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    MY TOP 10 WINES OF THE 2016

    1. We crossed the bridge to the world of Pinot Noir, and we began with a world dominator, a magnum of 1988 Roumier Bonnes Mares Vieilles Vignes.  This wine was worth the trip to San Francisco.   Dapper Dave noted, ‘crazy velvet,’ and he wasn’t talking about Big Boy’s pants lol.  Actually, it was thanks to Big Boy that we had this incredibly rare wine.  This magnum left all the hens teethless, as only Big Boy could and still can do.  My notes started, ‘spectacular wine, out of control great.’  I am getting goosebumps just writing about it again.  Its nose had sappy, red cherry fruit with bright bing and traces of citrus.  Dave felt it was just entering its plateau.  Its palate was long and extraordinary, gritty and powerful.  This was a spicy hot mama that left me licking my lips after its last kiss good night.  It was so good that it left me concentrated all over (99M).


    2.The next wine was also from 1959, and ‘the best bottle I ever had,’ per Dr. Feelgood.  I think he meant the particular wine, but it could have been every bottle ever as this 1959 Lafite Rothschild was staggeringly good.  This was classic in every sense of the word.  The cedar, the wheat, the pencil…this was a rich and thick wine that was as good as Bordeaux gets.  Sebastien found it ‘deep,’ and there was super sweet fruit with a dry edge.  The Emperor found it ‘flawless’ (99).


    3.Big Boy and CB4 combined forces to officially detonate and dominate the evening with a spectacular jeroboam of 1971 DRC Romanee Conti.  This wine was thick as a brick in every which way, and its fireplace qualities made way for mucho menthol.  Its red and black fruit mélange was incroyable, and it was long and strong with great acid.  Olivier found it still ‘young,’ and its personality was both huge and fresh.  It doesn’t get any better than this.  This was a celestial bottle, all in the stars, like Tony LaRussa on how you play your Cards (99J).


    4.The 1971 DRC La Tache showed why this is one of the legendary La Taches of all time and in a peak performance zone right now.  Come to think of it, it’s been there about 10-15 years.  Its nose was beyond spectacular with crazy complexity.  The signature menthol, the red and purple fruits, and spices from seemingly every country on earth – Asian, Indian, Jamaican, insert your own country here.  Its finish was endless as its acidity continued to rock on past the witching hour (99).


    5.The 1990 Jacques Selosse that followed exceeded everything, and maybe its youth helped.  When it comes to all the assorted multi-vintage cuvees that Selosse makes, there can be varying degrees of quality; I sure wish he would make more vintage Champagne as they never cease to amaze me.  This was a spiny and super fresh Champagne, with hot sugar cube action and a long and flavorful personality.  This was a superb Champagne with spectacular length and cream and as good a bottle of Champagne as I can remember…ever (99).


    6.The 1961 Petrus, as usual, was the top of the pyramid.  This was a classic wine in every which way.  This was a lot of people’s wine of the night, including mine.  While my notes were waning, I did find it ‘rock solid with enough fine chalk and stone for a quarry,’ and its fruit was ‘absolutely perfect.’  It also got a ‘longggggggg’ (99pts).


    7.There were too many crazy wines being opened downstairs in the cellar to linger upstairs, so I headed back down to one of the wines of the night, and it was only fitting that Big Boy had something to do with it. Some wines are so good that words feel inadequate, and this magnum of 1971 Krug was one of them. Its nose sparkled and crackled, like a flawless diamond meeting the Macy’s 4th of July fireworks show. It had an addictive quality to its nose; once you started you did not want to stop. White, crystallized fruits along with an icily great character, the Krug exploded in my mouth, resulting in a bevy of inappropriate and immature jokes from the distinguished guests around me lol. This bubbly had enough liftoff for Nasa; in fact, that’s what it finish felt like, those jets burning under a rocketship heading to outerspace, ready for the endless. This was an unbelievable magnum of a legendary Champagne (99M).


