Restaurant: Eva’s Lechon
Location: 4252 W. 3rd st. Los Angeles CA 90020. 213-383-3179
Date: October 19, 2013
Rating: Total Pig Out!
Months in the works, it’s finally time for the highly anticipated Hedonist whole suckling pig out!
1996 Salon. Parker 97+. The 1996 Salon is yet another wine that is maturing splendidly. Once focused to the point of being painfully austere and angular, today the 1996 Salon has begun to soften and fill out. My latest bottles have been rich, generous and totally compelling in every way.
2004 Marcassin Chardonnay Three Sisters Vineyard. IWC 93+. Slightly deeper yellow than the Zio Tony. Pure, subdued nose hints at lemon, ginger, spring flowers and flinty minerality. Then almost shockingly fat, broad and rich in the mouth, with elevated alcohol contributing to the impression of plumpness. Dry yet luscious, with a honeyed flavor. Finishes with considerable breadth and power, and more obvious structure than the Zio Tony. But this one really calls for a year or two of additional aging.
And a blu cheese.
2006 Moraga Vineyard Proprietary White. Parker 92. The 2006 Proprietary White offers beautiful notes of honeyed lemon blossoms, melons, figs, and flinty undertones. Well-integrated acidity, wood, and alcohol has rendered one of the finest California Sauvignon Blancs money can buy. It should continue to drink well for several more years. This is one of the most distinctive little treasures in California. A tiny, 9.5-acre vineyard (5 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Sauvignon Blanc) is planted on some of California’s most expensive real estate, the sloping hillsides composed of limestone and sandstone in Bel Air.
From my cellar, 1970 La Rioja Alta Rioja Viña Alberdi Crianza. It was a little shaken up by the journey here, including having been rolled down a bumpy street in my wine bag, so the sediment had mixed into the wine, but the flavor was there. Almost Burgundian, with a crisp acidity and a lot of “red berry” fruit.
1995 R. López de Heredia Rioja Viña Bosconia Coscha. 92 points. Dark red. A kaleidoscopic bouquet evokes candied red fruits, incense, pipe tobacco and potpourri, with hints of woodsmoke, leather and Asian spices gaining strength in the glass. Silky and sweet, with intense raspberry liqueur and bitter cherry flavors that take a darker turn with air. Tangy acidity adds lift and focus to a strikingly long, sappy finish. This wine belies its age with its vivacity.Dark red. A kaleidoscopic bouquet evokes candied red fruits, incense, pipe tobacco and potpourri, with hints of woodsmoke, leather and Asian spices gaining strength in the glass. Silky and sweet, with intense raspberry liqueur and bitter cherry flavors that take a darker turn with air. Tangy acidity adds lift and focus to a strikingly long, sappy finish. This wine belies its age with its vivacity.
1998 Clos du Marquis. Parker 90. A superb effort, the 1998 exhibits abundant quantities of black currant and cherry fruit subtley dosed with toasty oak. A medium to full-bodied, nicely-textured, pure effort, with a moderately tannic finish.
Wayne goes all out again, 1995 Guigal Cote Rotie la Turque. Parker 98-100. The 1995 Cote Rotie La Turque (about 7% Viognier in the blend) possesses a dense ruby/purple color, and roasted herb, olive, and Asian spice characteristics. It exhibits exceptional concentration and is velvety and concentrated. The fabulous 1995 La Turque is a virtually perfect wine with flamboyance, harmony, and remarkable opulence and length. It should drink well when released, and last for two decades.
Psych. We didn’t open it, too good for BBQ!
2009 Mouton-Rothschild. Parker 99+. The 2009 Mouton Rothschild has a striking label from Anish Kapoor. The wine is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Merlot that begs comparison as a young wine with what the 1982 tasted like in 1985 or, I suspect, what the 1959 may have tasted like in 1962. Representing 50% of their production, the wine has an inky purple color to the rim and not terribly high alcohol for a 2009 (13.2%), but that is reflected by the high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a remarkable nose of lead pencil shavings, violets, creme de cassis and subtle barrique smells. It is stunningly opulent, fat, and super-concentrated, but the luxurious fruit tends to conceal some rather formidable tannins in the finish. This is an amazing wine that will be slightly more drinkable at an earlier age than I thought from barrel, but capable of lasting 50 or more years. Kudos to the Baroness Philippine de Rothschild and the entire Mouton team, lead by Monsieur Dalhuin.
