2004 Vintage Assessment and Oxidation Check Dinner No. 1 @ Chinois February 15, 2012


Appetizer Course
Passed Hors d’oeuvres

1990 Pommery Cuvee Louise Champagne (magnum)
Light/medium gold color; biscuit and light honey nose with some citrus background; a concentrated citrus and mineral palate that struck me as ever so slightly sweet but didn’t finish that way. The finish was more of a citrus and mineral finish. It was decent champagne but not that exciting. Like most ‘90 Champagnes now, I liked them better a year or two ago. 92

Flight One-Chablis (served single blind)
Dungeness crab cakes atop Maine scallops, lemon grass lobster sauce

#1 [Raveneau Chabls Valmur]
Light yellow color, but a bit cloudy; light gooseberry and oyster shell aromas; light, very bright Chablis with more structure than flavor at this point—some very subtle lemon fruit underneath and a lot of minerals piled on top; minerally finiksh. This needs time. Group Rank: Tied for 21st, 0 pts 93+

#2 [Billaud-Simon Chabls Clos]
Light gold color; quite floral and sweet green fruit aromas –must be Billaud-Simon; clearly softer than #1, more forward, more full-bodied than #1; lots of fruit and this is made in a showy, flamboyant style with an almost spicy finish. The style seems just a bit over the top to me. Group Rank: Tied for 21st, 0 pts 91

#3 [Ravneau Chabls Montee De Tonnerre]
Light gold color; not very open wine – quite tight citrus; some citrus, flint and oyster shell aromas; very tight citrus – quite clean – and minerally; a surprisingly long minerally finish for such a tight, structured wine. Group Rank: Tied for 18th, 1 pt (0/0/0/0/1) 93

#4 [Dauvissat Chabls Clos]
Betweeen light and medium gold color; some green melon aromas; bright citrus flavors with very good acidity and a slightly phenolic texture; a long lime and mineral finish. Group Rank: Tied for 10th, 4 pts (0/0/0/2/0) 94

#5 [Dauvissat Chabls Preuses]
Light gold color; sweet green apple aromas; crisp green apple flavors with bright acidity that get suppressed by phenolic finish; this should improve. Group Rank: Tied for 18th, 1 pt (0/0/0/0/1) 92+

#6 [Raveneau Chabls Clos]
Light gold color; a little key lime and oyster shell aromas; this has some nice concentration hiding under very good acidity and a touch of phenols; there is a surprisingly nice lemon/lime and mineral finish. Lots of material here. Real grand cru weight. Group Rank: 4th, 18 pts (1/2/1/1/0) 94+

Flight Two-Meursault (served blind)
Sautéed Santa Barbara Prawns with Pad Thai noodles, Tamarind Sauce

#7 [Roulot Meursault Poruzots]
Light gold color; light lemon-lime fruit aromas with some white flowers – quite youthful; bright lime citrus flavors, quite concentrated with a lot of underlying minerality—again very youthful for 7.5 years old; a super long mineral and fruit finish on this wine really stands out. Really nice wine. Group Rank: 9th, 5 pts (1/0/0/0/0) 94

#8 [Lafon Meursault Charmes]
Light gold color; this is more forward than # 7 in the aromas—distinctly sweet key lime/lemon citrus – like key lime pie; sweet key lime flavors, concentrated, almost fat, doesn’t have the acidity to match #7; long sweet key lime finish without the minerality of #7 Group Rank: Tied for 15th, 2 pts (0/0/0/1/0) 92

#9 [Roulot Meursault Charmes]
Light gold color; some classic hazelnut and citrus aromas; not as overtly fruity as #8—pear and light citrus with a light hazelnut element; this is quite tight and structured, yet there is evident underlying concentration which fantails out a bit on the back of the palate and then gets tighter again on the citrus and hazelnut finish. Group Rank: Tied for 12th, 3 pts (0/0/1/0/0) 93+

#10 [Henri Boillot Meursault Charmes]
Very bright light gold color; lemon zest and citrus aromas; very tight lemon sherbert flavors with modest minerality. [NB Seems very youthful for Boillot—a good sign]Group Rank: Tied for 15th, 2 pts (0/0/0/1/0) 93+?