    8.The Emperor kept himself and his other guests busy with a magnum of 1996 Krug Clos du Mesnil, which was a big, rich, buttery beast, all the more so since it was out of magnum.  It was razor sharp and mountainous in its character, long and strong.  ‘The longer the better,’ The Emperor sagely advised, and it was easy to see why Clos du Mesnil is the Romanee-Conti of Champagne.  This was a laser of Star Wars proportion (98+M).


    9.Of course, what would a great flight of 40s and 50s Bordeaux be without a 1959 Lafite Rothschild?  This has always been my favorite all-time Lafite and one of the greatest bottles of the 20th Century, and this bottle didn’t change either of those opinions.  The ’59 had a superb nose of sweet cassis and pencil with a great perfumed quality.  This was a rich, sumptuous and sensual claret.  Andy admired its ‘smooth’ character, and I did its thick finish(98+).  


    10 There was one more truly spectacular bottle on this night for me, before it all went sideways. The 1978 Roumier Bonnes Mares was decadent and rich, a mouthfilling wine that intellectually stimulated me, well, what little intellect that I had left at the time ;). But seriously, this was a ‘wow’ wine, as intense and virile an older Red Burgundy can be. There were deep red, black and purple fruits happening, lots of dirt and minerals, and a spiciness to it like hot sauce without the too hot. Its acidity was truly noteworthy, and it lingered like a great orgasm. As Bad Boy would say, “awesome juice” (98+).

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    My Today

    DRC La Tache 1934-2002


    La Tache 1934  94 points

    While 1934 is a great vintage, this particular bottle seemed a little watered down, though that is the wrong word. There were some spiny edges underneath and nice earth, musk, vitamin and stalk aromas. Flavors of band-aid and earth were on its sturdy palate, but it had that reconditioned feeling, though the finish really came through. Someone said, 'if it weren't sitting next to the 1962, you'd like it better. The '62 shows its flaws.' Allen agreed by saying, 'I like it, but it ran into a buzzsaw. '34, '59, '90, '99 - all very high quality and big volume, which is rare.


    La Tache 1942 93p

    Someone uttered 'amazing' right away. The nose was so deep . big, rich and long. Rob summed it up as 'ridiculous,' which is another high compliment in Big Boy's world. Musk oil, leather and deep, dark rich fruit oozed out of its nose. The palate was enormous, expanding like a tidal wave in the mouth at first, and Allen also found it 'incredibly vibrant.' Long and spiny, the wine was a bit massive but smoothed out sooner rather than later, costing it a point or two in the grand scheme of things, but for those first twenty minutes or so, it was even more extraordinary


    La Tache 1943  95p

    The 1943 was more wound and subtle, nutty with more cola and dark, plummy fruit. Possessing even bigger acidity and alcohol than the 1942, the 1943 seemed a bit out of balance at first and squarer, but while the 1942 lost a step or two, the 1943 improved and got more delicious and more balanced with time. The acidity was long and strong, and it was also an outstanding wine, equivalent to the 1942 in quality but stylistically different. Allen, on the other hand, said that he has tasted these two side by side three or four times and has always preferred the 1942.


    La Tache 1947  93p

    1947 had a musty nose, but beneath that was some incredibly sweet and decadent fruit, along with some leather, Worcestershire and band-aid. Smooth and with long acidity, the palate had nice citric tension. Wilf said how 'neither of these two have ever been great La Taches,' and he would know. Paul and Allen concurred that the 1947 could never have been a great wine. If you could get past the fact that it was slightly corked, the 1947 was still a beautiful wine with some nice citric kisses and light meat flavors.


    La Tache 1952  98 p

    I recently acquired from one of our auctions. The '52 mag had an unreal nose screaming with terroir; when I say unreal it is a compliment like 'out of this world,' not that it was fake, etc. There were incredible, absolutely incredible aromas of slate, earth and minerals on one side, and the rose garden, leather and amazing spice box on the other. Eric called it 'immortal' and Allen echoed my sentiment of 'unreal.' Pinches of caraway and smokehouse rounded out the nose. The palate was super tasty, veritable catnip for the feline wine lover in us all. Long and sensuous with sexy strawberry fruit and great earth, the palate had amazing length. It was one of the all-time great bottles of wine that I have had, definitely 'Top 100' worthy.


