Location: 700 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754. (626) 282-9998
Date: February 22, 2015
Cuisine: Cantonese Banquet
Elite is well known as one of great LA’s top dimsum places, but less well known is how great a Cantonese banquet place it is. For Chinese New Year, my Hedonist group decided to put this to the test.
NV Laurent-Perrier Champagne Grand Siècle. 93 points. Rich, deep complex nose; apples, caramel, lite dough/yeast nose; a real bouquet, no pure flavors; Intense mth!, foamy bubbles, grt. long fin.–balanced, elegant, and classic.
2005 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut. AG 92-94. Bright yellow-gold. Heady floral-accented citrus and orchard fruits on the nose, with smoky mineral and floral overtones adding complexity. Velvety and chewy in texture, offering deep, juicy orange and poached pear flavors and suave honey and chamomile nuances. Blends precision with power, finishing with a distinct mineral quality and excellent persistence.
2009 Château Le Puy Côtes de Francs Marie Cecile. 95 points. Acidity and sweetness comes together at once and balance, young but seductive, a little bit dense after 60 mins. It’s not delicious but very very good indeed, I love it…actually. Aftertaste is spicy finished but elegant, perfume, layers, dimensions, warm and beautifully dry and long….very long finished.
From my cellar: 1999 Louis Jadot Corton-Charlemagne Domaine des Héritiers Louis Jadot. Tanzer 94+. Subtly complex, precise aromas of apple, pear, minerals, mace and nutmeg. Gripping, vibrant and dense, with compelling vinosity and strong acidity. Offers captivating inner-mouth perfume of white flowers. Almost tannic on the back end, but has the sheer buffering material to stand up to the powerful structure and acids. A brilliant wine, finishing with a wonderfully tactile quality and superb length and grip.
2011 Rhys Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard. AG 93+. A model of precision, finesse and delineation, the 2011 Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard bristles with the essence of honey, white truffle, orange peel and nectarine. The 2011 needs a few years to drop some of its baby fat, but the direction it is likely to take becomes apparent with time in the glass. Watching the wine literally become crystalline and pure with air is quite an amazing experience.
2001 Sine Qua Non Albino. Tanzer 89. Perfumed aromas of tropical fruits, honey, oatmeal and nutty oak. Sweet and silky in the mouth, with apricot, peach and nutty oak flavors along with more exotic hints of mango and pineapple. Quite oaky on the back end, with a slightly dry, cyanic edge and a flavor of toasted almond. More dominated by its wood than most recent vintages of the Sine Qua Non white blend.
agavin: unfortunately, our bottle was totally oxidized and gone 🙁
2011 DuMOL Chardonnay Chloe. Tanzer 93+. Bright yellow, a bit less lucid than the Estate, which had already been racked off its lees. Captivating, sharply delineated aromas of citrus peel, orange marmalade and iodine. Large-scaled, sweet and thick with extract; wonderfully full, plush and seamless. Ripe lemon-candy acidity frames and intensifies the wine’s citrus and stone fruit flavors. These Ritchie Vineyard vines were planted to an old Wente clone in 1972.
2010 Kongsgaard Chardonnay. Tanzer 95. Very bright yellow-gold, a bit less deep than the 2011. Expressive aromas of tangerine, hazelnutty lees and sexy oak. The palate boasts great richness and sweetness, with a wonderfully sappy character to its explosive soft citrus and stone fruit flavors. Comes across as sweeter than the 2011, but harmonious acidity gives it beautiful balance. The 2010s finished their alcohol fermentations up to 16 months after the vintage, later than the malos, noted Kongsgaard, adding that this has given them a lot of weight. But this wine finishes bright and very long, with a firm spine of acidity.
2004 Kistler Pinot Noir Cuvée Catherine. Josh Raynolds 93. Dark violet. Intensely aromatic nose offers powerful blackberry and plum compote aromas. Very fresh in the mouth (the pH is 3.4, Kistler says), with vibrant red and dark berry flavors and taut minerality. Dry, focused and pure on the finish, with outstanding persistence and lingering dark berry flavors. Serious pinot: a great marriage of sweet fruit and soil tones.
