevalier Montrachet - Group tied for last (0 top five rankings) 93+
Montrachet – Group 10th, My No. 3 wine 96

2008
Corton Charlemagne – Group 9th, My No. 4 wine 95
Chevalier Montrachet “Cabotte” - Group 18th 92
Chevalier Montrachet – Group tied for 3rd, My No. 4 wine 95
Montrachet – Group 4th, My No. 3 wine 95

2009
Meursault Perrieres - Group 10th 94+
Corton Charlemagne - Group 12th 93
Chevalier Montrachet - Group tied for 3d, My No. 3 wine 95
Montrachet – Group 2nd, My No.6 wine 94+

2010
Meursault Perrieres - Group 16th 92
Corton Charlemagne - Group 12th 93
Chevalier Montrachet - Group tied for 5th 94
Montrachet – Group 5th, My No.6 wine 95

2011
Meursault Perrieres - Group 5th, My No. 3 wine 94
Corton Charlemagne - Group tied for 17th 93
Chevalier Montrachet - Group tied for 5th 94
Montrachet – Group 5th, My No.4 wine 95

Ten of the twenty Bouchard wines in the dinners over the five year period were ranked by the group in the top five wines of each dinner. There wasn't a single advanced, oxidized, corked or flawed bottle (but yes, Bouchard went to DIAM in 2009). My low score (on two of the twenty bottles) was 92 and my average score was approximately 94. The only winery that performed better over that period was Coche-Dury. Not even Colin-Morey had as good of an overall performance as Bouchard did.

The short answer is that if you're not buying these whites from Bouchard you should be, especially given their pricing versus the "flashier" labels.
Last edited by Don Cornwell on March 21st, 2020, 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#17 Post by Rauno E (NZ) » March 21st, 2020, 5:32 pm

Thanks for doing my homework Don! That’s a pretty exceptional run, especially the Montrachet and ordinary Chevalier. I would guess these have at minimum been the most consistent in providing a good / great experience (other than Coche). I feel luckier still than earlier this week that I have some :), though the “highs” from some of the other domaines are higher in my experience. Of course, I’m exceptionally lucky to see more than 2-3 Montrachet per year.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#18 Post by alan weinberg » March 21st, 2020, 5:40 pm

Don Cornwell wrote:
March 21st, 2020, 4:52 pm
Rauno E (NZ) wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 5:47 pm
Thanks for the notes, Don. I haven't checked back explicitly to the '10s and '09s events, but I recall large houses like Bouchard did very well then too. Not to disparage these wines, but it is a little surprising they would consistently do so well compared to the far more pricey "trophies" or flasher Domaine wines. Do you have a view on whether:
- it is simply the case that for a large portion of experienced tasters, the (say) Bouchard wines are just as good
- some of the "flasher" domaine wines tend to under-perform in this type of tasting format (limited ml and time vs having a whole bottle)
- some of the "flasher" domaine wines tend to require more time to show superiority (if any)
Would be very interested in your thoughts, as well as those of other experienced drinkers of course.
Rauno:

Your comments about the performance of the Bouchard wines at these dinners intrigued me a bit. So today I went back to look at the results from 2007 through 2011. Starting in 2007 we left all of the wines bagged until the very end of the dinners after everyone had submitted their votes to rank the the top five wines from each dinner. (In prior years everything was served blind but we did the reveal at the end of each flight. So it was possible for there to be some level of label bias when people picked their top five.)

Here is how the Bouchard wines have performed under totally blind voting from 2007 onward. All of the scores are my own:

BOUCHARD – Performance from 2007-2011 vintages

[b]2007[/b]
Meursault Perrieres - Group 2d, My No. 1 wine 97
Corton Charlemagne - Group tied for last (0 top five rankings) 93
Chevalier Montrachet - Group tied for last (0 top five rankings) 93+
Montrachet – Group 10th, My No. 3 wine 96

2008
Corton Charlemagne – Group 9th, My No. 4 wine 95
Chevalier Montrachet “Cabotte” - Group 18th 92
Chevalier Montrachet – Group tied for 3rd, My No. 4 wine 95
Montrachet – Group 4th, My No. 3 wine 95

2009
Meursault Perrieres - Group 10th 94+
Corton Charlemagne - Group 12th 93
Chevalier Montrachet - Group tied for 3d, My No. 3 wine 95
Montrachet – Group 2nd, My No.6 wine 94+

2010
Meursault Perrieres - Group 16th 92
Corton Charlemagne - Group 12th 93
Chevalier Montrachet - Group tied for 5th 94
Montrachet – Group 5th, My No.6 wine 95

2011
Meursault Perrieres - Group 5th, My No. 3 wine 94
Corton Charlemagne - Group tied for 17th 93
Chevalier Montrachet - Group tied for 5th 94
Montrachet – Group 5th, My No.4 wine 95

Ten of the twenty Bouchard wines in the dinners over the five year period were ranked by the group in the top five wines of each dinner. There wasn't a single advanced, oxidized, corked or flawed bottle (but yes, Bouchard went to DIAM in 2009). My low score (on two of the twenty bottles) was 92 and my average score was approximately 94. The only winery that performed better over that period was Coche-Dury. Not even Colin-Morey had as good of an overall performance as Bouchard did.

