Location: 700 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754. (626) 282-9998
Date: September 17, 2018
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. On this particular night I met Paul R and a bunch of his friends out here for Burgundy night — sure it was a week night and 2 hours in traffic, but great Burgundy and Chinese is worth it!
They actually have a couple private rooms, but this time we had the small one, although it was certainly big enough for the 8 of us. The above photo is the same room, different dinner.
1996 Deutz Champagne Cuvée William Deutz Rosé. JG 91. This is a very young bottle of Rosé that offers up excellent promise on both the nose and palate, but I would be inclined to give the wine at least a couple more years to really allow it to blossom. The bouquet is deep, young and classy, as it offers up scents of tart cherries, orange peel, sourdough, a touch of new leather and a lovely base of soil. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, crisp and complex, with lovely focus and bounce, bright acids, tiny bubbles and good length and grip on the slightly muddied finish. I suspect that a bit more precision will come on the backend with further bottle age.
2000 Deutz Champagne Cuvée William Deutz. JG 93. The 2000 Cuvée William Deutz is a deep, young and powerfully-built wine with superb depth and structure for long-term aging. The bouquet is really quite fine, offering up a deep and classy nose of apple, wheat toast, tangerine, some gentle leesy tones, a lovely base of soil, a touch of fresh nutmeg and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with excellent focus and balance, elegant mousse and excellent length and grip on the crisp and complex finish. This is a very classy bottle of bubbly that is already drinking very well and which will continue to age gracefully for a couple of decades.
Peanuts on the table.
From my cellar: 1983 Domaine Clair-Daü Bonnes Mares. JK 94. Insanely pretty- aromas of cherry, sweet tea, violet, rose and potpourri. On the palate this shows cherry, tea and lavender. Picks up mineral elements as it sits in the glass. Flavors of cherry liqueur, mineral, rose water and mineral. Balanced, with a long finish. Just awesome.
Cold BBQ Plate with Macau style BBQ pork belly, Char Sui, roast chicken, and jellyfish. Good stuff all around, particularly both porks.
2001 Domaine Denis Mortet Chambertin. VM 92+. Full, bright red. Brooding, very ripe aromas of black fruits, licorice, graphite and gunflint, all lifted by a subtle oaky perfume. Big, broad, rich and okay, with powerful, dense black fruit flavors and excellent length and thrust. Five or six years in bottle should bring greater refinement as the wine loses some of its baby fat.
Peking duck. Despite the fact that I’ve been to Elite 20+ times, I’ve never had their peking duck — didn’t even know they offered it. It wasn’t bad at all. Sure they offer only the buns, not the pancakes, but it was still darn good.
2007 Domaine Ponsot Griotte-Chambertin. BH 93. A moderately complex but quite densely fruited nose of earthy red berries, underbrush and warm earth tones leads to silky, rich and round broad-shouldered flavors that possess taut muscle but no hard edges or tannins, in fact the mouth feel here is quite sophisticated, all wrapped in an impressively intense, mouth coating and harmonious finish. The structure is dense but fine and this should benefit from at least a decade of cellar time. A Griotte of class, grace and distinction.
Duck part deux, which is mixed with water chestnuts etc and served with…
Here it is as you eat it.
2001 Gunderloch Nackenheim Rothenberg Riesling Auslese. VM 94. Tangerine and sassafras aromas put one in mind of Erden. On the palate, honey and rich marzipan sweetness are leavened by tangerine citricity and the whole suffused with pungently smoky minerality. A hundred grams of residual sugar are brought to heel by 10.5 acidity and heaps of extract. The braid of fresh fruit, botrytized, faintly caramelized fruit and minerals here is uncanny. Juicy and refreshing in the finish even as it is profoundly botrytized and rooted in its classic red soil terroir. Smoke and almonds linger longest of all.
Santa Barbara prawns with garlic. Very simple prep, but good. Way, way better than the steamed bugs at Newport Seafood.
1989 Domaine Bruno Clavelier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru La Combe d’Orveau Vieilles Vignes. a rare wine, you don’t see Combe d’Orveau that often.
Steamed pork with salty fish. Yeah, it looks like the cat barfed up on a plate, but it’s really delicious with a mild porky flavor.
Sautéed scallops. Simple, to go with the wine, but nice.
2001 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques. BH 93. Knockout aromas of wonderfully intense black and red cherry fruit loaded with cassis and a touch of new oak introduce medium-bodied, sweet, harmonious, very expressive and long flavors all underpinned by racy minerality and firm structure. The tannins are prominent but ripe and the density of extract is impressive and this both coats and stains the palate. As it always does, this delivers finesse with real mid-palate punch with near perfect grace. For my taste, I would hold this for another 1 to 3 years but it would be no vinous crime to be drinking this now. Note to be sure to serve this cool as the alcohol becomes noticeable if it becomes a bit too warm.
House special lobster. Super delicious with lots of juicy lobster meat.
2001 Louis Jadot Chapelle-Chambertin. BH 93. A still very fresh nose is just now beginning to display the initial hints of secondary development that leads to rich, intense and beautifully well-detailed medium-bodied flavors that ooze a fine minerality on the vibrant and impeccably well-balanced finish. There is a touch of austerity present on the finale that serves as a balancing element to the naturally sweet mid-palate. This has reached that point in its evolution where it’s still on the way up but still far enough along where it can be drunk with pleasure. In sum, this is really lovely juice and a classic Chapelle.
Mushrooms and other vegetables in brown sauce.
2001 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese. 95 points. Prum calls this wine “typically somewhat reserved vis-a-vis the Graacher Auslese” but I apprehend a level of sheer flavor intensity that goes beyond the other wines here today, with apple, honey and spice supported by a volatile esterous note of botrytis and even a prickly Eiswein-like whiff of chili pepper. Impressive custardy richness in the mouth, yet ripe, refreshing citricity keeps the wine dynamic and salty minerality helps extend the finish. (In the interest of full disclosure I pass on Prum explanation that this is one of “three or four comparable lots” of Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese which will be bottled separately.
Seafood chow mein. I always love this dish, particularly when the sauce soaks into them and softens them up. Oh so good.
2006 Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes. VM 93-96. Good full ruby-red. Incredible nose melds wild cherry, mocha, brown spices, iron, orange peel and underbrush. Like liquid silk on entry, then hugely concentrated in the middle, with an extraordinarily fine-grained texture and no easy sweetness. Impeccably balanced, soil-driven wine that finishes with noble tannins and great persistence. This is Clos de la Roche, not pinot. As of November, one of the most promising wines of this stealth vintage.
I wish I knew what they called this fried rice as it’s super awesome with that chopped pork and whatnot on top!
2008 Bouchard Père et Fils Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrières. BH 93. The intense stoniness of this wine is immediately evident as it suffuses every aspect from nose to finish. An ultra elegant aromatic profile features notes of acacia, pear and dried rose petal before sliding gracefully into detailed, driving and explosive medium-bodied flavors that display cuts-like-a-knife precision on the almost aggressively mineral-driven finish that seems to go on and on. A study in purity and a classic Perrières.
Gotta love the Mango Pudding.
A lot of these dishes were stunning, like the pig and all the crab dishes. The private room was great and we had a stunning lineup of (mostly) Burgundy. A wine or two had serious issues, but that’s par for the course. I feel that Burgundy shows off by far at dinners where it dominates (although it can mix fine with Champy). You can’t easily go back and forth between the big extracted wines and the more subtle Burgundy.