    La Tache 1957  93 points

    1957 had a sexy nose that was very musky with rose, sweet red cherry, sweet leather, earth, band-aid and meat aromas. It was delicious up front with a touch of brown sugared fruit and that pinch of Worcestershire. There were nice earth flavors, and while the finish was short, its acidity was integrated, and the wine was gorgeous. Wilf commented how the '57 'always had a slight burnt quality, as in wood or charcoal.


    La Tache 1961  97p

    There is no doubt in my mind that that will be the greatest example of 1961 La Tache I will ever have. It was so fresh, meaty with such great spine and flavors. It left me with a distinct 2001 impression.


    La Tache 1962  97p

    1962 was the wine of the flight, as practice followed theory in this example. Its nose was richer, thicker and broader than the previous two, and its nose was a symphony of meat, rose garden and Worcestershire. Its palate was meaty and oily, and its acidity really stood out after some food. It was a real crowd pleaser


    La Tache 1964  95p

    Yhis was 'classic 1964 - big, rich' and 'ripe' Allen interjected and took over for Wilf. The 1964 was heady, rich and meaty with nice t 'n a, minerals and molasses. On the palate it was also rich and meaty with great animal flavors, both sweet and vigorous with nice earth supplements. Wilf summed it up nicely: 'This is how I remember 1964; the texture and richness - only Vogue Musigny is close'


    La Tache 1966  96 points

    It was an outstanding one and many people's favorite wine of the session. Sweet, musky and similar to the 1985 except even fresher and more precise, the 1966 was beefy and meaty with additional aromas of cedar, spice box, iron and minerals. Its palate was full of fresh, red fruits wrapped by some drier, autumnal flavors. Rich, long and fleshy, it was balanced with acidity that was far from its decline. Wilf cooed that it was a 'good bottle' on more than one occasion. Dalia keenly observed some 'green apple and nutmeg,' and a bit more wood came out with time in a cedar and mahogany direction. Saucy and long with a nice touch of autumnal flavors, I found some similar qualities in this '66 to the '85, and Wilf concurred aromatically but found more zip in the '66. Me, too!


    La Tache 1971  98p

    I have had this wine six times over the last two years, and every time it has been incredible. It remains one of the great all-time La Taches, and this bottle was no different. My notes began, .Incredible again&hubba hubba.. That should be enough. The wine had a youthful .I.ve just been opened. wave of t .n a and menthol with gorgeous red fruits behind it, strawberry and cranberry to be precise. There was a touch of divine mushroom and truffle as well as a bouquet of wet, long-stemmed roses. Dr. B chipped in that the .71 LT .embodies all I like in old Burgundy, and it.s still fresh.. Pinches of animal, vitamin and game rounded out the nose for this stallion of a Burgundy, with a great earthy edge underneath and a pinch of herbs. The palate was amazing . huge t .n a, make that enormous by Burgundy standards. There was great length and leathery flavors, with tremendous tension to the palate with a citric centerpoint to that tension. The wine was ridiculous, and the kind of wine that if no one were looking you would suck the last drops directly from the bottle.


    La Tache 1985  95p

    You know it's a good night when you go over to the magnum of 1985 La Tache and are like, 'that's nice,' which is exactly what happened when the Burghound found out! It was a great bottle of 1985 La Tache, pure, long and classic with lots of iron, minerals, smoke, citric tang and red fruits that only La Tache could have. Its musk was beautiful, its rust tasty, and its finish long


    La Tache 1991 97p

    Rob came out with a 'spectacular' right away, and I must admit that the wine was (is) in a great spot. Rich and meaty, its bouquet was filled with iron, vitamin, spice and leather. Intense, long, balanced and gorgeous, this was some serious Burgundy. It was a step up from the Clos de la Roche, possessing more intensity, spice and tannin than any of the prior wines. The palate was similarly rich and long with a touch of cola flavors.