#11 [Roulot Meursault Boucheres]
Medium gold color-noticeably darker than the rest; overripe apricot and buttery aromas – almost popcorn; quite fat, seems a bit overripe/butterscotchy on the palate too; distinctly sweet finish – not a very good wine and likely advanced. Three tasters felt this was oxidized; and a good number of us thought it advanced or perhaps heat damaged. Group Rank: Tied for 18th, 1 pt (0/0/0/0/1) 90?-advanced

#12 [Coche-Dury Meursault Rougeots]
Light gold color; lots of matchstick reduction at the outset, later more evident citrus and white flowers; citrus and subtle hazelnut element with great concentration on the palate – layered and has very good depth; as I kept coming back to this what struck me was the concentration. Impressive. My fifth ranked wine of the night. Group Rank: Tied for 5th, 17 pts (2/1/0/1/1) 94+

Flight Three-Meursault Perrieres (served blind)
Wild striped bass, cauliflower puree, Riesling wine sauce (the consensus favorite food course)

#13 [Le Moine Meursault Perrieres]
Light yellow color; lemon citrus aromas; relatively fat, forward and showy on the palate with sweet lemon drop candy flavors but not a lot of minerality. I would have guessed Meursault Charmes, but there aren’t any in this flight. Group Rank: 8th, 10 pts (0/1/2/0/0) 92

#14 [Colin-Morey Meursault Perrieres]
Light gold color; very restrained aromas – with some swirling I got white peach; tightly structured wine on the palate with good acidity and minerality and a dollop of fruit peeking out; very nice fruit and minerals finish. Group Rank: Tied for 12th, 3 pts (0/0/1/0/0) 93

#15 [Lafon Meursault Perrieres]
Light gold color; some SO2 (reduction), hazelnut and lemon citrus on the aromas; this wine has considerable concentration and powerful lemon and minerals. This has a lot more density than the first two wines in this flight. Group Rank: Tied for 12th, 3 pts (0/0/0/1/1) 94

#16 [Matrot Meursault Perrieres]
Between light and medium gold color; lemon citrus aromas; viscous, lemon custard flavors; also more concentrated than the first two wines; rich finish with some minerality [NB notable to see a Matrot that is not oxidized or advanced, though the color is more advanced than the others] Group Rank: Tied for 10th, 4 pts (0/1/0/0/0) 94

#17 [Roulot Meursault Perrieres]
Light yellow color; citrus and white flowers aromas ; concentrated lemon-lime and minerals flavors with some notable phenols; this is quite viscous and long but the finish is tight and slightly phenolic. A great future here. My fourth-ranked wine of the night. Group Rank: Tied for 5th, 17 pts (0/1/3/1/2) 94+

#18 [Bouchard Meursault Perrieres]
Light gold color; citrus and hazelnut aromas; lemon-lime fruit with a creamy texture yet very apparent acid and structure; this is quite concentrated and yet quite racy. Really long minerally finish. This is a fabulous MP and my favorite wine of the night. Group Rank: 7th, 11 pts (2/0/0/0/1) 95+

Flight Four (served blind)
Shanghai lobster with crispy spinach and curry sauce

#19 [Henri Boillot Corton Charlemagne]
Light gold color; this was a bit reduced and it was difficult to coax the aromas out of the glass—pears and white flowers are there with some work; concentrated pears/green apple flavors with good acidity and some modest minerality at the end. Might improve with time. [NB A youthful wine but didn’t seem to match up to the superlative initial reviews in my view, but others liked this better than I did.] Group Rank: 3rd, 22 pts (3/1/0/1/1) 93+?

#20 [Girardin Corton Charlemagne Quintessence]
Between light and medium gold color; pear and faint anise aromas; nicely balanced pear and citrus flavors. This is a very concentrated old-viney Corton, which just keeps pushing outward – reminds me a lot of Coche in its texture and concentration; amazingly long slightly minerally finish. Very impressive wine. My number two wine of the night. Group Rank: 2nd, 24 pts (1/3/2/0/1) 95

#21 [Drouhin Corton Charlemagne]
Light gold color; aromas of pear and light citrus; some pear flavors and faint minerals; needed a little better mid-palate density; not in the same class with the first two wines in this flight Group Rank:Tied for 15th, 2 pts (0/0/0/1/0) 92

