Location: 6221 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028. (323) 871-2026
Date: April 15, 2015
Rating: Great French Fun
My friend Walker, who is the Director of the LA Wine Department at Bonhams Auction House organized this fabulous look into the terrior of Domain Amiot Guy & Fils, a boutique Chassagne-Montrachet producer. After we all went to a nearby French restaurant (Papilles) for even more Burgundy!
The auction room at Bonhams filled with art — but in our case with tasting tables.
Walker (white shirt on the right) introduces Fabrice Amiot, scion of the Amiot wine family.
We began with this nice Aligote:
2012 Domaine Amiot Guy et Fils Bourgogne-Aligoté. Burghound 86. A fresh, spicy and very cool nose offers up lovely aromas of pear and apple. There is good verve and the same appealing freshness to the delicious and lightly mineral-inflected flavors that terminate in a clean, dry and slightly saline finish.
agavin: I’d give it more an 89. Very crisp and nice.
2012 Domaine Amiot Guy et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Macherelles. Burghound 87-90. Reduction. Here too the middle weight flavors possess an attractive texture as there is plenty of palate coating dry extract present that imparts a sappy and seductive mouth feel on the lingering finish that displays a bit more depth.
2011 Domaine Amiot Guy et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Champs-Gain. Burghound 89-92. This is aromatically similar to the Macherelles with the addition of an appealing floral element. There is good volume to the fleshy and opulent middle weight flavors that possess plenty of mouth coating dry extract, all wrapped in an intense, linear, focused and impressively long finish that is quite dry without being particularly austere. Worth considering.
2010 Domaine Amiot Guy et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Champs-Gain. Burghound 91. By contrast here the wood treatment is much less visible which allows the grapefruit, pear and rose petal scents to shine. The textured, cool and pure middle weight flavors possess a sophisticated and refined mouth feel before terminating in an intense, dry and impressively persistent finish. Good stuff.
2012 Domaine Amiot Guy et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Vergers. Burghound 89-91. Here the expressive nose mixes notes of resin, white flowers, peach and apricot. There is excellent volume to the very concentrated and intense middle weight plus flavors that ooze a very fine dry extract that coats the palate and does a fine job of buffering the moderately firm acid spine on the delicious and impressively persistent finish. This isn’t elegant but I like the character and balance.
2010 Domaine Amiot Guy et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Vergers. Burghound 92. While not invisible the oak regimen here is much less prominent and allows the complex and pungent nose of petrol, citrus zest and acacia blossom aromas to have center stage. The old vines are definitely in evidence as there is a remarkable amount of palate staining dry extract that imparts a distinctly textured mouth feel to the impressively deep and persistent finish. This is worth considering.
2011 Domaine Amiot Guy et Fils Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Demoiselles. Burghound 91-93. An overtly floral nose of pungent citrus, honeysuckle, pear, spice and wet stone introduces refined, pure and gorgeously intense flavors that possess fine precision and a lovely sense of vibrancy. There is a restrained mouth feel to the impeccably well-balanced and highly complex finish and this should amply reward medium-term cellaring.
2011 Domaine Amiot Guy et Fils Montrachet. Burghound 93-95. A discreet but not invisible application of wood frames a ripe and quite phenolic nose of both yellow and white orchard fruit where added breadth is present in an array of spice and floral elements. There is superb size, weight, punch and intensity to the big-bodied, suave and overtly powerful flavors that possess really strong underlying material, all wrapped in a superbly long finish. This is an excellent Montrachet and one of the better vintages for this wine in some time.
2012 Domaine Amiot Guy et Fils Bourgogne. Nice and bright and young.
2012 Domaine Amiot Guy et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes. Burghound 86-89. Reduction flattens the nose but there is good freshness and energy to the suave and attractively textured medium-bodied flavors that possess solid length but only average complexity, at least at present. Still this will need a few years to arrive at its peak so more depth may very well develop.
2012 Domaine Amiot Guy et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos St. Jean. 91 points. Quite light in appearance. Cherry / Chocolate (Cherry Ripe??) on the nose with some exotic spice – fennel & lemongrass. Very bold and brooding up front with rich mouth feel. Tight on the backend – stacked with dark fruit and plums with some tar on the finish. Really enjoyed this now but assume improvement.
After all that goodness we moved on to Papilles:
Small place with an open kitchen tucked away in the corner of a Thai town mini-mall!
1989 Chalone Vineyard Chardonnay.
Asparagus Salad. Cooked and raw, 63 degree duck egg. Tres francais.
2002 Domaine Amiot Guy et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet. Burghound 86. A deft hint of toast complements moderately spicy, very fresh pear and apple suffused aromas that lead to complex, precise, linear and pure if not especially dense flavors that finish on the lean side.
Chilled Asparagus Veloute. One of those nice gazpacho like soups.
From my cellar: 1999 Louis Jadot Bâtard-Montrachet. Burghound 89-91. Big, powerful and rich aromatics of honey, oak spice and limestone merging into intense, medium weight flavors and a penetrating, relatively fine finish. While not especially big or complex by the standards of classic Bâtard, it is quite intense with beautifully textured, luxuriant, almost opulent flavors.
Smoked Ora King Salmon. Sungold, egg yolk, pickles, rye.
2006 Camille Giroud Corton-Charlemagne. Burghound 92. Here the nose is distinctly more elegant and a bit cooler, revealing notes of ripe green fruit and wet stone that continue onto the rich, full and powerful flavors that possess plenty of size and weight and culminate in a tangy, intense and mouth coating finish that is explosive and persistent. This is a big but balanced and harmonious effort that should age well over the medium-term.
