Last weekend Asko kindly hosted a dinner (some very nice sausages) since Wade was once again in Finland.
We had a pretty decent line-up:
Champagne Raymond Boulard Champagne Petraea XCVII-MMIII
I really like the Boulards Asko has served us. This was bright and focussed but very fruity; elegant mousse, persistent aftertaste. It's perfect in almost every way, but if I may split hairs, I would like a touch more minerality. But it is lovely. It is also very different from the other solera Champagne I have had (the Selosse, but I forgot the name) which smelled very "Sherry" like. Why doesn't this one?
Éric Texier Roussanne Côtes du Rhône-Brézème 2006
The nose is floral and almost like a good oolong tea. Full bodied, quite fat, and though low in acidity as most Rhône whites, it stays together thanks to tannins and vibrant minerality. I like it.
Château Musar 1979
Wade had kindly bid on some auction bottles of older Musars and all others looked pristine, but the '79 was iffy with a slightly pushed cork. The wine inside was perfectly drinkable, but paled alongside the '81. Obviously not stored well, but it still brought me enjoyment: the nose was classic Musar, vibrant red fruit, a bit leafy from age but still sweet. The palate was quite harsh and only worked with the spicy lamb sausage - but Oddly enough the lamb and this bad bottle of Musar is one of the best food matches I have had!
Château Musar 1981
This is a great bottle and when the previous would have been perfectly acceptable (though far from the legendary wine that the '79 supposedly is), this revealed all its flaws. Still youthful, bright and vibrant aromatics, sweet fruit, but also some aged aromatics. Very tannic for a Musar, but lively and young. This bottle needed about 10 years more age. But it is a lovely wine.
Éric Texier Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2005
Very closed even though we decanted for several hours. It started opening up late in the evening and showed a spicy but unoaked, dark fruit character, ripe but elegant and understated for a CdP. Dense, fruity but light on its feet despite the warm vintage. I think this shows great promise.
Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Rosella's Vineyard 2003(Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands)
Loring's style isn't really my thing. But I don't understand the criticism that they taste like Syrah. I think they taste of Pinot, but the volume is just too high for me. And in this bottle, though not the others that Wade has brought over, the oak was quite prominent. So, not really my thing, but I have to give Lorings the credit that the different vineyards that I have tried have all had distinct personalities. But I still don't like them (sorry Wade and Asko, I know you two love them...).
Domaine de Monteillet Condrieu Grain de Folie 2006
Very mineral. It does have Viognier's typical aromatics, but they aren't shouting at full volume (which I am very thankful about). Moderately sweet, perhaps slightly botrytised (?), full bodied, but surprisingly acidic and refreshing for the grape - especially because this is a dessert.
So it was a very nice evening, but the next afternoon wasn't (I purposefully skipped the next morning, lol!).