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2011 Bouchard Chev-Montrachet La Cabotte, 2003 Château Rayas, 1978 Château Latour, 1999 Romanée-Conti Romanée- St-Vivant

January 23, 2020

I had the distinct privilege of being invited by Wendy to dinner on 19 January 2020 at her amazing residence. I thought I had arrived at an Aman resort. No theme was set but the line-up turned out to be quite superlative and, to my surprise, went very well with the exquisite Indonesian cuisine that was never heavy on the palate. All wines were popped on site and aired in bottle, with the exception of the Rayas that Wendy had popped earlier as well as the D.R.C. that required decanting as we thought there wouldn’t be sufficient time for aeration. All wines came courtesy of the wonderful hostess herself, unless otherwise stated. Terima kasih banyak banyak Wendy, and to everyone else for your generous contributions. I can’t wait for the next dinner.

2003 Dom Perignon Rosé. Deeply coloured, proffering deep yeasty tones on the nose amid grapefruit and tangerines that extend to the palate with smooth presence, displaying fine concentration and depth with a bit of minerally shine, finishing well with gentle ferrous undertones.

2011 Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet La Cabotte Grand Cru, courtesy of Kieron. This monopole hits the correct notes right from the outset, exuding a gleaming crystalline tone of white flowers and crème de la crème matched by a subtle expanse of refined chalkiness and complex citrus that traverse the palate with superb open sleek acidity, displaying great presence and balance in spite of its understated elegance. Developed a fuller tone over time with further notes of white pepper whilst maintaining its regal poise, supremely confident. Entirely consistent with what one would expect of Chevalier-Montrachet, particularly from the very special 0.21 ha of La Cabotte that, in the old days, was actually classified as part of Montrachet itself. One of the very best efforts of Bouchard. Outstanding.

2003 Château Rayas. Unique lift of tangerines, mature red fruits, plums, cherries and rose petals on the nose, beautifully seductive. Softly rounded and delicious with earthy tones and textures reminiscent of oxide, open with excellent detail, finishing in a mentholic glow amid traces of spice. Distinctly feminine. One drinks the distilled essence of Nature. Outstanding.

1999 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru, courtesy of Trijono. Still darkly coloured. Somewhat restrained initially, proffering just enamel before snapping into focus with a sharp lift of dark currants, raspberries and mulberries, opening up further on the palate with a deep core of supple tangerines (always a hallmark of this estate) amid an even spread of wild berries, maintaining an overall darkish demeanour. Still imbued with excellent concentration and lively acidity, perhaps even yet to really hit its peak, a testimony to the longevity of this stellar vintage.

1978 Château Latour, courtesy of Keith. Still showing an opaque deep garnet core, exuding a distinctly mature nose of green capsicum with a gentle earthiness marked by forest characters and bramble. Open with great suppleness, revealing excellent concentration of delicious red fruits and currants within soft pliant melted tannins, still amazingly fresh with lively acidity. Absolutely harmonious, finishing very well.

1999 Weingut Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Auslese. From a half bottle. Classic characters of diesel and petroleum fumes dominate on the nose. Medium-bodied. Rounded with a subdued presence of apricot and modest nectarine, showing good transparency but missing the density and depth of the best examples of Egon Müller, a tad short as well.

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