2009 Rex Hill Pinot Noir Willamette Valley. Josh Raynolds 88. Bright red. Spicy raspberry and red cherry aromas are complicated by lively floral and herbal qualities. Sappy and round, with sweet red fruit and candied rose flavors, supple tannins and subtle spiciness. This open-knit pinot finishes with a touch of heat.
Roast pigeon. Succulent little birds, heads and all.
From my cellar: 1995 Louis Jadot Echezeaux. Tanzer 88. Impressive deep ruby-red. Perfumed, slightly candied aromas of red berries and smoky, charred oak. Supple and sweet, but a wine of only moderate intensity. Finishes with slightly dry tannins.
2005 Dupont-Tisserandot Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Cazetiers. Burghound 92. A very ripe extract of black pinot fruit nose liberally laced with cassis and warm earth nuances introduces rich, full and mouth coating flavors that are equally ripe, powerful, textured and explosive on the hugely long finish. This is impressive with a real sense of volume in the mouth and clearly built to age.
2007 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Josh Raynolds 93-96. Glass-staining ruby. Highly expressive, exotically perfumed bouquet of black raspberry, potpourri, smoky minerals and anise. A smooth, silky midweight with flavors of sweet red and dark berries complicated by notes of candied flowers and zesty minerals. Really clings on the finish, with the red fruit flavors refusing to let up.
2005 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Josh Raynolds 94. Deep ruby. Seductively aromatic bouquet of red and dark berries, fresh flowers and minerals, with subtle garrigue and baking spice character. A round, creamy midweight with deep, sweet raspberry and blackcurrant flavors and a finish featuring gently gripping tannins and excellent smoky persistence. More civilized and fruity than the 2006 and 2004 releases from this top producer.
2004 Pax Syrah The Terraces Alder Springs Vineyard. Tanzer 90+. Saturated medium ruby. Extremely unevolved nose features some exotic suggestions of apricot, peach and spice. Powerful, firmly built and superripe, with penetrating acidity and a distinct peppery element from the fermentation with the stems. Strong in tannic acidity, notes Mahle. As ripe as this is, there’s nothing heavy about it. Still, this very juicy, tight wine is distinctly edgy today and is dominated by its spine. Needs patience.
2005 Cos d’Estournel. Parker 98. While I am not convinced the 2005 Cos d’Estournel will eclipse the compelling 2003 Cos, it is unquestionably another superb classic from proprietor Michel Reybier and his brilliant winemaker, Jean-Guillaume Prats. Made from an unusually high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon (78%) and the balance mostly Merlot with a tiny dollop of Cabernet Franc, this superb effort requires plenty of time in the bottle. It boasts an inky/purple color as well as a glorious perfume of licorice, Asian spices, creme de cassis, blackberries, and toasty oak. This full-bodied St.-Estephe is exceptionally powerful, pure, and dense with a layered mid-palate that builds like a skyscraper. While there are massive tannins, they are remarkably velvety and well-integrated in this big, backstrapping effort that should enjoy an unusually long life. Forget it for 8-10 years, and drink it between 2017-2040.
agavin: our bottle was in great shape. very nice.
2010 Miner Family The Oracle. 91 points. nose of black cherry fruit, earth and a touch of cassis, more of the same on the palate, best wine tasted today at Miner, mouth filling, delicious and sweet like cherry jam preserves, medium/big body and a long finish.
2011 Mollydooker Shiraz The Velvet Glove. Parker 97. Very deep purple-black in color, the 2011 Velvet Glove is chock full of ripe and spicy blackberries, fresh blueberries and creme de cassis aromas that are accented by Chinese five spice notes and hints of chocolate, vanilla and some tar. Full-bodied, it is ripe and rich with a nice line of acid and medium-firm, fine-grained tannins. Concentrated and persistent on the finish, it shows beautiful elegance and freshness and is a nicely delineated and expressive example of the varietal and its regional home. However, it needs another year or more in bottle. Drink it from 2015 to 2025+.
Another awesome Chinese feast. A lot of these dishes were stunning, like the pig and the chicken. The private room was great and we had even better than usual (for Chinese) wines. Certainly a massive and massively enjoyable blow out.
Afterward, just two blocks away, is one of my favorite foot massage places!