Chez Dunnuck – Dinner with Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s Anne-Charlotte Mélia Bachas

Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s Anne-Charlotte Mélia Bachas (from Château de la Font du Loup) was recently in Boulder and it was a great excuse to open up some good bottles and have a relaxing evening with a few friends. All of the wines (aside from the Champagne) were from my cellar and picked with the goal to drink wines she might not have tried before.

Anne-Charlotte Mélia Bachas of Château de la Font du Loup

Anne-Charlotte Mélia Bachas of Château de la Font du Loup

We started with a bottle brought by Anne-Charlotte and the NV La Closerie Extra Brut les Beguines is made by Jerome Prevost. This stellar beauty is made from 100% Pinot Meunier, which is a variety getting more respect recently. This was a terrific bottle that blossomed with air and offered beautiful depth and richness.

As to the reds, the 2008 Priorat Vinyes Velles from Ferrer Bobet comes from crazy schist soils and is a mix of Grenache and Carignan. This beauty was ripe, chocolaty and elegant, with tons of black raspberry, currants, violets, incense and scorched earth characteristics. It has bright acidity and while mature, is still lively and fresh. Unfortunately, the 2003 Mitolo Shiraz GAM was subtly corked, but this is a monumental wine I’ve been lucky enough to drink more than a case of. When it’s on, it flirts with perfection. One of the surprises of the evening was the 2007 St Henri Shiraz, and this incredible Shiraz was singing! Deep, layered and unctuous, it offered lots of blackcurrants, chocolaty oak, smoke and licorice as well as a killer, silky, elegant, and seamless texture. This is a downright sexy beauty that’s going to have another two decades of longevity.

I drank a bottle of the 2004 Flor de Pingus on release and it was a massive, oaky, yet incredibly impressive red that was zero fun to drink. It’s shed a big chunk of its baby fat and is showing plenty of elegance today, as well as classic notes of Asian spices, cedar, toasted bread and layers of ripe fruit. This killer wine is going to live forever.

The last red of the night, the 2003 Lewelling Cabernet Sauvignon Wight Vineyard is a cellar selection that’s not make each year. It offered perfumed notes of violets, crème de cassis, and hints of cedar shavings in incredibly pure, elegant, supple and opulent style. I purchased this bottle from the domaine on release, and it’s still youthful, yet drinking brilliantly. Feel free to open bottles or cellar for another decade.

We finished with a heavenly dessert wine, the 1999 La Gravière Cuvee Madame, which comes from a blend of Muscadelle and Semillon from the chalky, limestone soils east of Bordeaux. Thick, unctuous and decadent, yet still light and weightless, it’s up with the crème de la crème of dessert wines.