#22 [Bouchard Corton Charlemagne]
Light gold color; pear, citrus and light hazelnut aromas (did somebody sneak in a Meursault?); really good concentration and yet great acidity and structure; sneaky depth here; this is powerful, youthful Corton with an absolutely amazing fruit and minerals finish. My number three wine of the night. Group Rank: 1st, 29 pts (2/2/2/2/1) 95

#23 [Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlamagne]
Between light and medium gold color; some lemon citrus and butterscotch aromas; advanced butterscotch and lemon zest flavors despite notable phenols and good acidity. Five of the twelve tasters on the panel thought this was outright oxidized. The rest of us agreed it was advanced but not yet showing the classic sherry or “cornflakes” aromas and sherry-like flavors that usually mark outright oxidized wines. Group Rank: Tied for 21st, 0 pts 88-advanced

#24 [Jadot Corton Charlemagne]
Light yellow gold color; some green apple aromas but with an advanced butterscotch overtone and a whiff of chemicals at the end; some pear fruit but with a layer of butterschotch/marzipan flavors at the end. Very hard to reconcile the advanced aromas and flavors with the light color unless someone at Jadot has been playing around with hyperoxidation and under-sulftiing the wine. Group Rank: Tied for 21st, 0 pts 89-advanced

#25 [2004 Rara Avis Chardonnay]
Light yellow color with hints of green; floral and lime elements in the aromas; light citrus flavors with a lightly viscous texture; a very nice wine that is very youthful for 7.5 year old California chardonnay. This was a ringer provided by Ed Ikuta, one of the tasters on the panel and a superb winemaker who is justifiably famous as California’s best home winemaker. Group Rank: Tied for 21st, 0 pts 93

Dessert Course
Sweet treats
1983 Gysler Weinheimer Holle Spatburgunder Rose Berenauslese
I loved this wine when we last tasted it a few years ago, but it didn’t impress me on this occasion. Seemed a bit light and dull although quite sweet. Not oxidized however. 87?
Postscript statistics:
Corked -- 0/25 (0%)
Oxidized--0/25 (0%)
Advanced-3/25 (12%)
Total Oxidized + Advanced- 3/25 (12%)

2004 Vintage Assessment and Oxidation Check Dinner No. 2 @ Chinois February 28, 2012


Appetizer Course
Passed Hors d’oeuvres
1990 Alain Robert Le Mesnil Reserve Tete de Cuvee (Magnum)
Off bottle—strong citrus skin flavors and some odd aromas ---tossed

1988 Alain Robert Le Mesnil Reserve Tete de Cuvee (Magnum)
Between light and medium gold color with decent mousse; some citrus, peach and toast aromas; this always has a strong citrus and yeast signature with a good deal of acidity – its now taking on some secondary character; a great deal of minerality which is the reason that I’ve always been so attracted by the Alain Robert champagnes; the finish has a bit of orange citrus to go with the lemon and minerality. Quite nice. 94

Flight One-Bienvenues and Criots Batard Montrachet Batard Montrachet (single blind)
Crispy Alaska wild King salmon with sea urchin mushroom sauce

#1 [Blain-Gagnard Criots Batard Montrachet]
Light to medium gold color; some butterscotch and almond aromas; this has nuts and butterscotch, if not sherry-like flavors with a hint of the chemicals I’ve seen in a lot of oxidized bottles of late. I think this is borderline oxidized, and a clearly flawed wine, but the rest of the group thinks its just advanced. Group Rank: Tied for 16th, 0 pts 88-advanced

#2 [Pernot Bienvenues Batard Montrachet]
Light gold color; minor matchstick reduction to start, then good lemon/lime citrus and honeysuckle; soft, simple lemon-lime and a bit flabby/fat. [NB Pernot BBM is usually a lot better than this] Group Rank: Tied for 16th, 0 pts 90

#3 [Carillon Bienvenues Batard Montrachet]
Light white gold color; honeysuckle and citrus aromas and a kiss of oak; creamy citrus flavors and a great deal of minerality; good acidity; this just seemed to get deeper and more interesting as it sat in the glass; exceptional finish. Group Rank: Tied for 4th, 14 pts (0/2/1/1/1) 94

#4 [Fontaine-Gagnard Criots Batard Montrachet]
Light yellow gold color with some green hints; honeysuckle and white flowers aromas; simple pear and sweet lemon-lime flavors, okay acidity, but not a lot of depth or minerality. A few people thought this borderline advanced. It was more ready than the others and given this domaine’s premox history I would enjoy it while you still can.. Group Rank: Tied for 10th, 4 pts (0/0/0/1/2) 92?

