Got home an hour and a half ago from Saturday dinner out at Je Suis Gourmand with my sons and nephew/godson. My wife had a migrane and, so, opted to stay home. Since only my eldest son, 15, drinks wine, and only a glass or two at the most, I brought only one bottle to go with the French moules de bouchot (I didn't know until this evening that these mussels actually have their own AOC) flown in by the chef, Marc Aubry, for tonight. Didn't bring my camera, so no photos this time.
2004 Domaine Laroche Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume Vieilles Vignes - Nice enough, but not quite what I expected from a 1er cru chablis from 2004. I like my Chablis edgy, very stone-and-steel and minerally with virtually no detectable oak. My regular drinking buddies know this, and that I favor 1er crus (particularly Montmains and Montée de Tonnerre) over grand crus. I also particularly like 2004 Chablis since they are leaner and, to me, more traditional than several previous vintages. The fact that this one had Vieilles Vignes written on it, actually, made me think twice of the pairing (I find that old vine Chablis generally taste too fat for simply prepared moules), but, having no other more suitable Chablis on hand at the moment, I had no choice.
Long story short, this had good fruit, decent precision and purity, but was, surprisingly ripe and had too much vanilla underneath for the moules. It is a good enough wine, no doubt, for, maybe a butter-poached slipper lobster, but, for the moules, not a good match - even for the escargot and roast bone marrow. It went nicely, though, with the foie gras appetizer and my main course of the pasta trio of Chilean sea bass, seared scallops and prawns.
It's an eating Chablis, not really one I'd sip alone; but, with a relatively rich seafood dish to accompany it, it's good to go.
I got this from Bacchus Makati at a good price (I don't remember what it was though), but, hold your horses, I bought the last they had of the 2004. They have the 2005 version, though (which is also quite nice), for only P2500 per bottle - a good price for a heralded year, Premier Cru Chablis from a known maker.
IWFS president and good friend, Bernie Sim (and family), was also there for the moules (among others) and he graciously shared with me some glasses of:
1988 Marquis d'Angerville Volnay Clos des Ducs - This took around 25-30 minutes to release its bouquet of age, restrained as it was. Bernie noted that its fruit is already quite faded and was well into the disturbingly tartish zone. Only a grudging touch of compost and a whisper of the decayed violets I so love in aged red Burgs. I couldn't but agree with his assessment, so he poured a back-up of...
1990 Marquis d'Angerville Volnay Champans - Bernie reminded me that we had this from magnum around a year ago at a (virtually) all-Champagne dinner. Then, as now, I loved it.
Roasted-ripe, elixir of earthy, mildly spiced raspberries and other darkly red berries, rounded underbelly of soft-cooked red beet, mushrooms and a vague suggestion of dark, ripe plum, all elegantly infused with the hallmark aged Burgundy decay of old, pressed violets and hint of vegetative compost that comes from nowhere else. Medium-bodied with aspirations to fullness, gentle heft mid-mouth and oh-so suave. Memorable, probably could last a year or three more nicely, but I don't see why one should wait any more.
Drink up with roast pigeon and ceps. Maybe venison loin too.
Many thanks, Bernie. Much appreciated.