Location: 321 Robertson Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90048. (310) 271-6300
Date: February 8, 2019
Cuisine: Caviar +
Rating: Amazing night!
The birthdays of my good friends Erick and Liz fall on the same day, and so have seen some seriously epic dinners over the years like this and this.
For this year’s extravaganza, Liz organized things at Petrossian, which has incredible food, and very wine friendly. She’s friends with the manager.
Petrossian has been importing caviar for a long time.
They are located on Robertson.
And they gave us a good chunk of the dining room to ourselves.
We got a special menu, of course. Ordering off the menu here just isn’t the same, particularly with wines of THIS quality.
Liz even brought in our own Somm (standing at the far end of the table).
1971 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon Oenothèque. VM 97. One of the most pleasant surprises of the evening the 1971 Dom Pérignon Œnothèque (disgorged 2006) is superb. Powerful and vibrant on the palate, with tremendous freshness, the 1971 Œno exudes class. Lemon oil, almond and wild flowers give the wine its bright flavor profile, but it is the wine’s tension, energy and balance that are most remarkable on this evening.
1988 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut (special 2016 release). VM 97. The 1988 Krug makes for a fabulous start. Tasted from a perfect bottle, the 1988 remains bright and focused, with all of the energy of this great vintage very much on display. Time has naturally softened some of the contours and added a good bit of nuance, but the 1988 Krug remains a Champagne of crystalline precision. I loved it.
1996 Dom Pérignon Champagne Oenothèque. BH 97. This remains one of my favorite all-time vintages of the Oenothèque series. An elegant if highly restrained nose displays cool nuances of green apple, a variety of citrus elements and discreet floral hints along with plenty of yeast character. There is superb precision to the equally cool and restrained middle weight flavors that dance across the palate thanks to the incredibly fine mousse that is at once firm but not aggressive on the notably dry but not really austere finale. I very much like the ’96 Oenothèque as it’s a wonderfully graceful effort that possesses impeccable balance and a refinement that it doesn’t always achieve. In terms of where it is in its evolution, ’96 is going to be one of those timeless vintages that will still be with us 30 years hence as I believe that it will continue to age effortlessly. For my taste this gorgeous effort has arrived at its peak though it should continue to hold here for years to come. In sum, this is flat out great and one of the greatest Champagnes of the modern era.
Caviar flight. To go with the Champagne, 10 different ultra premium caviars! An incomparable tasting.
Here is the list of caviars in case you are curious.
In the back, standing, Chris the manager explains the caviars.
I could have eaten about 6 “flights” :-).
2008 Domaine Michel Niellon Chevalier-Montrachet. BH 96. A strikingly complex nose that is ripe, pure and airy speaks elegantly of white flower, spice and subtle pear aromas that complement to perfection the rich and mouth coating flavors built on a base of fine minerality, all wrapped in a sappy and explosive finish that oozes dry extract. This is really a stunning effort in what has become a very long line of them for the 76 year old Michel Niellon.
2008 Domaine / Maison Vincent Girardin Corton-Charlemagne Quintessence. Rare and delicious.
2000 Domaine Ramonet Chevalier-Montrachet. BH 95. Surprisingly, this is much more open, expressive and accessible than the Bienvenues and the sheer scale and wet mineral quality is dramatic and imposing. The focused, detailed, almost razor-sharp flavors possess astonishing levels of sappy extract and this both coats and stains the palate and the intensity is borderline painful. This is reference standard quality.
2000 Domaine d’Auvenay (Lalou Bize-Leroy) Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières. BH 95. Very Puligny in style with discreet white flower, pear and apple aromas with flavors that are so powerful that the palate experiences them in waves as they roll from the mid-palate to a thundering, top grand cru finish. Yet this is by no means monolithic as there is detail and subtle gradations of wet rocks, minerals, earth and an indefinable crystalline essence. I literally had to pause for a minute due to palate fatigue as this both stains and saturates the palate yet it remains perfectly balanced. For a premier cru, this is a veritable tour de force! A brilliant wine.
agavin: OMG this was killer. Blasted out of the glass. MZ had brought this to Maude years ago and we couldn’t open it so he promised to bring it back another time — this was the time.
Langoustine Carpaccio. Blood orange, hazelnut, caviar. Another lovely dish — lobster AND caviar!
1996 Dom Pérignon Champagne Rosé P2. 95 points. Mostly berry, some apple and pear with textures that demand attention. Nuanced spice and energy on very long finish. So great now, with upside.
1993 Dom Pérignon Champagne Rosé Oenothèque. VM 96. One of the many surprises in this tasting, the 1993 Dom Pérignon Œnothèque Rosé is truly spectacular. Explosive, voluptuous and also quite tannic on the palate, the 1993 boasts superb density to match its powerful personality. Readers lucky enough to own the 1993 are in for a real treat. Unlike the 1995 or 1996 – both far more celebrated vintages – the 1993 has the balance to continue to improve in bottle. What a gorgeous wine this is. Disgorged 2011.
For the rose, Diver scallop en Croute. Bernaise, asparagus, black truffle. Sort of like lobster Wellington!