    La Tache 1999  98p

    1999 was arguably the wine of the weekend. Bruce was in awe of its 'jammy' quality, especially since it was so young. Intense, super thick, full of t 'n a, the 1999 was so dark and deep, spilling out of the glass with its midnight-like black fruits. There was also menthol, musk, tree bark and minerals in this intense, rich, long and deep wine. 'Wow,' I wrote; I could see why Wilf chose this for the grand finale. There was great acidity. It was so juicy and tasty that 'you could nibble at it,' someone said. Allen called it 'impressive'


    La Tache 2000  92p

    The nose was rich in fruit, yet soft and approachable at the same time, although Mark found it .very tight yet gorgeous.. There were loads of spices of stems, cinnamon, iron, alcohol and earth. There was also beautiful rose and plum fruit, green beans and exotic spice. There was the intensity of La Tache with the approachability of 2000. The wine was young on the palate but still drinkable, with very long acids, a touch of rust and a light earthiness to its finish. It was caressing my palate and soft on the front and mid-zones and certainly a very good, potentially excellent La Tache. It held well and the acids were there, but the weight was not that of a great one texturally


    La Tache 2002 96p

    2002 was such a baby by comparison to anything that we had so far, but one could still appreciate its fresh, red cherry fruit. It was not fat and seepy but rather reserved with its mineral and stalk supporting beams. There was that hint of green that Aubert affectionately referred to before, which means that this should have a long, bright future ahead of it. There were stems, 'roses and almonds,' Dalia observed. The 2002's structure was excellent, a little '93-ish but with redder fruit. All of its component parts were there in a drier style. Wilf was quick to point out that the 2002 was 'showing surprisingly good, scary good.' An exotic, mandarin orange edge developed in the nose

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    My Yesterday

    Château Latour 1881-2006


    Château Latour 1961  99 p

    Château Latour 1982  98 p

    The 1982 Latour quickly rose to the top of the charts and took wine of the night honors. It was much more wound than the 1990, also with more minerals in its long, classic nose. Dust, cedar and more minerals kept surging out of the nose. The palate had so much length and strength, noticeably more so than any other wine on this starry night. While the 1990 was sexy, the 1982 was serious, and a wine that still stood out even four hours after being opened and decanted. Engerer commented how the ’82 was ‘sure of itself and surfed across your palate.’ He went on to comment how ‘all Latours gently age’


    Château Latour 1928  98 p

    Château Latour 1929  98 p

    Château Latour 2000  98 p

    The 2000 Latour, however, was appropriately served last in this superlative flight. ‘Is that a powerful wine or what?’ Someone rhetorically asked. It was a penetrating beast, sinus-clearing with its t ‘n a, along with aromas of cement, cedar and a touch of milkshake. Rich, concentrated and dense, the Latour was the biggest wine of the evening and also the thickest and the longest. Game emerged in this behemoth of a wine. It reminded me of that Kayne West song where the chorus goes, ‘bigger, longer, faster, stronger.’ While I am hesitant to give young wines scores in the 98 and 99 point territory because my convictions are that those scores are for wines that stand the test of time, the 2000 Latour left me no choice


    Château Latour 2005  97 p

    Château Latour 1955  97 p

    Château Latour 1996  97 p

    Château Latour 1996  96 p

    Château Latour 1945  96 p

    Château Latour 1990  96 p

    The 1990 Latour was fabulous. This was the second knockout bottle of this wine I had had within the month. Its sweet nose was inviting and open, more showy than any other wine. Its trio of musk, cedar and cassis was pure nose candy, and fresh, honey-roasted walnuts rounded out its sexy aromatics. It was so delicious, classic and the freshest palate of them all, showing lots of tasty pencil flavors. There was also great cedar to the palate, which was less ripe than the nose led me to expect, and the 1990 Latour was the best balanced of the four wines, providing an equal ratio of fruit and finish.


    Château Latour 2003  96 p

    Château Latour 1899  94 p

    The next wine was one of the more discussion-worthy wines of the night, a double magnum or jeroboam of 1899 Latour. We couldn’t tell. At first, questions of authenticity were in the air, and even Big Boy thought it might be fake, despite the fact that was acquired five or six years ago and supposedly was one step removed from Latour itself. It was indubitably reconditioned, clearly showing darker and more youthful fruit, but it still had mature nuances and old qualities. The distinguished Sir Robert Bohr started making some positive observations at first. Olof noted ‘500 flavors at once.’ There was mint and eucalyptus at first. The texture was fleshy, rich and long. The wine remained controversial. Candle wax, earth and cobwebs all emerged, as did some signature sea salt and walnut. I was convinced it was Latour, but it was quixotic in its ‘am I young or am I old’ way. No one could say it wasn’t a reconditioned 1899, and by the end of the night there seemed to be mostly believers. The next day the wine was even better, so soft and supple, and even more decidedly Latour in its flavor profile, still with a purple core. It reminded me more of 1955 than 1899, and I guess reconditioning helps if you want to have an old wine 24 hours later.