The short answer is that if you're not buying these whites from Bouchard you should be, especially given their pricing versus the "flashier" labels.
Bouchard MP probably the best white Burg to buy if buying only one.

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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#19 Post by Howard Cooper » March 21st, 2020, 6:52 pm

alan weinberg wrote:
March 21st, 2020, 5:40 pm
Don Cornwell wrote:
March 21st, 2020, 4:52 pm
Rauno E (NZ) wrote:
March 20th, 2020, 5:47 pm
Thanks for the notes, Don. I haven't checked back explicitly to the '10s and '09s events, but I recall large houses like Bouchard did very well then too. Not to disparage these wines, but it is a little surprising they would consistently do so well compared to the far more pricey "trophies" or flasher Domaine wines. Do you have a view on whether:
- it is simply the case that for a large portion of experienced tasters, the (say) Bouchard wines are just as good
- some of the "flasher" domaine wines tend to under-perform in this type of tasting format (limited ml and time vs having a whole bottle)
- some of the "flasher" domaine wines tend to require more time to show superiority (if any)
Would be very interested in your thoughts, as well as those of other experienced drinkers of course.
Rauno:

Your comments about the performance of the Bouchard wines at these dinners intrigued me a bit. So today I went back to look at the results from 2007 through 2011. Starting in 2007 we left all of the wines bagged until the very end of the dinners after everyone had submitted their votes to rank the the top five wines from each dinner. (In prior years everything was served blind but we did the reveal at the end of each flight. So it was possible for there to be some level of label bias when people picked their top five.)

Here is how the Bouchard wines have performed under totally blind voting from 2007 onward. All of the scores are my own:

BOUCHARD – Performance from 2007-2011 vintages

[b]2007[/b]
Meursault Perrieres - Group 2d, My No. 1 wine 97
Corton Charlemagne - Group tied for last (0 top five rankings) 93
Chevalier Montrachet - Group tied for last (0 top five rankings) 93+
Montrachet – Group 10th, My No. 3 wine 96

2008
Corton Charlemagne – Group 9th, My No. 4 wine 95
Chevalier Montrachet “Cabotte” - Group 18th 92
Chevalier Montrachet – Group tied for 3rd, My No. 4 wine 95
Montrachet – Group 4th, My No. 3 wine 95

2009
Meursault Perrieres - Group 10th 94+
Corton Charlemagne - Group 12th 93
Chevalier Montrachet - Group tied for 3d, My No. 3 wine 95
Montrachet – Group 2nd, My No.6 wine 94+

2010
Meursault Perrieres - Group 16th 92
Corton Charlemagne - Group 12th 93
Chevalier Montrachet - Group tied for 5th 94
Montrachet – Group 5th, My No.6 wine 95

2011
Meursault Perrieres - Group 5th, My No. 3 wine 94
Corton Charlemagne - Group tied for 17th 93
Chevalier Montrachet - Group tied for 5th 94
Montrachet – Group 5th, My No.4 wine 95

Ten of the twenty Bouchard wines in the dinners over the five year period were ranked by the group in the top five wines of each dinner. There wasn't a single advanced, oxidized, corked or flawed bottle (but yes, Bouchard went to DIAM in 2009). My low score (on two of the twenty bottles) was 92 and my average score was approximately 94. The only winery that performed better over that period was Coche-Dury. Not even Colin-Morey had as good of an overall performance as Bouchard did.

The short answer is that if you're not buying these whites from Bouchard you should be, especially given their pricing versus the "flashier" labels.
Bouchard MP probably the best white Burg to buy if buying only one.
Bouchard MP is one of my regular buys. Hard to get a white burgundy as good for its price.
Howard

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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#20 Post by Don Cornwell » March 21st, 2020, 8:08 pm

A. So wrote:
March 21st, 2020, 5:39 am
Don, I believe since at least 2017 there is now a domaine bottling of the Meursault Perrières at Jadot. I tasted the 2018 version while visiting earlier this year and was very impressed by the quality, and doubly so given the price.
I have done some further research. The 2016 vintage was the first "domaine" Jadot MP. Jadot acquired a parcel of Meursault Perrieres located in Perrieres-Dessus which according to Tim Atkin MW is located at approximately the 300 meter contour line in 2016. I have not been able to verify the former owner, but I strongly suspect based on the stated location and the cadastre map that Jadot bought the vines held by Henri Moigneon (someone no one has ever heard of before) who had a parcel located at the very top of Meusault Perrieres Dessus which is essentially all above the 300 meter line. (The other parcels with vines at or near the 300 meter line are Boyer-Martenot, Michel Bouzerau, and Bernard Millot.)

