Location: 246 North Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, Ca 90210. 310-888-8782
Date: December 23, 2016
Cuisine: Steak House
Rating: My favorite LA Steak joint
For the second year in a row, my friend Sebastian picked Mastros for his birthday dinner — no complaints here — so we all hauled out the wines and headed across town.
Seb brought: 2002 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon. VM 90. Complex, precise aromas of apricot, mirabelle , honey and smoke. Silky, fat and full if quite dry; considerably richer than the young 2003, with sound framing acidity. Finishes very long, with a subtle whiplash of flavor. This has filled in quite nicely since I tasted it from barrel last spring.
A seafood tower. The quality of the seafood here is impeccable and the only thing we had to complain about was that there wasn’t enough! Really for five we would have expected the two or three story version Still there were amazing shrimp, claws, king crab (didn’t taste frozen), and oysters. The Dungeness chunks in the setter were the real winner.
From my cellar: 1982 Certan de May. Parker 98. Every time I have this wine in tastings outside my cellar, I have guessed it to be Petrus and I have rated it as one of the greatest 1982s. My scores have ranged from 96-100. From my cellar, the wine has always tasted super-concentrated, impressive, and frightfully backward, and not nearly as flattering and open. This tasting note is based on a wine from my cellar – a cold, damp storage facility. The wine reveals no signs of age in its color, which remains an opaque, thick- looking ruby/purple. The nose offers up reticent aromas of super-ripe black fruits (jammy cherries), combined with earthy, truffle, cedar, and chocolate notes. Full-bodied and super-concentrated, with high levels of extract, glycerin, and tannin, this remains an outrageously rich and compelling Pomerol that I find needs another 5 years until it begins to enter its plateau of maturity. It will easily last through the first three decades of the next century . It is a majestic Certan de May, as well as the finest young vintage of this wine I have tasted, but it is evolving at a glacial pace.
Dr. Dave brought: 2003 Thibault Liger-Belair Clos Vougeot. BH 91. This is very ripe though it stops short of being roasted with its plum, earth, wood, spice and pungent game suffused nose. There is excellent density and volume to the overly powerful, intense and broad-shouldered big-bodied flavors that are shaped by a very firm tannic spine that flirts with a bit of astringency on the otherwise lingering finish. This is definitely not a wine of refinement but it is certainly imposing. It’s not really a style that I particularly care for but then again that’s true of many ’03s as they’re just a bit too ripe for my taste. This particular example is slightly less ’03 in style than some but that said, it’s clear that it’s from a very ripe vintage.
Seb brought: 2002 Louis Jadot Chapelle-Chambertin. VM 93. Good bright ruby-red. High-toned roasted fruits, licorice, violet and sweet oak on the nose. Sweet, supple and creamy, with fruit currently dominated by an exotic coconutty oak quality. A second barrel showed even riper aromas and superb richness.
Seb brought: 2005 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage. VM 97. Inky ruby. Hugely aromatic bouquet of red and dark berries, cherry, Asian spices, fresh flowers, minerals and cured meat; smells like a great grand cru from Vosne-Romanee but with a wilder side. Flat-out gorgeous wine, with remarkably deep but fresh red berry and cherry flavors that stain the palate. Seems to actually expand on the finish, picking up exotic spicecake and rose pastille character and leaving a sweet trail of smoky red fruits behind. “If you insist on drinking this young, do it now,” says Chave, “because it will close up in about two or three years and not be open again for a long time.” You’ve been warned.
Dr Dave brought: 1998 Les Cailloux (Lucien et André Brunel) Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Centenaire. Parker 97-100. Happily, the last two bottles of 1998 Cuvee Centenaire from my cellar were representative of the score that has been bestowed above. Dense plum/garnet to the rim, with an extraordinary nose of creme de cassis, blackberry, licorice, camphor, new saddle leather, and scorched earth, the wine is full-bodied, opulent, rich, very pure, and from sound bottles, a great Cuvee Centenaire that comes close to rivaling the perfect 1990. This wine should drink well for another decade or more.
Arnie brought: 2003 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon RBS To Kalon Vineyard. Parker 97. The closest to full maturity and farthest along in its evolution appears to be the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon RBS Beckstoffer To- Kalon Vineyard. Notes of pen ink, creosote, tar, black currants and Christmas fruitcake jump from the glass of this dense ruby/purple-colored effort, which is showing less color saturation than its three siblings. Full-bodied and ripe with soft tannins, good freshness and liveliness, there is no reason to defer your gratification. It is an intense, mouthfilling, terrific, young Cabernet Sauvignon that should continue to drink well for 10-15 years.
The all important Butter Cake. This is “Mastro’s signature warm butter cake ala mode.” Basically a pound cake with an extra four sticks of butter or something. It’s really sweet and really good. Goes well with the magic whipped cream (see below).
Overall, another perfect steakhouse birthday!