Showing posts from January, 2015

2010 Brunello di Montalcino. Solid and Over-Hyped?

Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino came back to San Francisco with the Benvenuto Brunello tasting series after a 6 year hiatus . On the 24th floor of the venerable Fairmont Hotel with a view worthy of a presidential visit, and on the wings of the much hyped 2010 Brunello di Montalcino vintage, this was a highly anticipated Italian event. 2010 has been a great great year for wine in the major regions of France and Italy. But as Brunello requires extended (5-year) aging before release, only now are they rolling on to the market, after most other regions. Given what we have seen from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Barolo, Chianti and Tuscany IGT, the recent "best ever Brunello vintage" declaration by James Suckling drove masses to this event, hoarding space at the tables and elbowing their room to spit buckets and cheese trays. (Is it too much to ask of the esteemed members of the trade the simple etiquette to get your pour and move out of the way?) After tasting through

Robert Chevillon Nuits-Saint-Georges Village Vertical 2002-2012

Domaine Robert Chevillon is considered by many the top producer of Nuits-Saint-Georges in Burgundy. Certainly not the only one, as Henri Gouges, Faiveley, Leroy, Comte Liger-Belair, Meo-Camuzet and others make admirable wines there, but the sheer breadth of vineyard holdings combined with long-term track record of Chevillon puts them into the highest bracket. Recently I was able to taste a vertical of his village vieilles vignes (old vines) bottling, which is always a very good representation of the village, domaine's style and vintage. The Wines 2002 Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits-Saint-Georges vieilles vignes - 30 min after opening. Nose: wow, great nose, great maturity and complexity, medicinal herbs, licorice, meat / game. Palate: almost silky, sweet, long, medicinal licoricey slightly bitter-sweet finish, yummy, still a little tannic, touch of rusticity, fragrance of flowers / stems, hints of tomato paste and beets, game, distant campfire, salty mineral bath, champagne

Benu - 3 Michelin Stars

Benu restaurant in San Francisco has recently been promoted to 3-Michelin-Star, an elite designation of top restaurants in the world. In the Bay Area, we only have four: The French Laundry, The Restaurant at Meadowood (both in Napa Valley), and the newly promoted Saison and Benu, both in San Francisco. I headed over to Benu , for my inaugural visit, to find out for myself what the fuss was all about. A fixed menu of numerous bite-size courses, Asian-fusion style, with an incredibly light touch, was impressive. Almost every decadent ingredient one can think of was somehow represented. The wine list was fairly impressive and versatile as well, with aged bottles of DRC at prices not far above the retail prices of current releases (so relative "value", one might say). Based on a recommendation of a wine guru friend and a Benu regular, I brought a bottle of white burgundy which I had been cellaring for a few years, and indeed it worked very well with the menu. Master Sommelier