Jadot produced five barrels of 2016 MP and claimed that they got a full yield with no apparent frost damage. The reviews of the 2016 Jadot MP from Burghound, Tanzer and Neal Martin all gave modest scores ranging from 87-89 to 92. William Kelley of Wine Advocate liked it better than the others. Frederic Barnier told Steve Tanzer that Jadot planned to force the the roots deeper (likely by plowing between the rows) to increase the minerality in the wine in future years. So it sounds like a work in progress here.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#21 Post by Robert Grenley » March 21st, 2020, 10:48 pm

You could say the same thing about Bouchard's MP -- sometimes it's exceptional, but other times it's merely very good but not great. But Bouchard owns its own vines in MP..”

Don,
Any thoughts as to why the quality level of the Bouchard MP should vary so, from exceptional to very good...assuming this is not simply in line with vintage quality?
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#22 Post by Don Cornwell » March 22nd, 2020, 12:51 am

Robert Grenley wrote:
March 21st, 2020, 10:48 pm
You could say the same thing about Bouchard's MP -- sometimes it's exceptional, but other times it's merely very good but not great. But Bouchard owns its own vines in MP..”

Don,
Any thoughts as to why the quality level of the Bouchard MP should vary so, from exceptional to very good...assuming this is not simply in line with vintage quality?
Robert
Hi Robert:
In the case of Bouchard, I think it is vintage variation -- at least with vintage variation with respect to MP. One of the lessons I've learned from these dinners the past five years is that the more you think you know going in, the more you have yet to learn. The two biggest lessons over the last five sets of dinners are (1) the initial critical reviews are not always indicative of what the vintage will turn out to be at maturity and (2) not all appellations perform at the same level in a given vintage -- some appellations can do significantly better or worse than others. I'll cite three examples here in the context of Meursault Perrieres.

2008 - a vintage that was highly touted on release, yet it was a vintage where none of the critics really warned about surmaturite and botrytis. But when we tasted the vintage at 7.5 years both were obvious. The botrytis affected the aromas of the MPs significantly. Most exhibited very rich, sweet aromas and in a few cases the flavors were quite rich or sweet too. Don't get me wrong, there were a few stunning 2008s from Meursault, including the Roulot MP, but there were also some overripe and notably botrytised ones too. We didn't include the Bouchard MP in that dinner, but it wasn't one of my favorite MP vintages from Bouchard.

2009 - this is a vintage where everybody knew about high ripeness and lower acidity for the vintage as a whole going in. I bought very little and had very low expectations going into the dinner. But the conventional wisdom turned out to be wrong as the to Meursault Perrieres flight. The wines as a group were far better than the 2008s or the 2010s. The 2009s were much more classically styled than the 2008s and statistically this was the best flight of MP we've ever had. If you would have told me that in advance, I would have said there was a 0% chance of that happening.

2010 - another vintage with very good press on release, yet the MPs we tasted with the exception of the Vincent Dancer and Roulot seemed to be only average to slightly below average. Bouchard MP only got a 92, but so did everything else, including Colin-Morey
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#23 Post by Howard Cooper » March 22nd, 2020, 4:31 am

Interesting on the vintages Don. I hope that we all don't get thrown in a few years and find that 2015s taste better than 2014s, the later of which has been the best vintage I have ever tasted young to medium age.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#24 Post by A. So » March 22nd, 2020, 8:58 am

Don Cornwell wrote:
March 21st, 2020, 8:08 pm
A. So wrote:
March 21st, 2020, 5:39 am
Don, I believe since at least 2017 there is now a domaine bottling of the Meursault Perrières at Jadot. I tasted the 2018 version while visiting earlier this year and was very impressed by the quality, and doubly so given the price.
I have done some further research. The 2016 vintage was the first "domaine" Jadot MP. Jadot acquired a parcel of Meursault Perrieres located in Perrieres-Dessus which according to Tim Atkin MW is located at approximately the 300 meter contour line in 2016. I have not been able to verify the former owner, but I strongly suspect based on the stated location and the cadastre map that Jadot bought the vines held by Henri Moigneon (someone no one has ever heard of before) who had a parcel located at the very top of Meusault Perrieres Dessus which is essentially all above the 300 meter line. (The other parcels with vines at or near the 300 meter line are Boyer-Martenot, Michel Bouzerau, and Bernard Millot.)

