Sydney La Paulée - Gala Dinner

I’m a few months late with these notes but this was the gala dinner at the end of a week of events for the Sydney Burgundy Celebration, organised by sommeliers Franck Moreau MS, Amanda Yallop & Michaël Engelmann MS. I also attended a large walk-around tasting the night prior and may post some quick notes on the highlights of that.

This BYO event gave our table of 10 the chance to bring out our very best bottles of Burgundy and I think we did very well! Most of these notes are based on a proper glass but I’ve tried to include if they were just a taste/splash from kind friends at other tables.

The food on the night was okay but not amazing, given the calibre of chefs involved I hoped for a bit better – but at least it let the focus on the night be the wines.

WA marron, salt water duck and white miso salad (Neil Perry)

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Roast quail, bacon toast and ravigote (Richard Purdue)

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Slow cooked beef cheeks, roasted celeriac purée, puffed wild rice (Peter Doyle)

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Époisses (Burgundy) and Fleuron Vache (Pyrénées) with black grapes,ficelle and crackers

The Wines:

  • 1995 Louis Latour Bâtard-Montrachet – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
    Grapefruit, honey, pear and oak. Medium bodied with good texture starting to show, it is definitely still in a fresh phase but is taking on more complexity. I don’t think it will live for an extremely long time but it still has time to improve. 90/100

  • 1988 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru
    Flinty and smoky with lemon and wax. Brilliant palate with oodles of texture and showing both youth and complexity. A sense of extremely fine balance along with great poise. Fantastic wine. 94/100

  • 2008 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru
    Premox affected. NR

  • 2011 Domaine Ramonet Bâtard-Montrachet – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
    Pepper and mint with candied lemon and peach – aromatics are very much open and singing. Delicious palate with superb acidity assisting the rich but precise fruit. Loved it! 94/100

  • 1999 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny Bourgogne Blanc – France, Burgundy, Bourgogne Blanc
    The nose is quite expressive initially with citrus, florals, light licorice and light herbs coming through but with time in the glass it calmed down and was probably less interesting for it. The palate has a good hit of upfront richness but the mid-palate intensity dips away before the acid kicks in and picks things back up to drag the fruit into a medium length finish. Drink over the next couple of years.
    90/100

  • 1972 Maison Albert Bichot Meursault 1er Cru Charmes – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru
    Butterscotch, nutty and sea spray with plenty of toast – quite interesting though it’s maybe not appealing for everyone. Lots of toast and nutty character on the palate, though it’s a little one dimensional. Did improve in the glass before fading slightly. 88/100

  • 1929 Pierre Bourée Fils Chambolle-Musigny – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny
    Quite stemmy and dusty earth on the nose – not a whole lot else. The palate is better than the nose, it’s light bodied and there is a light red fruit character still remaining. Nice to try but the age is showing. 86/100

  • 1929 Pierre Bourée Fils Gevrey-Chambertin Clos de la Justice – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin
    Great nose of cinnamon, leather, mint, cherry and earth. Good weight, in that aspect it is better than the last bottle – this one has some sweet fruit hanging on and the structure has receded but is still providing a frame. Considered, resolved and very good. 91/100

  • 1995 Bernard Dugat-Py Mazis-Chambertin – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru
    Great intense aromatics – strawberry, violets, cherry, rhubarb and meaty earthy notes. The palate has fantastically bright acidity and some serious structure to it. Ticking along very nicely. 93/100

  • 2006 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Chambertin – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin Grand Cru
    Just had a tiny pour of this but it was memorable all the same. Bursts out of the glass – graphite, cherry, florals and spice. Brilliantly pure fruit and the wine has the structure and minerality to easily back it up into the long finish. 95/100

  • 2002 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Chambertin – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin Grand Cru
    Another short taste but another awesome wine. More restrained aromatically than the 2006 but layered and serious with earth, spices and red cherry. The palate is where this really shines, with genuinely serious structure and imposing tannins that are not out of place with the clean dark fruit and a great core of acid. Super impressive now
    but give it time if you can! 96/100

  • 1996 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, La Tâche Grand Cru
    Complex aromatics that built constantly in the glass, evolving frequently and holding your attention for as long as you can give it. Meaty at first with huge doses of mixed spices, then raspberry and floral notes, followed by musk and cherry and earth. Seamless on the palate, is has immense class and vitality. Long and driven, this is
    without doubt brilliant. 96/100

  • 1998 Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Musigny – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Musigny Grand Cru
    Fantastic nose with earthy and sappy forest floor, charcoal, roses and strawberry. Initially I’m surprised by the brightness of the red fruit on the palate, but I quickly encounter a very fine but pressing tannic element along with a more expected muscular and imposing structure. Amazing length and of course the wine as a whole should get even
    better from here. 94/100

  • 2004 Lucien Le Moine Clos de la Roche – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru
    Tasted blind. Stems dominate with plenty of green character – pretty obvious it is 2004. Acidity on the palate is good and well integrated but there is a herbal edge that I just don’t like. 86/100

  • 1996 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Chambertin – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin Grand Cru
    Extremely floral and perfumed right from the get go – along with supporting notes of earth, cherry and spice. The palate feels complete, with a wonderful feeling of composure. The acidity crackles and works so well with the light red fruits. Has started to show a little development but it’s still a long way from its peak. 96/100

  • 2008 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Chambertin – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin Grand Cru
    Very perfumed nose along with pepper and spices, smoke and sweet red fruit. The palate on pouring is not immediately approachable, but given time in the glass it started to open ever so slowly. This wine is very serious and really is in need of slow consumption and contemplation at the moment. Essential to give it time if possible! 93/100

  • 2002 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Bonnes Mares – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Bonnes Mares Grand Cru
    Wickedly perfumed – violets, dark cherry, a meaty earthiness and tobacco – showing really well for such a young wine. Even the palate isn’t entirely standoffish, it’s seriously structured but there is enough fruit density and clarity to rise and provide pleasure already. Lovely wine and probably my favourite of these from 1998-2002 that
    I’ve tasted. 94/100

  • 2007 Domaine Dujac Clos St. Denis – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos St. Denis Grand Cru
    Sappy but pleasant nose with vanilla, roses, and raspberry. The palate exhibits fine acidity and light but high toned fruit, there are even the beginnings of some complexity, especially in the mouthfeel but the brightness from the acidity and fruit is still centre stage for now. 92/100

  • 2007 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Chambertin-Clos de Bèze – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru
    Have tried this once before and I commented on how it would have been the star on almost any other night – well at this event it happened to encounter a cavalcade of insane Burgundy, but still well and truly held its own. Meaty, black cherry, spice and musk aromas. Palate has excellent freshness and lift, with great length and depth to the fruit. A great wine that I hope to encounter a third time, on a night where it is allowed to shine bright! 94/100

  • 2008 Domaine Prieuré Roch Clos Vougeot – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
    Only a small taste of this – stemmy, violets, cinnamon and cranberry. Bright red fruit on the palate, this is drinking really nicely already, it has fine structure but I can’t see it going very long term. 91/100

  • 2003 Faiveley Chambertin-Clos de Bèze – France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru
    Dark nose of violets, mocha chocolate, vanilla and smoky perfume. Palate continues the impression of density with deep black fruits and a domineering tannic kick. Very persistent acidity does help and the length of the wine is excellent. I liked it ever still in this stage of its youth but to do it justice needs time. 92/100

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