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Old 14-03-2017, 03:54 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN: 50 years of St. Amour

Sunday Fred and I went to Cathleens place in Bronxville for a great evening of St. Amour. Her friend Xavier Barbet was there with a collection of his familys wines dating back 50 years. We started with the 1997 €śLes Vieux Murs€ť Pouilly-Fuisse Caveau Reserve (mag) - I believe this is a negoce wine, and I didnt actually see Barbet, Loren, or Billards on label. But this was pretty amazing for 20 year old Macon- fresh, minty, pear and vanilla. This would be great as a ringer in a Ramonet tasting. B+

On to the reds (with charcuterie)

2015 Domaine des Billards Saint-Amour
Ripe and tannic, this is a big boy that needs some time. B for now, lots of potential

2014 Domaine des Billards Saint-Amour
Ive had a lot of this, but this is pretty closed up right now. You can sense the fresh acidity and the berry fruit, but let this sleep. B- for drinking now, but I think it will emerge as a B+

2011 Domaine des Billards Saint-Amour
Most complete at moment, spicy, black fruits. Theres some tannin, but its pretty open. B+/A-

2009 Clos des Billards Reserve Saint-Amour
Big, dark fruits, tannic, needs more time but very good. B+/A-

2005 Clos des Billards Reserve Saint-Amour
Beautiful, complete, black cherries and spice, smoked meat, full but elegant. A-

2003 Clos des Billards Reserve Saint-Amour
Far better than I expected. Theres some roasted/surmaturite notes, but there is an acid backbone, and a nice peppery/herby edge. 2003 was the vintage the big publications called €śbest Beaujolais vintage€ť when what they meant was €śbest for people who hate Beaujolais€ť, but this is one 2003 that turned out ok. B

There was a delicious mushroom tart somewhere in here (Cathleen thought it had sat too long, but I enjoyed)

2000 Clos des Billards Reserve Saint-Amour
Red cherries, smoke, balanced and lovely. A-/B+

1999 Clos des Billards Reserve Saint-Amour
Im a sucker for "99 Beaujolais, and this delighted me. Pure, focused, with red cherry and plum fruit, spicy, long and elegant. A-/A

1995 Clos des Billards Reserve Saint-Amour
Earthy, a little animal, red fruits., nice. B+
Steves boeuf Bourguignon was a tasty accompaniment.

1969 Clos des Billards Reserve Saint-Amour
Red fruit, a little lifted at first, most peoples fave of this flight I think, tasty and mature. B/B+

1967 Clos des Billards Reserve Saint-Amour
Red fruit, sandalwood, mocha. Xavier said this and the "76 were both low acid vintages, but both seemed bright to me. A-

1976 Clos des Billards Reserve Saint-Amour
Earth, smoke, red cherry, herby. Delicious A-

Just a revelatory night. I like old wines, but I wasnt making any excuses- I dont think anyone would find the wines from the 60s and 70s the least bit tired. What a value in the modern wine world. Xavier and Carrie (export manager) were delightful and informative (Xavier spoke on each vintage about weather, harvest time, etc). Cathleen and Steve were great hosts, and the other guests pleasant and insightful. I need to buy more Billards.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C drinkable. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice.Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.



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Old 14-03-2017, 07:58 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN: 50 years of St. Amour

On 3/14/17 10:54 AM, DaleW wrote:

1999 Clos des Billards Reserve Saint-Amour Im a sucker for "99
Beaujolais, and this delighted me. Pure, focused, with red cherry and
plum fruit, spicy, long and elegant. A-/A


I think that '99 is pretty widely regarded as a legendary year in
Beaujolais. Not surprised at all that you loved it.


1969 Clos des Billards Reserve Saint-Amour Red fruit, a little
lifted at first, most peoples fave of this flight I think, tasty and
mature. B/B+

1967 Clos des Billards Reserve Saint-Amour Red fruit, sandalwood,
mocha. Xavier said this and the "76 were both low acid vintages, but
both seemed bright to me. A-

1976 Clos des Billards Reserve Saint-Amour Earth, smoke, red cherry,
herby. Delicious A-


Wow. My oldest Cru Beaujolais encounter was an '89 tried in '01. This
certainly puts the lie to the perception that Gamay isn't ageworthy.
Great notes, Dale!

Mark Lipton

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