Chef: Andrew Greene
Date: September 27, 2015
Cuisine: New American
Rating: Awesome meats
Jake and Elizabeth’s yard has been the site of several awesome Hedonist gatherings, and tonight is no exception.
It’s a gorgeous warm night and twenty-some of us are ready to chow down.
The chef tonight is Hedonist veteran Ron’s son, Andrew Greene (with the beard), shown here with a bunch of other chefs in attendance, including Kaz from Totoraku! Andrew is the chef at Troya in San Francisco and he’s prepared some epic meaty feasting for us tonight.
NV Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Rosé. VM 92. Pale orange. High-pitched red berry, orange zest and jasmine aromas, with suave mineral and smoky lees notes adding complexity. Spicy and precise on the palate, showing very good punch to its strawberry and bitter cherry flavors. Opens up smoothly with air and picks up a bitter rhubarb quality that lingers onto the long, tightly focused finish. This bottling showed more brawny character than many past renditions of this cuvée, but with no lack of vivacity.
Salami. Out in the beginning are a few nibbles.
2004 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon. VM 97.5. Racy, silky and vibrant in the glass, the 2004 Dom Pérignon is all about energy. Here the flavors are bright and delineated throughout, with veins of acidity and minerality that give the wine its sense of drive. Mint, rosemary and yellow-fleshed fruits linger on the finish with the classic DP reductive overtones that are such a signature. Once again, the 2004 Dom Pérignon truly shines. The 2004 Dom Pérignon is a wine to treasure over the next thirty or so years.
From my cellar: 2004 Henri Boillot Bâtard-Montrachet. VM 95. Knockout nose combines pineapple, orange and spices, with a subtle leesy suggestion of nuts. Wonderfully sweet, supple, fine-grained and full, with a captivating sugar/acid balance and an intriguing suggestion of exotic fruits. Extremely broad, silky, palate-saturating wine of great purity and persistence. I underrated this when I tasted it from barrel a year ago. From Domaine Caillot vines located high on the hillside. A great Batard.
hamachi with fennel, pickled with ponzu, Persian cucumbers.
This was a nice sashimi starter.
2010 Marcel Deiss Schoenenbourg. VM 94+. Bright straw-green. Spicy aromas of lime, honeyed peach, anise and quinine. Dense on entry, then spicy and vibrant in the middle, displaying juicy, fresh flavors of peach, flowers and earth. This structured, very long wine magically combines an impression of strong extract and a weightless quality. Very impressive.
Uni. Isn’t much of a looker on the plate.
But sure tasted great on crackers.
Mushroom dashi. A lovely light soup of bonito dashi and various mushrooms.
2008 Kistler Pinot Noir Cuvée Catherine. VM 94. Glass-staining ruby. Highly perfumed, precise aromas of cherry, blackberry, licorice, herbs and violet; much darker in character than the preceding wines. Sweet and firm on entry, then fresh and aromatic in the mouth, with strong cherry and dark berry fruit supported by a firm spine of minerality. Finishes sweet and long. This is built to age.
agavin: ain’t no Burgundy!
2006 Kistler Pinot Noir Cuvée Elizabeth Bodega Headlands. VM 94. Deep red. Energetic red and dark berries on the nose, with sexy notes of potpourri and blood orange adding complexity. Lively raspberry and blackberry flavors stain the palate, taking on a richer mocha quality on the back. The red fruit repeats strongly on the strikingly pure and precise finish. An impressively tangy, pure expression of pinot, with the balance and intensity to reward cellaring.
Tomato corn salad.
From my cellar: 1995 Louis Jadot Echezeaux. 92 points. Deep colour, wonderful fruit (black fruits) and sweetness. Very long. A really pleasant surprise, and a perfect companion for salmon teriyaki. A true grand cru, excellent value for money. No hurry to drink the rest.
1990 Chateau Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape. Parker 96. Two great back to back vintages are the 1990 and 1989. The more developed 1990 boasts an incredible perfume of hickory wood, coffee, smoked meat, Asian spices, black cherries, and blackberries. Lush, opulent, and full-bodied, it is a fully mature, profound Beaucastel that will last another 15-20 years.
Lamb bacon. Chunks of tender lamb meat reduced and smoked. Very chewy, and amazingly delicious.
2001 Clos des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape. Parker 95. The classically styled 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape has plenty of the telltale kirsch and sweet spice notes that always seem to be present in Avril’s wines. Showing more mature notes of truffle, olive, licorice and garrigue as it sat in the glass, it’s medium to full-bodied, elegant and balanced, with a great texture and finish. It has solid mid-palate depth, as well as sweet tannin, so, while there’s no harm enjoying bottles today, it has another decade of longevity.
braised oxtail. Tender meaty oxtail.
1991 Beringer Chardonnay Private Reserve. Parker 96. The second largest production of Beringer’s Private Reserve, the 1991 came in just behind the 24,000 cases of the 1997. Interestingly, these are among the greatest Private Reserves made, and as Ed Sbragia told me, it was just one of those perfect vintages. One of the longest and coolest growing seasons in the history of California, it was marked by cool temperatures throughout the summer and a perfect Indian Summer. The hang time of the grapes, ranging from the date of flowering to the date of harvest, was historically long (I do not believe it has been equaled since). The Cabernet Sauvignon came from the same three sources as the 1990, Bancroft Ranch, the Home Vineyard in St. Helena, and Chabot Vineyard, and the tiny dollop of Cabernet Franc was from the Bancroft Ranch site. I’ve enjoyed many bottles of this spectacular effort, which still possesses a dense ruby/purple color as well as a sumptuous nose of spring flowers, graphite, loamy soil, creme de cassis, black cherries and blackberries. With sweet tannin, a full-bodied mouthfeel and incredible purity as well as youthfulness, this wine has another 15-20 years of life left in it. If this were a Bordeaux, one would think it was 8-10 years old, not two decades. There are no hard edges, and the seamless integration of all the component parts make it one of the prodigious Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserves to drink now as well as over the next 20 years.
fig marmalade. These four, the bacon, oxtail, humus and marmalade were served together.
Things are cooking!
2003 Guigal Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis. Parker 96. A wine I’ve been lucky enough to have numerous times recently, the 2003 Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis is an off-the-hook effort that gives up plenty of plum sauce, smoked duck, licorice, tar, vanilla bean and violet aromas and flavors. Never acidified, it has awesome freshness and focus to go with full-bodied richness, a hedonistic texture and a blockbuster-styled finish. While it’s not for those craving delicate-styled aromas and textures, I think it’s a gorgeous effort that will continue to drink nicely over the coming decade or more.
Salmon with tomatoes and onions.
2007 Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino. Parker 95. The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino is gorgeous. Dark red cherries, plums, spices, leather and tobacco wrap around the palate as this dense, powerful wine starts to open up. Expressive aromatics are woven throughout, giving the 2007 a measure of polish and sophistication that is not always present in this wine when it is young. Finessed, suave tannins reinforce an impression of elegance. The 2007 can be enjoyed with minimum cellaring, but it will also age gracefully for many years. Readers who want to try the 2007 today should give the wine plenty of air, as the more refined qualities only emerge over time. When tasted next to the 2006, the 2007 shows redder tonalities of fruit and less sheer muscle. Hints of tobacco, crushed flowers and spices wrap around the sensual finish.
2010 Grace Family Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown. 92 points.
Seared venison. Incredibly tender slices of venison.
Some Turley Petite Syrah. I don’t usually bother with these monsters.
Served with blueberry demiglase.
