ITALIAN WINE WITH ROY HERSH
This was my second BB offline, and it was a load of fun! Organized by Dan Myers in honor of a visit to NYC by Roy Hersh.
The attendees were Michel Abood, Roy Hersh, Mark Hirshorn, Victor Hong, Jamie Kutch, Jay Miller, Dan Myers,
Steve Sharoff, Ken Vastola, Chris Wilford, and James Wright.
at Montrachet Restaurant, NYC (5/17/2004)
The notes, scores, and opinions below are entirely my own (except where noted).
I hope I do not offend anyone who's wine I didn't fully appreciate.
There were many differing opinions about the wines. I hope everyone will chime in with their own opinions.
Also, please add or correct any info as necessary. In particular, I did not catch who brought each of the wines.
Please let me know.
Montrachet's food is excellent. The atmosphere is warm and pleasant; the staff is professional
(though they did freak out a little when group members pulled out their own glasses, even though these were marked).
Net cost per person was $86 for the dinner, a bargain for this quality of food.
Note that Montrachet closed in 2006, but was reopened by the same company as Corton.
In 2021, it is called
This was BYOB Monday at Montrachet. We only had a couple of interactions with other tables (see below), but
later saw that others had brought some outstanding wines: loads of Burgundies, 82 Ducru and Haut Brion, 86 Yquem, . . .
- 1998 Burn Tokay Pinot Gris Clos St Imer la Chapelle Goldert (not blind) (Jay Miller) 92
Gorgeous, flavorful, just slightly sweet. Delicious.
- 2002 Munzberg Wiess Burgunder Spatlese Trocken Pfalz (blind) 80
Crisp, citrusy, pleasant.
- 2002 Torbreck
Woodcutter's white Sèmillon (blind) 78
Aggressively oaky. Some sort of New World Sauvignon Blanc? Not really pleasant.
- A Muscadet (Jay Miller) (not blind)
I didn't taste this. Others liked it quite a bit.
THE REDS (all served blind)
Wine A (originally Wine 9, but jumped up due to its maturity)
- 1974 Parroco di Neive Barbaresco
Dal Vigneto dei Gallina (Jamie Kutch) 92
Mature, slightly oxidized cherry nose. Mature light ruby color with clear to orange edge.
Quite mature, tarry with a touch of sour cherry fruit. Must be old Nebbiolo. Lovely.
Clearly past its prime, but still quite a pleasure.
Flights 1 and 2 below served with appetizer course. Mine was Warm Asparagus with Bluefoot Mushrooms and
Saint André Cream which was so delicious! Even with the asparagus, it was ok with the wines because
of the mushrooms and cheese.
Flight 1: Tuscan Sangiovese
Chris and Jay had these wines reversed in preference from me including the notes!
- 1998 Vitanza Brunello di Montalcino (???) 90
Gorgeous red fruit nose. Medium body, tart cherries, yummy.
- 1990 Castello di Ama Chianti Classico Vigneto La Casuccia (Jay Miller) 88
Sour cherry, a little thinner and more acidic than above, still quite pleasant.
The following wine just appeared without a number. It was said that this was somehow not valid, but I never figured out why.
Can anyone help me with this?
- 1997 Fattoria Valtellina
Convivio (???) 92
[Barrique-aged blend of 75% Sangiovese and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon]
Tarry red fruit. Yummy! Tastes like Cali cab.
Flight 2: Tuscan Cab/Merlot
- 1998 L Antinori Ornellaia Masseto (Victor Hong) 94-96 (WOTN for many, my 2nd WOTN)
Served too cold, but warmed up just fine in the glass. Huge cherry vanilla nose. .Super concentrated.
Thick, young and delicious. Very
international. Some described it as
Jay Miller did not like it. Most liked it or loved it.
- 1997 Felsina Maestro Raro Berardenga Cabernet Sauvignon di Toscana IGT (???) NR
Nasty! Badly corked.</font>
- 1990 Antinori Tignanello (???) 92
[80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc.]
Yummy cherries. Very subtle compared to the Masseto. Seems heavily Sangiovese with some merlot or cab?
The rest of the dry reds were served the main course. Mine was Rack of Lamb Pipérade with Tomato Confit.
Superb lamb. Very good for these wines.
Flight 3: Piedmont
- 1990 Corino Barolo Vigneto Rocche (Ken Vastola) 97 (WOTN for many, my WOTN)
Incredible nose of soy sauce and cherries. The nose just grabs you. A special experience.
Chris, Jay, Michel and I all love it. Most like it a lot.
A nose so great you almost don't want to taste it for fear it won't live up to that amazing nose.
In the mouth there are huge tannins but they are fairly smooth and integrated. Great flavor. Very long finish.
Ready now (with 9 hours since decanting) but will live 10-20 years. Great stuff!
- 1990 Corino Barolo Vigna Giachini (Ken Vastola) 95-97
Much more backward. Reticent nose. Great fruit but holding back.
Even after 9 hours since decanting, this wine is still too young and backward.
Great potential here. Needs 5 more years and decanting. Drink 2009-2030.;
- 1995 La Spinetta Pin (Chris Wilford) 93
Gorgeous soy and ground beef nose. Excellent. Cherries. Good length. Ready. Drink now-2010.
As Chris put it, this wine suffers only from its position in the line up.
Flight 4: Supposedly Veneto
Chris also brought a Bussola Amarone which he said was corked, so we didn't drink it.
- 1997 Fontodi Flaccianello IGT (Roy Hersh) 95
Gorgeous tarry nose. Smooth, silky. Licorice, peanuts. Ringing! Very sweet fruit. Now-2015.
- 1995 Quintarelli Valpolicella Classico (Roy Hersh) NR
Tarry, odd, maderized. Just plain weird.
- 1988 Tommasi Amarone (Steve Sharoff) 93
Lush tarry yummy. Gorgeous right now. At its peak but will hold a few more years.
Wine from another table
- 1961 Chateau Nenin, Pomerol (from another table) 95
Shitty nose, but the palate is still rich and sweet. Ringing and singing. Great!
Youthful, is it really a 61?
Flight 5: Just one wine
- 1995 Falesco Montiano (???) 93?
Brown sugar nose. Thick tannin, short finish, otherwise excellent. But is it getting better or starting to fade?
My dessert course was Croustillant of Kiwi and Passion Fruit. Yummy!
- 1966 Dow Vintage Port (Roy Hersh) 92
Chocolate nose. Thick sweet, a little alcoholic. Better with yummy dessert.
Chris and I still wanted more dessert wine. I started looking at the Montrachet list.
When I saw the Madeiras, I showed them to Chris who jumped at it and got Steve and Roy involved.
Roy is clearly the expert here. This was a delightful experience.
We ended up with about 2 pours of each of the 2 wines below from the bottom of the bottles.
We were able to get 4 small pours out of each which was plenty for me.
This stuff is not easy to drink in any quantity (after an evening like this).
- 1912 D'Oliveiras Reserva Verdelho (Montrachet list) 90
Lovely nose of ocean. Incredible tang. Hard to rate this after all the above. Such a different animal.
- 1922 D'Oliveiras Reserva Boal (Montrachet list) 92
Great nose. Sweeter taste than above. Roy likes the 1912 best, but the rest of us prefer this one.
All original content © Ken Vastola