My Hedonist gang are back to Jake and Elisabeth’s house, this time for some home cooked Laotian cuisine.
Elisabeth and Jake were very generous to host us at their lovely 20s Hacienda.
René-Henri Coutier Champagne Brut Millésimé Clos d’Ambonnay. 95 points.
2007 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Bougros. Burghound 92-95. Here too there is a very subtle influence of wood that frames ripe yet elegant and impressively pure aromas of citrus, spice hints, tidal pool and oyster shell notes, all of which are picked up by the highly complex and deep big-bodied flavors that are incredibly intense and quite unusually for Bougros, possess ‘hot knife through butter’ cut and delineation. An atypically elegant effort for the appellation.
2010 Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chaumées. IWC 91. Bright lemon-yellow. Closed but pure aromas of orange, leather, white flowers and wet stone, with a whiff of frangipani. Quite tight and backward, with a strong acid spine energizing the wine but keeping its fruit and floral flavors under wraps today. Tougher today than the Saint-Aubin Le Charmois, but really echoes on the aftertaste.
Our Laotian chef, Davonee Sou.
From my cellar: 1997 Daniel Bocquenet Echezeaux. IWC 91. Saturated ruby-red. Discreet aromas of raspberry, white pepper and crushed stone. Juicy, vibrant and fine, with lively inner-mouth flavors. A very penetrating style of Echezeaux, cool and precise. Finishes with lots of tongue-dusting tannins and excellent length. These wines all began with an extended cold maceration and were aged in new barrels; they will be bottled without fining or filtration in March.
2006 Consilience Pinot Noir Solomon Hills Vineyard. 89 points. Easy to drink, good fruit nose and taste.
2012 Zorah Areni Karasi. 93 points. Wow, didn’t expect this from an Armenian wine! Lots of fresh red fruits and fun drinking. Long fruity finish that coats the tongue.
1999 Argiano Brunello di Montalcino. IWC 88. Full medium-deep red. Musky aromas of plum, gunpowder and coffee. Supple on entry, then dense but a bit unforthcoming in the middle palate, offering hints of minerals and meat but limited real sweetness. Finishes with fairly ripe but slightly dry tannins.
2001 Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico. AG 93. The estate’s 2001 Amarone is simply fabulous. Layers of floral, mineral-infused dark fruit emerge from the glass as the wine opens up. This is an impeccable, brilliant wine that beautifully reconciles elements of ripeness and freshness in a full-bodied style that will reward cellaring. The 2001Amarone is gorgeous today, but readers who prefer more tertiary notes will want to wait a few years as the fruit is still quite fresh.
2007 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée. IWC 94. Opaque ruby. The highly perfumed nose offers an exotic array of red and dark berries, spicecake and potpourri, with hints of smoky herbs and olive adding complexity. Juicy and fresh for a wine that’s over 15% alcohol, offering sweet raspberry and cherry flavors framed by silky tannins. Very suave and open-knit today, with excellent finishing clarity and smoky persistence.
2004 Torbreck Shiraz Woodcutter’s. IWC 90. Medium ruby. Pungent, spicy aromas of cassis, dark cherry, licorice, espresso, violet and almost medicinal cracked pepper; a very pure expression of the variety. Firm, juicy flavors of black cherry, anise, dill, basil and rose petal. Finishes with velvety, slightly bitter tannins. This practically screams syrah.
2008 Château Coutinel Fronton Quintessence.
2006 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard. IWC 94+. Glass-staining purple. Blackberry, boysenberry and licorice pastille on the nose, with mounting spice and floral notes and a strong wallop of cracked pepper. Deeply pitched black and blue fruit flavors expand with air and pick up strong spicecake and candied flower notes, along with velvety tannins. More backward than the Lorraine today, and showing a darker profile. The finish completely stains the palate and lingers with intense floral and spicy persistence. This is still a baby.
2007 Saxum Bone Rock James Berry Vineyard. IWC 96. Inky purple. A sexy, intensely perfumed bouquet of blackberry, boysenberry, Moroccan spices and violet, with a seductive incense quality that gains strength with air. Lush and creamy on the palate, offering deep black and blue fruit flavors and exotic floral character. Reaches every corner of the palate and finishes with outstanding clarity and powerful floral nuances.
2005 Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Ten. IWC 93. Deep red. Exotically perfumed nose offers a wild array of dark berry, cherry, incense and floral scents. Spicy red and dark berry flavors are refreshingly bitter but became sweeter with air, gaining a white pepper and baking spice character. Really stains the palate, finishing with outstanding cling and length. I was looking for oakiness but didn’t find it. Curran noted that she’s as meticulous as possible with her winemaking, leaving as little as possible to chance. As she put it: “Spontaneity isn’t a good idea when you’re making red expensive wine.”
2011 Orin Swift Abstract. 90 points. Very nice nose of briary blackberries, plum jam, powdered sugar, mulberries, raspberry jam, caramel, forest floor, mint, black tea, smoke, and a whiff of alcohol. Plum compote, licorice, mulberries, caramel, cherry compote, tart cherries, spice, and earth on the palate. Decent acidity, nice underlying tannins, and medium-long finish. Unfortunately, the alcohol pokes out a bit for me, which detracts from its enjoyment.
2012 Chakana Cabernet Sauvignon Maipe Reserve.
“Barely any spice at all” had a good kick to it.
These veggies, along with rice noodles, went into the upcoming soup.
Here is the curry soup on the stove.
Curry noodle soup, the national dish of Laos. Quite excellent.
Beef with chilies (served over the rice).
1976 Château Doisy-Védrines. 90 points. Orange gold colour. Nose has a bit of orange but mostly barley sugar . Still good levels of sweetness but it has lost some. Aggressive Botrytis and a mix of orange and light barley sugar flavours. Fully mature, in fact I prefer Sauternes with less maturity than this but certainly still some life here.
My plate again. Thanksgiving a few days early!
Overall, this was another awesome evening. The wines were solid, the atmosphere and the company fantastic, and the food was flavorful and delicious. What more can you ask for in an evening?
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