2000 Pavie. Parker 100. Just beginning to come around and strut its enormous potential, this wine at age 15 has been evolving like a glacier. The wine has an inky, opaque, plum/purple color and a stunningly rich nose of mulberries, bramble berries, blackberries, licorice and incense as well as touches of toast and graphite. Fabulously concentrated and full-bodied, with a multidimensional mouthfeel, this profound Pavie is in mid-adolescence. It should evolve and continue to drink well for at least another 30-40 years. This is clearly the first compelling effort made by the Perse family.
agavin: bottle was empty before I got to it 🙁
1996 Mouton-Rothschild. Parker 94-96. This estate’s staff believes that the 1996 Mouton-Rothschild is very complex. I agree that among the first-growths, this wine is showing surprising forwardness and complexity in its aromatics. It possesses an exuberant, flamboyant bouquet of roasted coffee, cassis, smoky oak, and soy sauce. The impressive 1996 Mouton-Rothschild offers impressive aromas of black currants, framboise, coffee, and new saddle leather. This full-bodied, ripe, rich, concentrated, superbly balanced wine is paradoxical in the sense that the aromatics suggest a far more evolved wine than the flavors reveal. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2030. By the way, the 1996 blend consists of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 8% Cabernet Franc.
Smoked fingerling purée. These mashed potatoes were insane, particularly with the blueberry sauce. Tasted like BBQ or something.
2005 Rol Valentin. Parker 92-94. A sexy, full-bodied, very drinkable style of 2005, Eric Prissette’s 2005 Rol Valentin displays loads of black cherry fruit, licorice, Christmas fruitcake and spice. Full-bodied and opulent, it can be drunk over the next 10-15 years.
Duck confit. One of the best duck legs I’ve had — not quite Peking duck, but what is?
2001 Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select. Parker 100! The 2001 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select is the first of these back-to-back perfect wines from Shafer that, at age 13, is still a baby, but, wow, what an amazing wine. A fabulous growing season produced a wine with inky/purple black color, stunning crème de cassis notes, with additional hints of lead pencil shavings, spring flowers, cedar wood and forest floor. It is full-bodied, sensationally concentrated, with a seamless integration of acidity, tannin, wood and alcohol. This is a great, monumental Napa Cabernet Sauvignon that is still an infant, at age 13, going on 14. This has got at least three decades of life left in it, and probably won’t hit its peak for another 5-7 years.
Veggies cooked in duck fat.
2006 Justin Vineyards & Winery Isosceles Reserve. 93 points. Massive, complex fruit, with a nice layer of tannin. This is a whopper, with plenty of time left. Highly enjoyable now with a some air. Very masculine.
From my cellar: 1973 R. López de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Bosconia. 93 points. This is quite dusty but really complex. Coconut, sweat, mushroom, strawberry, cranberry and dark cherry flavours. The palate shows a strange lactic note that borders on yogurt and egg yolk which is a bit distracting but in the end, flavours of earth, mushroom, cherry, sweat, herbs, leather and cedar round this wine out and make it quite enjoyable. The finish is medium+ with moderate complexity but is really earthy which is just so captivating.
Charred fennel purée. Good stuff.
1932 Massandra Red Port. 94 points. Tawny in color, with a complex nose of smoke, caramel, butterscotch, toffee, coffee ban, banana and wild strawberries. The wine had great freshness and ample sweetness, but the nose was better than the palate, due to the shortness of the finish. But then the wine was close to 85 years of age. Massandra is not a wine I see often, making this a rare and interesting treat.
agavin: Joseph Stalin probably tasted this wine many times.
1999 Fred Prinz Hallgartener Jungfer Riesling Auslese. Really nice.
Kumefe (Turkish filo dough with cheese), with Meyer lemon syrup, hazelnut crumble. I’ve had this in Turkey a number of times. Great stuff with an interesting crispy/gooey texture.
Some extra hazelnut crumble.
It should be noted that we were able to see the “super blood moon” (super moon in eclipse) right as we ate.
Overall an incredible evening of amazing food — and way way too much of it too — and tons of great wines. We rolled out of there. The meats were super flavorful and extremely well cooked. They probably “suffered” slightly too from the family style plating, as I can imagine individually plated with all the elements integrated they would be even more impressive — and they were fabulous as is. Mmmm, lamb bacon.