Balex was kind enough to feign interest in a dinner at my place a couple of nights ago, so I'll take a stab at some quick notes. Some old friends from various wine boards are rather serious Loire geeks. Don, for instance, has a scholarly inclination (http://www.libraryth...nyc/yourlibrary). He did a little prep for the dinner here: http://winedisorder....omment/56/6950/. For those who don't know the wines, I was a guest blogger on the importer's site here: http://louisdressner.../2013/4/24/204/. Joe's intro is here: http://louisdressner...ucers/Foucault/.
Anyhow, these are rare wines, expensive for the Loire though not for their quality in today's lunatic market. They have always been the top end of reds in the Loire for me, though they are so unusual in their neighborhood that they were almost excluded from the AOC a few years ago (this sort of lunacy, excluding the flagship producer, is so common that I'm surprised it can still surprise me). Anyhow, the wines see more wood in their elevage than is common, and don't show their stuff young. The other folks also were devotees. Andrew and Jenn brought a 1997 Clos Roche Blanche Sauvignon Blanc for a starter, as an example of how crazy they are. This is wine that even the winemakers wouldn't have thought to keep this long, but it was fresh and mineral, rich and long, so much better than expected.
Everyone brought wines from their cellars. All but the '89s were purchased on release.
We had 5 wines of mine from 1997 (I have no more Coteaux, the anecdotal sweet wine)--the dry white Breze, then the Clos, Poyeux and Bourg reds. The white is still amazingly leesy on the nose, you would think Coche or some such, but it has chenin acidity. I have always been puzzled by this wine, I have no idea what to do with it, how long to keep it. It is evolving very slowly. I will not open another bottle for a long time.
I opened the "Cuvee Buster" VV Saumur-Champigny from Filliatreau for context--it is done in steel, more typically of the modern appellation. It retains more fresh fruit and good zip than the more mellowed Clos Rougeard wines, and is an interesting counterpoint. I mention that I think it is my last bottle of 8 or 10, and that the wine has always been delicious. Don says he hasn't started in on his yet, that maybe he should. That, my friends, is how you wind up with a big cellar.
The three '97 reds from CR were much in line--the Clos lighter and more evolved, the Poyeux bigger but still suave and delicate, the Bourg just waking up. None of these are old, and the Bourg is young. Remarkable for what was a ripe and somewhat soft vintage for many in the Loire.
The 2 '96s (Poyeux and Bourg) showed well, in contrast to complaints I've heard from friends in other markets. They have the brighter acidity of the vintage and taste younger than the '97s. Both are very long, and almost primary. Bourg is burly from its deeper clay, Poyeux more delicate but still long and savory.
The '95s (same pair) are a bit in between '96 and '97 for me--less bright than the '96s, but not as ripe as the '97s. Which is not to indict the '97s as too ripe, but they tend that way.
The pair of '89s were the only bottles to begin to show true secondary characters to me. More complexity, more evolution, but you would still call these wines in the middle of their lives. Maybe 35 or 40 in Clos Rougeard years. Another ripe but still structured vintage, these are just crazy delicious.
Sorry to be brief, but a busy day today. Pix of the reds here: