Showing posts from January, 2014

Vertical of J.L.Chave "Offerus" Syrah

J.L. Chave is Northern's Rhone super-star producer, widely recognized as the best in Hermitage, which itself is considered the finest appellation in Rhone. Both reds and whites are world-famous. While Cote-Rotie and Cornas are reaching heights as well, Hermitage is still and always the king of Rhone. For reds, the syrah, one of world's most popular red grape varieties, finds its utmost expression here. Chave's Hermitage rouge is a wine of supreme polish, complexity and longevity, and will run you upwards of $400/bottle. But he also makes a line of less expensive syrah bottlings called "Offerus". The story goes - he knew some old-timers, locals he had gone to school with, who had tucked among their orchards in the Saint Joseph appellation an acre or two of spectacularly-sited, old-vine, hillside syrah. These became the basis of Offerus. The other day I got an opportunity to taste a vertical of Offerus. Here are the notes: 2010 J.L. Chave Saint-Joseph "Of

2011 Mongeard-Mugneret Red Burgundies

Mongeard-Mugneret is a solid "value" producer of red burgundy, with wide range of impressive vineyard holdings, particularly at the 1er and Grand Cru level in the Vosne Romanee commune, as well as Flagey-Echezeaux and Vougeot, all the way up to Richebourg Grand Cru in Vosne. Mongeard-Mugneret is well regarded for their old-vines plot in Echezeaux, bottled separately as "vieille vigne" from their regular Echezeaux. I "heard" that 2011 is the last vintage of these venerable 60-year-old vines, as supposedly they got ripped out afterwards due to disease. ( Note : I do not have the official confirmation on this yet...) Our local wine shop conducted two tastings of Mongeard-Mugeneret 2011 broad line-up. While I did not taste everything, I did focus on a few key bottlings to get the idea of the producer's style and quality in the 2011 vintage. Here are the tasting notes: 2011 Mongeard-Mugeneret "Les Orveaux" 1er Cru - pine, red plum, spice,

Dinner at Gary Danko

Spectacular dinner at Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco. All courses masterfully executed, absolutely delicious, in a super comfortable non-stuffy setting, and very good perfectly-paced service. Extremely fair value (~$100 prix fixe), compared to most similar level restaurants in the Bay Area. Overall, impressive and definitely deserving of going back to. No wonder this place is always booked and so hard to make a reservation. We got lucky because of a 49'ers play-off game! (which I was recording...) We paired the appetizers and seafood entrees with Fleury "Carte Rouge" Blanc de Noirs Brut NV Champagne, a most amazing match with the Thai coconut curry seafood dish. And for bird and meat courses, I had brought a bottle of the venerable 1990 Leroy Chassagne-Montrachet rouge. Several years ago  it had been a magnificent experience, but this time before opening, I was concerned that the wine might be past its prime. Fortunately it was sublime - didn't appear to