Jadot produced five barrels of 2016 MP and claimed that they got a full yield with no apparent frost damage. The reviews of the 2016 Jadot MP from Burghound, Tanzer and Neal Martin all gave modest scores ranging from 87-89 to 92. William Kelley of Wine Advocate liked it better than the others. Frederic Barnier told Steve Tanzer that Jadot planned to force the the roots deeper (likely by plowing between the rows) to increase the minerality in the wine in future years. So it sounds like a work in progress here.
Don, thanks for posting that extra information. I'll add that during our visit, we also tasted 2018 Gouttes d'Or, Genevrières, and Charmes (all domaine).
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#25 Post by Don Cornwell » March 22nd, 2020, 2:18 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 4:31 am
Interesting on the vintages Don. I hope that we all don't get thrown in a few years and find that 2015s taste better than 2014s, the later of which has been the best vintage I have ever tasted young to medium age.
I think you're safe on the 2014s (in my opinion a fabulous vintage), but given the similarities between 2009 and 2015 I would not be surprised if at least some appellations in 2015 turn out to be better than we initially expected.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#26 Post by Don Cornwell » March 22nd, 2020, 2:44 pm

A. So wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 8:58 am
Don, thanks for posting that extra information. I'll add that during our visit, we also tasted 2018 Gouttes d'Or, Genevrières, and Charmes (all domaine).
From memory I believe that the Genevrieres was a domaine wine even in the days that I attended the Kobrand tasting, but I think that Goutte D'Or and Charmes have been acquired by Jadot since then. Since you apparently tasted the 2017s and 2018s at Jadot, what was your overall impression? In particular, did there seem to be a detectable difference between quality of the Domaine wines and their negociant wines? (For example, the Genevrieres did not stand out as better in the old days.) If you had a chance to compare Meursaults from those same three vineyards from other producers during your visit it would be interesting to know how you thought the Jadot versions compared with the smaller domaines.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#27 Post by Howard Cooper » March 22nd, 2020, 3:34 pm

Don Cornwell wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 2:18 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 4:31 am
Interesting on the vintages Don. I hope that we all don't get thrown in a few years and find that 2015s taste better than 2014s, the later of which has been the best vintage I have ever tasted young to medium age.
I think you're safe on the 2014s (in my opinion a fabulous vintage), but given the similarities between 2009 and 2015 I would not be surprised if at least some appellations in 2015 turn out to be better than we initially expected.
In my experience, the 2014s are still fabulous and, if anything, keep getting better. I have read someone else suggesting that the 2015s will get better with age, just like the 2009s did. So far, I have not been that impressed by the 2005s I have had (including Ramonet CM Ruchottes) but I hope that they follow the 2009s (for example, Ramonet's CM Vergers really improved over time) and surprise me.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#28 Post by A. So » March 22nd, 2020, 3:58 pm

Don Cornwell wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 2:44 pm
A. So wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 8:58 am
Don, thanks for posting that extra information. I'll add that during our visit, we also tasted 2018 Gouttes d'Or, Genevrières, and Charmes (all domaine).
From memory I believe that the Genevrieres was a domaine wine even in the days that I attended the Kobrand tasting, but I think that Goutte D'Or and Charmes have been acquired by Jadot since then. Since you apparently tasted the 2017s and 2018s at Jadot, what was your overall impression? In particular, did there seem to be a detectable difference between quality of the Domaine wines and their negociant wines? (For example, the Genevrieres did not stand out as better in the old days.) If you had a chance to compare Meursaults from those same three vineyards from other producers during your visit it would be interesting to know how you thought the Jadot versions compared with the smaller domaines.
Don, we only did a tasting of certain domaine 2018s (as the wines were just getting ready to be racked and these were samples prepared for our visit) but given the notoriety of the vintage being of being hot, I was very surprised that the wines did not show it at all. Jadot arrests the malolactic fermentation (sometimes all of it, sometimes in a fraction of the barrels) in the whites, which accounted for the brighter acids in these wines.

I don't have much recollection of older Jadot Meursaults (I had avoided them based on their premox record), so don't have much basis for comparison there. Unfortunately we didn't taste at any other producers with the same holdings so I can't give you any informed commentary on that front either.

Nevertheless, after our visit, upon returning home and seeing the pre-arrival offers of 2018 Jadot, I added the whites to my annual order, and plan to do so going forward.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#29 Post by Don Cornwell » March 22nd, 2020, 5:51 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 3:34 pm
Don Cornwell wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 2:18 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 4:31 am
Interesting on the vintages Don. I hope that we all don't get thrown in a few years and find that 2015s taste better than 2014s, the later of which has been the best vintage I have ever tasted young to medium age.
I think you're safe on the 2014s (in my opinion a fabulous vintage), but given the similarities between 2009 and 2015 I would not be surprised if at least some appellations in 2015 turn out to be better than we initially expected.
In my experience, the 2014s are still fabulous and, if anything, keep getting better. I have read someone else suggesting that the 2015s will get better with age, just like the 2009s did. So far, I have not been that impressed by the 2005s I have had (including Ramonet CM Ruchottes) but I hope that they follow the 2009s (for example, Ramonet's CM Vergers really improved over time) and surprise me.
Howard

I share your lack of enthusiasm for the 2015 vintage. I bought some library bottles for the dinners, but only a handful of wines for the cellar, most of which are from very old vines, which always seem to outperform in ripe vintages.