From my cellar: 1993 Domaine Jean Gros Richebourg. 95 points. I had always been under the impression that the 1987 vintage was the last truly great vintage for Jean Gros’ Richebourg, but the 1991, 1992 and 1993 all showed magnificently well (in the context of their respective vintages) at this tasting. The nose on the 1993 is delightful, and classic Jean Gros, soaring from the glass in a mélange of bacon fat, ripe plums, raspberry, grilled nuts, some meaty tones, earth and toasty new oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, urgent and focused, with outstanding intensity of flavor, a fine core of fruit, and a long, complex peacock’s tail of a finish. The tannins are ripe and well-integrated here, and the vintage’s tangy acids beautifully frame the wine. This is eminently drinkable already, but clearly more nuance and complexity will emerge as the wine ages further. This is a dynamite Richebourg in the making.
1971 Camille Giroud Charmes-Chambertin. BH 92. Warm, rich, complex and fully mature aromas lead to big, dense, still firmly tannic flavors that display incredible vibrancy and vigor for a 30+ year old Burgundy and the finish is long a satisfying. This is a very impressive effort and while it is no model of finesse, the density and freshness this exhibits is nothing short of remarkable. First rate and this has another 20 years of life, even though I would not expect it to improve from here. Consistent notes.
1990 Domaine Leroy Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Aux Combottes. 94 points. Leroy spice superimposed on Gevrey earth and mineral tones. This is a spectacular bottle. The fruit from the 90 vintage is still deep and persistent. Secondary notes of leather, smoke and salted plum is present. A bit of black tea and menthol notes. Pairs shockingly well with smoked pork shoulder. Still quite young and still improving.
Black truffle pasta. Parmesan, mushroom jus. Small but amazing. Perfect with red burg.
1996 Maison Leroy Charmes-Chambertin. 94 points. The aromas were very tight at first, with some reductive notes, but this opened up and got quite fresh. Some asperagus stems and slightly herbal. After two hours I swear I briefly smelled hamburger. Overall though, the aromas were elegant and soft, with all I can describe as an impressive presence in the glass. Very exuberant fruit on the palate! Impressive, really amazing and lushously fresh. Grippy tannins begin after 10 seconds in the mouth and it couldn’t be held on the tongue for much longer. This really does have a WOW palate that’s very pretty and so herbal. Really impressive fruit on the finish as well, with incredible length. Even a minute later I’m getting more evolving red berry fruits that are different. So sexy on the finish. Acid, minerality, bright and very grippy and tart. I think this was drinking nearly as good, if quite a bit differently, from the Latricières. This is an overall prettier wine, if not quite as deep. After two hours this thing got so grippy and tight, losing the fruit and becoming all structure.
1996 Domaine Leroy Clos Vougeot. 94 points. Red-ruby color. Highly aromatic nose of black cherry, herbs and licorice. Wonderful sweetness for young Clos Vougeot, and not at all hard. As expressive in the mouth as on the nose. Offers terrific snap and a firm structure; currently hiding considerable power under its fruit. Finishes with firm but ripe tannins. Much easier to taste than the ’95 was a year ago.
1996 Domaine Jacques Prieur Musigny. BH 94. This is quite deeply colored for a ’96 and evidences no bricking after 13 years. Perhaps the best part of this wine is the nose, which is warm, inviting, seductive and gorgeously complex with abundant spice notes and really lovely elegance though there is also much to be said for the rich and phenolically ripe flavors that coat the palate with velvet on the broad and surprisingly round finish. I say surprisingly because there was none of the typical ’96 edginess or green acidity and while this will certainly continue to hold, I would be drinking this now and over the next ten years. An excellent wine in the context of a variable vintage.
A5 Wagyu Tenderloin. Bone marrow, charred pickled onion, beef tendon croquette.
From my cellar: 1989 Château d’Yquem. VM 97. Laid-back, extremely young aromas of honey, creme caramel, smoke and earth; essence of semillon. Rich, large-scaled and powerful; really expands in the mouth. Lovely harmonious acidity and bright notes of orange peel and minerals give this very youthful wine great clarity of flavor. Classy and impeccably balanced. The subtle, oak-spicy, nutty finish goes on and on. Conveys an almost saline impression of extract. This should approach peak drinkability within the next eight to ten years and last for decades.
Seared Foie Gras. Kumquat, st Germain Gastrique. The forbidden fruit is twice as sweet! This was one of my favorite foie preps as of late. Really great textural interplay.
Cheese selection with nut brittle.
Bread and crackers for the cheese.
Another new flavor, but continuing my Sicilian theme — Pistachio Almond Lemon Gelato — base made with a 50/50 blend of Pistachios from Bronte Sicily and Noto Almonds, plus Sicilian candied lemon! — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — oh my! — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #IceCream #NomNom #dessert #Pistachio #Almond #lemon #sicily
By special Liz’s birthday request — Gorgonzola Fig Walnut Gelato — Gorgonzola Dulce base with Fig Jam and Candied Walnuts! — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — oh my! — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #IceCream #NomNom #dessert #gorgonzola #fig #walnut #SavorySweet
The wine lineup.
Dressed to impress and below a rare MZ sighting!
When Liz sets up a dinner, she really endeavors to get everything right.
Food was some of the best in town for wine tastings. Really light, fresh, and delectable.
Wines were just off the chart good at this dinner. Just blockbusters and nothing really flawed. For a moment, Kirk thought his 2008 Chevy was, but it blew off. Winners for me were the ’71 Dom ,the 2000 d’auvennary, the 93 Riche, and the 89 Y’quem (sweet tooth!). But so many great wines.
Service was great. Having our own Somm ensured that — and we had unique stems for everything. Petrossian really took care of us too.
Plus, this being a friends only dinner, as opposed to a winemaker dinner with a broader attendance base, meant the company was extra extra fun.