Archive for November, 2012
Tonight was yet another tasting, this one featuring Californian wines from some of what we think are truly TOP vineyards, with some age on them. Here are some of the highlights.
2005 Patz & Hall Chardonnay “Durell Vineyard”
We did a Zin tasting down at Sansei Waikiki/DK Steakhouse last night with the gang. Here are some of the highlights.
We always keep checking out the Lodi & Amador regions of California. Why? Because there are so many multi-generational, family owned & farmed vineyards in each, they both really have the potential for producing interesting, wonderfully value oriented wines from older vines. Here is one of them…..48 year old vines (Lodi)…crafted by up & coming winemaking phenom Eric Laumann. We really like this particular RED Zinfandel & frequently offer it by the glass at our restaurants. Why? Because it is delicious, light, pretty, food friendly & gulpable, the kinds of characteristics we think are apropos for wines by the glass. (Don’t expect a BIG, hearty, robust Zin here). Secondly, we think it over delivers for the price & as wine lovers well know, it really is getting harder & harder to find VALUE driven wines.
Here are some of the red wine highlights from our BYOB dinner in VINO the other night. Boy, was it fun! Thank you to all who brought to share.
2007 Clape Cornas
I am a HUGE fan of the Syrahs from this family domaine in Cornas, France. While their wines may not have the class or sophistication of Chave’s Hermitage, they are truly artisan, handcrafted, world class & provocatively & profoundly soulful in their own way…AND are at least half the price.
1985 Tempier Bandol “La Migoua”
Yes, we had yet another BYOB dinner, where the participants brought some amazing older wines. Here are some of the highlights.
1999 Raveneau Chablis Premier Cru “Butteaux”
Without a doubt, Raveneau produces some of the purest, most transparent Chardonnays in the world. Because the wines see some oak, it really does take a few years of bottle age for the true terroir to once again really express itself, as this 1999 deftly displayed. Everything is now in totally harmony & I really loved the riveting, breathtakingly ethereal, sea shell-y minerality. My only other comment is drink it up….why wait. Life is just too short.
The Old World (France, Italy, Germany, etc) have had centuries to find out which vineyards are the special ones. California, on the other hand is really just getting started.
It is exciting to see, nonetheless, many of the sites now being planted in search of interesting terroir.
Monte Bello Vineyard
In the right forefront is parcel of Mount Eden’s planting. Near the top of the mountain is Monte Bello, which is the home of some of the most compelling Cabernets ever produced out of California.
In case you didn’t know, my partner DK & I have 8 restaurants here in Hawaii. 5 of them feature contemporary Asian foods. Because of that, we went out & created THREE German white wines which would better work with our foods. One is dry…..one is medium dry & the other slightly sweet, fruity & lower in alcohol. Each one is from a different winegrowing region & features a different star winemaker. For me, it really is like a “dream” team.
Carol seeks out some VERY interesting vineyards & crafts some amazing RED Zins which have character, vinosity (old vine-ness), generosity coupled with wonderful texture, balance & surprising delicious-ness. In addition she deftly “frames” each of her wines with a complex matrix of French, Hungarian & American oak barrels, new to old. Her wines are therefore never over oaked. Such an artist…..and a true champion of RED Zinfandel.
Something interesting to read