I went back to my original 2009 dinner notes to see if there was any pattern as to which appellations showed very well on average versus which did not. Two appellations stood head and shoulders above the rest -- MP and Montrachet. Many of the Chevalier wines were outstanding but we did have three badly flawed wines - Jadot Demoiselles(oxidized), Colin-Morey (notably advanced) and Dancer (chemically very off). Obviously, these are all wines from the slopes that have above-average acidity and minerality. I would hazard a guess that those three appellations from 2015 have the best chance of showing well at maturity.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#30 Post by Jeremy Holmes » March 22nd, 2020, 6:11 pm

Thanks for the notes Don.

I reckon '15 might surprise a few of you. A PYCM Le Banc last week was superb.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#31 Post by Larry Link » March 22nd, 2020, 7:53 pm

Jeremy Holmes wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 6:11 pm
Thanks for the notes Don.

I reckon '15 might surprise a few of you. A PYCM Le Banc last week was superb.
I'm in agreement Jeremy, in 2015 I concentrated buying to producers that I trust including PYCM, whereas in 2014 I bought liberally from a larger cross section. Pierre-Yves does really well in riper vintages and I've found his 2015s to be special. Need to start cracking a few, as it's been almost 5 years from the vintage.

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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#32 Post by Robert Love » March 23rd, 2020, 6:28 am

Jeremy Holmes wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 6:11 pm
Thanks for the notes Don.

I reckon '15 might surprise a few of you. A PYCM Le Banc last week was superb.
PYCM outperformed in 2015, for sure.

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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#33 Post by Don Cornwell » March 23rd, 2020, 3:16 pm

Larry Link wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 7:53 pm
Jeremy Holmes wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 6:11 pm
Thanks for the notes Don.

I reckon '15 might surprise a few of you. A PYCM Le Banc last week was superb.
I'm in agreement Jeremy, in 2015 I concentrated buying to producers that I trust including PYCM, whereas in 2014 I bought liberally from a larger cross section. Pierre-Yves does really well in riper vintages and I've found his 2015s to be special. Need to start cracking a few, as it's been almost 5 years from the vintage.
Robert Love wrote:
March 23rd, 2020, 6:28 am
PYCM outperformed in 2015, for sure.
I hope the three of you are right. I own 12 bottles of the 2015 PYCM Corton (by far and away my largest purchase in 2015 whites), and a few bottles each of Chevalier and MP, all purchased pre-arrival. But after I tasted the 2015 whites that Pierre-Yves brought to the San Francisco Paulee in March of 2018, I had second thoughts. (Note: he did not bring his MP or grand crus). I thought the PYCM wines at the Paulee were very disappointing - dull, low acid wines that I just did not care for -- like most other 2015 whites I tasted that day including some Bouchard and Lafon whites that I usually buy. The Chassagnes from Bernard Morey and the St. Aubins from Hubert Lamy, from tables set up nearby, were unquestionably better wines than their Colin-Morey counterparts. A number of the people that I know that were there commented on the fact that the PYCM wines were not impressive.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#34 Post by Brad England » March 23rd, 2020, 3:51 pm

Robert Love wrote:
March 23rd, 2020, 6:28 am
Jeremy Holmes wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 6:11 pm
Thanks for the notes Don.

I reckon '15 might surprise a few of you. A PYCM Le Banc last week was superb.
PYCM outperformed in 2015, for sure.
Agree. Have opened a few PYCM 2015's and they are very good. MP is terrific.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#35 Post by Don Cornwell » March 23rd, 2020, 4:11 pm

Brad England wrote:
March 23rd, 2020, 3:51 pm
Robert Love wrote:
March 23rd, 2020, 6:28 am
Jeremy Holmes wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 6:11 pm
Thanks for the notes Don.

I reckon '15 might surprise a few of you. A PYCM Le Banc last week was superb.
PYCM outperformed in 2015, for sure.
Agree. Have opened a few PYCM 2015's and they are very good. MP is terrific.
That's good to hear.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#36 Post by Larry Link » March 23rd, 2020, 7:28 pm

Don Cornwell wrote:
March 23rd, 2020, 3:16 pm
Larry Link wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 7:53 pm
Jeremy Holmes wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 6:11 pm
Thanks for the notes Don.