#5 [Ramonet Bienvenues Batard Montrachet]
Very light yellow/green color; strong reduction aromas at the outset; the reduction faded somewhat with air giving way to floral, pear and citrus aromas and flavors; this has bright acidity, strong phenols and also an impression of thickness/density on the palate. Could improve slightly with additional age. Group Rank: Tied for 7th, 9 pts (0/0/2/0/3) 93+

#6 [Hubert Lamy Criots Batard Montrachet]
Light yellow and green-tinged color; white flowers and lemon citrus aromas; a very racy, lemon custard flavored wine with good concentration and an impression of depth – unusual for what I think is Criots. Overall, a really nice wine. Group Rank: Tied for 10th, 4 pts (0/0/0/1/2) 94

Flight Two-Batard Montrachet (single blind)
Roasted Maine lobster with sautéed foie gras and braised shitake lemon grass sauce

#7 [Ramonet Batard Montrachet]
Very light gold color; some matchstick reduction to start giving way to white flowers and citrus; this was pretty reserved – some pear flavors and some modest minerality; finishes softly; a nice wine, but not exceptional Group Rank: Tied for 4th, 14 pts (0/1/1/3/1) 93

#8 [Permot Batard Montrachet]
Light yellow gold color; reductive to begin with; eventually floral and a hard to place aromas – then someone said “tequila”; I think it also had some spearmint like the Ramonet wines; very good acidity and quite ripe fruit. But this changed rapidly in the glass for the worse. On the second pass through this flight it tasted distinctly overripe and there were now some chemical aromas and smoke; the chemicals and smoke just got worse as time went on; quite bizarre evolution on this wine. Group Rank: Tied for 16th, 0 pts Group Rank: Tied for 16th, 0 pts 87?

#9 [Leflaive Batard Montrachet]
Very light yellow color; this had some very strong reductive aromas like gasoline mixed with SO2 that never budged the entire night; on the palate the wine had super high acidity. I think this was permanently reductive. One of the other tasters on the panel reported a recent oxidized bottle of this wine. Group Rank: Tied for 16th, 0 pts DQ-permanent reduction.

#10 [Niellon Batard Montrachet]
Medium full gold color; very clear sherry aromas and flavors. Gone. Completely oxidized. Group Rank: Tied for 16th, 0 pts DQ-Oxidized

#11 [Girardin Batard Montrachet]
Just short of medium gold color; tight aromas –not much showing; on the palate this had some pear and citrus flavors with relatively high acidity—again a tightly wrapped package; there might be some promise here but the relatively developed color is a caution to thinking this could age for a while Group Rank: 13th 3 pts (0/0/1/0/0) 93?

#12 [JM Boillot Batard Montrachet]
Medium yellow gold color; fresh apricot aromas and SO2 –quite an odd mix; some notable acidity here but not fruit or much else of interest on the palate. A bizarre wine. Group Rank: Tied for 10th, 4 pts (0/1/0/0/0) 88?

#13 [H Bloillot Batard Montrachet]
Between light and medium gold; sweet candied citrus –almost overripe aromas; on the palate, the wine is much tighter, has pear and citrus flavors with good acidity and is slightly phenolic on the palate; okay finish. The best of this flight, such as it is. Group Rank: 14th, 2 pts (0/0/0/1/0) 93+?

#14 [Deux Montilles Batard Montrachet]
Between light and medium yellow gold color; ultra-ripe to overripe fruit aromas –again I get ultra-ripe peach and apricot aromas; there is a lot of fat on the palate, with only modest acidity, yet some detectable phenol levels (seems increasingly characteristic of the vintage); the finish here is so sweet it is positively cloying – this wine is just too ripe Group Rank: Tied for 16th, 0 pts 85

[NOTE: Overall, this is probably the worst flight of Batards I can remember tasting since we started these tastings seven years ago, and I know everyone else found this flight a huge disappointment as well. What went wrong here? Most of the wines were either clearly overripe or exhibited borderline overripeness on the aromas and were somewhat better on the palate. I don’t know what happened in Batard in 2004, but it sure seems like the Batards got too ripe or else something bad (perhaps the oidium?) has affected them. Thankfully, the problem seems limited to Batard so far.]

