Ten men brought some of the greatest wines in the history of wine making to CUT to celebrate collector, gambler, bon vivant Wolfgang Gruenwald, and it was truly memorable:
The 1978 Ramonet was one of the greatest Ram’s I have ever had — a virtually perfect bottle and textbook example of old Ramonet Montrachet, with just the right amount of sweetness, perfect balance, elegance, and pizzazz. Honorable mention goes to the 1986 Leflaive Chevy Montrachet — the sixth time I have had it this year. It is a great wine — no white ages as well as Chevalier, and this vintage is a stunner. The blind wine was 1986 Ygay, and really interesting wine with flavors of lavender and honeyed tea — recently released and worth checking out.
The 1961 Conterno Monfortino was as good as this wine gets — at first I thought I was drinking a 62 Bonnes Mares — great old Barolo masquerades as great old burgundy. The 68 Vega is the best Vega ever made — and the 68 Riscal, the blind wine, is my top secret under the radar insanely great wine (not quite as dimensional as the Vega, however).
59 has now overtaken 61 as my current favorite Bord vintage. The 1959 Lafite may be the greatest Lafite ever made — if you like the Lafite style, you must try this wine as soon as possible. This was textbook smoky cigar box Lafite with utter clarity, balance and elegance; HOWEVER, if you like the Latour style, you will love the 59 Latour even more than the 59 Lafite. Thick, unctuous, chocolate malt goodness. Honorable mention to the 82 Latour (which has the same characteristics as the 59 in a much younger package — probably the best 82 Bord — see “82 Bordeaux Birthday” blog), and the 53 La Miss, which, alone, would have been a 97 point wine, but in context…
The 90 Jayer Echezaux is the best Eche I have ever had. The color was mind blowingly gorgeous. Utter elegance, clarity, transparency, balance — this wine has it all. This is a 100 point wine. A close second was the 1990 Rousseau — it had all of the aforementioned qualities, and in a blind tasting may have edged out the Jayer — but this was not blind and I am not used to having a 30 year old Echezaux of such beauty to the Rousseau got a 99. The Leroy, which is an incredible wine on its own, came in third place due to the sheer force of the other two.
Two years ago (at Oriental Garden, NYC) I had the 89 and 90 Celetins and they had gone from round to oval. Unfortunately, these once incredible wines are now showing a big square — at least these two bottles were — there were sharp edges — and I was somewhat disappointed, to say the least. Need to drink these up ASAP.
The 1945 Grahams port was one of the best ports I have ever had, again. A nearly perfect wine which manages to balance sweetness with backbone and deep secondary and tertiary flavors that linger on the palate for days.