It’s always great to see my friends Eric and Laurence Texier. They are always a pleasure to have around and wonderful people to talk with. Conversation is never lacking and often goes into the wee hours. Every time I’m around Eric I learn something or he forces me to think about my positions, whether they change or not. Eric thinks both more broadly and more deeply about vine growing and wine making than just about anyone I’ve met. Combine that with a probing intellect and I’m on board for Erix Texier for President of Wine.
We gathered at Vin Rouge in Durham to have dinner and get into some wines. It was an unfortunate night for wines, as many of them showed poorly, even wines that I’ve had many times and can’t find an explanation in any damage, all the bottles were in perfect condition. The weather was crazy, it being pre-Sandy. It really felt and tasted like hurricane weather, as those from this part of the world will understand. Honestly, I think this really affected the wines, although I have no scientific proof ,I have theories on low and high pressure, etc.. Also, several of the wines showed better a couple of days later after the low pressure had passed.
But it is just wine and Sandy did much more than that to many people. Fortunately, everyone i know ended up OK. Do your best to support those that did not.
N.V. Diebolt-Vallois Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs
Good, but a bit sweeter and more wood marked than I remember. Good texture and zip.
2010 Landron Muscadet Amphibolite
A flat and disappointing bottle. Not sure what the deal is here, we barely touched it.
2004 Éric Texier Condrieu Janrode
I don’t normally drink viognier, but when I do, it’s Texier Condrieu. Seriously, most viognier is laborious and heavy, not this one. Still lithe and deft, even after this many years in bottle. Maybe doesn;’t have the zing it did as a younger wine, but it isn’t old. It’s not young either. I doubt anyone has any left but my friend Ken, but if you do, this would be great at Thanksgiving.
2001 Huët Vouvray Sec Le Mont
I don’t remember anything about this, but I know it was opened.
1999 Weingut Knoll Riesling Smaragd Ried Schütt
This bottle was muted and strange in contrast to a smashing bottle a few months before. It showed better a few days later.
1999 Franz Hirtzberger Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Honivogl
Like the Knoll, this came across as stunted. Five days later, the remainder of the bottle was good, if not the show stopper I was expecting.
1999 Éric Texier Brézème Mise Tardive
This was the focus of the evening as Eric doesn’t have any bottles of this remaining and this was my last one. This has been a temperamental wine for its entire life with bottles ranging from terrible to profound. This particular bottle was a very good bottle. It was meaty and smoky, but in a graphite way, not a bacon way with dried darker fruits and a really seamless texture. It had a savory bottle weight to it and a cool hint of lavender on the nose. This bottle showed great balance on the palate between the acids, savory and fruit notes and the last remaining tannin (not much). It was the texture and the inner mouth perfume where this shined. Glad that I saved this bottle and even happier I got to open it with Eric.
1999 Ogier Côte-Rôtie
Aromatically stunted and a bit wood marked on the palate. Four days later this was fading. Oh well, a bottle wasted.
2008 Éric Texier Côtes du Rhône-Brézème Vieille Serine Domaine de Pergaud
Sandy totally kicked this beautiful magnum in the face. The palate was refined and silky, as we’ve come to expect from Eric and this site, but there was absolutely no nose to speak of. Well, that all changed four days later when I finished the rest of the magnum, again while cooking at home. The nose was buoyant with herbs and flowers around what I have begun to think of as the savory Brézème core. There is something very special about these vines and even in difficult vintages like 2008, they have something very interesting to say.
2011 Marcel Lapierre Morgon
I’ve been drinking tons of this as it is so delightful now. This bottle was decidedly blah in comparison. Still, it was Lapierre Morgon, which is like pizza, always good. It was finished that evening.
2001 Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon
Reduced and crappy. I couldn’t get past that and didn’t touch another drop.
1986 Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele
This was a real bummer because I had a really wonderful bottle with Sophie a few months back and I always like to try at least one bottle of American wine while Eric is here.
1999 Amiot-Servelle Chambolle 1er Les Amoureuses
Another muted wine, this wine was a bit angular as well. There was fruit buried on the palate, but not much could be discerned. Three days later, I drank the rest while preparing dinner, and wow, what a difference. Although I imagine it would have been brighter had I opened it and consumed iut the same night, the nose had layers of fruit, woodsy not-quite-sous-bois aromas and more fruit and spice on the palate with the beginning of the umami thing that has come to characterize good Burgundy beginning to hit its stride. Too bad Sandy fucked this very good wine.