    Château Latour 1995  94 p

    The 1995 Latour was rounder and more honeyed in its nose, with touches of cola and a hint of syrupy sweetness. It was perfumed in an angel food cake way. The palate was sturdy and rugged, also leathery and big overall. There were stewed flavors of black cherry and cola, and its stewed qualities were those of beefy goodness. However, the 1995 did lose a step in the glass compared to the 1996 (94)


    Château Latour 1971  94 p

    Château Latour 1994  94 p

    Château Latour 1975  94 p

    Château Latour 2006  94 p

    Château Latour 1964  93 p

    Château Latour 1947  92 p

    Château Latour 2004 92 p

    Château Latour 2001  91 p

    Château Latour 1985  90 p

    Next up was a wine that was very wound in the nose with more alcohol and anise, although it was subtle and refined as well. The nose left a delicate and fine impression overall. There was a .tingle. quality to its spiny nature as some fruit tried to escape, but the palate put the wine right back into the jails of its tannic and alcoholic systems. Although neither its .t. nor .a. was overtly dominating, those were its standout characteristics on its palate. The balanced and refined qualities were very good despite that fact

    Château Latour 1962  90 p

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    John Kapon, the 40-year-old CEO of Acker Merrall & Condit, is the man who smiled when wheeled luggage was invented; his suitcases have rolled as many miles as some cars. Recently, we sat down in a conference room one early evening in the townhouse of his family business. Half a dozen or more people buzz around behind us, making preparations for an upcoming auction in Hong Kong. In a couple of days, John will fly to China for this sale, the first of several he has planned for Hong Kong this year.

    John proudly proclaims that Acker Merrall & Condit currently holds “the triple crown” – or in other words, the leading auction house sales for the U.S., Asia and the world. In 1997, Acker partnered with another company to hold its first auction. John’s father, Michael, ran the business then, a period when the New York auction scene had only a few players aside from Acker. After a few auctions, held with small, independent houses were fraught with problems, John decided Acker would hold auctions on its own. John explains: “I never thought the auction business would grow to become anything like this. It has taken many years and a huge effort to build this business. It is great to see the wine world support the energy that we’ve put out.” 


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    Pro Me

    Acker Merrall’s auction business is a smash success

    The figures are impressive. In 2010, Acker Merrall & Condit grossed around $99 million in auction business from NY, Hong Kong and the Internet, and another $15-20 million from its retail business. In 2011, Acker grossed about $110 million in auction business from 16 live auctions held in NY, Hong Kong and Chicago, and the retail business is expected to be up 10 per cent on 2011. In 2011, Acker chose Chicago as a new U.S. auction market in 2011 because the city was viewed as “one of the few markets that has proven it can sustain a wine auction.” In 2011, Acker Merrall held six auctions in Hong Kong, where the company has an office and full-time staff. Hong Kong auctions grossed around $69 million, just under two-thirds of Acker’s total auction business for 2011. New York and Hong Kong are therefore the core markets, while Chicago and the Internet are areas of future growth. 

    John compares the enormous preparation and anticipation of an auction to what American football players experience on game day. “It’s always very intense and exciting; the auction is like Sunday to a pro football player.” Over 250 000 bottles were sold at auction in 2011 and any single auction has about 1000 lots. Far from being threatened by the presence of other wine retailers and brokers that have asserted themselves in retail markets lately, John is encouraged that the wine trade constitutes 25 per cent of Acker’s auction business. Overall, this indicates an active wine business that is healthy and growing. 

