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1993 Burgundy Dinner at Gramercy Tavern with Steve Tanzer

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Last night I attended a dinner at the Gramercy Tavern with Steve Tanzer that featured 16 1993 Burgundies.  The food was magnificent and the 90% of the wines came from Steve's cellar, bought at the wineries, so the provenance was as good as it gets.

The 1993 vintage has a very different profile than the 1990's, with very high acidity. The wines were uniformly young in appearance and generally low in tannins.  The wines were generally more medium bodied and most showed better with food than alone.  These wines show great precision and structure

The first course was a lovely Lobster soup with Pancetta and autumn vegetables.  As always for me, a "meaty" sauce with fish or seafood was a delight and the contract with the wines was nice.

The first wine was the LaFarge Volnay Clos de Chenes which was made with 30% new oak.  At opening the wine had a musty undertone and there was a question of slightly corked or not.  It was not and blossomed after 20 minutes.  For me, it was nice but light and unexciting.  88

Next was Ghislaine  Barthods Chambolle Musigny, Les Charmes. Barthod has 9 premier crus in Chambolle and I will investigate more of them.  From 35 year old vines, it had great, bright fruits on the nose, was well balanced with a touch of raspberry coming through in the mouth.  Very nice Premier, but unexciting. 89

Next was Groffiers Les Amoureuses from the steepest part of the slope.  I thought it was a little gamy, perhaps still closed.  Steve thought it might be an imperfect cork.  either way, not what i am used to from Les Amoureuses.  88

The second course was an incredible Sweetbreads with Shitake, hazelnut and sage.  This was the lightest sweetbreads i have ever had, completely delicious and a prefect pairing.

The second flight outclassed the first by a wide margin.  We started with Chevillon Nuits St. George Vaucrains.   Like Barthod in Chambolle, Chevillon has 9 premier crus in Nuit St. Georges and I will definitely seek them out.  Made from 75 year old vines, this had that trademark, smokey animalistic nose I associate with Nuits and it followed through on the attack.  Very nice complexity but initially the finish was slightly dry.  Over the next half hour, the wine intensified and the finish smoothed out completely with medium length.  Kept getting better.  90

Up next was the Haegelen Jayer Clos de Vougeot, which was recently bought by Laurent.  While Steve commented he found this slightly Volatile (but still his favorite in the flight), but I did not get it at all.  I thought it has big, bright fruits, rich with good minerality and improved with time.  Some tannins, but not a great deal of complexity, still very nice.  90

The winner of this flight was the Anne and Francis Gros Clos de Vougeot.  Made from 88 year old vines with the best plot in Vougeot, this was the first wine where the tannins were really present.  Full bodied, well balanced with floral and mineral qualities.  91

Course 3 was a simply, but perfectly prepared, free range chicken breasts with baby carrots.  All three wines in this flight were made with 100% new oak.

We started with the Leroy Vosne Romanee Beaux Monts.  Although this is a Premier Cru, it clearly has Grand Cru intensity and quality.  Then nose is intense and concentrated.  The yield was 10-12 hectoliters  per hectare (versus a typical 40 for most wines) and as always, with Leroy, you can smell and taste it instantly.  Its a truly big wine with high acidity balanced with a rich mouth feel, wild and savory flavors.  95

This was followed by an Emmanual Rouget Echezeaux which was surprisingly rich with deep fruit flavors and big and powerful in its own right.  it just had the poor fortune to be sandwiched between a Leroy and a DRC.  91

The flight ended with a supremely elegant DRC Grand Echezeaux that was all finesse with complexity and beauty and a long deep finish.  93

Next came the rack of lamb with salsify, hen of the woods mushrooms and lentils with what, in opinion was the flight of the night.

