Brief notes from a wonderful tasting
earlier this year. Many thanks to the host for sharing such rare
wines and creating a wonderful menu of quails to go with them!
Fantastic! Wines were tasted semi-blind and the jokers double blind,
though the guy bringing one of the jokers is known to like
Chateauneuf a lot and quite often bringing wines from this fantastic
We started with a bubbly:
Jacques Selosse “Initiale”, degorged august 2nd 2006
Beautiful colour. Deep straw yellow. I t has a slightly oxidized
note in the nose, that reminds me a little of provencal lavender
soap. This is repeated in the taste and is not so much to my liking.
However, there are tons more going on. The taste is generous, fairly
full bodied, creamy, and soft, yet with refreshing, balancing
acidity. Overall: Excellent quality here but not in my preferred
style. Others also liked it more than I did this night. 90 p.
Then we headed to the main tasting and what a way to kick things
1996 Dugat-Py Charmes-Chambertin
Explosive nose! Intense and deep. Almost meaty and do I sense
baconfat? Lots of dark fruits. Wonderful! Really displays “the dark
side” of Burgundy in an almost non-burgundian way! It has oak still,
almost a roasted espresso element to it. Taste reveals it to be
definitely burgundian, with lively, juicy red berries and fruits and
fresh acidity but enough fruit to keep it balanced in the
background. Nose merits 96 if not 97 points except for the lack of
typicity and taste 94 so overall: 94 p.
1996 Serafin Charmes-Chambertin
Beautiful, beautiful nose! Zappy, bright and lively! A little bit of
the indescribable Burgundy zing. A vague hint of brett blows
off quickly, which allows the nose to blossom even further! The
cleanest, pure, ripe pinot fruit, yet such distinct coolness. More
and more zing in lack of a better descriptor. Yes please! If
all burgundy could taste like this! Only “setback” is the acidity
from the 1996 vintage, yet in this case it is well concealed behind
loads of all the good stuff! Couldn’t decide between 95 or 96
points. 96 emotionally but the acidity made me stay at: 95 p.
1998 Dugat Py Charmes-Chambertin
This displayed an unusual resemblance with 1996 Serafin. Bright and
zappy again. A bit lighter bodied and less zing but what a
wonderful wine! 93 p.
1995 Pegau “Cuvée Maxime”
I have written that I find this wine to be more “boorish” (using
google-translate). Can you say that about a wine? Identified to be
the joker and suspected to be close to 100% Grenache from
Chateauneuf given its character. It still displays some lively
Grenache fruit but seems a bit closed/tired and the aftertaste is a
bit metallic. When revealed it was once again a great honour trying
this wine. Only once have I tried it where it lived up to the hype
and it actually bested a winner bottle of Da Capo 1998. This time
the lively fruit helped it garner a score of 89? P.
2001 Serafin Charmes-Chambertin
Yes please! We are back home! Again this beguiling lively
fruitiness, that is so cool and well balanced. What a joy to
recollect. This too displayed tremendous stuffing and surplus of
“the good stuff” despite a present acidity. It’s got the zing,
baby! Oh so delicious! Stylewise comparable to Serafin 1996 and
Dugat Py 1998. 95 p.
2001 Dugat Py Charmes-Chambertin
Here we were introduced to another style of Burgundy. Quite
interesting given that we are only trying two producers and one
vineyard. It does have very nice aromatics nonetheless. It comes
across as slightly sweeter and confectionary. The Swedes reading
these notes will recognize the flavour as the red winegums called
PimPim Båtar that have this rather confected raspberry flavour. This
is not of the same class as the sibling of the same age but a
wonderful glass. 92 p.
2003 Serafin Charmes-Chambertin
Oh yes, now we are talking. It is perhaps most fair to the reader to
mention that I am passionate about Californian wine and generally
really like the styles of wines produced there. That might help
explain why I liked this so much but everyone around the table
seemed to find it (and the 2003 counterpart from Dugat Py as well)
to be of the highest quality too! And they are generally quite “old
world” in their preferences. First let me get the few “minuses” out
of the way: It displays some toffee and a hint of diacetyl/dairy
products that might be bordering on being too much for some. It
wasn’t too much for me but I wouldn’t want it any higher. My take is
that the malolactics were performed in new oak and pushed to the
limit just before having gone too far. With this out of the way let
me state that this was such a treat and to me the best show so far
this evening. It maintained such poise and balance even though it
was very full bodied and rich. Zingy again and I cannot state
enough how important this is for me in my appreciation of great
Burgundy. Furthermore, it helps explain that it was well balanced,
as it cannot have lost its balance and still have zing.
Remember this when I say that I also found some Espresso
roast/freshly ground coffee. This would surely be controversial to
some but wow, I enjoyed it so much. No problem with elevated acidity
here, that’s for sure. I’d really love to see how this develops over
the next 10 years. 96+ p.
