Location: 11330 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025. (310) 478-1591
Date: August 25, 2015
Cuisine: Japanese Yakitori
Rating: Flaming good!
It’s been awhile since the last official Foodie Club dinner. We like to go to wine friendly places — particularly Burgundy friendly places, and Nanbankan certainly fit the bill.
Japanese. Grilled seafood. Grilled meats. Not a lot of “complicated flavors” just high quality ingredients.
Crudités. Everyone gets their own, with miso sauce.
2012 Domaine Roulot Meursault Les Tessons Clos de Mon Plaisir. VM 89-92. Burghound 89-92. This is almost always the best villages wine in Roulot’s range and so it is again in 2012. While strong reduction and sulfur mark the nose, the vibrant, intense and concentrated medium weight flavors are quite fresh where a lovely touch of minerality adds lift to the beautifully balanced, complex and lingering finish. This really coats the mouth with dry extract which buffers the moderately firm and well-integrated acid spine. Good stuff and this should be approachable young yet age beautifully well too.
agavin: Young but very nice acidity and vanilla.
Beef tongue. Nice and chewy, great with lemon.
Shrimp and vegetable tempura. Always a winner.
2005 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre. Burghound 94. This is a mild step up in overall class and elegance with a gorgeously perfumed white flower fruit nose introducing linear, precise, intense and powerful medium full flavors that remain splendidly focused on the stunningly long finish that drenches the palate in dry extract. This is a striking 1er and one to buy as it easily delivers grand cru quality.
agavin: The Rav is always a winner. Really nice and full bodied. Hardly like a Chablis.
Tiger prawns. Shrimy goodness.
From my cellar: 2004 Morey-Blanc Corton-Charlemagne. Burghound 90-93. A reserved, indeed backward spicy green apple and white pear nose complements delineated but very rich flavors that display moderate wood on the big and weighty if not necessarily super dense finish that packs a serious punch and intensity. The length here is really impressive and the balance is such that this should age for 15 to possibly 20 years.
agavin: reductive, powerful, and oh so yummy!
Ginko nuts. Like wax jellybeans.
2008 Sine Qua Non Kolibri. VM 93. Deep yellow-gold. Ripe pit and exotic fruits on the nose, with complicating notes of honey, sweet butter and green almond. Becomes more floral with air, picking up suggestions of jasmine and chamomile. Lush but focused, with a spine of acidity adding structure and carrying through a very long, sappy and gently sweet finish. Krankl said that he’d serve this with a rich shellfish dish.
agavin: a giant brooding Rhone-like monster, but great with the crab.
Fried softshell crab. Awesome. A really nice tempura crab and a great pairing with the SQN.
Abalone. Nice and tender (for abalone).
Squid. Tasted very Japanese. I love the rubbery texture and flavor.
2003 Domaine Fourrier Griotte-Chambertin Vieille Vigne. VM93+. Red-ruby. Deeply fruity aromas of blackberry, raspberry, violet and bitter chocolate. Wonderfully precise and penetrating, with uncanny definition and detail for a 2003. The black fruit and violet flavors are lifted by a minty, medicinal element on the back end. Impressively concentrated, vibrant wine, finishing with noble tannins and outstanding persistence.
agavin: great medium young Burg.
Sirloin tataki. Will thought too much onion, but I liked it. Very bright flavors.
Pork belly. Yes sir, we ordered another round. Lemon cut the fat. Yeah, it really did.
From my cellar: 1985 Domaine Jean Gros Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Clos des Réas. 94 points. Wonderfully open red currants scent. Sings with candied gooseberries on the palate. Multidimensional and unmistakeably Vosne. Graceful!
agavin: Awesome. A little funky at first, blew off quickly and had that “old but not too old” thing. Real yummy.
Chicken thigh with scallions. Good stuff.
Chicken neck. Sounds gross but was awesome. A bit of crunchy chew.
Chicken wings. Voted best dish of the night.
1989 La Fleur de Gay. Parker 95. Possibly the finest Fleur de Gay made, this rich, very large-scaled, tannic wine has a compelling nose of cassis, licorice, white flowers, minerals, and other sorts of black fruits along with some subtle new oak. Full-bodied, with great delineation, purity, and dazzling concentration and intensity, this is a fabulous example of a Fleur de Gay and a wine that seems capable of lasting at least another two decades.
agavin: A very nice fully mature (but not even slightly old) Bord.
Wagyu steak. Great with Bordeaux.
Shimeji oyster mushrooms. Helps push things on through.
1959 Château Margaux. 97 points. Sweet red cherry, violets, spicecake, cedar, and rose petals on the nose. Raspberry and tart red cherries are notable on the palate. An overall smooth palate help back somewhat by a medium length finish that falls off sooner than desired.
agavin: pretty stunning for 56 years old!
Black cod. Very tender.
Chicken meat balls. This is a Japanese classic and I happen to love them.
Raw quail egg. Plus the meat balls are even better when dipped hot in raw quail egg to coat them with eggy goodness.
Shitake Mushrooms. More fibre.
1994 Guigal Cote Rotie la Turque. Parker 96-98. The great glories of this house are its Cote Roties, of which there are now five separate offerings. The single-vineyard 1994s were singing loudly when I saw them in July. All of them scored significantly higher than they did during the two previous years, which is not unusual as Guigal’s upbringing (elevage) of the wines results in better examples in the bottle than in cask. All three wines flirt with a perfect score. At this tasting, they reminded me of Guigal’s 1982s – opulent, sumptuously-textured, forward, rich, precocious, flattering wines that will drink well throughout their lives. The exotic 1994 Cote Rotie La Turque exhibits a dense purple color, and a fabulously-scented nose of licorice, Asian spices, truffles, minerals, and gobs of black fruits. Full-bodied, with great richness, a multi-layered personality, and an exotic, overripe character, this is a sensational, chocolatey, rich wine with more tannin than La Mouline. Anticipated maturity: 2000-2020. Guigal is one of the cellars where the wines always taste better after they are bottled than they do from cask, although as the scores in this segment indicate, some profound wines can be found in the 1994, 1995, and 1996 vintages Chez Guigal.
agavin: Awesome! Syrah at its finest.
Lamb chops with garlic. We ordered 2 full sets of these. Amazing with the Lala.
Duck breast. Nice and a little smokey. Mustard and yuzu chili were awesome as a condiment.
Pork sausage. Like the BEST hot dog and mustard you ever had. One of my favorites.
NV J.W. Morris Founders Port. 93 points. Probably from the 70s, but mature and super tasty. Fruity and well balanced.
Strawberry and green tea mochi. The strawberry was awesome.
Overall, this was a fabulous dinner. Everything was great, but really the company was the #1 selling point. Very good group. After that, the food was very nice. A change from some of our usual fare and very wine flexible. The wines were fabulous. Not a single “off” wine.