Every summer the Hedonists do a food/wine BBQ at Holly’s house in Tarzana. This year the food is Jamaican.
Our chef, Shaun Marsh.
The wine situation (below) was very freeform, so I’ll just post the whites with the appetizers and the reds with the mains.
From my cellar: 2001 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes. Burghound 92. Ripe and extremely opulent intense citrus fruit and white flowers coupled with medium weight flavors dripping with minerality and enough fat to buffer the bracing acidity. There is a subtle underlying complexity and this is remarkably intense, assertive and precise yet there is excellent power and depth as well.
agavin: drinking great
2009 Aubert Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard. VM 95. The 2009 Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard is beautifully precise and articulate. This is all nuance and detail. Here the aromas and flavors are all beautifully sculpted from start to finish. The wine blossoms beautifully with time in the glass, showing quite a bit of power, all while maintaining significant freshness.
agavin: way too flabby for me (no acid).
2007 Dönnhoff Riesling. 88 points. A little flat, but fine.
2005 Dönnhoff Schloßböckelheimer Kupfergrube Riesling Spätlese. VM 92. Pale golden yellow.Fruit-driven aromas of apricot and quince, lifted by a floral element. The complex tropical fruit flavors are accentuated by a hint of licorice and a shot of slate. The fine balance of sweetness and acidity leavens the impression of richness. Offers excellent length and potential.
Garlic stuffed olives.
Bacon and fruit papusas. A delicious sweet/salty combo. Really fabulous.
Festival. A sweet fried cornbread, not far off from a hush puppy. Apparently cornbread balls were a staple of Southeastern and Caribbean natives even before 1492.
More of the fruit bacon mix.
2006 Clos des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape. Parker 98. The 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape is one of the two or three candidates for the wine of the vintage. An extraordinarily great wine, the 2006 is far superior to the 2005, which was amazing, and while made in a different style, is as great as the 2003, and such legends as 1990 and 1978. Fashioned from a minuscule 21 hectoliters per hectare, and tipping the scales at 15.2% natural alcohol, the 2006 boasts a dense ruby/purple color to the rim, in addition to an extraordinary bouquet of melted licorice, spring flowers, raspberries, black currants, spice box, and earth. In the mouth, it is utterly profound – full-bodied and multidimensional with astonishing purity, length, equilibrium, and intensity. This is a superb vintage for the Avrils, and Vincent deserves huge accolades for producing a wine of such incredible intensity and complexity. Think of Clos des Papes as a Chateauneuf du Pape with the complexity of a top-notch grand cru Burgundy from the Cote de Nuits.
1999 Chapoutier Cote Rotie la Mordoree. Parker 95-98. Chapoutier’s La Mordoree cuvee is produced from 75-80-year old Syrah vines planted in both the Cote Blonde and Cote Brune, aged in 100% new oak casks, and bottled with neither fining nor filtration. The 1999 Cote Rotie La Mordoree is the finest he has produced since the 1991 (two bottles drunk over the last six months confirm this fabulous wine’s potential as it is just now beginning to emerge from a cloak of tannin). The 1999 has closed down since its pre-bottling tasting. The color is an inky purple, and the wine is dense and powerful, with notes of smoky blackberries, creosote, and espresso. Concentrated flavors reveal high levels of tannin (surprising in view of last year’s report), and a rich, long, 45-second finish. This impressive 1999 will take longer to reach its plateau of drinkability than I thought last year.
Domaine Raymond Usseglio Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee la Parte des Anges. Parker 93. A unique blend of 70% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache and 10% Syrah, Usseglio’s Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvee la Part des Anges is gorgeous, with lots of sweet oak in its crème de cassis, licorice, new leather and graphite aromas and flavors. Nicely concentrated, with full-bodied richness and beautiful purity, it’s certainly not a classic expression of the appellation, but it’s superb nonetheless.
From my cellar: 1998 Domaine de la Mordoree Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de la Reine des Bois. Parker 97-99. This wine went through a long closed period. It was sensational to drink a year or two after bottling, then the wood tannins in the wine’s structure took over. It remained in that state until about two years ago, when it began to slightly open up, and now it seems to be coming into full form. It still has a good 10 years of upside, and potentially 20 more years of drinkability. Still dense ruby/purple, with notes of blueberry liqueur intermixed with graphite, smoke, crushed rock, and white flowers, the wine is full-bodied, beautifully pure, and all evidence of any barrique aging has been completely assimilated into the wine’s fruit and character. This is a beauty that is just now living up to its full potential. Bravo!
