Nine of us convened at a local Chinese restaurant, China Pavilion, to enjoy a special multi course lunch prepared to the specific requests by one of our group who is quite knowledgeable regarding the cuisine, knows the owner, speaks Mandarin and celebrating his birthday of the day before.
We had the perfect arrangement of a round table in an inside street side corner with plenty of shaded sunlight and a lazy Susan in the middle of the table which facilitated in passing the wines and the food around.
The food was tasty, plentiful and timely served with each plate coming out with enough time to self serve and indulge and then move on to the nest offering.
We purposely selected more white wines to compliment the food. In the context that “one can never have too much champagne”, we enjoyed 5 at the outset:
2008 LOUSIE BRISON BRUT- from the stellar 2008 vintage, this is made from 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir; I`ve had a few good bottles of this and considered it to be a really good QPR; this one did not show nearly as well as those before it; it did have some nice acidity, but the fruit character was more of dried and tart citrus and there was a saline component that dominated unlike anytime before; it was super dry and the fruit profile it did have dissipated toward the end.
NV LE MESNIL BLANC de BLANC GRAND CRU BRUT- this full bodied beauty had wonderful layering of fresh, honeyed peach and pear flavors that was delivered in a creamy rich texture which contributed to a mouth coating, palate pleasing experience; I loved the finesse it had which somewhat mellowed out the concentrated intensity; excellent bubbly.
NV LAURANT-PERRIER BRUT ROSE- i`ve had many 6 packs of this fine rose with a couple still in the cellar and this one followed in line with the superb bottles I`ve enjoyed previously; typically, I`ve purposefully positioned this prior to opening a Pinot Noir/ red Burgundy since it has a similar profile to a lighter red fruit style I prefer; it serves to prepare the palate for such in a beautiful transitioning way; in this case, it has the requisite raspberry, strawberry and red cherry notes accented with a hit of toasty, pepper and spice; this also had a tad of saline and chalk; its medium bodied and holds on for a lingering joy of its treasures.
NV CHAMPAGNE MARC INITIALE NOIR & BLANC BRUT- 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir; served too warm IMHO, the taste profile was heightened and therefore unbalancing the experience; I get this is a good bubbly and it showed nice fruit and floral notes with lots of rich citrus amidst of fine thread of acidity; a good chill would get this into a state of crisp and refreshing balance.
2002 DOM RUINART BLANC de BLANC GRAND CRU BRUT- this was superb and nailed it on all aspects of sensory fulfillment; it had a creamy rich mousse that carried fresh and bright floral and fruit notes all the way to the back end; the citrus notes were primarily of lemon and lime and some kiwi came in to compliment and round it out; this is seriously complex bubbly and one that I`d be real pleased to have in my cellar.
As we moved from small plates and appetizers into main courses, we embellished and complimented with 3 Rieslings:
2006 WEINGUT EITELSBACHER KARLHAUSERHOFBERG SPATLESE TROCHEN- the aromatics are replete with petrol, minerals and lemon zest that continue on and are joined by fresh grapefruit and tropical flowers; it is served up in a medium, oily texture that provides longevity to the finish; it paired beautifully with some of the hot, spicy sauce toppings on selected dishes.
2004 SCHLOSS SCHONBORN ERBACHER MARCOBRUNN RIESLING KABINETT- the aromatics consisted of a big hit of musty, flinty, petrol and mineral laced notes joined by tasty honeyed stone fruit; it was medium to full bodied with an extended finish.
1992 SCHLOSS SCHONBORN HATTENHEIM NUSSBRUNNEN RIELSLING AUSLESE- sweetness, minerals, petrol and flint dominate the nose followed by a taste profile that included honeyed anise, pear and apple; the texture was on the heavy side and it delivered all of the contents to the back end for continued pleasure.
Individual bottles followed and included:
1991 R. LOPEZ de HEREDIA VINA TONDONIA BLANCO GRAND RESERVA RIOJA- a great bring which I`ve enjoyed a few times and always been delighted to explore the treasures; the nose was so inviting with nice floral and tropical notes which continued on and blended in with minty, slightly sweetened apple, pear and lemon flavors; evolved and yet young and spirited; made from Viura and a small amount of Malvasia; should be viable for many years to come as it is known to do.
1994 CUNE [C.V.N.E.] IMPERIAL GRAND RESERVA COMPANI VINCOLA del NORTE de ESPANA RIOJA- simply amazing; this was just so steady and even with magnificent balance and held a level of integrity from the nose through the tail; it touches all of the sensory treats to please even the most discerning palate; spicy cherry/ berry flavors abound throughout.
2005 DOMAINE GUY “AUX HERBUES” NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES- this was very light and easy with hints of aromas and flavors that included mildly spiced cherry; the nose had a bit of funk and must, almost suggestive of Brett, but not so; it had a light to medium body and finished somewhat brief.
2007 KISTLER CUVEE ELIZABETH BODEGA HEADLANDS SONOMA PINOT NOIR- very serious juice with full on aromas, taste and mouthfeel; there`s plenty of red and black cherry, red and black raspberry flavors accompanied by a nice spicy accent; this is a big boy with layers and depth along with a tannic structure to support long term cellaring and maturity; this bottle was in such a different place than all before it on this day; it stood on its own and distinguished itself as a highly extracted and masculine version of the varietal; rightfully served at or near the end of this fine meal.
2013 DOMAINE du SALVARD DELAILLE CHEVERNY LOIRE- 85% Sauvignon, 15% Chardonnay; the chardonnay portion of this blend steers this to a different from the usual SB profile by introducing a more pungent, grassy almost sweet herbal character of citrus and pineapple; it was definitely food friendly and a fun and lightweight expression of Loire fruit.
As varied as our wines were, the food offerings were equally so. Somehow, it all worked and along with the good company of food and wine passionate folks in attendance, it made for a grand day.
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Last edited by Blake Brown
on Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.