WineGavel does it again

Three months ago I wrote about the WineGavel pre-auction tasting of fine and rare wines we attended in San Francisco. After that spectacular tasting, I knew that I could not give up the opportunity to attend the next one. This time Mrs. Spectator did not accompany me, so unfortunately there are no new photos (the photos I did add here are actually from the previous tasting).

Once again, this was a wonderful evening and I had my wine socks completely knocked off by some truly majestic wines. As with the previous tasting, I looked up the prices of the wines only after the tasting, so the notes were all written with no price bias.

I started with three whites:

  • 1997 Verget, Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseigneres 1er Cru (around $50). Light golden, with fine strong mature tart and sweet citrus flavors that continue to a long finish, this was nevertheless the least impressive wine of the evening.
  • 2001 Boyer-Martenot, Puligny-Montrachet Les Caillerets 1er Cru. Pale golden, floral and perfumed, sweet with some tartness, hints of figs and flowers, sweet long finish. Very good.
  • 2004 Peter Michael Chardonnay La Carriere (around $90). The most impressive of the whites, and certainly the biggest and most complex. Light golden, somewhat opaque. A wonderful chardonnay, rich, complex, balanced and developing. As a fan of complex wines, this is one of the best whites I can remember.

On to the reds, sorted by age. All of them were excellent, so I didn’t bother adding superlatives to the notes.

  • 1964 Leroy, Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru. Lovely balance between age and concentrated fruit, it is almost jammy. Lots of spice for its age, medium tannins, notes of red currants, very balanced. The finish is long with tart fruit.
  • 1967 Chateau Cheval Blanc Saint Emillion 1er Cru ($200). Super elegant, combining bright fruit, red cherries and even raspberries, with lots of maturity, light tannins, complex, good harmony between age and fruit.
  • 1969 Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon ($100). Rather transparent red, mature and delicate flavors, gentle tartness and sweetness, excellent body with a long finish. A very elegant wine, complex and delightful, extremely well balanced.
  • 1970 Robert Mondavi, Cabernet Sauvignon, unfiltered ($100). Blood-red, tart and aged nose, concentrated red fruit on the palate, some strawberry jam, tannins and some spice, good body, lovely finish.
  • 1970 Robert Mondavi, Cabernet Sauvignon. Lovely dark red, incredible mature and sweet nose. On the palate, rich, sweet, mature, dark fruit with lovely body and tannins. A balanced, delightful wine, very mature with presence but not overly dominant.
  • 1970 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac ($300). Dark red. Rich and mature flavors of concentrated black currants combine beautifully with age.
  • 1971 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco (about $150). Very striking opaque and sedimented pink. Flavors are highly mature, fruity and acidic. Big and tannic, complex, amazing balance between old and young characteristics. Shares the spot for my favorite wine of the evening with the 1995 Caymus.
  • 1980 Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon ($50). Dark red-violet, slightly transparent. Intoxicating dark fruit combine with age. Big, tannic, spicy and astringent, some tobacco, developing. This was the biggest wine of the evening, in my opinion.
  • 1995 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon ($190). Beautiful violet. Unbelievable nose, fruity and intoxicating. I thought I could smell it all day long and then I tasted it. Intoxicating black currants shout out of every sip, strongly spiced with perfect dark fruit, long, rich and complex finish. My favorite wine of the evening along with the 1971 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco.
  • 2000 Chateau Calon Segur, Saint Estephe (around $80). Dark red, rich flavors of currants and black cherries, balanced spice and tannins with a long finish.
  • 2004 Gaja Ca’Marcanda Promis ($30). Dark and fairly opaque. Huge flavors of dark fruit and some jam, developing some astringency. Strong spice with good body and tannins living in harmony with black currants. Long finish of dark berries and balanced tannins. Excellent value, surprise of the evening for me.

As with the previous tasting, a huge thanks to WineGavel for an evening of sheer hedonistic pleasure that reminded me why I love wine.

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