Restaurant: Wolvesmouth: Cut Your Teeth
Date: May 16, 2014
Rating: Pretty awesome
I’ve been wanted to try out Wolvesmouth for a long time, but the whole normal “application” process is highly irritating. I have so many elaborate dinners (several a week) that I don’t feel the need to fill out lengthy applications selling myself or call places at exactly this time. But my friend Stewart who has been many times secured tickets for my wife and I to this special installation dinner.
But inside they had built a little fairy playground. Like a super-sized version of CR8 (which were some of my favorite meals ever).
The “game” (or hunting?) theme was reinforced all over by genuine stuffed animals! It’s hard from the photos to appreciate this, but there were dozens of the little beasts and a highly elaborate and atmospheric stage setting.
1989 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut Collection. JG 96. Recently disgorged. Dark honey colour. Rich and evolved nose, very ripe feel to it. Dense in character. Very “vinous”. Honey notes. This is a beautiful expression of Krug yet somehow lacks the vibrancy of the Krug wines. Maybe it’s the fact that 1989 was such a hot year. A beautiful wine nonetheless and could easily work very well with food.
Venison, hen of the woods, blackberry, cauliflower, blueberry meringue, pine gelee, cabbage, coffee. This was to be eaten with your hands. Of course it was also designed to look like a blood splatter experiment! It tasted great though with an intriguing mix of textures.
1995 Robert Ampeau & Fils Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes. 94 points. Clear with medium+ intensity of lemon/gold. Very complex nose, medium+ intense and it smells fully developed with aromas of stonefruit (peach), green fruit (pear), spice (nutmeg and ginger). Secondary aromas of oak (smoke) and minerals (steely/stony). Palate: Dry, medium acidity, 13,5% alcohol which is well integrated, medium+ flavour intensity and the taste lasts long. Aromas of stonefruit, pear, minerals and nutmeg. An extremely good wine which is complex, delicate and well balanced with great length. Ready to drink but can keep for another 2-4 years.
1985 Remoissenet Père et Fils Montrachet. Burghound 92. An elegant nose of bread crust and yeast wrapped in aged white flower notes leads to sweet, complex and deliciously mouth coating flavors that display fine length and good finishing punch. This is a lovely combination of power and grace and it is substantially better than Remoissenet’s other ’85 whites that I have tried. No other notes.
agavin: very closed and sleepy at first but opened after an hour or so to be awesome!
1984 Gros Frère et Sœur Clos Vougeot Musigni. 95 points. This is a great wine (good location in the vineyard and top winemakers) from a very off year — and it’s 29 year-old pinot noir. But somehow (and I’ve had 3 bottles) it’s still in great shape. Really quite lovely with a complex tar and cherry thing going on. I happen to find it fabulous.
agavin: tea and berries. Yum!
2008 Domaine Michel Gaunoux Corton-Renardes. Burghound 93. There is a hint of vegetal here that actually adds breadth to the sauvage, cool and wonderfully fresh and complex nose of red currants, earth and humus. The silky yet focused, intense and overtly austere big-bodied flavors possess an excellent sense of underlying tension on the still exceptionally tight finish that is supported by a very firm tannic spine. This is terrific as it has a strikingly sophisticated mouth feel and superb aging potential.
agavin: a surprisingly drinkable and lovely Burg for such a young Grand Cru.
1989 Château Mouton Rothschild. Parker 90. Considering the vintages and the estate, Mouton’s performances in 1989 and 1990 are puzzling. I have tasted these wines multiple times since my last reviews appeared in print. The 1989 Mouton-Rothschild is the superior wine, but in no sense is this a compelling wine if compared to the Moutons produced in 1995, 1986, and 1982. The 1989 displays a dark ruby color that is already beginning to reveal significant lightening at the edge. The bouquet is surprisingly evolved, offering up scents of cedar, sweet black fruits, lead pencil, and toasty oak. This elegant, medium-bodied restrained wine is beautifully made, stylish, and not dissimilar to the 1985. It is an excellent to outstanding Mouton that should be close to full maturity in 4-5 years; it will drink well for 15-20.
1995 Mouton-Rothschild. Parker 95. Bottled in June, 1997, this profound Mouton is more accessible than the more muscular 1996. A blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 19% Merlot, it reveals an opaque purple color, and reluctant aromas of cassis, truffles, coffee, licorice, and spice. In the mouth, the wine is “great stuff,” with superb density, a full-bodied personality, rich mid-palate, and a layered, profound finish that lasts for 40+ seconds. There is outstanding purity and high tannin, but my instincts suggest this wine is lower in acidity and slightly fleshier than the brawnier, bigger 1996. Both are great efforts from Mouton-Rothschild.
1995 Latour. Parker 96. I have been blown away by this wine on recent occasions, and all of my hopes for it being a prodigious example of Latour after bottling have proven to be correct. The wine is a more unctuously-textured, sweeter, more accessible Latour than the 1996. Wow! What a fabulous, profound wine this has turned out to be. It is unquestionably one of the great wines of the vintage, and will probably need 10-12 years of cellaring before it can be approached. The wine reveals an opaque purple color, and a knock-out nose of chocolate, walnuts, minerals, spice, and blackberry and cassis fruit. Exceptionally full-bodied, with exhilarating levels of glycerin, richness, and personality, this wine, despite its low acidity, possesses extremely high levels of tannin to go along with its equally gargantuan proportions of fruit. It is a fabulous Latour that should age effortlessly for 40-50 years.
1995 Montrose. Parker 93. An explosively rich, exotic, fruity Montrose, the 1995 displays even more fat and extract than the 1996. There is less Cabernet Sauvignon in the 1995 blend, resulting in a fuller-bodied, more accessible and friendlier style. The wine exhibits an opaque black/ruby/purple color, as well as a ripe nose of black fruits, vanillin, and licorice. Powerful yet surprisingly accessible (the tannin is velvety and the acidity low), this terrific example of Montrose should be drinkable at a young age.
Fried quail, chipotle, pimento cheese sandwich, green tomato, nectarine, blue lake bean. Basically mini fried chicken and combined with the chipotle a little like hot wings. The Kentucky style cheese sandwich was awesome.
2006 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Château d’Ampuis. IWC 93. Vivid ruby. Red and dark berry preserves and spice cake on the nose, with complicating floral qualities that gain strength with air. Very fresh, with intense black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors supported by a firm spine of minerality. Fine-grained and nimble, with admirable finishing clarity and precision.
2001 Rieussec. Parker 99. A monumental effort, the 2001 Rieussec boasts a light to medium gold color in addition to a fabulous perfume of honeysuckle, smoky oak, caramelized tropical fruits, creme brulee, and Grand Marnier. The wine is massive and full-bodied yet neither over the top nor heavy because of good acidity. With intense botrytis as well as a 70-75-second finish, this amazing Sauternes will be its apogee between 2010-2035.
agavin: needs some more time — like years — but still enjoyable.
Overall, this was a highly creative and delicious event. The atmosphere, music (almost seemed like it was timed with the courses), food, layout, (and wine), all contributed to a unique evening. Cooking wise this was very refined and inventive cuisine. Everything was served efficiently (surprising for 9-10 courses and so many people) and was on point. The flavor, texture, and temperature modulations were sophisticated and complex, yet every dish basically worked. Bravo!