I reckon '15 might surprise a few of you. A PYCM Le Banc last week was superb.
I'm in agreement Jeremy, in 2015 I concentrated buying to producers that I trust including PYCM, whereas in 2014 I bought liberally from a larger cross section. Pierre-Yves does really well in riper vintages and I've found his 2015s to be special. Need to start cracking a few, as it's been almost 5 years from the vintage.
Robert Love wrote:
March 23rd, 2020, 6:28 am
PYCM outperformed in 2015, for sure.
I hope the three of you are right. I own 12 bottles of the 2015 PYCM Corton (by far and away my largest purchase in 2015 whites), and a few bottles each of Chevalier and MP, all purchased pre-arrival. But after I tasted the 2015 whites that Pierre-Yves brought to the San Francisco Paulee in March of 2018, I had second thoughts. (Note: he did not bring his MP or grand crus). I thought the PYCM wines at the Paulee were very disappointing - dull, low acid wines that I just did not care for -- like most other 2015 whites I tasted that day including some Bouchard and Lafon whites that I usually buy. The Chassagnes from Bernard Morey and the St. Aubins from Hubert Lamy, from tables set up nearby, were unquestionably better wines than their Colin-Morey counterparts. A number of the people that I know that were there commented on the fact that the PYCM wines were not impressive.
Don,

I think you did well on your purchase of 2015 PYCM Corton, but we will find out in 3-4 years at the 2015 premox dinner, fingers crossed. We're both in the same boat, as I have 10 of that wine in my cellar, other than Raveneau MdT that's the most of any wine from 2015 by a long shot.

I pulled up Tanzer's notes on the wine and I really liked this statement in bold from Pierre-Yves:

Tanzer 9/2017 update:
Colin, who considered the 2015s to be outstanding from the beginning, nonetheless noted that the wines changed dramatically during their last months of élevage. He had originally planned to bottle them in February but delayed the bottling date twice for his crus not from Saint-Aubin, as the wines were gaining in energy. He considers 2015 to be a classic vintage and better than 2014 for the long haul. “The ‘15s totally resist oxidation after you uncork them,” he noted.

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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#37 Post by Nick Gangas » March 24th, 2020, 2:14 pm

great notes and thanks. When I first started drinking burgundy in the early 90's we used to drink a bunch of Jadot. The MP was one of my epiphany wines and on special occasions we'd get a bottle of the Chevalier from the distributor and it was always excellent.

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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#38 Post by Fred C » March 24th, 2020, 4:49 pm

Larry Link wrote:
March 23rd, 2020, 7:28 pm
Don Cornwell wrote:
March 23rd, 2020, 3:16 pm
Larry Link wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 7:53 pm


I'm in agreement Jeremy, in 2015 I concentrated buying to producers that I trust including PYCM, whereas in 2014 I bought liberally from a larger cross section. Pierre-Yves does really well in riper vintages and I've found his 2015s to be special. Need to start cracking a few, as it's been almost 5 years from the vintage.
Robert Love wrote:
March 23rd, 2020, 6:28 am
PYCM outperformed in 2015, for sure.
I hope the three of you are right. I own 12 bottles of the 2015 PYCM Corton (by far and away my largest purchase in 2015 whites), and a few bottles each of Chevalier and MP, all purchased pre-arrival. But after I tasted the 2015 whites that Pierre-Yves brought to the San Francisco Paulee in March of 2018, I had second thoughts. (Note: he did not bring his MP or grand crus). I thought the PYCM wines at the Paulee were very disappointing - dull, low acid wines that I just did not care for -- like most other 2015 whites I tasted that day including some Bouchard and Lafon whites that I usually buy. The Chassagnes from Bernard Morey and the St. Aubins from Hubert Lamy, from tables set up nearby, were unquestionably better wines than their Colin-Morey counterparts. A number of the people that I know that were there commented on the fact that the PYCM wines were not impressive.
Don,

I think you did well on your purchase of 2015 PYCM Corton, but we will find out in 3-4 years at the 2015 premox dinner, fingers crossed. We're both in the same boat, as I have 10 of that wine in my cellar, other than Raveneau MdT that's the most of any wine from 2015 by a long shot.

I pulled up Tanzer's notes on the wine and I really liked this statement in bold from Pierre-Yves:

Tanzer 9/2017 update:
Colin, who considered the 2015s to be outstanding from the beginning, nonetheless noted that the wines changed dramatically during their last months of élevage. He had originally planned to bottle them in February but delayed the bottling date twice for his crus not from Saint-Aubin, as the wines were gaining in energy. He considers 2015 to be a classic vintage and better than 2014 for the long haul. “The ‘15s totally resist oxidation after you uncork them,” he noted.
The interesting thing is the few 05s I’ve had turned out to be very elegant and one would never guess 05 blinded (05 Roulot Boucheres and 05 Coche Corton-Charlemagne).

Also when tasting the 2009s I think there was a quote somewhere from Jean Marc Roulot preferring the 09 vintage over 2010. At that time it was hard to believe. Now with the 2010 flaws becoming more apparent it’s seems Monsieur Roulot was right all along.

