During a recent 3 day stay in LA with dear friends, we had pre-selected dining at the Beverly Hills Spanish restaurant, Bazaar by Jose Andres.
After an in home, once in a lifetime Madeira tasting, the 4 of us journeyed out to the restaurant with wine in tow.
We were seated by choice at a community table for 6 in front of the kitchen. It was the most quiet section of the entire dining room even with all of the hustle and bustle of the kitchen`s army putting everything together piece by piece.
The photos have a red aura about them which was contributed by the hot, as in temperature, red lights coming out of the glass covered table top. It made for an attractive uber modern look and probably served to keep our dishes warm, but was not ideal for wine bottles and glasses to be placed upon.
Along with about 15 delicious and uniquely presented tapas/ small plates, we drank:
1999 PHILIPPONNANT CLOS des GOISSES BRUT- I`ve enjoyed some stellar bottles of this vintage in the past year or so and expected this one to shine as well; it was oxidised, but not to the point of being undrinkable, my rationale. I pushed to get through it as I`m not a fan of unintentionally oxidised wines [as contrasted to Madeira].
1969 MUGA PRADO ENEA RESERVA RIOJA- with the wire netting around the bottle in tact, we had the cork pulled and drank it along side with the 59` Torres; the colour was a healthy dark red; this wine was nicely balanced and had an elegance that stood out over all other attributes; the aromatics and taste profile had soft leather, mild earthy and spicy notes to accent the mild plum and blackberry fruit; it was soft and easy on the palate and had extended finesse all the way to the back end. BTW, I referenced the wire netting around the bottle which is still found in use by some producers. I`m informed by one of my Spanish wine mentors that it is bad luck to remove it. It`s purpose was to discourage removing the cork and drinking the contents and then refilling with inferior wine as well as fraudulent re-labelling.
1959 TORRES GRAN CORONAS GRAN RESERVA PENEDES- also popped and poured; the colour was reddish purple with no evidence of bricking; the nose had a lot of stuff to greet one with that promised a fine journey; it gave up nice dried black raspberry and cherry along with some leather and earth; the taste had generous amounts of cranberry, cherry and boysenberry with help from a dollop of talc and sandalwood; in contrast to the Muga, this was a bit bigger, more medium to full bodied and therefore less elegant and perhaps a tad more youthful in colour; it had good energy and a lovely aura; both were winners.
It was a grand evening of extremely creative Spanish cruise, fine wines and great friends. Life is good.
Please excuse typos and unintended auto-corrects