Last night I attended a dinner at the Gramercy
Tavern with Steve Tanzer that featured 16 1993 Burgundies. The food was
magnificent and the 90% of the wines came from Steve's cellar, bought at the
wineries, so the provenance was as good as it gets.
The 1993 vintage has a very different profile than
the 1990's, with very high acidity. The wines were uniformly young in
appearance and generally low in tannins. The wines were generally more
medium bodied and most showed better with food than alone. These wines
show great precision and structure
The first course was a lovely Lobster soup with
Pancetta and autumn vegetables. As always for me, a "meaty"
sauce with fish or seafood was a delight and the contract with the wines was
The first wine was the LaFarge Volnay Clos de
Chenes which was made with 30% new oak. At opening the wine had a musty
undertone and there was a question of slightly corked or not. It was not
and blossomed after 20 minutes. For me, it was nice but light and
Next was Ghislaine Barthods Chambolle
Musigny, Les Charmes. Barthod has 9 premier crus in Chambolle and I will
investigate more of them. From 35 year old vines, it had great, bright
fruits on the nose, was well balanced with a touch of raspberry coming through
in the mouth. Very nice Premier, but unexciting. 89
Next was Groffiers Les Amoureuses from the steepest
part of the slope. I thought it was a little gamy, perhaps still closed.
Steve thought it might be an imperfect cork. either way, not what i
am used to from Les Amoureuses. 88
The second course was an incredible Sweetbreads
with Shitake, hazelnut and sage. This was the lightest sweetbreads i have
ever had, completely delicious and a prefect pairing.
The second flight outclassed the first by a wide
margin. We started with Chevillon Nuits St. George Vaucrains. Like
Barthod in Chambolle, Chevillon has 9 premier crus in Nuit St. Georges and I
will definitely seek them out. Made from 75 year old vines, this had that
trademark, smokey animalistic nose I associate with Nuits and it followed
through on the attack. Very nice complexity but initially the finish was
slightly dry. Over the next half hour, the wine intensified and the
finish smoothed out completely with medium length. Kept getting better.
Up next was the Haegelen Jayer Clos de Vougeot,
which was recently bought by Laurent. While Steve commented he found this
slightly Volatile (but still his favorite in the flight), but I did not get it
at all. I thought it has big, bright fruits, rich with good minerality
and improved with time. Some tannins, but not a great deal of complexity,
still very nice. 90
The winner of this flight was the Anne and Francis
Gros Clos de Vougeot. Made from 88 year old vines with the best plot
in Vougeot, this was the first wine where the tannins were really present.
Full bodied, well balanced with floral and mineral qualities. 91
Course 3 was a simply, but perfectly prepared, free
range chicken breasts with baby carrots. All three wines in this flight
were made with 100% new oak.
We started with the Leroy Vosne Romanee Beaux
Monts. Although this is a Premier Cru, it clearly has Grand Cru intensity
and quality. Then nose is intense and concentrated. The yield was
10-12 hectoliters per hectare (versus a typical 40 for most wines) and as
always, with Leroy, you can smell and taste it instantly. Its a truly big
wine with high acidity balanced with a rich mouth feel, wild and savory
This was followed by an Emmanual Rouget Echezeaux
which was surprisingly rich with deep fruit flavors and big and powerful in its
own right. it just had the poor fortune to be sandwiched between a Leroy
and a DRC. 91
The flight ended with a supremely elegant DRC Grand
Echezeaux that was all finesse with complexity and beauty and a long deep finish.
Next came the rack of lamb with salsify, hen of the
woods mushrooms and lentils with what, in opinion was the flight of the night.
We started with a Georges Mugneret
Ruchottes-Chambertin which is a huge wine, bright and powerful, yet animalistic
and young. Needs a few years. For now, 91
Because then we moved to the Rousseau which blew it
off the map. More was my first note. Wonderful, luscious, silky yet
meaty. Really good, although not tremendously complex. 93
Then the Charmes. First Dugat, which on the
first sip, seemd to have the lead. Just a beautiful wine, elegant, yet
powerful. a lovely Charmes, but without the layers of a Roty. 93
Then the wine of the night. The Roty is complex,
layered, luscious and fruit forward all at the same time. This is one of
my favorite wines. The 93 does not have power of the 90 but is a close
With the cheeses cam what many expected to be the
big guns, but nothing topped the Roty.
The Ponsot Clos De La Roche was still very tannic
and young. Austere and structured, other thought more of it than I did.
I would not try this again for 5 years. 90-92
Ponsots Chambertin, made from 53 year old vines,
was all bright fruits and youth, almost grapey. Steve believes it
is still all primary and much more is to come. nice now, but try in
The Reusseau Clos de Beze, made from 32 year old vines was still closed.