Perhaps these riper vintages shouldn’t be written off so quickly and may just need a little time.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#39 Post by Don Cornwell » March 25th, 2020, 12:36 am

alan weinberg wrote:
March 21st, 2020, 5:40 pm
Bouchard MP probably the best white Burg to buy if buying only one.
I opened a bottle of the 2009 Bouchard MP this evening. It's still singing. It has the lemon/lime character that many 2009s have, with more sweetness (sucrosite as they say) than vintages like 2007 and 2011, but very firm underlying acidity and very nice minerality on the long finish. Boy did that bottle go quickly between me and my wife.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#40 Post by Larry Link » March 25th, 2020, 11:53 am

Don Cornwell wrote:
March 25th, 2020, 12:36 am
alan weinberg wrote:
March 21st, 2020, 5:40 pm
Bouchard MP probably the best white Burg to buy if buying only one.
I opened a bottle of the 2009 Bouchard MP this evening. It's still singing. It has the lemon/lime character that many 2009s have, with more sweetness (sucrosite as they say) than vintages like 2007 and 2011, but very firm underlying acidity and very nice minerality on the long finish. Boy did that bottle go quickly between me and my wife.
Great minds think alike Don [cheers.gif] . As a result of this thread, on Monday night we opened our last 2009 Bouchard CC and it was wonderful. Pale yellow, citrus, minerals and spice on the nose. Lovely balanced palate, maybe a little flat (lower acid) than I prefer, but just yummy. And it was bottled with a diam cork.

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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#41 Post by Howard Cooper » March 25th, 2020, 2:40 pm

Don Cornwell wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 5:51 pm

Howard

I share your lack of enthusiasm for the 2015 vintage. I bought some library bottles for the dinners, but only a handful of wines for the cellar, most of which are from very old vines, which always seem to outperform in ripe vintages.

What did you think of the 2009s at 5 years old? I think I had had some and liked them better than the 2015s, but I really don't remember.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#42 Post by Don Cornwell » March 25th, 2020, 5:17 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
March 25th, 2020, 2:40 pm
Don Cornwell wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 5:51 pm

Howard

I share your lack of enthusiasm for the 2015 vintage. I bought some library bottles for the dinners, but only a handful of wines for the cellar, most of which are from very old vines, which always seem to outperform in ripe vintages.

What did you think of the 2009s at 5 years old? I think I had had some and liked them better than the 2015s, but I really don't remember.
Howard:

I don't remember drinking any in that time window. I tried about 40 of the better 2009s starting in late 2011 and into 2012 (many at the Paulee in SFO in Feb 2012). As you likely recall, the initial reviews were surprisingly positive, but by the time that the wines were arriving on shelves in the US a lot of questions were being asked. I tried another half dozen bottles in 2013. I was sufficiently unhappy with the vintage that I ended up selling at auction a number of 2009s that I had bought pre-arrival - particularly from Corton. I thankfully kept the 2009 Bouchard MP, Montrachet and Chevalier.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#43 Post by Tom Reddick » March 25th, 2020, 8:15 pm

Thank you Don- really appreciate the enormous work and investment you and others are putting into this study. Small sample perhaps, but something of great value all the same.

Now that you are a few vintage dinners down the road, do you have any notions as to why 2005 is so greatly affected? That is an experience I have shared of late, and while I am not one of the really unlucky ones- I have noted more than one occasion where experienced tasters have reported premox in 2005 DRC Montrachet, which is otherwise thought to have been unaffected to my knowledge.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#44 Post by Don Cornwell » March 26th, 2020, 3:06 am

Tom Reddick wrote:
March 25th, 2020, 8:15 pm
Thank you Don- really appreciate the enormous work and investment you and others are putting into this study. Small sample perhaps, but something of great value all the same.

Now that you are a few vintage dinners down the road, do you have any notions as to why 2005 is so greatly affected? That is an experience I have shared of late, and while I am not one of the really unlucky ones- I have noted more than one occasion where experienced tasters have reported premox in 2005 DRC Montrachet, which is otherwise thought to have been unaffected to my knowledge.
Tom:

Thank you. I never envisioned this would turn into a a 15 year adventure....

The question about why 2005 had such heavy incidence of premox has really bothered me, but I'm afraid I don't have a definitive answer for you. I went back to my original notes from the 2005 dinners and to the original vintage descriptions from Messrs. Tanzer and Meadows looking for new insights, but I really didn't find anything that seems explanatory.

Everyone agrees that that the 2005 whites were very ripe by any standard. There were commentaries about the wines being deep gold colored even early on. There were conflicting reports on acidity. Some reports I read said that the acidity was virtually all malic and was low to average. Mr. Meadows reported that acidity was at least average and that most wines finished the M/L with phs of 3.2 to 3.3, but he acknowledged that there were definitely some producers who added acid. However, this does not match with the BIVB data for the 2005 whites. According to the BIVB, the average acidity for the 2005 vintage was 4.6 grams per liter. This was was the lowest amount ever measured for the vintages from 1985 through 2009. At the same time, the level of sugar in the grapes in 2005 (205 grams per liter) was the second highest in that same group of vintages. Only 2006 had higher sugar levels. Everyone agrees that the M/L fermentations were very long in 2005 and it forced a number of producers to have longer elevage either in barrel (a possibility for premox) or in tank.