2003 Dugat Py Charmes Chambertin
This also had some class in spite the hot vintage. I suppose you
could say that this is the 5th style of wine the two producers had
presented for us and we had only tried 7 at this point! This is
really one helluva mouthful. Meaty, rich and densely full
bodied. This tastes absolutely wonderful but there is also lots more
structure to fight with here. I have written that is perhaps the
potentially most complex of the two. I haven’t written many
particular flavours other than the wine being completely and utterly
wonderful! 95++ p.
1999 Raveneau Chablis Grand Cru “Valmur”
I brought this as a joker, thinking it might work well as an
interlude between the reds. It was served doubleblind to the others
but of course I knew what it was. Im unhappy to say that I was
slightly disappointment with this. It displayed provencal soap,
lanolin, and an almost german petroleum scent in the nose. In
addition it had this slightly sweet flavor of apples that have
started decaying – started turning brown. Either this should have
had a lot of air to let these scents blow away or it has been poorly
stored. I have bought this very late in 2001. It has been standing
on the shelf of the importer up until then. I’m not sure exactly
when Raveneau releases his wines, but still, can it really have been
damaged by such a short period on the shelves? The flavor
unfortunately fulfills what the nose “promised”. In addition it was
quite full bodied and had a refreshing acidity. If this is one of
the worlds great whites I just do not understand it. I have written
that it develops some refreshing scents not dissimilar from Corton
Charlemagne with extended airing but it didn’t lose the
soap/glue/lanolin/varnish – ness to the aroma and smell. Not my cup
of tea this night. N/R
1997 Serafin Charmes-Chambertin
1997 Dugat Py Charmes-Chambertin
This is wonderful, really an excellent wine but still a step down
from the 2003’s IMHO. Great to find that a general theme this night
is bright, zappy fruit but unfortunately also an ever so slightly
elevated acidity. This is “only” medium bodied compared to the full
2003’s. Still: Wonderful! 93 p.
This has an almost Chateauneuf-like scent of sur-maturité to it.
What causes this? Probably the warmth of the vintage. Yet the taste
has grace and poise and is wonderfully balanced even though we moved
up a notch in density compared to the 1997. Funny that the nose has
this overripe element when the taste is so fresh and lively. Taste
is actually better than the nose on this one. 94 p.
2000 Dugat Py Charmes-Chambertin
This displays a slightly sulphury note in the nose that quickly
blows off. After that this again shows the bright, zappy side of
Burgundy and in the nose is a nice contrast to the Serafin. Oh wow!
Yet another wonderful glass from Burgundy! Maybe a hair width less
complex in the mouth than the Serafin but it is roughly of the same
caliber. 94 p.
2002 Rayas, Chateauneuf du Pape
Impressive, sweet liquor nose especially considering what a
horrendous vintage this was. Wow, what a surprise! This is a
complete and utter miracle in this vintage. It is really pleasant
and delightful and can quite easily follow the 2000’s. 91 p.
2002 Dugat Py Charmes-Chambertin
Again a slight sulphur note to begin with but yet again, it blows
off very quickly. When it dissipates it gives way to a wine of
stunning world class! Dense, dense nose with perhaps the biggest
surplus of “the good stuff” so far this evening yet once again: I
could just keep nosing this. Great balance aromatically. Taste is
still young and unresolved yet it already delivers such an attack
that you have to admire it! Zing! Bright! Zappy! –And yet so
full bodied! This must have at least 25 years of further potential!
1999 Serafin Charmes-Chambertin
Brief summary here as I had to just sit back and enjoy it: This
beautifully summarizes what has been the most ongoing theme tonight.
Grace, balance, ever intriguing Burgundy spice and zing, the
most lively red fruits and then: Here it is! Almost as full bodied
as the 2002, yet perhaps slightly less promising but just the tiny
bit more resolved to give it all the necessary firepower and
intensity of flavours to keep the structure well hidden and allow
for a more tremendous drinking experience tonight! Great world
class! 96 p.
1999 Dugat Py Charmes-Chambertin
Well then, here it is! The WOTN! All that the heart could wish for,
well, at least my heart;-) All the balance the best ones have showed
tonight and the bright flavours but here it also incorporates a bit
of the roasted element, that a big Cote-Rotie fan like me enjoy so
much! A slight element of chocolate and coffe. Remember that this
full bodied wine retained coolness and balance. Completely and
utterly top class drinking and what a wonderful way to end the
Then there were a few more old bottles of wine, a 1974 Barolo from
the Marchesi and a quite nice 1983 Torres Black Label Mas la Plana.
In the end: 1995 Taylor’s Vargellas.
What a treat to be able to try these wines! Thank you so much to the