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Showing posts from April, 2010

1999 E. Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape

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Here we go again . Just when I had practically given up on Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Enoch pulls out this basic ’99 CdP from E. Guigal . Oh, from the first whiff I was sold – the rusty metal meets juicy blood, slight gaminess inviting of meat, a touch of “bloody mary” spice, tart medley of berries with a silky and by no means thick texture. Gone the jamminess of a young CdP, this 11 year old revealed layer after layer of complexity for the entire 3 hours of the meal making me zone out the happenings of a bustling restaurant. Secondary flavors coming together like an orchestra, the fruit was still fresh and juicy but not fruity, the wine at its peak. Perfect with lamb shank, I had to order seconds just to continue reveling in the wine. The much respected ’99 Joseph Phelps Insignia came next in all of its soft and super-juicy California glory, but my hand reached for more Guigal again and again, until the last drop oozed from the bottle, sediment and all, and longingly I continued sniffing ph

Announcing top Italian food & wine tasting - Enoteca 100 Primavera at Donato Enoteca

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For those who missed the inaugural monster tasting at Donato Enoteca in Redwood City last November - shame on you! - it was an incredible and innovative event which I had the pleasure of attending and documenting here . Not only did folks get to taste amazing wines and foods for an incredible price, but also anything they liked, they could order on the spot at a good retail price, not restaurant price. People were walking away with cases! For those who attended that extravaganza, you are in for another treat, since Enoteca 100 is coming again on May 1. Buy tickets here: http://enoteca100primavera.eventbrite.com/ . And here is the kicker. For readers of the Iron Chevsky blog, Donato Enoteca created a special promotion -- enter ironchevsky into the "discount code" field to receive a whopping 20% discount ! ( Note : I don't get any kickback from the restaurant - I promote them because I love what they do and because this is truly a marvelous event!) ENOTECA 100 Primavera -

Spanish Wine Cellar & Pantry 2010

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It was a trade tasting, not a real cellar, but that's what they decided to call themselves. Quote from the organizers : Spanish Wine Cellar: An exclusive showcase of up-and-coming wines from Spain. All participating companies are seeking distribution and look forward to sharing their products with you! This year’s events offer the opportunity to meet over 40 wine companies; and for buyers and sellers, to connect directly with the goal of importing new Spanish brands to the U.S. market. The Spanish Wine Cellar features companies representing over 100 wines from regions such as Jumilla, Rías Baixas, Ribera del Duero, Rioja and Toro. Spanish wines are hardly for wine geeks or wine snobs. Not that there aren't any geek-worthy wines from Spain, but frankly greatness is not a term I would use to describe them. But I love Spanish food! And this trade tasting served the most incredible array of tapas, cheeses, fish, olive oils, vinegars, and assorted preserves. Were they trying to over

Iron Chevsky turns paparazzi at Renee & Andy's wedding

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Rona's best friend Renee got married to Andy yesterday. The reception luncheon was at the place where they first met 8 month ago in August 2009. Donato Enoteca. Vinity / Vineyard Gate Italian wine dinner which Iron Chevsky organized and MC'ed. The two birds had given up on looking for a soul mate. The two were hardly even wine drinkers. Yet, fate brought them together at a communal table of food and wine, with just a little nudging from Rona and Andy's brother Enoch! And now their souls are joined, their hearts have found happiness and fulfillment in the arms, gazes, and thoughts of each other. In a private, family-only reception, Rona and I were honored to be included. On a perfect Sunday afternoon, gods favored the newlyweds by giving the best weather of the year - spotless blue skies, 75 degree air, picture-perfect cherry blossoms at the patio of the restaurant, and of course a bottle of Produttori del Barbaresco and another masterful multi-course meal served at Donato E

2008 vintage in Chateauneuf-du-Pape - reporting first impressions

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According to Wine Spectator , "The Southern Rhône's string of outstanding vintages since 1998 (save for 2002) may have come to an end in 2008, a difficult growing season marked by cool, rainy weather and a very small crop." This week I had an opportunity to see for myself. At the top floor of the Knight Ridder building in downtown San Jose, a relatively small trade gathering sampled the latest vintage of soon-to-be released 2008 bottlings from Chateauneuf-du-Pape (aka CdP). These wines have been specifically bottled for the Angeles Wine Agency's annual tasting and will be officially released between April and August. What a great opportunity to assess the CdP vintage relative to the much hyped 2007, which I reviewed last year . A fascinating study of the importance of a vintage, the differences are vast and obvious, and frankly, to my liking. While the 2007 was a monster year in CdP - ripe, jammy, sweet fruit, high-alcohol, thick textures, astronomical Parker scores,

Surf-and-turf @Chris & Molly's

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Glamorous trade tastings and quirky geek tastings are all fine and dandy, but here is a set-up that I really live for - cooking, eating, and drinking in a company of good friends - that is the essence of this blog and of my wine philosophy. Last night, our good friends Chris & Molly invited us to their home in Palo Alto. Maybe the excuse was Easter, or the Passover, or the Spring, or the debut of the iPad, or just too many wines that need drinking and too long since the last time we let loose and just enjoyed. The menu? "Surf & Turf" - expertly prepared high-quality ingredients that would pair perfectly and easily with some nice wines whose time had come. Chris had pre-announced the parameters: "wine $50-100/bottle... but don't want it too $$ as I want the night to be more casual and less wine geeky although I am sure there will be plenty of that." Since everyone in the crowd was a francophile, I decided "what the heck! I should bring a Cali cab!&