The low acidity and high sugar don't seem really explanatory because the 2009 vintage had marginally better acidity at harvest (5.3 g/l [3d lowest]) and also very high sugar (202 g/l [3d highest]). Yet the premox incidence in the 2005 vintage was over 30% and the 2009 incidence was only 15%.

The one overwhelming impression about the wines at the 2005 dinners was the very high level of ripeness and their sweetness. The wines were so sweet that it got a little overwhelming. One of the comments from my original post after night two was: "the 2005 vintage is the most forward/ready to drink vintage we’ve tasted in the last eight premox series. 2005 is a fruit driven vintage and the acidity seems to range from slightly low to adequate with only a small handful of wines exhibiting the level of acidity you would expect at this stage." The final Mostly Montrachet dinner turned into a disaster, with 7 of the 16 bottles being advanced or oxidized.

I looked for patterns among the wines too. There were no advanced or oxidized wines among the Chablis (which helped to keep the incidence lower on night one). But I will note that the 2005s didn't taste like Chablis at all. Among the Cote de Beaune wines, the producers with the best premox track records, i.e. Coche-Dury, Leflaive (pre-2006), Roulot and Colin-Morey had no premox problems in 2005 and made the best wines.

On the other hand, almost all of the producers who had exhibited any level of premox problems prior to 2005 had premoxed bottles in our 2005 dinners: Jadot (2 of 3), LeMoine (3 of 3), Mikulski (2 of 2), Lafon (2 of 3), Drouhin (2 of 2), Boillot (3 of 7), Ramonet (1 of 3), Bouchard (2 of 3), Sauzet (1 of 2), Girardin (1 of 2), and Fontaine-Gagnard and Philippe Colin with one bottle each. The producers with premox histories who did not have premoxed bottles in 2005 were: Montille (2 wines, both fine), Pernot (2 wines both fine), Bonneau du Martrary and Colin-Deleger. Matrot MP wasn't oxidized but was off and awful.

If Jasper Morris is monitoring the thread, maybe he can shed some light on this. I think I remember Jasper mentioning the unusual incidence in 2005 in the past.
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Re: 2011 Vintage Assessment Dinners – Night Three “Mostly Montrachet” – March 27, 2019 at Spago

#45 Post by JasperMorris » March 26th, 2020, 4:04 am

Don

This is what I wrote about 2005 in my now slightly out of date paper on the premox pox. Written in 2013 maybe?

Growers commented during the harvest that the chardonnay must was oxidising very quickly. This may not be a bad thing however as it removes the oxidases at an early stage. First tastings showed rich, concentrated wines, sometimes low in acidity. Today, many 2005s offer a whiff of oxidation on first opening. My impression is that there is a trace, sometimes more, of superficial oxidation, with an immense core of very youthful tightly wound fruit which is in no way oxidised but is not yet open for business either. I am leaving my own cases safely (I hope safely!) in the cellar for a while yet, though it should be noted that the oxidised-burg group had a particularly poor showing from this vintage at their seven years on inspection point.

Note the reference to your event!

Two producers in particular from whom I bought 2005 were Lafon (several vineyards) and Leflaive Pucelles. I had my first bottle from each case last year, having deliberately held back following my theory of being able to ride out the pox period. We tried a couple of bottles at each at a dinner in London last spring. Here are my notes from that occasion:

As you may know, I think of 2005 as probably the best red Burgundy vintage of my working lifetime. I am also more of a believer than most in the white wines of the vintage, though they have been suffering from what is at least a superficial premature oxidation. However I don’t think I have ever been so thrilled with a barrel tasting than I was for this vintage chez Leflaive, after which I bought myself a case of their 1er cru Les Pucelles. The bottles sampled at this dinner in 2019 are the first from the case.

2005 Meursault Charmes 1er Cru Domaine des Comtes Lafon 92 ***
A tale of two bottles. The first has a fresh pale gold colour, the second is not much deeper but with a matt rather than a gloss finish. It is not shot on the nose but there is a rather tired feel to it nonetheless. The palate is still looking good, despite the biscuity edge at the finish. The other has a golden glow throughout, slightly honeyed but vigorous and all you might expect from a 14 year old Meursault premier cru from a good year, and delivers a noticeably fresher finish. The score is for the better bottle.

2005 Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 1er Cru Domaine Leflaive 95 ****
Two superb bottles, very similar. Light green and gold colour showed that the wine was in rude health and the bouquet was beautifully elegant, nuanced yet still also precise. Not the weight of the Lafon wine but more elegance. The palate was equally subtly nuanced and the only critique was that the wine was not quite as persistent as one might have hoped, with a relatively soft finish. A joy to drink nonetheless.

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