Foie-Gras. Crostinni, strawberry gel. One of those lovely terrine type classic preps for foie. yum!
1990 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Olivet Lane Vineyard. 94 points.
1995 Domaine Robert Arnoux / Arnoux-Lachaux Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Suchots. Burghound 90. Classic sexy nose that is both spicy and still relatively primary with solid, middle weight flavors and a lightly structured finish. This is beginning to become approachable now and while it’s pretty, it could perhaps use a bit more density. Still, an impressive, opulent effort.
agavin: kicking ass and taking names right now.
2005 Domaine de la Vougeraie Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Bel-Air. Burghound 89-92. A more elegant and high-toned nose of red and black fruit plus lovely floral notes, especially violet, leads to rich, forward and generous flavors that possess a beguiling texture on the long finish that evidences a hint of mocha. This is quite ripe yet fresh and there is so much sap that one could approach this now though it clearly has the material to improve for 6 to 8 years.
2008 Beaux Frères Pinot Noir Beaux Frères Vineyard. VM 94. Bright red. Highly perfumed, seductive bouquet of black raspberry, cherry-cola, incense and dried rose, with a slow-mounting mineral element. Lively but strikingly concentrated as well, offering incisive red fruit and floral pastille flavors underscored by intense spice and mineral qualities. Really stains the palate and finishes with superb clarity and juicy, spicy raspberry and cherry notes. Etzel told me that a tiny bit of stems were used in this year’s wine.
2007 Domaine Y. Clerget Volnay 1er Cru Clos du Verseuil.
1985 Domaine Ponsot Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Charmes. Burghound 90. This may have been ever so slightly corked and opinion was divided on this aspect. However, the richness of the flavors and sheer complexity of the finish plus the outstanding performance of all the Ponsot wines in ’85 suggest that the benefit of the doubt is in order, if not for this particular bottle then certainly for the wine itself. Tasted only once.
agavin: I think our bottle was corked too.
1989 Domaine Joseph Roty Gevrey-Chambertin.
From my cellar: 1993 Louis Jadot Bonnes Mares. Burghound 92. Earthy, deep and wonderfully fresh fruit leads to dense, solidly tannnic, beautifully delineated and focused, rich flavors of exceptional purity and length. While the finish is firm, it is by no means hard and there is excellent buffering sève all underpinned by vibrant acidity. There is plenty of wine here but this is a wine for the patient and it should live for years to come.
agavin: great again!
1993 Domaine Michel Gaunoux Pommard 1er Cru Les Rugiens. Burghound 90. I had acquired a case of this in the late ’90s and have never had a great deal of luck with it because while there was reasonably good precision and pruity to the middle weight flavors, the finish was mildly dry and not at all what I typically find with this wine. Then I was able to try a bottle at the domaine that showed appreciably better and without the dryness that my bottles displayed. While this is not a great vintage for what is often an amazing Rugiens, it does underscore that there can be significant differences. In sum, a very good but not truly excellent wine that is just now beginning to come into its own. As noted, inconsistent experiences.
1976 Domaine Tollot-Beaut Aloxe-Corton. Clean and bright, medium, medium-plus colour – a mahogany rim but clearly still a ruby-red core. From opening this was just a little monolithic on the nose; faint baked fruit and a savoury undercurrent. If you wait – over 1 hour – the nose tightens to a very nice and tight powdery red fruit impression The palate is surprisingly plush and intense – it’s hard to keep hold of the wine, as your mouth starts watering in response to the acidity. I’m very impressed by the balance here. Slowly some sweetness builds to counterbalance an edge of tartness in the finish. The tannins are still there and quite chewy. This is a surprisingly robust and healthy wine – just like the label says, this is a village wine so no real fireworks or mind-bending length.
Alaskan Halibut. Peas, carrot, fava, radish, tendrils.
2003 Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf du Pape. Parker 92-94. The powerful 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape comes closest in character to the 1990 (which is still drinking beautifully). Its dark ruby/plum/purple color is followed by sweet aromas of resiny pine forest interwoven with creme de cassis, black cherries, melted licorice, and smoky herbs. In the mouth, gamy, meaty flavors emerge along with black currants, cherries, and a hint of the sushi wrapper called nori. Full, rich, and moderately tannic, this 2003 requires another 1-3 years of bottle age, and should keep for 12-15 years.
Sonoma lamb. Weiser potato, zucchini, confit tomato. Nice healthy chunk of lamb.
1999 Dominus Napanook Proprietary Red Wine. Parker 87. The soft, supple, easygoing 1999 Napanook (70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 13% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot) exhibits cherry, earth, leather, and foresty aromas, sweet fruit, and a forward personality. It is best consumed over the next decade.
2012 Morlet Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Coteaux Nobles. Parker 93. Luc Morlet produces between 450 and 650 cases of three cuvées of Pinot Noir, all of which come from the second ridge from the Pacific Ocean in the Sonoma Coast AVA. The vineyard elevations range between 1,000 and 1,250 feet. All of them come from suitcase field selections of Pinot Noir, largely sourced from the most famous domaine in Vosne-Romanée. About one-third of the aging process is in the larger 500-liter wood pungeons, and the rest in smaller barrels. The wines are also bottled without fining or filtration. The 2012 Pinot Noir Coteaux Nobles displays meaty, spicy, clove, nutmeg and earthy notes intertwined with ripe plum and black cherry fruit, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, and lots of spice. Drink now-2025+.
Flat Iron Steak. Morel, asparagus tips, ramps, carrot.
Cheese plate. Fig, almonds, honey.
Chocolate Hazelnut Crisp. Delicious.
Overall, a super fun night!