Location: 12517 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90066 310.391.4222
Date: November 7, 2011
Rating: Really tasty!
Back a couple of years ago I went to Waterloo & City a number of times. For whatever reason it’s dropped off my radar, even though I liked it a lot, but Ron, one of my fellow Hedonists organized a dinner there, providing an excellent opportunity to get back.
NV Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée. IWC 93. Light yellow-gold. Highly aromatic bouquet of fresh tangerine, candied fig, pear skin and ginger, plus a smoky mineral overtone. Tangy, precise and concentrated, offering a complex blend of citrus and orchard fruit and floral flavors underscored by chalky minerality. Juicy, tightly focused, youthfully angular Champagne, with nervy acidity adding cut to the long, sappy finish. I can see why some long-time Krug fans might be perplexed by this bottling but I think that it will be a really outstanding bottle with another five-plus years of cellaring.
Our special menu for tonight. Unfortunately, while all the dishes look great, it’s a “choose one of” menu so we each only get four course. Now, this ended up being WAY more than enough food, but I find with a ton of wine (and like tonight, a ton of great wine), more small courses is always better.
2011 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Puligny-Montrachet Le Trézin. Burghound 88-91. Surprisingly, given how cool and elevated this terroir is, there is a trace of exotic fruit present here as well with its notes of dried peach, apricot and honeysuckle. There is fine richness to the stony middle weight flavors that are bigger than is typical, all wrapped in an exuberantly energetic, mouth coating, delicious and complex finish. A fine villages that should be approachable young if desired.
agavin: nice elegant acid bomb, very much in the PYCM house style.
2004 Bouchard Aîné et Fils Corton-Charlemagne. 92 points. Lemony nose. Gives a sense of extremely concentrated but unyielding fruits, lemons,apples – and minerals. A long intense aftertaste. With no experience with aged white burgundy but having read a lot about them, I think I can sense what this would have become with age. We had another bottle of this about a year ago and it was much lighter and ready to go. Wondering about the first bottle caused this one to be opened and checked out. I’m going to assume our remaining two are like this one, hope to not read about premox issues – and let them age for many years and we’ll then experience a great white burgundy.
agavin: our bottle was a bit premoxed, but still pleasant.
From my cellar: 2004 Henri Boillot Bâtard-Montrachet. Burghound 95. Perhaps the most backward and reserved wine to this point as the nose reveals only hints of white flower and green fruit aromas that are framed in a subtle touch of pain grillé but the flavors explode on the palate as there is a chewy texture to them yet there is ample minerality present, particularly for Bâtard. This too is blessed with abundant dry extract and a finish that won’t quit but for all of the size and weight, this is impeccably balanced. This has that “wow” factor and in terms of style, it’s almost like a muscular Chevalier.
1997 Joseph Drouhin Romanée St. Vivant. 93 points. Garnet color, with light bricking on the rim. Red fruits on the nose, with some spice as well. The red fruits are also present on the palate. Long finish. Very good given the vintage and kept very well.
2002 Thibault Liger-Belair Richebourg. Burghound 92. An attractively spicy nose features aromas of both red and blue pinot fruit, anise and sandalwood that also suffuse the delicious, round and fleshy middle weight flavors that possess good detail and precision on the moderately long, focused and still relatively tight finish. At only 8 years of age, it’s clear that this is still very much of a youngster though it is not forbidding as an hour’s worth of aeration renders it at least approachable. There is good underlying material and this should make for a lovely wine in time.
1985 La Mission Haut Brion. Parker 92. As this wine sat in the glass aerating, I began having some doubts about whether it merited a low-90s point score. I think it does, but the fact that it deteriorated more quickly than some of its siblings (even those from more challenging vintages) gave me pause. Nevertheless, I have to assume that most people will decant all of these wines (as I did) and consume them within an hour of opening. On that basis, this 1985 is clearly a low-90 point wine. The problem is that for the most part, 1985 does not have that extra level of concentration possessed by the great vintages. However, it offers a softness to go along with the fragility of the wines as most 1985s, including this La Mission-Haut-Brion, are fully mature. A dark plum/garnet color reveals a pinkish lightening at the edge, and the bouquet reveals plenty of smoke, camphor, charcoal, graphite, sweet kirsch and blacker fruit aromas intermixed with meaty, sauteed mushroom, cedar and spicy notes. The lovely aromatics are followed by flavors that do not quite match the intensity of the bouquet, a sign of a fully mature wine. This medium-bodied effort has plenty of glycerin, low acidity and not a trace of tannin. While not terribly generous, it is a soft, round, charming, delicious, very good La Mission, but not a great one.
1998 Leoville-Poyferre. Parker 88. The dark ruby-colored, medium-bodied 1998 offers aromas of underbrush, black currants, cherries, minerals, and vanillin. While sweet, rich, and stylish, it lacks the depth necessary to merit an outstanding score.
agavin: our bottle was a bit corked.
2000 Lynch Bages. Parker 97. Beginning to open magnificently, the still dense purple-colored 2000 reveals a blossoming bouquet of blackberries, cassis, graphite and pen ink. Full-bodied with velvety tannins that have resolved themselves beautifully over the last eleven years, this wine is still an adolescent, but it exhibits admirable purity, texture, mouthfeel and power combined with elegance. One of the all-time great examples of Lynch Bages, the 2000 is just beginning to drink well yet promises to last for another 20-25+ years.
2005 Lafite-Rothschild. Parker 96-98. While the 2005 is another brilliantly classic Lafite Rothschild, for my taste, it comes in slightly behind their extraordinarily opulent 2003 as well as the dramatically powerful 2000. A blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Merlot, the 2005 boasts a dark ruby/purple color in addition to that exceptional Lafite perfume of graphite, spring flowers, crushed rocks, and sweet black cherry and black currant fruit that exudes class and nobility. The wine is medium-bodied with extremely high levels of tannin in addition to sensational purity, length, and overall harmony. However, it is exceptionally backward, and even more tannic than either the 1995 or 1996.
2002 Peter Lehmann Shiraz Stonewell. Parker 92. The 2002 Stonewell Shiraz was barrel fermented and aged in new French and American oak hogsheads. The fruit was sourced from several of the Barossa’s top addresses. It offers up aromas of toasty oak, spice box (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg), asphalt, blueberry, and blackberry liqueur. This is followed by a structured, tightly wound wine in which black fruits and chocolate make an appearance. It will benefit from another 8-10 years in the cellar and should drink well through 2027.
2007 Roberto Voerzio Barolo Rocche dell’Annunziata Torriglione. AG 96. The 2007 Barolo Rocche dell’Annunziata/Torriglione is one of the more reserved wines in this line-up. Stylistically it is a touch leaner and more focused than the rest of Voerzio’s 2007s. Fragrant dark cherries, minerals, mint, pine and spices emerge gracefully from the Rocche. The finish is long, polished and exceptionally elegant, even if the Rocche doesn’t quite reach the level of the finest wines here.
Overall, a great night with some really top notch wines and tasty wine-friendly food. Sadly, and despite being busy, I read in the food news that Waterloo & City is closing at the end of the year to make room for a new concept. Sigh. The trendy restaurant scene moves on, an unstoppable juggernaut.