Stannary Dinner Club - Corton Charlemagne, Hudelot-Noëllat & Denis Mortet
The latest Stannary Dinner probably benefited from the fact that expectations were, perhaps not what they usually are.
Corton-Charlemagne has gone through a turbulent era, and the other Grand Crus of the night, those of Romanée-St-Vivant were all served as blind vintages. Always hugely enjoyable and surprising evenings, but in this case it wasn’t obvious what the wine or wines of the night would be. As it turned out, the wines tended to surprise in the right direct.
IM recounted a past tasting of every vintage of Bonneau de Martray Corton-Charlemagne, between 1996 and 2003, only to find that every single bottle was oxidised. This did not bode well for the 1998, but whilst it was rich and evolved, it certainly gave pleasure and was not oxidised. Pierre-Yves Colin Morey’s wine showed a very different wine making style, and whilst not the most complex of wines, the 2011 Javillier was a very solid offering, particularly for the money. The 1990 Bonneau de Martray was in immaculate condition, and at twenty nine years of age, it showed what Corton-Charlemage is capable of. In other circumstances, a live contender for wine of the flight, and wine of the night, but IM had an ace up his sleeve. Served blind, guesses from the table were in the right ballpark, but what wasn’t in doubt was just how good the 1985 was. Stunning.
It was the suggestion of DM to serve the three Romanée-St-Vivants blind, and it proved to be a wise one. Such is the reputation of 2004 that to give the wine a truly fair chance, blind was the right call. And what a revelation it turned out to be. For me, the best 2004 that I have ever had, without a hint of the 2004 ladybird taint, but instead layers of delicious, rich, dense fruit with many years ahead of it. The 1996 vintage was correctly guessed by a few, and it was drinking beautifully. Whilst BA tried to talk down his 2003, for me this was another wine that very much over performed in the context of the vintage.
Vintages characteristics were again the table topic with the next flight. Following on from the 1996 RSV, the 1996 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Champeaux from Mortet again showed what a lovely place the wines are in. 2013 was discussed; in one camp the wines are pure, delicious and ideal for early drinking, whilst the other school of thought considers them simple, lacking in depth and with little aging potential.
SF kindly brought the 2014 Suchots from Hudelot-Noellat, and whilst the wine was evidently very young, the potential is enormous. It was the only Hudelot-Noellat wine of the Charles Van Canneyt era that we drunk, and no one would be worried about the future of the domaine. A final wine to mention was the 1999 Lavaux from Mortet which showed more bottle variation than many had ever seen before. Bottle one; delicious, correct, and coming into the terrific drinking window that many 1999s appear to be sitting in. The other bottle (cleverly served blind by NM) could have been anything. Young? Funky? Everyone was perplexed.
Aside from a very unfortunate choking incident (my apologies to all who were sitting close to me), an outstanding evening.