Location: 500 West Main Street Suite A, Alhambra, CA 91801. (626) 308-3222
Date: February 9, 2014
Cuisine: Cantonese Chinese
Rating: Fine Banquet Cantonese
Another week, another Hedonist Chinese extravaganza in the SGV. Up this time, Lunasia, usually known for its all day dimsum. But tonight we’re here for Cantonese banquet.
In a lovely private room. Lunasia is definitely much better looking than many of the local places.
2011 Hatzidakis Winery Assyrtiko. 89 points. Fantastic minerality, great acidity, just a touch of florality on the nose, and just a touch of salinity. The one trick is that you must follow: You must serve this wine between 45 and 52 degrees. At 56 degrees, you lose the minerality, and it seems flabby and unbalanced. But serve it at the right temperature, and wow!
From my cellar: 1990 Mommessin Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Suchots. 93 points. Lovely nose of sweet cherry fruit, barnyard, and spice, more of the same on the palate, tasted young, rich with great complexity, medium body, medium/long finish.
Our bottle was quite nice.
Yarom brought in both boar and venison that he personally killed, and the chef prepared it in various forms. There are two kinds of BBQ chops, some sliced (boar?) meat, and ground boar balls deep fried. This was one of the best preps we’ve yet had from these animals, and we’ve had several (here and here).
2006 Sine Qua Non Autrement Dit. 90 points. Very nice blueberry/strawberry nose. not hot on the nose. really nice full palate and mouthfeel with a nice mix of red and blue fruits, and integrated earthiness. did not noticably detect any heat or wood on this. certainly a bigger and different type of rose, but this bottle was nicely restrained and seemed in good balance tonight.
This is a very expensive, but very nice rose.
Stir-fried lobster w/ black pepper sauce.
2008 Lucien Le Moine Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Vaucrains. Burghound 89-92. A background hint of wood does not compromise the clear reading of the equally pungent and complex nose that is much more animale in character and this character also suffuses the textured, powerful and precise big-bodied flavors that, like the Les Cailles, also lean out somewhat on the otherwise linear and exceptionally long finish. Also like the Les Cailles, my predicted range assumes with this will flesh out with more time in barrel.
Young, but very good.
Various kinds of pork. An almost ham like roast pork in the back (Macau Roasted Pig’s feet?) and a sliced brown sauce version in the front — both delicious. It’s possible the foreground was actually abalone. I’m not sure (it was very tender though).
Some hot chili oil and an unusual (to me) seafood based “fish or scallop” sauce with an extremely unami flavor.
From my cellar: 1994 Bollig-Lehnert Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Auslese. 92 points. The sweetness had pleasantly faded, but it had extremely nice petrol notes.
Bullfrog with chilies. Good for frog, although one of the more mild dishes tonight.
2005 Hans Wirsching Iphöfer Kronsberg Riesling Spätlese trocken. 90 points. Dry. Green-tinged, straw yellow –maturing. High extract/alcohol (14%). Expressive nose, peach and citrus fruit plus a touch of classic ‘Petrol’ Riesling character. (Small tartrate crystals in this bottle). Very concentrated, rich, spicy, peach and ripe apples, taught minerality and very fine acidity. Very attractive, maturing wine that is great to drink now or in 2-3 years.
Some steamed vegetables with fish cake.
Crab in a special (curry?) fermented sauce. Very tasty, although hard to break into.
1999 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Cuvée Agustina Hyde Vineyard. IWC 85. Medium-full ruby. Extractive, oaky aromas of roasted black fruits, tar, bourbon, meat and eucalyptus oil. Fat and full, but the bitter cherry, tar and menthol flavors come across as roasted and tired. Finishes with smooth tannins, but I don’t find much pinot perfume or charm here.
1999 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Cuvée Agustina Hyde Vineyard. Parker 94. Paul Hobbs fashioned a potentially monumental 1999 Pinot Noir Cuvee Agustina. An opaque ruby/purple color is followed by a sweet nose of blackberries, cherry liqueur, smoke, forest floor, and toast scents. The wine is terrific on the palate, with multiple layers, great purity, and a prodigious finish. It is made from the Calera clone (the crop size was 0.2 tons per acre), this expensive but blockbuster Pinot was aged 16 months in 100% new French oak, and bottled with neither fining nor filtration. This powerful, intense effort, will require 2-3 years to display its varietal character. This is a Pinot Noir for gluttons.
For a new world pinot, this was a nice wine, certainly way better than Tanzer’s 85, although I think Parker with his new world bias is too generous. I’d probably rate it around 92 points, like a decent premier cru. Spectator gives it a 92.
French style beef. Tender filet mignon.
Stringbeans with pork. A very good example of this type.
2005 Sine Qua Non Pinot Noir Over & Out. IWC 92. Ruby-red. Exotically perfumed nose features energetic raspberry and blackberry scents complicated by cinnamon, mace and fresh rose. Plush and sweet, offering powerful red and dark berry flavors, suave tannins and impressively chewy finishing grip. Less a pinot than a Sine Qua Non wine, and that’s not a bad thing.
Well made, but way way too much oak (as usual for new world pinots).
Peking duck with the soft buns. This was a pretty awesome meaty example.
2001 Shirvington Shiraz. Parker 98. The 2001 Shiraz may be even more momentous than the Cabernet Sauvignon. There are nearly 1,000 cases of this blockbuster, opulently-styled, black beauty. Its inky/purple color is followed by an exceptional bouquet of black fruits, espresso roast, charcoal, and smoke. With great ripeness, intensity, purity, that fabulous seamless texture the Marquis team routinely obtains, and a finish that lasts more than a minute, it should offer profound drinking for at least a decade.
I really don’t see what Parker sees in these massive New World Shiraz. It’s fine, but just searing grape.
Chinese Broccoli with bean curd or bamboo shoots?
2000 Domaine Weinbach Tokay Pinot Gris Altenbourg Cuvée Laurence. 93 points. Color: Light golden yellow. Smell: Stone fruits, mineral, and roasted apples/pears. Taste: A melange of stone and tropical fruits with an underpinning of minerals that ebb and flow over a long finish. Overall: Outstanding!! Words won’t do this wine justice…several of us got stuck tasting, and re-tasting this wine through out the evening. Medium body, med+ fruit, med-high acidity, and a long glorious finish.
Someone brought this chocolate filled with poprocks!
A mango soup, very refreshing.
Red bean “soup.” Not my thing.
Of course we headed over to Salju Dessert for some awesome. Above banana peanut-butter Nutella crepe.
A super fruity one with coconut snow and various tropicals.
An unexpected nightcap:
1986 Lafaurie-Peyraguey. Parker 92. A wonderful bouquet of pineapples, smoky nuts, honeysuckle, and other flowers soars from the glass. In the mouth, the wine is rich, with the essence of apricots, pineapples, and other tropical fruits. The acidity is crisp, giving the wine great definition and clarity. The finish is sweet, honeyed, and long. This beautifully made Sauternes is one of my favorites from the 1986 vintage.
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