DRC La Tache 2005 2006 2007

Following on from the first dinner in my last post –

This was another great event and again thanks to all that were involved, especially Phil who did a wonderful job with hosting and cooking on his birthday!

Champagne to start

  • 1996 Pol Roger Champagne Brut Vintage – France, Champagne
    Nutty, with some apple, orange peel and spice. The palate is still showing good weight and is also getting near to its peak with development of honeyed character. Drink over the next couple of years. 90/100

Random Australian Whites

  • 1981 Heggies Vineyard Riesling – Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley
    Under screwcap. Kerosene, toast and green apples with some lightly scented floral notes. The palate shows nice balance and is bright and delicious without being very complex. Still, an appealing wine and yet another good old Riesling under screwcap. 91/100

  • 1986 McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant Wines Sémillon Elizabeth – Australia, New South Wales, Hunter Valley
    Took a little bit of time to open up after pouring, but was quite classic in its composition – lemon, toast and lanolin along with some background grapefruit. There is well balanced fruit richness still evident on the palate and it finishes with medium length. Holding up well, as it was not dissimilar from a bottle 4-5 years ago, but I would drink in the not too distant future. 90/100

  • 2001 Tyrrell’s Sémillon Vat 1 – Australia, New South Wales, Hunter Valley
    Lemon butter, coconut, graphite and some citrus peel aromas. The palate is rounded, with that buttery element coming through as well. There is enough acid to give the wine some focus. I still think that this is a wine to drink in the short-medium term. 90/100

  • 2003 Grosset Riesling Polish Hill – Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Polish Hill
    Lemon pastry, some light honey and background smoke. The palate is youthful, with prominent acidity and decent length. 90/100

Top white Burgundy Flight

  • 2007 Domaine Michel Niellon Bâtard-Montrachet – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
    An attractive nose that has layers of complexity – aromas of lemon, stones with light moss, baked apple and some tame smoky oak. The palate is on another level again, there is powerful rich fruit complimented by verve and vibrancy. Texturally and length wise it is simply exceptional. It is so delicious and interesting already that I would be very tempted to drink it while in its youth. 95/100

  • 2007 Maison de Grand Esprit Montrachet La Belle Voisine – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru
    Under screwcap. The nose here required some time to reveal itself and show lemon, honeysuckle plus light spice with a chalky mineral note. The palate has good weight to it, but it is also incredibly tightly coiled. Very impressive structure and line but this really needs time, probably another 8-10 years at least. 92/100

DRC Romanée St. Vivant Pair

  • 2007 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée St. Vivant – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Romanée St. Vivant Grand Cru
    The nose took some time to open up but it was interesting once it did, there were earthy green olives, raspberry, stalks and eventually with some time there was a burst of fresh red floral aromas. The palate was restrained and lightly bodied with fantastic focus from the acidity. This isn’t a powerhouse within its context, but there is good detail and texture – on any other occasion it likely would have made a play for wine of the night. We did find that having food really gave it quite a lift, more so than most other wines during the tasting. It did seem to have potential over the medium term, I’d leave it another 5 years before another look. 92/100

  • 2008 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée St. Vivant – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Romanée St. Vivant Grand Cru
    The fragrance of this wine immediately enthralled me, there was cinnamon, beautiful floral notes of rose and violets, liquorice, five spice and a whiff of incense – it would be difficult to be more appealing to me. The palate is exceptional as well, with wonderful purity and lift that is supported by a set of fine tannin. Balanced, textured and seriously long, this was one of my top highlights of the tasting and so close to my wine of the night. Others at the table that I spoke to were not quite as enthusiastic but I am more than happy to go against the trend here. 96/100

DRC La Tâche Mini-Vertical

  • 2005 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, La Tâche Grand Cru
    A swirling nose of cherry, liquorice, graphite, earth and after quite some time perfumed floral aromas came forth. The palate is where this wine really showed its potential, it is muscular and wound extremely tightly, but there was brilliant depth and an effortless power to it. There are powerful fine tannins and they are needed to keep pace with the weight of this wine. Of all the wines we tried, this was the one that was most in need of time, I don’t doubt that it will be a legend but it may not be there for another 15+ years. 95/100

  • 2006 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, La Tâche Grand Cru
    A wine that is out of this world. An intoxicating nose, with lifted rose notes, five spice, cherry, raspberry and cocoa. Impeccably balanced palate with simultaneous density, definition and clarity. There is restrained power here with a depth and persistence to it that left me stunned. It is extremely youthful but aside from the evident potential to be a superstar with time, I found it to have exceptional appeal even now. 97/100

  • 2007 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, La Tâche Grand Cru
    The nose here is complex with smoke, stems, red cherries, truffle and earth. This theme repeats on the palate, it is savoury and layered, it does have moderate weight to it as well but the balance is excellent. This is a wine that needs time, 10 years might be a good start. This has the same interest and focus of the 2007 DRC RSV, but it has much more depth, length and finesse – while both were good, the comparison had the La Tache in front for this particular vintage. 94/100

While in the neighborhood

  • 2000 Domaine Francois Lamarche La Grande Rue – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, La Grande Rue Grand Cru
    Medium intensity nose with black cherry, earth, violets and vanilla. The palate is well integrated and balanced with silky red fruit and very good length. In a perfect spot for drinking right now, this wine was not humbled amongst very serious company. 92/100

A Sweet Finish

  • 1990 Zilliken (Forstmeister Geltz) Saarburger Rausch Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel #2 – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Youthful and lifted nose of spices, lemon, white floral notes, mandarin and a touch of honey. The palate is superbly balanced with a sense of richness rather than outright sweetness that contributes the punch and then there is a wave of acidity lifting and driving through to the finish. This wine from a 750ml bottle was not yet close to its peak, I think there is easily another 10-15 years in it yet. 93/100

  • 2001 Château Suduiraut – France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
    Light golden colour. On the nose there is a delicious mix of apricot, quince, pineapple, orange rind and peach. The palate had botrytis driven intensity and vibrancy in equal measure. There is the depth that marks this as a wine to be taken seriously, yet it is delicious as well. From 750ml this was showing very nicely already but also has plenty of room to develop over the longer term. 94/100

  • 1992 Domaine de la Bongran (Thevenet) Mâcon-Villages Cuvée Spéciale Botrytis Quintaine – France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Mâcon-Villages
    From 375ml. Green apple, orange peel, sultana and botrytis on the nose. There is a peppery and spicy quality to the palate that is interesting against the light-medium level of sweetness. It isn’t a deep or stunning wine, but it is unique and it was great to try it. 89/100

One more DRC to close the night out

  • 1985 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Marc de Bourgogne – France, Burgundy
    My first encounter with this pomace brandy from DRC. Aged 17 years in barrel and about 600 bottles produced per vintage. It is very volatile straight after opening and pouring, but patience with it in the glass was rewarded with the volatility falling to the background and allowing more of the underlying elements to appear. There is an old cedar oak base, with caramel, cocoa, orange peel and some ginger. The palate showed complexity and persistence from the start and I found this also improved with some air, rounding out slightly while maintaining most of its intensity. I enjoyed the experience of trying this and quite liked it overall, but I don’t have enough context/experience to give it a score/verdict.

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