Double deep cellar cleansing

Dotoré reached deep into his double double cooler (wider and deeper) and came up with some real beauties for celebrating the holidays. Your humble blog-host reports on the premium treats along with a couple other not-so-shabby year-ending tastes.
Huet-btljpg.jpg2002 Domaine Huet Vouvray Petillant $27: Robust sparkling wine, lemon rind, simultaneously green and ripe. Every bit as wonderful as when we first “discovered” this producer and this wine in particular at Palate. A Robert Chadderdon selection. Chenin Blanc. 12%
esmonin 1988 Griottes.jpg
1996 Frederic Esmonin Griottes Chambertin
$100: Thin and undernourished like a fashion model in Vogue; an appropos metaphor since with Burgundy and Grand Cru vineyards like Griottes it is all about what is on the label. What happened to these wines in this vintage? 30 minutes later the wine opened up a bit and showed an exotic nose with black cherry and black berries. Too little too late. 13.8%
RousseauRuch.Cham.jpg1996 Armand Rousseau Ruchottes Chambertin Grand Cru Monopole $130: Lean, showing its age. More structured than the Esmonin, soft with yam flavors. Red brown robe (like the Esmonin) indicates age past its prime. Flavor is more full than the Griottes. Suits the potatoes. Better of the two wines. 13%
CAVEAT EMPTOR: ON at least three occasions in 2008 we found disappointment with 1996 Burgundies from top producers considered among the region’s finest. The vintage was simply less than stellar.
rochioli-west-1998.jpg1997 Rochioli West Block Pinot Noir $250: Bourbon nose. Great contrast to the two 1996 Burgs. Towering, lean, tannic, deep pinot fruit. Burnt sugar cane, hedonistic. Full exudatum nose. Ripe and lush. Velvety, rich, exotic. Showing its age. Sour mash whiskey on the nose. “The perfect glass of wine” or just too ripe? Certainly one of the most widely collectible! 13.5%
The year-ending bottles included the last of a mixed case of 1983 Sauternes along with a fresh and lively California Pinot Noir.
nettarePN06-2.jpg2006 Nettare Carneros Pinot Noir $20: Carneros wine featured at the Napa Valley Wine Exchange in San Francisco. NVWE specializes in small production outfits and this fits at 112 cases produced. Sweet candied fruit, some smoke as we would expect from Carneros. A bit rough around the edges and still worth the price. 14.2%
dArche 1983.jpg1983 Chateau d’Arche $200: The end of a collection that saw the last 2 opened over the past holiday season. This was perfectly ready as was the Sigalas Rabaud. Honeycomb flavors which is to say there was waxiness and a raw essence quality to the wine. Extremely rich and concentrated. Another spectacular example of an outstanding vintage. The online price for the d’Arche is almost 10 times the Sigalas Rabaud. While the d’Arche is superior and more spectacular it is not so by a factor of ten. The readiness of these two wines contrasts with the relative youthfulness of the 1983 d’Yquem. This was an excellent investment and a strategy tBoW would recommend to any young wine drinker looking to put wines down that can be enjoyed in their glory at 20 years age. 12.5%