    “The fine wine market is dominated by French wines. Bordeaux continues to be the most important segment and there’s also Burgundy. Other important segments are Champagne, the Rhone, Italy, Spain, California, Australia, Port and Madeira. I look forward to when we are selling Chinese wine at auction. In fifty years, it may be a whole new market. Something tells me the guys who have been doing it since the 1800s are still going to be on top: France has special geography and terroir,” John opines.

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  had a tasting of  13 Wines  from  1 Producers 

The last two wines of our evening were perfect strangers, brought together by fate and the Forbidden Cellar. We soared to new heights with the 1945 Mouton Rothschild that followed. This was everything this bottle was supposed to be, as sexy as sexy can be. Menthol, mint, and olive wafted from its beguiling nose. The palate was rich yet so smooth. It wowed with its cedar spice. It was delicate yet forceful, with light leather flavors. Meaty and spectacular, this wine was as rewarding as they come, delivering rich and fleshy caramel flavors on the finish with divine forest edges. It was absolutely delicious, an anywhere, anytime bottle.

9d 3h ago

John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  had a tasting of  25 Wines  from  1 Producers 

Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 2003 was very forward and sexy in that Cali way but still had some Old World, or classic sensibilities. The nose had lots of banana with hints of citrus and caramel. Very aromatic, the wine had a smooth and frisky palate which finished with some alcohol, mineral and acid. Buttery and a touch young, it had flavors of banana and minerals. It was very good.

1m 14d ago

Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1980, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1997, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1993, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1988, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 2003, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1999, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1986, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1979, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 2000, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1982, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1995, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1998, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1981, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1984, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1978, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1994, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1974, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1989, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 2001, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1987, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1990, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1991, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1992, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1985, Mount Eden Vineyards
Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 1996, Mount Eden Vineyards

John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  had a tasting of  16 Wines  from  3 Producers 

This Montrose 1898 caused Frank to have a silent orgasm, I think. The nose was amazing; there was perfect balance of nut, chocolate, cedar, spearmint and earth. It was warm, inviting and phenomenal. The palate was pure and beautiful with lots of chocolate, sweet baby's bottom, nut and this Krispy Kreme glaze, again in a chocolate way. The wine had a hedonistic, dessert-like quality to it, but it was far from dessert wine. Rich, velvety and long, this wine was fantastic, incredibly exotic and complex. It had a nose unlike any other, and even the 'lesser' bottle I liked. Thankfully, I had the better one. Along with the 1911, the 1898 won the award for 'most exotic'

2m 5d ago

John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  had a tasting of  18 Wines  from  7 Producers 

We started feeling frisky,  and we wanted to reciprocate, so I selected one of my favorite, all-time  wines, the 1985 Meo Camuzet Richebourg.  This is a wine that would be on my top 100 of all-time, and after not having  it for at least three or four years, it was good to see it still showing  incredibly. Of course, Henri Jayer had his hand in the ’85 Meo, and many feel  that Henri was the greatest winemaker ever in Burgundy. Consider the ’85 Meo Riche ‘Exhibit A.’ It had a ‘wow’ nose, layers upon layers cascading up into  my nose. 

I literally felt like I was swimming in it. Pick a fruit, any fruit,  as they were all seemingly there - red, purple, black and blue danced together freely, transporting us to a shiny, happy place, a veritable  Woodstock for wine. Adam hailed it as ‘intoxicating,’ and ‘miles ahead of DRC  in 1985.’ Hey, he said it, not me! But, he was right, not to take away from  the DRC Riche, in and of itself a great wine, but the 1985 Meo Richebourg is  just one of those wines that is one step beyond the rest. Incredibly complex,  there was this magnificent floral component, along with distinctive and sexy  Asian spices, an ocean of fruit, and even some morning fog. Smelling it was  like looking out on a horizon of wine, endless in its possibilities and  promise. Adam noted, ‘sap and pine tar, menthol and spring forest.’ All I  could then see were naked nymphs. Adam cooed, ‘the whole world stops for a  great bottle of Burgundy; armies could march past me right now, and I would still be sitting here.’ Here, here. No, seriously, here, give me the rest of  your ’85 Meo; it was actually a wine over which wars are started (98)!

