An interesting night. A fun night, great company and an interesting impromptu lineup that touched on old favorites as well as one wine that strays very far from my usual drinking holes. Half a world away, in fact.
Domaine de la Vougeraie, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru, Bel Air, 2010
Vougeraie reds are dependable and usually approachable early on, so no surprises that a Gavrey Premier Cru from such a beautifully classic vintage is already drinking so nicely after nine years. It's a solid, nuanced Premier Cru, with very good length, depth and complexity, but perhaps a bit too well-mannered (not boring, just more Ellington than Coltrane). It's more vegetative than suavage, with notes of forest floor, vegetable stew and espresso.
John Duval Wines, Barossa, Entity, Shiraz, 2014
I obviously don't drink a lot of Australian wines. To be quite honest, when Ram invited me to choose a wine from his fridge, the only reason this stuck out is because I'd just been reading about Australia in one of Oz Clarke's books. It turned out to be a good choice. John Duval is the Penfolds former head winemaker and he sources the grapes for this wine from old vines in the Krondorf, Eden Valley and Marananga regions. As you might expect, this is quite hedonistic, although not a blockbuster, sporting blue fruit, pepper and dark chocolate, enough fruit to bury the elegant tannins and enough acidity to skirt around palate fatigue. To sum, this seems like the old guard catching up with the young Turks to make the classic style of the 80's and 90's more relevant. I think it works.
Chateau Ormes de Pez, St. Estephe, Cru Bourgeois, 2009
Classic St. Estephe: cigar box and tobacco, iron and violets, fresh black fruit, on a round, tannic, midweight frame so typical of the village. Again, a Bordeaux that makes me wish I'd stocked up on 250 NIS clarets from the last few vintages of the last decade, when you could still get solidly good stuff for 250 NIS.