Flight Three-Chevalier Montrachet (single blind)
Pithivier of sea bass with wild mushrooms, Riesling wine sauce

#15 [H Boillot Chevalier Montrachet]
Light yellow color; white flowers and citrus aromas – light and elegant compared to the Batards; citrus and minerals with a good deal of concentration and viscosity on the palate; great acidity; very racy minerally flavors and a fabulous finish. My second favorite wine of the night. Group Rank: 2nd, 27 pts (2/3/1/1/0) 95

#16 [Colin-Morey Chevalier Montrachet]
Light gold color but slightly cloudy; tight citrus aromas; some citrus and butter fat flavors; nice wine but this reminds me more of Batard than Chevalier Modest minerality on the finish. Some tasters liked this a bit better than I did . Group Rank: Tied for 7th, 9 pts (0/0/1/3/0) 93

#17 [Bouchard Chevalier Montrachet Cabotte]
Light yellow gold with some greenish tinges; slightly sweet, tropical fruit and lime aromas; on the palate, this seemed to lack a bit of concentration and the finish tastes fat and honeyed; there is a acidity and minerality like a great Chevalier, but there doesn’t seem to be the usual density of flavors. This is more like a modestly good Batard. Group Rank: Tied for 16th, 0 pts 92

#18 [Bouchard Chevalier Montrachet]
Light yellow green gold; the aromas are quite tight – citrus and minerals as it should be; good density –lemon citrus and abundant minerality; very well structured, classically proportioned Chevalier; a wonderful lemon and minerals finish. My third favorite wine of the night. Group Rank: 6th, 11 pts (0/1/2/0/1) 95

#19 [Philippe Colin Chevalier Montrachet]
Light to medium gold color; strong white flowers aromas; on the palate this had lemon citrus flavors, lots of acidity and minerality; very tightly structured Chevalier; may even have some upside potential. Group Rank: 9th, 5 pts (1/0/0/0/0) 94

Flight Four Chevalier Montrachet (single blind)
Slow braised veal cheeks with long life noodles

#20 [Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet]
This was very badly corked in addition to having a lot of reduction (SO2) aromas. Group Rank: Tied for 16th, 0 pts DQ-corked

#21 [JM Pillot Chevalier Montrachet]
Very light yellow gold color; light key lime and white flowers aromas; brilliant citrus flavors with great minerality and good acidity; unbelievable minerality on the finish. My number four wine of the night, but its really splitting hairs here. Group Rank: 3rd, 21 pts (1/2/2/1/0) 95

#22 [Jadot Chevalier Montrachet Demosselles]
Medium full gold color; completely oxidized. Group Rank: Tied for 16th, 0 pts DQ-oxidized
#23 [Ramonet Chevalier Montrachet]
Light yellow color; white flowers and citrus aromas; intensely minerally Chevalier with great underlying structure and lemon-lime citrus flavors and seems to be layered; with an incredibly long fruit and minerals finish. WOW! Mywine of the night. Group Rank: 1st, 52 pts (8/2/1/0/1) 96

#24 [Niellon Chevalier Montrachet]
Between medium and full gold color; some cereal grains and sherry in the aromas, but not completely dominant yet; some citrus flavors, but a bit watery and thin and there is some definite sherry here. Group Rank: Tied for 16th, 0 pts 87-partially oxidized

Dessert
Blood Orange Pudding Cake With Tangerine Sorbet

1971 Peter Lotz, Gau-Bischofsheimer Herrnberg Gold Capsule TBA Riesling & Sylvaner
Very dark brown chocolate color; aromas of toffee. Is this oxidized? The flavors are quite sweet but with a sickly bitter character. This seemed to be quite off 85?

