Reprinted here from Wine Disorder by my own permission.
It was a grand meeting of Chicago wine geeks this past Saturday night as we all gathered at Josefa and Mark’s backyard under the pretense of toasting a one Mr. SFJoe, who happened to be in town for a conference, as well as tucking into some of the best mole you’re going to find north of the Rio Grande.
I had already been planning on getting together Saturday night to hang out and drink some wine with fellow my wine drinking buddies Phil and Nathan as we do every now and again. But, this time I thought it would be nice to open the invitation to another Chicago wine geek, Arno. As it would happen, just after hearing back from Arno that he’d be down for geeking out with us, Josefa posted on Facebook that she would be making mole and having a get together for SFJoe that Sat night. Somehow I had to get Josefa to agree to letting four dudes she barely knew converge our party with theirs and make it one super affengeil par-tay. Thankfully, she agreed and after letting my ‘crew’ in on the change we just had figure out which wines to bring. And bring wines we did.
First, though, the food. Josefa and her trusty sous-chef (husband) Mark made her famous chicken mole poblano. Good god this was so so good. I wish I could tell you everything that went into it, but what was incredible was the complex subtlety of it. Hints of spice, hints of sweet, hints of bitter… Throw along some amazing green (cilantro) rice, beans and corn tortillas. Forget about it. Oh, and the wine…
The wines. Well, there were a few. For the most part, everything showed pretty well. Out of all the wines only one was corked. Some resonated more with me than others, but they all had something to say. I did my best at trying to remember all the bottles there were. I couldn’t recall some of the specifics for a couple so hopefully someone will chime in to fill in the blanks. Also, since I wasn’t taking notes, I’m just going to mention what I can remember or general recollections/feelings on particular wines.
Vouette et Sorbée Blanc d’Argile ’07 fruit. Disgorged late 2009. Chardonnay. Joe suggested going with this one before the Fidele because of it’s leanness comparatively. And he was right. It was pure chalky minerality and acid. I believe Arno thought it could use some decanting. It did calm down later in the evening. The brasher of the two Vouettes.
Vouette et Sorbée Fidèle Pinot Noir. The particulars weren’t on the label for this one. Much more full and rounder (not saying much) compared to the Argile. Lovely stuff. Aromatically captivating.
2002 Domaine de la Bongran Viré-Clessé This was the first wine I had. Don’t recall too much, other than it was nice. It was noted after the fact, that there was a touch of residual sugar that gave it a little, er, bump. Should’ve went back for another taste.
1998 Francois Jobard Meursault 1er Genevrières Screamed CHARDONNAY! But in a pretty good way. Decent acidity. Just don’t drink much white burgundies. The straight-laced dude in a tie at a dive bar.
2009 Luneau-Papin Muscadet Clos des Allees Only had a sip, but was nice. Seemed well put together if not a tad on the bigger side of muscadet. Still impressive. Could probably go a good long time.
2009 De Moor Chablis Bel Air et Clardy Again, just a sip. And again was big (relatively speaking). I wish I could say I’ve liked the ’09 De Moor Chablis’ I’ve had, but they haven’t done it for me; just not enough nervosité.
2009 Tue-Boeuf le P’tit Blanc Didn’t have this one.
1990 Kalin Cellars Chardonnay Cuvée LD The one thing that struck me was that the nose didn’t match the palate on this one. Nose belied the age whereas on the palate it was quite lively and full of stuffing.
NV Le Grand-Clere (Francois Blanchard) Blanc “Green Wax” This one was a bit of a head scratcher. Brought by Nathan and purchased from Garagiste. We had to go back to the profusely verbose offer to figure out what the fuck it was all about. Evidently its “100% Sauvignon Blanc [with a] majority blend of 2007 and 2008 with 2002 and 2006 added for a touch of oxidation”. It was fun reciting the ridiculous prose of the offer out loud. The wine itself definitely had an oxidized quality to it. I didn’t spend too long with it; just didn’t really care for it much this evening.
1999 Chateau Musar Blanc My first Musar blanc. It was pretty tasty. Unfortunately, it was later in the evening, so I wasn’t really paying too much attention to it. Tried it with the mole and worked ok, not the best paring in the world, but not the worst.
1988 Charles Joguet Chinon Clos de la Dioterie VV Brought by Arno. Was worried when the cork came out fully soaked and a bit moldy on top, but this didn’t miss a beat. Lovely, lovely aged Cabernet Franc. Earth and tobacco and dark red berries. Not going anywhere.
1989 Domaine les Roches Chinon Unfortunately, corked.
1999 Henri Gouges Nuits St. Georges Not bad. Started out nicely when I decanted it at home for sediment, but gradually became more and more closed down as the night progressed.
2008 Dard et Ribo Crozes-Hermitage Had a little glass of this early on. Nice. Not the best Crozes from them I’ve had, but still decently put together. Red fruit, some minerality, med/light body. Yeah. Later on Joe blows my mind by telling me that the bottle had been open for over a day (maybe even two). I couldn’t believe it. The other bottles I’ve done that to have all gone to oxidized shit by the morning. Interesting.
2009 Dard et Ribo Hermitage Brought by Nathan who’s boss from work went to Paris and brought this back for him from Caves Auge. One of my favorites of the evening. Full of life and depth. Dark red fruits, minerals, spice, full but not heavy. Obviously young. Unfortunately it’s under fake cork. But even under fake cork I believe it’ll be able to go at least five years if stored well.
1992 Edmunds St John Grand Heritage Syrah Was ok. First glass was nice, but by the end of the evening it seemed shrill and out of balance.
1996 Movia Veliko Rosso Hey, a Movia red that wasn’t completely whacked out on wood. Nice.
2008 Charvin Chateauneuf du Pape Not for me. Grenache and I aren’t exactly getting along these days.
2003 Huet Moelleux Le Haut Lieu Also not for me on this night. Just too sweet; too much.