After Pinot Paradise, I attended the 4th Cronin memorial dinner: Cronin IV - The Best of Cronin. Duane Cronin was a great local winemaker, who made small volumes out of his house in Woodside. He passed away two years ago. I put together the first three, and his friend Rich Gibbons organized this one.
With 18 people in attendance, after socializing and drinking various whites, we sat down for this blind flight of six wines. We knew to varying degrees what they were: 3 were Cronin Pinot Noirs from the Peter Martin Ray Vyd. and 3 were Burgundies, a Nuits-St-Georges, a Musigny and an Echezeaux. Our challenge was to guess which were Burgs and which were SCM, then vote for our favorite two.
A testament to Duane's wines, this challenge proved difficult. Only two of us guessed correctly - Julie and me. Some of the Burgs were fruitier and sweeter, throwing off the Burgophiles. And those Cronins? Earthy and minerally. I was confident in 2 wines (B & C), but the other PMR took more work. After a long day of tasting, my notes here are pretty lousy, as they were just focused on the challenge.
Nose - dull, lavender.
Mushroom, mature fruit.
I guessed Musigny, as it reminded me of one I'd had. Burgophiles told me I was crazy and insisted it was the Echezeaux. Regardless, not my fave.
Alain Michelot '00 Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru Aux Champs Perdrix
Nose - earthy, mushroom
Minerally, black cherry, younger.
Cronin '94 Pinot Noir Peter Martin Ray Vyd.
Nose - minerally, black cherry.
Mature, minerally, a bit of a bite.
Cronin '97 Pinot Noir Peter Martin Ray Vyd.
Nose - shy earthy red plum.
Musty, truffle, sweetish red plum.
Dom. Comte Georges de Vogue '94 Musigny Grand Cru
Nose - cooked greens
Sweetish, red, lavender.
Cronin '96 Pinot Noir Peter Martin Ray Vyd.
Nose - black cherry, mineral.
Black cherry, truffle.
This is the one I had to eliminate as a Cronin. I eventually decided Echezeaux.
Dom. Rene Engel '96 Grands-Echezeaux Grand Cru
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