Postscript statistics:
Corked -- 1/24 (4%)
Permanently Reduced- 1/24 (4%)
Oxidized--3/24 (13%)
Advanced-1/24 (4%)
Total Oxidized + advanced- 4/24 (17%)

Cumulative statistics for nights one and two:

Corked -- 1/49 (2%)
Permanently Reduced- 1/49 (2%)
Advanced-4/49 (8%)
Oxidized--3/49 (6%)
Total Oxidized + advanced- 7/49 (14%)

2004 Vintage Assessment and Oxidation Check Dinner No. 3 @ Melisse March 7, 2012


Appetizer Course
Hokaido Scallop, Puffed Rice, Salmon Roe
Lobster Bolgonese
Inada, Uni Sorrel

1993 Vilmart Couer de Cuvée Champagne (Magnum)
Light gold color; very fine mousse; some apple and peach flavors with great acidity and an extremely long minerally finish. Extraordinary for a 1993 vintage champagne from a year in which a lot of people didn’t produce vintage Champagne. 94

Flight One-Four Montrachets and a Bienvenues (single blind)
Santa Barbara Spot Prawan and Dugneness Crab with sweet pea Anolotti black trumpet mushrooms and a toasted almond emulsion

#1 [2004 Jadot Montrachet]
Light yellow-gold color; some pear and hazelnut aromas and flavors; reasonably mature but with good acidity; some modest minerality on the finish. I liked this better when it was first poured than I did later in the evening. It seemed to tire in the glass a bit. [NB Given that the other two Jadots we had on nights one and two were very advanced or oxidized, drink this soon] Group Rank: Tied for 11th, 0 pts 93|92

#2 [2004 Drouhin De Laguiche Montrachet]
Medium gold color; some white flowers and pear aromas; an elegant wine with medium level concentration, soft edges, and a soft lactic/calcium type minerality on the finish to go with its very feminine style. A very likeable wine, but suffered in comparison to the top wines. Group Rank: 5th, 11 pts (0/0/0/5/1) 94

#3 [2004 Leflaive Bienvenues Batard Montrachet]
Light yellow color; strong reduction aromas – some gasoline over citrus; very bright, tight wine – the ph seemed quite low perhaps due to the strong reduction; exceptionally tight wine. This wine was very difficult to judge. It seems obvious from the prior Leflaives we’ve tasted that this must be the Leflaive BBM, but I don’t think the one is permanently reduced [NB Maureen Downey brought as a make-up since she was unable to attend night two due to illness.] Group Rank: Tied for 11th, 0 pts 92+|93?

#4 [2004 LeMoine Montrachet]
Medium/full gold color, the darkest of the flight; some apple pastry aromas and rich butterscotch aromas; a little more youthful on the palate with some round very approachable fruit flavors that struck me as a little fat like Montrachet can be. This wine didn’t have much resemblance to the other 2004s we’ve had over the three nights because it doesn’t have the acidity or the sulfur that most have. A nice finish on this wine, but not very minerally. A pleasant wine for current consumption, but I would drink this up sooner rather than later. Group Rank: Tied for 11th, 0 pts 93

#5 [2004 Colin-Morey Montrachet]
Medium yellow gold color; aromas of white flowers and pears; on the palate this had very precise Anjou pear and minerals flavors. The finish was very long, minerally and gave an impression of slight sweetness. An exceptional wine and my number five wine of the night. Group Rank: 6th 10 pts (0/1/0/1/4) 95

Flight Two-Corton Charlemagne and Meursault (single blind)
Baltic Salmon with Green Garlic and Sunchokes

#6 [2004 Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne]
Light to medium gold color; some citrus and a kiss of vanilla (oak) and smoke (Coche, but there are three of them in this flight); some citrus and just amazing minerality that seems very layered – there’s also some nice fruit under that minerality; an incredibly long, sweet minerally finish. Very impressive. My number three wine of the night. Group Rank: 2nd, 42 pts (3/3/5/0/0) 96

#7 [2004 Leroy Corton Charlemagne]
Light yellow gold color; reduced aromas—strong matchstick aromas which diminished somewhat over time but were still there at the end of the evening. This had very intense green apple and citrus with great acidity and structure; this was very tight, structured, somewhat backward wine that I thought improved a lot over the course of the evening.. Pretty clearly Leroy Corton from past years’ experience. [NB This was a wine that people either really liked or marked down for its reduction] My number four wine of the night. Group Rank: 4th, 15 pts (0/1/1/3/1) 94|95+

#8 [2004 Coche-Dury Meursault Perrieres]
Light yellow gold color; at first this had somewhat off/ reduced aromas (one taster felt very strongly that the wine was corked, but none of the rest of us agreed and with time the somewhat off character seemed to dissipate somewhat; on the palate the wine was reasonably minerally, but it seemed a bit off to everyone. We could all tell that there was an incredible wine underneath there that somehow just wasn’t quite right. Several of us thought this might be the Coche MP. Group Rank: Tied for 9th, 1 point (0/0/0/0/1) 92 tonight, 94 if sound?

