Jan and his staff, was once rocking and had in my opinion one of their best nights ever.
So….the theme of this tasting was more of less leaked by our host and the wines where not tasted blind. All wines are from memory.
Next wine – the 1988 Krug Clos du Mesnil. It really hurts to write these lines, but the wine was corked – almost unbearable.
Oh well life goes on and plan B was set in motion. Replacement was found – the 1996 Krug Clos du Mesnil. The wine is young – really young. First nose impression is chalk and seawater. Our food was Potato with lumpsucker, roe, cucumber, and cress. Restaurant manager, Jan Restorff quickly improvised by drizzling finely chopped oyster over the dish to match the maritime notes. It worked really great, but the wine was still rather shy. When then decided to rest Champagne some time and continue with the white wines, so – to be continued……
2002 Etienne Sauzet Chevalier Montrachet
2000 Jadot “Montrachet”
2000 D'Auvenay Mersault “Narvaux”
2004 Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet
Now apparently, there is a saying among my wine group that I don’t like white Burgundy. That’s not true – I just like Champagne better, he he ;-).
The Sauzet was lovely – had a great delicate toasted note and a tickly personality. My WOTF.
I didn’t fancy the Jadot. Its oxidative style makes it exotic and clumsy, especially on the palate. Lacks freshness and acidity. The 2000 D'Auvenay Mersault “Narvaux” was a panel splitter. Some took notice of a note which reminded them of sulfur. I think we came to the conclusion that it was not sulfur as D'Auvenay is Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy winery, but a biodynamic oak phenomenon (big boys, big conclusions). Anyway, the note didn’t turn me off. The wine was rather tight and linear with a flowery touch which made it like a fresh breeze. The glass evolvement was constantly on the rise and just before I finished my 4 glasses it had almost caught up with Sauzet.
The 2004 Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet seemed to be caught in an awkward phase and never really showed anything but greenish notes.
…..and the 1996 Clos du Mesnil was pulled back on stage. Still tightly packed but slowly toast, flowers and vanilla emerges. The depth is really something else here – deep complex layers with impressive majestic concentration. The acidity is seriously scary – cut with laser precision and it almost hurts when you sink it. You now realize that it’s made to cellar and claim its fame in 15-25 years from now.
Luckily the Champagne party wasn’t over yet. 1990 Dom Perignon Rosé enters – first time I taste the Pinky DP. What a beauty. Stunning perfumes of salty apricot, blood oranges and red berries held in a concentrated and highly complex fruit core. This is exactly the kind of Rosé I favor; where the red perfume is single floral element to the Champagne, but still, you can tell that it is Champagne – not red wine with bubbles - understand? The taste is incredible fresh with a solid structure and concentrating – but yet presented in such an elegant manner. It will certainly last for many years, but pretty hard to resist now.
Now it was time for some red Burgundy.
First two reds where:
2002 Mugnier Musigny “Amoureuses”
2002 Vogue Musigny “Amoureuses”
Both incredible wines, but certainly different. The Mugnier: light in color with the most awesome, fragile and sensible raspberry skin note. Vogue: Still these Amoureuses perfumes, but a meatier wine with a higher intensity. Our Host, which is a far more experienced Burgundy drinker than yours truly, favored the Mugnier for its true nature to the Appellation. Personally I was a little bit split – the sheer magnitude of depth favored the Vogue. But, the highly, almost weightless drinking pleasure of Mugnier certainly took its points. Let’s call it a tie and a luxury problem to choose among such beauties.
Now the next red flight was really interesting, as we had the same duelist in the glasses, but the vintage and appellation was changed. A great study in the art of terroir.
2001 Mugnier, Musigny
2001 Vogue, Musigny
Now I don’t have the exact feel on the vintages in Burgundy, but I think the panel, with the consultancy of Jan Restorff, came to the conclusion that 2001 is a highly underrated vintage. These two wines are still beautiful red berry perfumed, but simply bigger and more complex in style, compared to the Amoureuses. The sweetness is more pronounced with the fruit core being infected with sweet sticky cherry notes, where the Amoureuses has the red berry scents as “outer” perfumes. The 2001 vintage shows this brilliant minerality and the wines subtle concentrated (can you say that?) - Gorgeously fresh and very graceful. The Vogue is once again the most powerful and in this case it gains the trophy as the winner of this glorious flight. This is the essence of red Burgundy and I can certainly understand why so many wines lowers fall fainthearted to the soul of these wines.
The last official red Burgundy flight:
2004 La Tâche, DRC
2001 Cros Parantoux, Meo Camuzet
Think the wines actually split the panel here. Which one was best? Again, change of style with the berry scents now taking form of black cherries and the La Tâche with its more smoky and meaty style. La Tâche had an unbalanced herbal/greenish note, which with time resolved somewhat, but never evaporated completely. Still it’s certainly a decent wine, but not selling at a decent price. Meo, better – but I think we all suffered from hangovers from the previous flight -which was breathtaking.
A blind passenger sneaked onto this flight. I believe it was the 2002 Domaine Serene “Evenstad Reserve” from Oregon, US. Certainly it was beaten, by such classic and complex wines and rather clumsy in comparison. But it should be noted that its cost price is 1/10 of La Tâche
I believe as much as 3 other wines spontaneously entered the program – all red Burgundy. Forgive for not being able to offer you detailed names and descriptions on these wines, but I seem to have reached to my limits. But like my two lovely daughters, which can always eat candy or ice cream when completely full – daddy here can always drink Champagne. And so – a Champagne hits the glasses; the NV "Origine" from Jacques Selosse.”Origine” has now changed its name to “Substance” but it’s basically the same wine. Anyway the disgorgement was from 1999 and the Champagne was beautiful. Surprisingly fresh and a surprise because Substances tends to be somewhat meatier and oxidative from release, so naturally I would have expected to see more of this with bottle age. The Champagne was seriously vinous and had this luxuries feel with seductive evening perfume, quince, honey and even a pure simple flowery note.
Surprice from Søllerød: Tartar – Caviar – pouched egg and herbs.
Potato with lumpsucker, roe, cucumber, and cress
Roasted brill with Jerusalem artichoke, apple, Macadamia nuts, and browned butter
Roasted langoustine with carrot and lemon
Monkfish - celery – mushrooms
Pasta – Parmesan – Truffles
Guinea fowl with roasted duck foie gras and pepper jus
A very memorable evening comes to an ending. We simply skipped Søllerød famous desserts –sometimes less is more – even if I feel some pain in my head today.
Claus, thank you for spoiling us with exceptional wines.
For more information on Søllerød Kro - click here http://www.soelleroed-kro.dk/
PS. There a more pictures here http://picasaweb.google.dk/Togathomas/ClausHolstSmagning#. They are shot without flash and under very dimmed lightning and while yours truly busy talking with new/old faces and sniffing the wine goodies.