2m 21d ago

John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  had a tasting of  11 Wines  from  10 Producers 

Who says China gets all the Lafite? Not The Mogul, who pulled out a 1959 Lafite Rothschild next. What a great bottle, this was clearly deeper and darker than the 1961. There was much more forest and cedar to this black Knight and night of a wine. Gentleman Jim noted ‘cinnamon, allspice and clove.’ Its flavors showed carob again, but this time with layers of caramel on top. This was a rich and saucy wine with nice concentrate to it in a grape seed and oil kind of way. There were solid desert flavors on its dry finish. This ‘screamed’ Lafite to Big Boy (97).

3m 8d ago

John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  had a tasting of  15 Wines  from  1 Producers 

I was surprised how much I preferred La Tache on this night, although all wines were in the outstanding to best wines of my life categories, here. There are many who feel within the first 30 years, La Tache gives more pleasure, and then after that the RCs start to take off, so to speak. This night would be a good exhibit for that argument, at least for me. I hope to be able to continue this debate on many occasions in the future! There are few wines that always bring Joy to the World, but for me, DRC is one of them. Have Yourself a Very DRC Christmas!

4m 4d ago

John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  had a tasting of  7 Wines  from  7 Producers 

This evening was a prime example of a proper, civilized six-pack. We ended up with a ‘Top Ten’ wines of all-time discussion. For those of you that may not know, or that have forgotten, it goes 1945 DRC Romanee-Conti, 1945 Petrus, 1934 DRC Romanee-Conti for starters… It was great to go back in time with The Historian, and I look forward to more lessons in the near future.

4m 12d ago

John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  had a tasting of  27 Wines  from  15 Producers 

A Bad Boy Birthday Bash

Some people know how to do it right. The right ambience, the right company, the right food and of course, the right wine. I have been drinking with Bad Boy as long as I have been writing tasting notes, and I can safely say that he knows how to do it right. This past month he hosted over sixty wine lovers at his home in New Jersey for a spectacular celebration of wine and friends. The guest list was basically the Academy Awards for fine and rare wine in New York City, and Bad Boy unanimously took home Best Director and Best Picture.
The only problem with a Bad Boy production is the party factor, as in it turns into a great party, rather quickly. Some, like Mr. Vinous and Dapper Dave, stayed studious to the very end and compiled many more notes than I. I started strong, but in the end I am a drinker, so of the 130 bottles, 16 magnums and 2 jeroboams that were opened, I managed notes for approximately 30 wines. While I feel quite inadequate at the moment, I felt more than adequate throughout the night.

4m 26d ago

John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  had a tasting of  12 Wines  from  11 Producers 

The 1961 Petrus, as usual, was the top of the pyramid. This was a classic wine in every which way. This was a lot of people’s wine of the night, including mine. While my notes were waning, I did find it ‘rock solid with enough fine chalk and stone for a quarry,’ and its fruit was ‘absolutely perfect.’ It also got a ‘longggggggg’ (99pts).

4m 29d ago

John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  had a tasting of  39 Wines  from  31 Producers 

I was invited to dine at Da Marco’s, where ten locals had congregated with an assortment of fine wines and company. We started with a couple bottles of 1985 Krug, which got the party started, but I didn’t take any notes.

The notes began with a trio of 2005 Niellons, starting with the Clos St. Jean, which was smoky, toasty with lots of rocks, minerals and ‘gaspipe.’ It was round but balanced, lacking a touch of definition (90). The Les Chaumees was simpler and easier, just OK, not as interesting as the Clos St. Jean (87). The Les Vergers had the biggest finish and the most acidity. It was brighter and the most intense of the three (91).

