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Wine tasting dinner 2008 Jan


Scroll to bottom to see the notes from wine dinner

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1st Course

Duo of salmon and hamachi, Yuzu foam and meyer lemon gelee

Notes: great color and texture, beautiful balance of flavors with the yuzu foam carrying a lightness to refresh the palate.  Hamachi mixed well with the weight of the meyer lemon gelee which helps to balanced out the heavier flavored and oily texture of the fish

Ryoriki YK35 Daiginjo Sake

Notes: Suberb balance with good structure. Subtle notes of apple and pear turns into thyme & baked apple pie notes as the temperature of the sake warmed up.  A touch of sweet corn and caramel in the finish.  Extremely smooth and silky in texture.  Great length but not over powering.  More finesse than power.

2nd Course

Lobster and beet salad, citrus, tarragon and pistachio

Notes: The soul of this dish is the pistachio cream sauce.  It is the conductor that brings all the flavors together into a symphony.  It also brings out the nuttiness in the wine.  The citrus makes the beet sweeter and the beet makes the lobster more savory...it is a teasing of the 5 senses in a complementary way.

1998 Chablis Reserve de L'obedience Grand Cru, Domaine Laroche

Notes: Ultra smooth and silky with a density of olive oil.  Very typical flinty, nutty and minerally nose, the mid palate is soft and lush with notes of lime, bread crust and fresh baked pie crust.  The sweetness comes out with the extremely long and lingering finish.

3rd Course

Pear and Anis Soup, rouge river blue cheese, chive and sulton puree

Notes: A juxtapose of contrasting flavor and temperature.  Sweet and salty in a classic way but in different texture.  The smooth pear texture is accentuated by the sweet sulton puree.

2004 The Quarry Chardonnay, Aubert

Notes: The wine is a bit too big and powerful for its own good.  Overpowering, oaky and rich.  It certainly has bold overripe flavor, but a bit too heavy for me.

4th Course

Roasted duck breast, marrow bean agnolotti and white Oregon truffle

Notes: The soft core of marrow bean marries beautifully with the al dente agnolotti.  The aroma of the truffle is not too overpowering and certainly pairs well with the gamey duck breast and brings out the truffle note in the Grand Echezeaux.

1997 Grand Echezeaux, Desaunay-Bissey

Notes:  The nose is amazing!  I can just sniff it for the whole night.  Gamey and fruity with equal weight, similar balance between masculine and feminine qualities, the fabulous mid palate has so much complexity from dark fruit to cola to rosemany which just keeps unfolding layers by layers.  The acidity helps to maintain the freshness of the wine.  Bravo!

5th Course

Sonoma squab, five spice cake puree yam and molasses

Notes: A clever decompose of five spice and squab that rubs the flavor together in the mouth.  Awesome flavor, clean and pure with the yam brings richness and complexity.  Reminds me of Halloween. :)

1985 Volcanic Hill, Diamond Creek

Notes: Strong minerality with minty and eucalyptus, fresh sage and tarragon notes in the nose.  The mid palate turns to fruity and sweet with a core of dark berries and a rounded banana cream mouth feel.  The acidity kicks in in the finish bring out the kumquat and grapefruit like sweet and tart sensation.  A very complex and intriguing wine.

6th Course

Red wine braised short ribs, potato pave and saba

Notes: Simple concept, perfect execution.  Perfecto.  Matching with the 1983 Martha's vineyard in a way that is meant to be.

1983 Martha's Vineyard, Heitz Cellar

Notes:  This is probably my favorite wine of the night.  A complete wine with everything in great balance integrating well with each other.  The nose is sweet with plummy and jammy balckberry, fig and hazelnut with violet and cassis overtones.  Incredible depth of flavor and an everlasting finish.  Balanced and complex, well matured with good structure and power, yet very well restrain, this wine is drinking perfectly now and will be able to age for a long time.

7th Course

Espresso roasted "NY" steak, braised cabbage and beet jus

Notes: Notes not taken....too busy uncorking another bottle

1983 Reserve Cab, Robert Mondavi / 1983 Georges de latour, BV

Notes: The Mondavi was a bit off.  So we opened the BV which shows much better but surprisingly similar in profile.  Probably the proximity of the terroir and vintage.  Good matured and typical Rutherford dust nose and a bordeaux like profile.  The mid palate has shown interesting note of coffee, strawberry and cherry but feels a bit light.  Good wine but not too exciting.

8th Course

New Zealand whole roasted venison loin, mole, grits, almonds and poached currents

Notes: Notes not taken but I was so impressed with the mole sauce.  To be honest, I was a bit too full at this point and have to take the majority of the Venison home.  Remember, I have been eating 1.25 portion as my wife keeps piling part of her dishes to me.  :(

1977 Limited Cask Cabernet, Inglenook

Notes:  For a 30 year old wine, this wine has amazing youth and vibrancy.  It is probably because this is from the winery stock which has been untouched in the winery since it was produced providing perfect aging condition.  Purity of primary grape flavor with amazing density, this 1977 Inglenook has unmatched complexity and great depth with layers and layers of flavor.  This is unreal.  All I can think of is a phrase in Japanese called "ichigo ichie" roughly translated to "one chance in a lifetime."

9th Course

Mixed citrus "creamsicle" tahitian vanilla bean, blood orange sorbet and brioche pudding

Notes: I was a bit too drunk to take notes at that time so I am quoting from Dana, the creator of this dish "A uber light and airy tahitian vanilla bean bavarian, is made with an italian meringue rather than the usual custard base. By cutting out the rich custard base and substituting something very lean, the floral nuances of the tahitian vanilla bean really shine. It sits aside a mandarin (Blood orange in our case) sorbet, puckery, icy, and paired with the bavarian makes the orange/vanilla base for a creamsicle. Under these two components is this amazing bitter, acidic, fragrant passionfruit yogurt sauce pooled in a swoosh of brioche pudding. The broiche pudding, similar to a stovetop pudding rather than a baked bread pudding is a dense texture completely unexpected, and the yeasty rich butteriness is surprisingly delicious with the dessert. Little candied kumquats and confited meyer lemon add to the plate, which has received the same unsolicited compliment from nearly everyone I have fed it to"

1998 Pinot Gris - Rangen VT, Zind Humbrecht

Notes: Brilliant golden color with a amazing density, complex citrus nose with a bit of orange peel zing, this late harvest Pinot Gris really shines on its own.  The complexity unfolds sip by sip to reveal the multi dimensional of its flavor profile.  Really a rare treat and thanks to the kitchen team at Veil, it has found a perfect match with the mixed citrus "creamsicle".