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Old 24-10-2005, 03:49 PM
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Default TN: Lagrange and Issan with Elin McCoy, plus Mugnier village wine

I went yesterday to a benefit reading for the Hudson Valley Writers'
Center. Elin McCoy, author of the "The Emperor of Wine: The Rise of
Robert M. Parker, Jr., and the Reign of American Taste" read and talked
about her book. The Writers' Center is a nice space, and Ms. McCoy was
very entertaining. I felt she was pretty balanced, acknowledging both
Parker's strengths and weaknesses, as well as the positive and negative
effects of his position of power. Also some insightful comments about
the difficulties of writing a biography of a live and powerful person.
She obviously likes and respects Parker, but is not a sycophant. I look
forward to reading the book.

After her presentation, Mark Golodetz (a contributing editor at Wine
Enthusiast) and Ms. McCoy gave the (non-geek) audience a quick tutorial
in winetasting. Four wines donated by Marcel Ducasse of Chateau
Lagrange and Emmanuel Cruse of Chateau D'Issan were sampled:

2002 Les Arums de Lagrange (Bordeaux AC): Rather tropical fruit, a
little oak, a little grass. I rather liked this, just as I had liked at
the Lagrange/Issan/Corbin dinner at Le Perigord this past winter. The
rare white Bordeaux I might buy, but this vintage still isn't showing
on winesearcher, so I'll save my money. B/B+

1998 Le Blason d'Issan - a rather perfumed Margaux AC nose, but with a
touch of green pepper. The greenness is more pronounced on the palate.
About what one might expect from a second wine on Left Bank in '98. C+

2002 Ch. Lagrange - ah, this is more like it. Structured and deep, nice
earthy nose. All blackfruit. I thought a little tight, but very good
wine, and once again my vote for QPR of the vintage. A-/B+

2001 Ch. d'Issan - more fruit forward, medium-bodied and perfumed. Not
nearly as deep as the Lagrange, but a pretty nice early drinking
Margaux. B

Afterwards Mark invited me to join them at his place (and enticingly
mentioned '86 Pape-Clement), but I knew Betsy was home cooking dinner.
She was making a fricot de canard (chunks of duck breast with pancetta,
turnips, and carrots), as well as Judy Rodger's caesar salad. I opened
the 2000 Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny. I've been trying to drink up most
2000s, but this one is still going strong. Pretty perfumed Chambolle
nose, clean precise cherry fruit, a delightful earthy finish. Plenty of
acidity, light tannins, just a delicious example of what a good vintner
can do with a lighter vintage (those this has fine concentration, it's
not as big as the 1999). A-

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. 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

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