5m 17d ago

Dom Pérignon Rosé 1988, Moët & Chandon
Cuvée Nicolas-François Billecart 1990, Billecart-Salmon
Château Latour 1959, Château Latour
Château Margaux 1959, Château Margaux
Château Haut-Brion 1966, Château Haut-Brion
Château Mouton-Rothschild 1959, Château Mouton-Rothschild
Batard-Montrachet 2002, Domaine Ramonet
Solaia 1997, Antinori
Charmes-Chambertin 1997, Domaine Armand Rousseau
Clos de la Roche 1990, Domaine Armand Rousseau
Ruchottes-Chambertin Clos des Ruchottes 1990, Domaine Armand Rousseau
Bonnes Mares 1999, Joseph Drouhin
Meursault Goutte d’Or 1959, Joseph Drouhin
Clos-de-la-Roche Vieilles-Vignes 1990, Domaine Ponsot
Bâtard-Montrachet 1976, Domaine Leflaive
Chevalier-Montrachet 1999, Domaine Leflaive
Bâtard-Montrachet 2000, Domaine Leflaive
Léoville-Las Cases 1990, Château Léoville-Las Cases
Montrose 1990, Château Montrose
Batard-Montrachet 2006, Louis Jadot
Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles 1996, Louis Jadot
La Tâche 2004, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti
La Tâche 2003, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti
Château Angelus 2000, Château Angelus
Château Pichon-Longueville Baron 1959, Château Pichon-Longueville Baron
Chevalier Montrachet Demoiselles 2004, Maison Louis Latour
Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou 1990, Château Ducru-Beaucaillou
Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 1999, Domaine Georges Roumier
Bâtard-Montrachet 1992, Domaine Étienne Sauzet
Chateau Beausejour Duffau-Lagarosse 1990, Château Beausejour Duffau-Lagarosse
Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrieres 2005, Domaine Guy Roulot
Barolo Falletto 1990, Bruno Giacosa
Grands-Echezeaux 2002, Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret
Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru Cros Parantoux 2007, Emmanuel Rouget
Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru Cros Parantoux 2000, Emmanuel Rouget
Barolo 1971, Cantine Mascarello
Montrachet 2005, Remoissenet Pere & Fils
Romanee St. Vivant 1991, Domaine Robert Arnoux
Chambertin Clos de Béze 1959, Domaine Damoy

John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  had a tasting of  25 Wines  from  22 Producers 

Let’s talk Bordeaux. The Commander brought two gorgeous ‘82s which were both singing. L’Evangile, which is now owned and run by Lafite, and Trotanoy, which is owned and run by the Moueix family (aka Petrus) remain two of the best buys in all of Bordeaux, and these two wines showed why. The L’Evangile had sexy aromas and flavors of plum, olive and chocolate, and while still a bit tight, it was thick and delicious. The Trotanoy was a bit more open, dare I say sexier in its nose, showing blacker fruit and great autum floor action. It may be maturing a touch faster than the L’Evangile, but I found them qualitatively equal. The 1985 Petrus has never been considered a great Petrus, but out of double magnum, it came damn close. It was another sexy Pomerol nose, with more wheat and dust, along with touches of purple marzipan. The palate was rich and beautiful, w ith hints of olive and plum, and richer and more tannic than I expected, probably thanks to the larger format as much as anything else.

6m 8h ago

John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  had a tasting of  17 Wines  from  7 Producers 

The 1986 Margaux was about as open as this wine has ever been for me, possessing dense plum and cassis fruit, forward in its personality and more forgiving than most ‘86s I have had of late. The wine also had some noticeable oak in the nose, not offensive, yet noticeable, which is never something I would call a good thing, either.

In time, the oak integrated well, however, and this was a perfumed ’86, actually charming and seductive. Make no mistake about it, there was still a very sturdy backbone of tannins and acidity behind it, but in a good posture kind of way, in that you don’t notice it until you see someone/thing without it. Mr. Margaux noted ‘flowers and earth.’ The palate was spicy, with vanilla and oak flavors most noticeable, a bit shy overall, yet its big acidity and dry tannins made their presence more known in the mouth than in the nose. Its long finish had earthy flavors, and its fruit was a bit dormant in the mouth, typical for most ‘86s at the moment. Mr. Margaux noted the ‘tannins and acid are most noticeable in ’86; it is a long-term vintage and relatively a bargain accordingly.’ He also admired the ‘elegance of the earth’ and the terroir of Margaux.

The 1986 Margaux was a spiny wine, still unyielding in the mouth despite signs of charm and finishing school in the nose; it was definitely an iron fist, without the velvet glove just yet 

6m 16d ago


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