We started with a Georges Mugneret Ruchottes-Chambertin which is a huge wine, bright and powerful, yet animalistic and young.  Needs a few years.  For now, 91

Because then we moved to the Rousseau which blew it off the map.  More was my first note.  Wonderful, luscious, silky yet meaty.  Really good, although not tremendously complex.  93

Then the Charmes.  First Dugat, which on the first sip, seemd to have the lead.  Just a beautiful wine, elegant, yet powerful.  a lovely Charmes, but without the layers of a Roty.  93

Then the wine of the night. The Roty is complex, layered, luscious and fruit forward all at the same time.  This is one of my favorite wines.  The 93 does not have power of the 90 but is a close second  95

With the cheeses cam what many expected to be the big guns, but nothing topped the Roty.

The Ponsot Clos De La Roche was still very tannic and young.  Austere and structured, other thought more of it than I did.  I would not try this again for 5 years.  90-92

Ponsots Chambertin, made from 53 year old vines,  was all bright fruits and youth, almost grapey.  Steve believes it is still all primary and much more is to come.   nice now, but try in 2011-12.  91-93

The Reusseau Clos de Beze, made from 32 year old vines was still closed.  90-93
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What people are saying (3)

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Ricknat1 commented (6 years ago)
It was a dinner sponsored by Acker Wines in NY. About 20 people attended. I am sure Steve's notes will be posted soon. i know we had many disagreements as I was sitting next to him. It was fun as always. I learned much as always. Especially that I love Roty Charmes and Leroy.
Ronnie B commented (6 years ago)
Intriguing post, but a little depressing to hear that so many of these high-end, perfectly-cellared wines with more than 15 years of bottle age were either not that interesting or in need of more time to show well. Also, I'm curious to know what was the occasion or who was the sponsor for this dinner? A charity, private or industry event? And how many others attended? Grammercy Tavern is a first rate establishment. Add in the wines and this must have cost someone a pretty penny.
Kristin SF commented (6 years ago)
Thank you for sharing what sounds to be an incredible evening. Interesting to hear where some of your notes differed from Tanzer's.
Year, Name, Varietal, Country, Region, Appellation, Color Drink dates Score(s)  
Michel Lafarge - Volnay Clos des Chenes 1er Cru
1993 Michel Lafarge - Volnay Clos des Chenes 1er Cru
Red Pinot Noir
France - Burgundy - Cote de Beaune - Volnay
Comm: 2009-2009
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Haegelen-Jayer - Clos de Vougeot
1993 Haegelen-Jayer - Clos de Vougeot
Red Pinot Noir
France - Burgundy - Cote de Nuits - Vougeot
Comm: 2009-2009
Add comment
Leroy (Domaine) - Vosne-Romanee Les Beaux Monts (1er Cru)
1993 Leroy (Domaine) - Vosne-Romanee Les Beaux Monts (1er Cru)
Red Pinot Noir
France - Burgundy - Cote de Nuits - Vosne Romanee
Comm: 2009-2009
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Ghislaine Barthod - Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes 1er Cru
1993 Ghislaine Barthod - Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes 1er Cru
Red Pinot Noir
France - Burgundy - Cote de Nuits - Chambolle Musigny
Comm: 2009-2009
Add comment
Emmanuel Rouget - Echezeaux
1993 Emmanuel Rouget - Echezeaux
Red Pinot Noir
France - Burgundy - Cote de Nuits - Flagey Echezeaux
Comm: 2009-2009
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DRC - Grands-Echezeaux
1993 DRC - Grands-Echezeaux
Red Pinot Noir
France - Burgundy - Cote de Nuits - Flagey Echezeaux
Comm: 2009-2009
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Robert Chevillon - Nuits St Georges Les Vaucrains 1er Cru
1993 Robert Chevillon - Nuits St Georges Les Vaucrains 1er Cru
Red Pinot Noir
France - Burgundy - Cote de Nuits - Nuits St Georges
Comm: 2006-2015
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Ponsot - Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes
1993 Ponsot - Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes
Red Pinot Noir
France - Burgundy - Cote de Nuits - Morey St Denis
Comm: 2014-2014
Add comment
Georges Mugneret - Ruchottes-Chambertin
1993 Georges Mugneret - Ruchottes-Chambertin
Red Pinot Noir
France - Burgundy - Cote de Nuits - Gevrey Chambertin
Comm: 2011-2011
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