1999 Penfolds Grange. Parker 94-96. Only the third Grange to be produced from 100% Shiraz, the 1999 Grange is superb. It boasts an inky purple color as well as unformed but gorgeously sweet notes of blackberries intermixed with smoke, licorice, and roasted meats. A wine of great intensity, sweet tannin, voluptuous texture, and a spectacularly long finish, it will be at its finest between 2007-2025.
2011 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon RBS Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard. VM 93. Schrader’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon RBS Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is pure silk on the palate. The aromas, flavors and textures are incredibly refined and lifted. A soft, seamless wine that stands out for its gorgeous balance, the 2011 is showing beautifully today. Freshly cut flowers, mint and red berries all flow through to the impeccably refined finish. It is fascinating to taste the RBS next to Las Piedras. Both wines are Clone 337 Cabernet Sauvignon, but here we are in To Kalon, where the flavors seem to have a little more defintion.
agavin: so young it tasted like there was a vanilla bean drowned in super extracted grape juice 🙂
2011 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. Parker 96. More serious, and one of the wines of the vintage, the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) has uncommon concentration and depth in the vintage, as well as a broad, structured profile that will allow it to age gracefully. Loaded with sweet creme de cassis, exotic spice, licorice and graphite, it’s a full-bodied, elegant and classically styled effort that has nothing out of place, fine, building tannin and a rock star finish. It will be approachable at an earlier stage than most vintages, yet still have two decades of longevity.
2002 Colgin IX Syrah Estate. Parker 94-96. There are 175 cases of the 2002 IX Syrah Estate. One hundred percent destemmed, fermented with indigenous yeasts, and aged in Burgundy barrels before being bottled unfined and unfiltered, this Cote Rotie-like Syrah smells like it contains some Viognier, although it does not. Exotic floral characteristics intermixed with notions of tapenade, blackberries, coffee, and chocolate jump from the glass of this full-bodied yet supple-textured, voluptuously-styled red. Already irresistible, this fabulous Syrah can be enjoyed over the next 7-10 years.
1974 Beaulieu Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour. Parker 88. This has consistently been one of the most irregular 1974 Cabernet Sauvignons. I have had it close to two dozen times, with some excellent bottles, a few outstanding, and others hollow, over-ripe, and dull. This bottle was excellent. A supple, expansively flavored wine, it exhibits a dark ruby/garnet color with considerable rust at the edge, and a big, cedary, jammy, black-cherry, herb, and toasty-scented nose. With superb richness and sweet, roasted, nearly over-ripe fruit, this medium-bodied, lusty, fully mature wine is delicious. Owners are well-advised to drink it up.
1981 Durney Cabernet Sauvignon Durney Vineyards. 88 points.
2007 Hundred Acre Vineyard Ark. Parker 100! A perfect wine, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Ark Vineyard (1,300 – 1,400 cases) from Howell Mountain is one of the great efforts from this high elevation terroir. It offers notes of burning embers, black raspberries, blueberries and flowers, a full-bodied opulence, wonderful intensity, but the wine is not weighty or overripe. Fleshy and voluptuous with terrific floral notes, it should drink well for 15-20 years.
Stewed chicken feet. Ewww.
Curried goat with potatoes. A nice stew.
Jerk pork. This was BBQ pork with a bit of heat to it, rather delicious and tender.
Stewed beans with beef and pig tail. Sounds gross, but it was very tasty. The long pale things were heavy but delicious dumplings.
Pigs feet. Not my favorite meat.
Jerk chicken. Moist and fabulous.
Tripe and beans.
“Salad.” Apparently this is standard Jamaican salad, carrot and cabbage with a slightly sweet vinegar dressing.
Breadfruit. I see why it gets its name. Breadfruit is very dry and starchy, with a pleasant extremely mild flavor.
Scotch bonnet cinnamon mole sauce. An awesome sauce with a fabulous flavor and some real heat.
2006 Trentadue Winery Viognier White Port. 92 points. Honeyed wine marked by citrus and marmalade notes with spice on the finish. The high acidity was mouth-watering in a very good way and prevented this wine from being too sweet. Very delicious.
Coconut cakes. These were super sweet and amazing.
Coconut nut pies.
Rum raison yam pudding.