Restaurant: Tasty Duck [1, 2, 3]
Location: 1039 E Valley Blvd. Ste B102. San Gabriel, CA 91776. (626) 572-3885
Date: May 4, 2013
Rating: Great Duck!
My Hedonist food and wine club loves the SGV. This community 20 minutes East of Downtown LA boasts a staggering array of good Chinese restaurants.
NV Pierre Peters Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Cuvee de Reserve. Parker 92. The NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Cuvee de Reserve is a gorgeous wine that captures the essence of Chardonnay in the Cote des Blancs. Pure, wiry and wonderfully expressive, the Cuvee de Reserve flows gracefully with layers of varietal fruit from start to finish. This shows superb clarity, depth and polish, particularly at the NV level. The current release is 65% 2007 and 35% reserve wines from a solera cuvee that contains 15 vintages. Roughly 2/3rds of the fruit comes from Mesnil, while the rest is from Cramant, Avize, Oger and Chouilly.
Cold appetizers: Jellyfish (top), wine chicken (right), and beef (left).
1971 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese. Rated 93. On the nose, lots of petrol and cotton candy. On the palate, still some good acidity and sweetness, with lots of tangerine and apricot and a long finish. May be a bit past its prime (storage was not the best according to the person who brought it) but still a lovely wine.
The main event: Peking Duck. Not only was this delectable, with fantastic crispy skin and delicate meat, but it’s artfully arranged.
Here are the traditional accompaniments. Excellent pancakes, hoison sauce, and scallions and apple/pear.
1989 Joseph Drouhin Clos Vougeot.Rated 91. Nice. Spice box nose with decent fruit and silky tannins. Defenite develpemnt. Classy finesse with earthy tones and soft red berries. It took a good hour or two for the fruit to come out, but once it did it was very nice.
2010 Van Volxem Kanzemer Altenberg Riesling Alte Reben. Parker 93. The stony mineral and piquantly nutty elements present in so many of this year’s Van Volxem offerings are only enhanced when it comes to the ancient-vines 2010 Kanzemer Altenberg Riesling Alte Reben, but so is citricity, to the point where this seems electrically-charged. Mint and green tea remind me a bit of the herbal side that comes out in so many Scharzhofberger of this vintage, while iris and hedge flowers add allure. A satin-textured and rich though vivacious palate impression leads to a clarion, vibratory finishing flavor interaction of floral, herbal, citrus, nut oil, and mineral notes. I would anticipate at least 12-15 years of excitement. Interestingly, at 11.8%, this is slightly lower in alcohol than the other non-sweet wines in the present collection, which are in the lower 12s.
Part of “duck three ways”: sprouts with bits of duck meat.
1996 Domaine Chauvenet-Chopin Nuits St Georges les Murgers. Parker 90-92. This medium-to-dark ruby-colored wine has an expressive nose of cassis, cherries, Asian spices, and minerals. This massive, chewy-textured, full-bodied, and plump wine is rich, concentrated, muscular, and crammed with super-ripe blackberries awash in toasty oak.
Some amazing Shanghai style soup dumplings. Tasty little morsels stuffed with pork and broth.
2005 Camille Giroud Latricieres Chambertin. Parker 93-94. The 2005 Latricieres-Chambertin (purchased partly as grapes and partly as wine) offers a clear, enticing nose of tiny purple plums, blueberries, lilies, beef marrow, and hints of caramel and vanilla. Polished and bright, it exudes the refinement that the Chapelle lacked, leading to a real rush of lingering sweet, caramel- and vanilla-tinged fruit in the finish. The tannins are abundant but ultra-refined. Sock this away for at least a decade and figure on at least an additional decade to hold.
Great wine, although a little young. After 30-60 minutes it opened up and drank very nicely.
Shanghai style BBQ pork ribs. Twice fried (deep and stir) in a sweet and sour sauce. Very good for this dish, with relatively little bone.
1997 Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie. Parker 86-88. The dark ruby-colored 1997 Cote Rotie Cuvee Classique is an evolved, forward, fat wine with cassis and raspberry fruit flavors, medium body, and an easy-going, succulent, luscious, straightforward appeal.
Nice pairing with the lamb below.
Cumin lamb. A typical specimen, but with tender flavorful lamb. Some places border on mouton.
The proverbial, “duck soup” that is the last part of “duck three ways.” Mild and pleasant with some tofu and cabbage.
Their interesting take on “walnut shrimp.” The fried shrimp, sweet mayo sauce, and walnuts is supplemented with pineapple!
2006 Bressan Schioppettino. Rated 92. Clear ruby in color, with medium plus intensity and moderate consistency. The nose is clean, with medium plus intensity. The nose is quite complex, with aromas of red fruit, orange rind, sage, thyme, menthol, rhubarb, angostura bitters, black pepper, anise, violet and pine forest floor. The nose is developing, of fine quality and constantly evolving in the glass. The palate is dry, with medium plus to pronounced acidity, and flavors generally consistent with the nose. Showing red fruit, peppery spice, herbs and bitter lemon. The alcohol is moderate (-) at 13%. Thee polyalcohols are smooth (-). The tannins are medium to medium plus. The minerality is moderate +. The body is medium +. The flavors are moderately intense +. The finish is moderately persistent +. The wine is moderately balanced; it is skewed slightly towards hardness. The acidity is quite high. It’s almost as a little bit of white wine had been blended in, but the tannins are defintely still there. The palate is fine overall. This wine is ready to drink and approaching maturity, but is likely to have a long drinking window thanks to its structure. It is moderately harmonious + and extremely food friendly.
Crispy whole red cod with sweet and sour sauce. A really nice fish, similar to a couple weeks ago at the Shanghai place.
Fried rice with pineapple, which felt more Thai.
Beef rolls with BBQ beef and cilantro. Really nice, tasted like rolled up Pho.
NV Minardi Vini Passito di Pantelleria. Rated 88. Not the most balanced Pantelleria I’ve ever had, and medium sweet, like a vin santo, but very pleasant and an excellent pairing with the mild but sweet Chinese desserts.
Red bean or black sesame (I wasn’t sure) pancakes. Tasty (for a Chinese dessert).
Overall, another fantastic meal. The total damage, including tax and a whopping 30% tip was $32 a person! The service was great (for Chinese). They were very friendly and willing to serve us the dishes one at a time over three hours. This is actually fairly unusual as a lot of Chinese restaurants like to slam you out in 45 minutes by dropping everything on the table at once. The duck was first rate, as good as Peking duck gets — more or less. The other dishes were good too, with almost all of them being very well executed and not greasy.
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