More psych, also saved for another day.
1996 Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain. Parker 96. The 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain possesses a black/blue/purple color, and a texture of unctuosity and thickness. Greatness is suggested by a wonderfully sweet mid-section, gorgeous purity, and this humongous wine’s overall symmetry. It also possesses sumptuous layers of concentration, remarkably sweet tannin, low acidity, and a 40+ second finish.
This one we drank!
2006 Lillian Syrah. Parker 94. The second release from Maggie Harrison, previously an apprentice at Sine Qua Non, the 2006 Syrah from Lillian is even better than the excellent 2005. Totally sourced from the White Hawk Vineyard, and aged in 65% new oak for 23 months, there are 508 cases of this beautiful Syrah. Notes of creme de cassis, blackberries, spice, incense, flowers, ground pepper, licorice, and subtle smoke are followed by a full-bodied, layered, multidimensional, big (15.6% alcohol) Syrah. Beautifully balanced, elegant, and pure, it should age gracefully for a decade or more.
1995 Vineyard 29 Cabernet Sauvignon Grace Family Vineyard. 93 points. Superripe, sappy nose combines blackcurrant, chocolate and brown spices. Sweet, supple and chewy on the palate; already displays expressive inner-mouth aromatics. A fairly big wine, finishing with excellent length and thoroughly buffered tannins. Faint notes of roast coffee and game on the aftertaste.
2005 Marquis Philips Shiraz 9. IWC 87+. Saturated ruby. Powerful, room-filling aromas of dark berry compote, vanilla, chocolate, cola and espresso aromas show a head-spinning quality (this says 16.5% alcohol on the label). Fat, soft and oily, with sweet cassis, plum and blackberry flavors sweetened by mocha and vanilla. Doesn’t seem especially tannic but maybe they’re lurking underneath the wine’s confectionary quality. An unctuous, jammy example of shiraz that could use more energy, but this style has its fans. (The other ’05 releases I tasted from this producer were all solidly made but on the jammy side.)
2008 Cayuse Syrah Bionic Frog. IWC 96. Bright dark red. Multidimensional nose delivers black raspberry, brown sugar, smoky cardamom and black olive. Superconcentrated, sappy and rich, showing a rare blend of power and delicacy. No single element dominates this outstanding syrah; flavors of red and black fruits, pepper and spices wash over the palate in a wave. Finishes with very fine tannins and great persistence.
2002 Plumpjack Cabernet Sauvignon Estate. Parker 95+. The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is an amazingly rich, full-throttle effort boasting notes of blackberries, creme de cassis, acacia flowers, graphite and wood smoke. This massive effort tastes more like a mountain-styled Cabernet Sauvignon than one from the Oakville valley floor. It should be forgotten for another 5-6 years and drunk over the following quarter of a century.
Dinuguan. Blood stew with pork or beef (traditionally pork). The blood is pig blood and there are some peppers and potato in there. Despite the frightening appearance and scary concept it was quite tasty.
Wayne strikes again with a magnum of: 2001 Château d’Yquem. Parker 100. There are 10,000 cases of this perfect sweet white Bordeaux. The 2001 Yquem reveals a hint of green in its light gold color. While somewhat reticent aromatically, with airing, it offers up honeyed tropical fruit, orange marmalade, pineapple, sweet creme brulee, and buttered nut-like scents. In the mouth, it is full-bodied with gorgeously refreshing acidity as well as massive concentration and unctuosity. Everything is uplifted and given laser-like focus by refreshing acidity. This large-scaled, youthful Yquem appears set to take its place among the most legendary vintages of the past, and will age effortlessly for 75+ years. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2100+.
Overall, this was another awesome evening. The pig was some of the best I’ve ever had, the wines were great, and the atmosphere and the company fantastic. What more can you ask for in an evening?