May 24, 2011

Judging dinner

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A friend of mine got pretty excited last month when I posted on Facebook that I was drinking a particular bottle of wine, and at the time I promised that I'd open a bottle with him.  After taking care of the logistics of removing a bunch of wines from storage, tonight I finally had to chance to share it with him over dinner at Brasserie on the Eighth.

I decided to have a light meal, having had a not-so-little snack in late afternoon on account of an expected late dinner.  Two little courses would be enough for me.

Pan-fried scallops with asparagus and black bean sauce - these were pretty interesting... with a definite Chinese twist to it that is familiar to my palate.  A little on the dry side, though...

We shared a prosciutto platter, and were a little shocked when it it consisted of a whole two slices of ham.  Not sure what to say about that...

Slow-cooked veal shank with cremolata - it's been a long time since I last had this, and it was perfect.  The meat was so tender it literally fell off the bone and yielded with light touches from the knife.  I miss having something like this...

The focus of the gathering, naturally, were the wines.  We managed to open up and finish 2 bottles and brought the rest home...

2004 Kongsgaard Chardonnay The Judge - this is the reason for meeting up... to drink one of California's most expensive Chardonnays with a very small production production.  Once again I decanted the wine in the office, but as dinner was moved up a little, the wine had only spent about 45 minutes in the decanter itself before being poured back into the bottle.  When we finally poured it into glass and started drinking some 1½ hours after I pulled the cork, my friends liked the nose but I found it to be still very tight.  I kept complaining that the wine hadn't opened up but my friends thought the nose was showing pretty well...  Two hours into dinner, the nose finally blossomed and revealed its beauty, and my friends finally understood why I had been unhappy for the last two hours!  Sweet, very ripe, smooth and buttery, with toasty oak, lemon, straw and honey.  Alcoholic on the finish.  Still going very strong more than 4 hours after opening.  Not as good as the 2003 that blew me away last month, but still an incredibly good wine.  Next time I'll decant it for at least 2 hours...and yes, this is a white wine we're talking about!

1991 Opus One - I remember drinking this a few years ago, and it trumped a bunch of Bordeaux in a blind tasting.  One of us even thought it was a Petrus... Tonight the nose was all French, with didn't surprise me at all.  Lots of brett, smoke, mint hiding the fruit underneath, along with lead pencil, salty minerals which was almost like soy sauce.  Very open and lovely, but I would have guessed it to be Bordeaux in a blind tasting.

A pretty enjoyable evening, with some simple food and drinking some Cali wines I love so much.  Must do it again soon.


Alex said...

hmmm... was i the one that thought the 91 opus one was a petrus?

the ox

Peech said...

That would be you, my man! Truth be told, it drank beautifully that night and we all gave it high marks.


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