#9 [2004 Coche-Dury Meursault Caillerets]
Medium plus gold color, the darkest of this flight; big forward white flowers and citrus aromas; light citrus flavors but very minerally. This was exceptional only for its minerality level on the finish. Group Rank: Tied for 9th, 1 point(0/0/0/0/1) 93

Flight Three-Chevalier Montrachet (single blind)
Jidori Chicken Stuffed with Black Truffle with Green Lentils, Romanesco Cauliflower and Jus de Roti

#10 [2004 Bouchard Montrachet]
Very light gold color; light citrus and white flowers aromas; some light pear and citrus flavors with nice minerality. This seemed lighter bodied than the others in flight, but it was quite elegant. This improved a good bit by the end of the evening and kind of grew on me. Group Rank: 8th, 2 pts(0/0/0/0/2) 93|94

#11 [2004 Sauzet Montrachet]
Medium-full gold color – pretty startling for a 2004; very over the top apricot and butterscotch aromas; very toasty, butterscotch flavors. Everyone agreed that this wine is quite advanced and some people thought it was oxidized. From my perspective it is right on the borderline of outright oxidation. [NB This was our only Sauzet included in the three nights and it was very disappointing relative to the 2000-2002 wines we’ve had ] Group Rank: Tied for 11th 0 pts 91?-advanced

#12 [2004 Henri Boillot Montrachet]
Just short of medium gold color; some light spearmint aromas along with lemon/lime citrus; lemon/lime citrus flavors with good intensity, very good acidity and nice minerality. The finish here is quite long and has some sweet citrus fruit and minerality. An exceptionally well made wine and my number 6 wine of the night. Group Rank: 7th, 3 pts (0/0/0/1/2) 95

#13 [2004 DRC Montrachet]
Medium gold color; some spearmint here too, along with a touch of oak, and pear; this has unbelievable depth of fruit (pear), layers of flavor, and richness on the palate along with almost equal length and minerality on the finish. Truly impressive wine that to me just bowled over the competition. Seemed a bit more ready to drink than the other big wines of the night. My number one wine of the night. DRC? [NB Nobody had this lower than 4th] Group Rank: 1st, 45 pts (5/3/2/1/0) 97

#14 [2004 Ramonet Montrachet]
Between light and medium yellow gold color; light pear, citrus and hints of spearmint again; good pear and citrus intensity on the palate with truly extraordinary minerality. This is more like Chevalier than Montrachet. Really long finish with fabulously intense minerality. This is probably more my preferred style, but I can deny the concentration of #13. My number two wine of the night. Ramonet? Group Rank: 3rd, 35 pts (1/4/4/1/0) 96

Dessert
A Selection of fine Cheeses

2004 Chateau Y’Quem
Light yellow-green color; this has intense aromas of peach and fresh apricot; on the palate it was highly viscous, and had a sort of green melon and peach flavor and unusual minerality for a dessert wine. This should age very nicely. 94

1971 Chateau Rieussec
Brown/orange color; strongly botrytised aromas; this was concentrated with some maple syrup and dates flavors. The finish was quite intense 94

Postscript Statistics and Comments:
Corked -- 0/24 (0%)
Oxidized—0/14 (0%)
Advanced-1/14 (7%)
Total Oxidized + Advanced- 1/14 (7%)

Cumulative Statistics-Nights one thru three
Corked -- 1/63 (2%)
Permanently Reduced- 1/63 (2%)
Oxidized--3/63 (5%)
Advanced-5/63 (8%)
Total Oxidized + advanced- 8/63 (13%)
With respect to oxidized wines, advanced wines and the total percentage of oxidized and advanced wines, 2004 is clearly the best performing vintage to date.