Location: 624 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036. (310) 362-6115
Date: June 23, 2017
Cuisine: Modern Bistro French
Rating: Nice (loud) space, tasty hip food, great service
This is my 10th time writing up Republique! Woah. This time for a Sauvages lunch (White Burgundy). It’s even the second Sauvages lunch I’ve done here.
We were up in the private room with a custom menu — really the only way to do Republique. I’ve learn too that breakfast lunch is now sort of fast casual (you order then sit). Ick for this sort of restaurant. But up in the room is great.
3L bottle of 2006 Bouchard Père et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet. BH 96. Prost was, justifiably, extremely proud of this wine and observed that it may be the best “straight” Chevalier that he’s ever made. Not surprisingly, this is a good deal more elegant than the Bâtard with gorgeously pure floral and white fruit, stone and subtle spice aromas that seamlessly merge into the almost painfully intense and vibrant flavors that, like the Perrières, possess crystalline purity and huge length. This is a knockout Chevy and if you can find it, don’t miss it.
2011 Lucien Le Moine Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Caillerets. BH 91-93. This is presently very leesy and while there are background notes of citrus and dried flowers, this is hard to read today. By contrast the concentrated flavors pack plenty of punch and an abundance of both minerality and palate coating dry extract, all wrapped in an attractively textured, austere, serious and austere finish. This is a brooding and quite serious wine seemingly extracted from liquid rock that will require plenty of time to mature.
2010 Vincent Dancer Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Tete du Clos. BH 91-93. The fresh, cool and beautifully well-layered nose exhibits white flower and lemon zest scents that give way to restrained, refined and energetic flavors that possess plenty of underlying tension on the balanced and ever-so-mildly austere finish. Like the La Romanée there is a distinct salinity to the finish and this should age well.
2004 Domaine Ramonet Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru La Boudriotte. BH 89. A deft touch of wood frames citrus and earth infused ripe chardonnay fruit aromas that lead to rich, full and fleshy flavors that are robust if not especially structured, all wrapped in a delicious and easy to like finish. There is good freshness here if not great underlying tension with fine overall balance and fine length. In sum, this is a generous and easy to like effort that should repay a few years in the cellar.
2003 Henri Boillot Corton-Charlemagne. BH 93. A gentle touch of wood frames explosive and very ripe green apple fruit aromas that despite the ripeness remain stunningly pure and elegant with dense, hyper-intense and powerful flavors of serious intensity and persistence. All I could say was “wow” and it’s the rare Corton-Charlemagne that can not only follow a terrific Montrachet but not be found wanting in the offing. Great juice.
2001 Henri Boillot Chevalier-Montrachet. BH 94. The purity here is mind bending and this is perhaps the most transparent wine in this entire group. Elegant, fine and crystalline with superbly detailed fruit and flavors with a positively brilliant, almost painfully intense finish that is astonishingly long. Classy and altogether imposing with its unmatched combination of complexity, depth and focus. While I cannot argue that this has better material than either the Montrachet or the incredible Corton-Charlemagne, I can say that stylistically, the Chevalier is my personal favorite. This is unquestionably a great wine.
2004 Henri Boillot Bâtard-Montrachet. BH 95. Perhaps the most backward and reserved wine to this point as the nose reveals only hints of white flower and green fruit aromas that are framed in a subtle touch of pain grillé but the flavors explode on the palate as there is a chewy texture to them yet there is ample minerality present, particularly for Bâtard. This too is blessed with abundant dry extract and a finish that won’t quit but for all of the size and weight, this is impeccably balanced. This has that “wow” factor and in terms of style, it’s almost like a muscular Chevalier.
From my cellar: 2005 Henri Boillot Bâtard-Montrachet. BH 95. An intensely floral and still exceptionally fresh nose is nuanced with hints of spice and citrus where the latter can also be found on the textured and borderline massive flavors that display absolutely no sense of heaviness on the exceptionally rich finish that drenches and stains the palate. This is a big wine yet there is a firm acid backbone that keeps everything in ideal balance and overall, it’s an extremely impressive effort. While the abundant dry extract enables this, like many ’05s, to drink with pleasure now, in magnum format I personally would allow for at least another 4 to 5 years of bottle age.
2004 Bouchard Père et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet. BH 92. This is presently quite reticent and it requires considerable aeration to coax aromas of airy white flowers, spice and limestone that precede textured, pure and defined energy-filled flavors that possess a linear mouth feel, all wrapped in a focused and mouth coating finish of impressive length. Perhaps this is just going through a phase but it seems a bit awkward at present, and while all the component pieces appear to be in place, I wasn’t knocked out despite the length of the finish. One thing that is clear though is that this definitely needs more bottle age before it’s ready for prime time. Tasted only once in bottle.
2004 Antonin Guyon Corton-Charlemagne. BH 92. A complex and perfumed nose featuring subtle wood spice and elegant, pure and layered green apple and white orchard fruit aromas, particularly pear. The powerful, intense and mouth coating flavors are sleekly muscled with a fresh, forward and wonderfully textured finish that goes on and on. This is structured yet there is so much mid-palate fat that it should be approachable after 5 years or so in bottle.
Spinach Cavatelli with morels, another mushroom, cheese, butter, and more butter and then a butter sauce. Fabulous texture to the pasta and the butter was great. They don’t go so far as to use the Normandy butter here, Strauss butter actually, but it’s still great.
2009 Remoissenet Père et Fils Montrachet Le Montrachet. VM 96. The 2009 Le Montrachet, from a parcel on the Chassagne side, is fabulous. Layers of exotic, tropical fruit flow effortlessly from this broad-shouldered, kaleidoscopic wine. There is plenty of freshness in the glass to support the fruit in this magical, captivating wine. I especially like the way this turns delicate, subtle and refined on the finish.
2009 Domaine / Maison Vincent Girardin Corton-Charlemagne Quintessence. VM 95+. Bright pale yellow. Sexy smoky oak and strong minerally silex on the nose, lifted by a violet high note. A densely packed wine with terrific force, offering outstanding cut to its citrus, apple, floral and mineral flavors. At once laid-back and powerful, and extremely unevolved. This really titillates the taste buds on the long, rising, lemon-and-stone finish. Wow! Girardin purchased a bit more Corton-Charlemagne in Aloxe-Corton this year but it’s unlikely to find its way into this special <i>cuvee</i>: he wants the Quintessence bottling, which is always from the same 80-year-old vines in the heart of the hillside on the Pernand side, to remain rare.
2010 Domaine / Maison Vincent Girardin Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet. BH 93-95. In relatively stark contrast to the expressiveness of the prior wine, this is distinctly restrained if not out and out mute as the nose only grudgingly allows glimpses of the lemon grass, honeysuckle and lemon/lime aromas. There is outstanding intensity to the round, generous and quite seductively textured medium-bodied flavors that possess that wonderful quality of underlying tension which adds a real sense of lift and vitality to the spherical and harmonious Zen-like finish.
1976 Zach. Bergweiler-Prüm Erben Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese. 93 points. Deep uric color, orange golden hues; golden raisin, Pledge, orange, lemon custard, still very fresh; delicious palate, has lost some sweetness, honey, apple, persistent; could easily have gone another 20+ years; everyone amazed at age.
Les fromages. The soft one (probably a Camembert) was slightly better, but both great.
Overall, a great lunnch – Savauges lunches always are.
Wines were for the most part fabulous. 3 of us sat at the bar downstairs afterward and drank another of my bottles over the next couple hours too.