It’s that time of year again, time to loosen your belt buckle and sit down for the annual ThanksGavin!
Let me first introduce the chefs, above. On the left my mom and on the right her sister. They’ve been putting together this feast for decades.
Rising Chef Matt (my cousin) cooks a lot too. One of these days he’s going to inherent the feast. But right now he hosts Friday night.
From my cellar: 2000 Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrières. 95 points. Razor sharp aromas of wet rocks, earth and white fruits meld into flavors that are crystalline in their precision, purity and transparency. Understated, discreet and fine yet this is painfully intense with buckets of minerality. Quite backward presently but this is a genuinely breathtaking wine that defines class. In two words, absolutely brilliant and consistent notes.
agavin: wow! This is what makes Burgundy so great. Like liquid creme brûlée. Chardonnay from anywhere else just cries itself to sleep.
First a sneak peak at the main spread. Then on to the dinner wines.
From my cellar: 1997 Maison Roche de Bellene Clos de la Roche Collection Bellenum. 93 points. Quite excellent. Rich, penetrating red fruit up front followed by layers of earth, spice, sous bois and perhaps some violets or lavender. The tannins on the longish finish are still abit on the chalky side but this is displaying lots of subtle depth and complexity without being at all heavy handed. There’s just a little bricking on the edge.
From my cellar: 1990 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape. 95 points. I was buying this when I first started collecting wine 20 years ago, I buy it now. Great showing for a bottle in perfect shape. Stinky Mouvedre nose with leather, animal, tree bark and a touch of sweaty saddle. In the mouth, close to fully resolved with spice, tannic tree bark and sweet raspberry fruit, along with a spicy intensity that has huge length and presence but still feels light on its feet. Is this at its peak (for taster who appreciate aged Beaucastel). The wine is in a more structured, “masculine” style than the 1989 or the 1985 – this is more about structure and clarity of expression in a rustic and gamey style. Exceptional.
My father brought: 2011 Quinta da Fronteira Douro Selecção do Enólogo. 89 points. Very enticing nose with lots of lovely red fruit character. On the palate it is initially quite soft, a melding of Valpolicella and Pinot Noir, elegant red fruit and cinnamon but a sound structure to it as well. After a bit of time in the glass, some dark fruit character emerges, and the acidity and tannin become more prominent alongside increased fruit concentration, all of which contribute to the wine really gaining character, much less timid and reserved, much more enjoyable on both intellectual and hedonistic levels.
Cranberry relish. More rough in texture.
From my cellar: 1983 Bodegas Toro Albala Don PX Gran Reserva. 96 points. Nutty, fig and raisins on the nose, rich and huge depth on palate with figs, raisin and rich expansive tartness that fills the palate. Enormously long finish, 5 minutes of caramel and spice. Outstanding. So good.
My father bought in Portugal: Quinta do Vallado Porto 20 Year Old Tawny. 93 points. high notes of fig, vanilla, caramel and oak and a touch of bright grape. great color. smooth and not heavy with alcohol burn.
This was another spectacular homemade ThanksGavin dinner as usual, quite possibly the best yet. Really, they just keep getting better (and clearly more sleep inducing).