Location: 5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038. (323) 460-4170
Date: October 4, 2018
Cuisine: Cal French
Rating: Awesome food & Amazing Champ
Providence is always good but it’s especially good when it’s a Sage Society arranged Krug dinner. I love Krug. Anyone who doesn’t is fairly suspect :-).
NV Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Edition 166eme. VM 94. The MV Grande Cuvée 166ème, based on the 2010 vintage, offers good depth, but it also comes across as a bit angular and in need of time in bottle to soften. Certainly, next to the 2008 and 2009 editions, the 2010 is a touch rough around the edges. Even so, there is good freshness and verve to the bright citrus, mineral and floral flavors.
The special menu for tonight.
The amuses consist of smoked trout or something. Delicious as I love smoked fish like any good Jewish boy should.
Toro tartar on endives.
And uni crisps.
In the center is Richard Beaumont, Krug Brand Director.
And, of course, Liz Lee, our incomparable hostess.
NV Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Edition 163eme (in Magnum). VM 95. The NV Grand Cuvée 163 Edition is wonderfully open-knit and giving, qualities that make it a terrific choice for drinking now and over the next 30 or so years. Pastry, apricot, lemon confit, chamomile and white flowers, along with soft contours, give the wine its inviting, alluring personality. There is more than enough energy and overall freshness to support several decades of fine drinking. Even so, the 163 is virtually impossible to resist at this early stage.
Mussel. A bunch of acid here.
Foie puff, I think. Can’t remember but it was delicious.
A mini tart of some sort which was also delicious.
And a bit of fall seasonal soup (presumably with cream). May have been corn or butternut squash.
The big gun:
2004 Krug Champagne Clos du Mesnil. VM 98+. The 2004 Clos du Mesnil captures all the pedigree of this epic Blanc des Blancs vintage. A soaring, majestic Champagne, the 2004 dazzles from the very first taste with its crystalline purity and brightness. In two tastings so far, the 2004 has been nothing less than a total showstopper. The vertical structure and pure, tightly-coiled power are the stuff dreams are made of. There is little doubt the 2004 is one of the very finest Clos du Mesnils in recent memory. Will it join the 1979, 1988 and 1996 as one of the all-time greats? Now, that is a tasting I would love to do!
2004 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut. VM 97+. Krug’s 2004 Vintage is absolutely mesmerizing. Layers of bright, chiseled fruit open up effortlessly as the wine fleshes out with time in the glass. Persistent and beautifully focused, with a translucent sense of energy, the 2004 captures all the best qualities of the year. Moreover, the 2004 is clearly superior to the consistently underwhelming 2002 and the best Krug Vintage since 1996. Readers who can find it should not hesitate, as it is a magical bottle.
Yellowtail Sashimi with pumpkin seeds and California Yuzu and Caviar. Delicious and perfect with great champagne.
The bread came with it’s own manifesto — letting us get to know the baker personally — lol.
Special butter from France and salt.
NV Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Edition 160eme. JG 94. The Krug Grand Cuvée “160ème Édition” is from the base year of 2004 and is now starting to really drink well today. It was disgorged in the spring of 2014 and the oldest reserve wines used in this iteration being chardonnays from the villages of Avize and Oger dating back to the 1990 vintage. The final cépages ending up forty-four percent pinot noir, thirty-three percent chardonnay and twenty-three percent pinot meunier. I had not tasted this bottling in a year and it was every bit as beautiful at the estate as I remember it when it was paired with the 2004 vintage during its inaugural showing in New York last autumn. The wine offers up a classic and blossoming bouquet of apple, pear, almond, fresh-baked bread, a superb base of soil tones, a touch of upper register smokiness and an exotic topnote of fleur de sel. On the palate the wine is pure, focused and refined, with a full-bodied format, lovely focus and grip, elegant mousse, a lovely core and a long, vibrant and seamless finish. I love this version of Grande Cuvée and would love to have a case waiting in the cellar to start drinking ten years from now, as that is when it is really going to start firing on all cylinders!
1998 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut. VM 94. Bright gold. Ripe orchard fruits, peach pit, toffee, marzipan and dried flowers on the pungent, smoky nose. Broad and fleshy on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering palate-staining pit fruit nectar, apple pie and brioche flavors, enhanced by a toffeed quality. Closes spicy and very long, with resonating smoke and toasted hazlenut qualities.
Grilled John Dory with Fennel & Roasted Tomato.
Avec le jus. Nice piece of white fish. Tres Francais.
NV Krug Champagne Brut Rosé Edition 21eme. JG 95+. The Krug Brut Rosé “21ème Édition” is from the beautiful base year of 2008, with the oldest reserve wine in the blend going back to 2000. The wine was disgorged in the spring of 2015 and is a blend of fifty-one percent pinot noir, forty-one percent chardonnay and eight percent pinot meunier. Ten percent of the pinot noir in the blend is still red wine from Krug’s own parcels of vines in the village of Aÿ. The blend is a slight departure from many releases of Krug Rosé, as hail in the village of Ste. Ghemme in 2008 dramatically cut back the quality of pinot meunier from this vintage, so that Chef de Caves Eric Lebel opted to use all reserve wines for the pinot meunier portion of the blend. The very complex wine offers up the characteristically refined and gently exotic bouquet that this cuvée is cherished for, wafting from the glass in a blend of cherries, a touch of pomegranate, orange peel, beautiful, savory spice elements, rye bread, a complex base of soil tones , dried rose petals and incipient smokiness. On the palate the wine is full, complex and still quite youthful in terms of structure, with vibrant acids, a lovely core, elegant mousse and a very long, perfectly balanced and seamless finish. This is already beautifully complex, but I would love to revisit it five to ten years down the road and see what the passage of time does to this beautiful constellation of aromas and flavors.
Liberty Farms Duck with Apple & Daikon. The rose was more than a match for this lovely duck dish.
1990 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut Collection. VM 97+. Krug’s just-released 1990 Collection is magnificent. Remarkably fresh for a 26 year-old wine, the 1990 Collection captures the Krug house style at its very best. Floral notes meld into hints of apricot, chamomile, orchard fruit, vanillin and sweet spices. On the palate, the 1990 is creamy, vivid and super-expressive, but what is most intriguing is how fresh the Collection is relative to Vintage Champagne, which has always been a heavier, more oxidative wine. Readers who can find the 1990 should not hesitate, as it is stellar.
agavin: Love the 90 champagnes in general. Love this one in particular.
Comte, Roasted Grapes, Fresh Macadamia Nut. I love cheese — but I do miss having a real dessert at these wine dinners. Yeah, it doesn’t go perfectly with the wine, and cheese does, but I’d just do both.
At least there were petit fours. And for some reason people left most of them on the table so I had enough for about 6 people, glutton that I am.
The impressive line up.
And there was the little gift to go (some kind of muffin).
This was a great night and lots of fun. Set wine dinner meals are tough on restaurants, particularly with restrictive wine themes like “all champagne” but Providence did a fabulous job. The meal wasn’t quite as good as my last free-for-all here, but it was quite excellent. Tonight’s dishes were delicious and memorable. Plus our service was impeccable and our wines amazing — and all I had to do was buy a bunch of Krug!