Location: 250 W Valley Blvd. San Gabriel, CA 91776. (626) 282-1777
Date: April 13, 2013
Rating: Very authentic Shanghai style
The San Gabriel Valley is a veritable treasure trove of Asian dining, particularly regional Chinese. Shanghai #1 Seafood Village is the LA branch of a high end Shanghai chain specializing in banquet dining.
As this is a Hedonist/Foodie Club wine diner, we prearranged a banquet and reserved the usual giant table.
2011 Domaine Collotte Bourgogne Rosé Marsannay. This is one of my go-to roses, as it’s all Pinot Noir from Burgundy. A wonderful sunny weather wine, it paired very nicely with the sweet and sour tones of the Chinese. There were a few rose-haters as usual, but this really is a great wine, bright and full of strawberry flavors.
2011 Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Riesling Eroica. IWC 88. Pale yellow-straw. Sexy aromas of nectarine, ginger and nutmeg. Moderately sweet but not at all cloying, with nectarine, apple, pear and brown spice flavors complicated by a saline quality and perked up by white flowers and CO2. Not particularly gripping and very easy to drink. Finishes just off-dry, with a menthol nuance and a suggestion of crab apple that brought my score down.
2004 Albert Mann Riesling Schlossberg. IWC 90. Very pale color. Highly aromatic nose offers underripe pineapple, flowers, mint, stone and flint, along with a leesy nuance that reminded me of Champagne. Juicy and moderately sweet (12.5 g/l. r.s.), with pure peach and nectarine flavors firmed by a stony underpinning. This is precise and detailed, and long on the finish-and not nearly as austere as some past vintages of this consistently excellent bottling. But it still calls for at least five years in the cellar.
2000 Denis Mugneret Père et Fils Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru. BH 88-91. Black fruit and spice just explode from the glass. This is Boudots at its best with abundant Vosne spice and solid Nuits character in a classy, medium weight package that offers good power, density and quality length. While it doesn’t offer the size of the grands crus and it’s not classically structured, it is deliciously complex and fine. I like this a lot.
1995 C.V.N.E. (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España) Rioja. IWC 90. Good full red. Deeply pitched aromas of smoke, minerals, leather and truffle. Supple and silky but nicely penetrating, with ripe, intense flavors of cherry, minerals and oak perfectly framed by harmonious acids. Subtle, textured Rioja finishing with good grip and thrust.
1985 Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy Dolcetto d’Alba. I’ve never had an old Dolcetto, and wouldn’t have assumed they lasted, but this was brilliant. It tasted very much of Dolcetto, grapey and all, but had a real depth to it.
Shanghai style sweet and sour fried fish. This was one of those goopy straight up orange sweet and sour sauces, but it was awesome. Particularly dripped over rice. And the method of flaying the meat out and frying it created a much crisper effect, even if the appearance is a bit horror movie.
2010 Montirius Gigondas Terres des Aines. IWC 91-93. Bright ruby. Spicy cherry and blueberry aromas lifted by mineral cut and a floral overtone. Nicely focused and pure, with very good energy to its dark berry flavors and seductive lavender and spice accents. Finishes spicy and long, with a late note of anise hanging behind.
2003 Maculan Acininobili. Parker 96. The 2003 Acininobili is utterly mind-blowing in its expression of candied apricots, orange peel and cinnamon. Constantly changing in the glass, it reveals superb intensity and a stunningly gorgeous purity, with superb length and phenomenal poise. Acininobili is a selection made from botrytised Torcolato fruit. It is aged for two years in new French oak.
Overall, this was a really great meal. First rate Chinese and quite authentic and typical of high end banquet meals in China. We didn’t have the totally tricked out menu with all the sea cucumber, shark fin, and the like, but I don’t love that stuff anyway. Nearly every dish was wonderful. Service was fine (for Chinese). They brought things a little rapidly, but it was fine. Great experience.