Thursday, May 21, 2009

Katana, Los Angeles

A perfect venue to meet new friends in the LA food and wine circle. Thank you Yarom for putting together a fun night for everyone. The picture is of the many wines we tasted. Personal favorite dishes were the tuna carpaccio and the Japanese eggplant with miso. The robatas were nice too - perfect for a group dinner. All of the wines were tasty, my top 3 were:

Champagne: Joseph Perrier's Josephine, 1995
Complex nose of citrus, vineyard peaches, vanilla, and yeast/lees. Full bodied (with rich flavors of white  chocolate and custard) and refreshing on the palate with pristeen bubbles. 

Chardonnay: Domaine Tollot-Beaut, Corton-Charlemagne, 1996
Less intensity on the nose and palate than I anticipated, but I still enjoyed the yellow fruits and dry nature of this Charlie.

Dark ruby and highly concentratrated in color. A pretty, aromatic nose - dominated by cherries, berries, plums...slightly candied. Lush mouthfeel still juicy with red and black fruits. Long, smoothe finish. This would have been a nice one to cellar...I'll just have to buy another bottle.

Monday, May 18, 2009

M E S A grill

Had a lovely Sunday dinner with the girls at MESA in Vegas last night. Accompanied by some nice chardonnays...the 2004 Sonoma Cutrer 'Les Pierres' and the 2000 Daniel-Etienne Defaix's Cote de Lechet (Premier Cru Chablis). I picked the white burgurdy to exhibit the richness even Chablis can achieve to chard lovers in the New World comfort zone. Defaix makes his wines in a traditional style - without the use of new oak - fermenting and aging in stainless steel vats with significant time spent ‘on the lees’ (the skins, dead yeasts and other such physical matter of the grapes). This infuses his wines with phenomenal richness and complexity, while still allowing the freshness and minerality of great Chablis to shine. They loved it and I hope more of my family and friends start trying older Chablis when they see them on wine lists and in shops! 

Tasting notes: wines undergoes malolactic fermentation, driven midpalate, lemon, citrus, caramel, honey, hazelnut, medium plus acidity, subtle minerality

Sunday, May 17, 2009

2004 Batasiolo Barolo

...grazi Fiorenzo!


I got in a nice little debate over dinner last night about this word. IMHO, it's one of the worst adjectives you can use to characterize a thought or feeling. It's completely dependent on the user and receiver's personal definition of the word and gives little information about an opinion. For example, if I call a wine "interesting" and don't qualify it, I think it's a copout. Thoughts?

Wine Spectator Grand Tasting Highlights


~ Chateau Palmer (Bordeaux, Margaux, 1996)
silky first stop

~ Chateau Lafite Rothschild (Bordeaux, Pauillac, 1999)
refined and elegant second

~ Chateau Haut-Brion (Bordeaux, Pessac-Leognan, 2004)
decadent, polished

~ Poderi Aldo Conterno (Barolo, Monforte D'Alba, 2004)
roses, tar, dried raspberries, sour cherries - fantastic after it had an hour to breathe

~ Maison Albert Bichot (Meursault, Premier Cru - Les Charmes, 2006)
a refreshing, nutty, and creamy white burgundy after power-tasting reds

~ Biondi-Santi (Brunello di Montalcino, Il Greppo Riserva, 1999)
my first taste of this delicate and brillant wine - provoke exploration of different styles of wine made from sangiovese

~ Hugel et Fils (Riesling, Alsace, Jubilee, 2004)
buying a case for beach picnics


~ Meeting Ian Cauble, Kelly Ford, and James Suckling

~ Pouring WITH Robin Shay

~ Pouring FOR my dear Molto Vegas friends Lori Lucena, Mel Mrachek, Destyn Stevenson, and Liz and Henry Davar. You guys are family and it was wonderful to see you enjoying the tasting...maybe Mario and Joe will come next year. I'd probably get all excited and spill the wine though ;)

~ Bumping into local friends in the wine world...Kevin Vogt, Ira Harmon, Ron Mumford, Jaime Smith, Mark Weidemann, Larry Olson, Gino Ferraro - great to see you guys

~ Dining with Fiorenzo Dogliani, Stefano Poggi, Kirk Offerle, Deby Beard and friends. Carnevino impressed as always and we enjoyed the 2004 Batasiolo Barolo with dinner. And Fiorenzo made our Italian meal official with a few songs as they brough out the espressos and grappas. Piacere! Salute!!

2004 Allegrini Amarone

I had the pleasure of pouring this Italian star of the Wine Spectator Grand Tasting in Las Vegas last night. It's a well-structured, elegant expression of Amarone with a driven mid-palate due to their refined drying technique. The control the humidity so there is no rot, which can cause impurities. The result of this meticulous harvesting and raisinating process results in a wine with lower alcohol (it's still 15%), lower residual sugar, and softer tannins - the focus and balance Franco Allegrini's (winemaker) Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico is so clear when tasting the competition. The only 2004 that's left to buy is what you can find on the shelves, so pick up a bottle while you can still find one! Thanks to all of the repeat visitors, I love to see people enjoying the wine I'm pouring, especially when you have five first growths in the aisle over.

Lori's Hutnick's Pizzettes

Made from scratch by my mom with carmelized onions, prosciutto, and goat cheese. One of the things I miss most about Rocky Hill, Connecticut. You can imagine who inspired my love for food and wine! Cooking is an art I'll dabble in one day...

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