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Larry Stein

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  1. I never was able to buy any '85s as my finances didn't allow me to at that juncture. My friend didn't pay as much attention to producer and reputation as to what was on the market and available to taste. I do know that he tasted over 300 wines from that vintage and bought about 10% of them, looking for what he hoped would be the vin de garde. I did do some tasting at the time. Neither of us had heard of Moine-Hudelot and JF Mugnier up to that point. I'll agree with you about Tollot-Beaut except in '85 and '78. We drank '85 Corton-Bressandes for faux-Millenium NYE dinner at Acquerello along with Leroy Clos-Vougeot, DRC Echezeaux, Rouget Echezeaux, and Meo-Camuzet VR "Cros Parantoux". It wasn't at all out of place in the company of those wines. What's most interesting about '85 de Vogue Musigny is there were 3 different import sources in the Bay Area. Of course, there was the official import from Dreyfus Ashby. There also were 2 grey market imports. My friend couldn't remember the importer of the one he didn't buy and the one he did purchase didn't have an importer sticker on it when we drank it. He couldn't remember where he bought that one or the importer. I never tasted the non-purchased one, but there was *definitely* a huge difference between the other 2. The Dreyfus Ashby bottling was simple and light to medium bodied. The other one was anything but that with great structure, body and fruit core. Don't know if there was a barrel-by-barrel selection for the different importers, but it would've been hard to believe otherwise when those 2 wines were tasted side-by-side. We were surprised by the recent showing of the Roumier Bonnes-Mares and Rousseau Chambertin. I had tasted the Rousseau on 2 other occasions previously and it blew me away both times. Thanks for the info on the Leroy Nuits-Richemone. I'll let him know that.
  2. Starting about a year ago for a period of a few months, a friend brought over the better part of 25-30 different '85s. He had drunk one of them previous to that and noted that the wine had seen better days. Unfortunately, I don't have the list of what we drank anymore. I do remember drinking the following: Chambertin, Rousseau Echezeaux, Henri Jayer Musigny VV, de Vogue (grey market, not Dreyfus Ashby import) Corton and Corton-Bressandes, Tollot-Beaut Bonnes-Mares, Roumier Ruchottes-Chambertin, Georges Mugneret Musigny, Moine-Hudelot Musigny, J-F Mugnier NSG Richemone, Leroy Other than the Jayer Echezeaux and de Vogue Musigny, many of the wines were on the downslide. Based upon these tastings, my friend sold all the rest of his 85s. This included Leroy Chambertin, Ruchottes-Chambertin and his lone bottle of Mazis-Chambertin "Cuvee Madeleine Colligan". Also, Jayer VR "Cros Parantoux" and Richebourg. He said the wines were simply worth too much to take the chance that he might get them on the downward slope. All of these had been stored in a temp-controlled cellar since purchase. All had been purchased when '85 was the current vintage. The best wine we had was the de Vogue Musigny. Simply spectacular. The Jayer was a close second, but with his other bottles bringing $1K a piece, he didn't much hesistate in selling them.
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