May 3, 2017

50 more years

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One of the MNSC boys is reaching a milestone this week - switching the big figure to 5-handle.  It's a big excuse to throw a party, and Dr. Poon is throwing a few of them this week, so it made sense to fold our MNSC gathering into one of those events.  Tonight the boys and their better halves turned up at Amuse Bouche, and we were treated to an evening of celebration with fantastic wines.

As I looked around the restaurant, there were bottles and magnums of great wines on every table - except ours, of course, since we would have to blind taste our wines.  If we go by the logic that the "MNSC table" would get to taste wines which are even more interesting than the rest of the crowd, then we were in for a real treat tonight!

Knowing there was plenty of food tonight, I decided to pass up most of the nibbles carried around the restaurant by the staff during the "reception", but the seafood risotto in pesto sauce was pretty damn tasty.

Maine lobster salad with Iranian tradition premier caviar, red radish, mango, avocado, crustacean dressing - I've always liked what they do with lobsters here, and tonight was no exception.  Loved starting with something so refreshing and whets the appetite... with crunchy, thin slices of red radish topped with passion fruit 'pearls' made with spherification, along with what I think was a (raspberry?) sauce.  Beautiful dish.

Tuscan artisanal pasta with black truffle in a natural poulet jus - one cannot leave this place without having tried their signature dish.  Casarecce with truffle sauce, chicken jus and now shaved summer truffle.  Leaves an incredible fragrance in one's mouth.

Pan fried yellow chicken leg confit with herb salad and a natural poulet jus - this was pretty good.  The chicken was very tender, and thankfully they left us the crispy chicken skin to munch on.

Roasted whole U.S OP prime rib garnished by pommes mousseline, baby spinach, Bordelaise sauce - Hello Kitty should have switched with me... she got the end cut and it's not something she enjoys, while I would have been perfectly fine with it.  My piece was pretty delish... and very nicely done.  Too bad it was such a huge piece and I've already had some delicious dishes beforehand, so I wasn't able to finish the entire plate.  Loved the fatty and charred edges, though!

Crispy green apple tart with vanilla ice cream - this was alright.

The wines Dr. Poon served us were nothing short of jaw-dropping, featuring the best of Bordeaux and Burgundy, including legendary producers as well as vintages.

Wines for the MNSC tasting portion:
Flight 1: opened 1½ hours prior to serving.
1947 Mouton-Rothschild - very smoky nose, a bit minty, with a hint of sweet grass and a little stinky and bretty.  92 points.

1948 Mouton-Rothschild - pungent, smoky, with toasty notes and a little coffee.  93 points.

Flight 2: opened more than 1½ hours prior to serving.
1952 Petrus - more elegant and focused, with sweet fruit but a hint of medicinal notes.  A little savory with mineral and soy sauce.  94 points.

1962 Petrus, ex-château - beautiful nose, toasty, some fruit here but not too ripe, along with pencil lead and coffee.  A little more cloudy.  96 points.

Flight 3: opened 2 hours prior to serving.
1967 Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Beze - nose really fragrant and beautiful, with a little toast and a bit of forest.  95 points.

1967 Ponsot Clos de la Roche - also very fragrant, more grassy but still fruity.  94 points.

Flight 4:
1981 DRC Romanée-St-Vivant - elegant with a little floral and a little leather notes.  97 points.

1981 Henri Jayer Echezeaux - much more dusty in terms of the nose, but also more floral and fruity later after more aeration.  95 points.

Flight 5: opened as an afterthought and decanted 45 minutes prior to serving.
1959 Mouton-Rothschild - minty, savory, smoky and meaty, with a hint of brett.  Slightly sharp alcohol.  94 points.

1959 La Mission Haut-Brion - very minty, smoky, a little earthy, and a little stinky...  Very savory with lots of soy sauce.  94 points.

Other wines tasting during the evening:
2002 Louis Roederer Cristal, en magnum - pretty toasty.  Nice and ripe on the palate.  Easy to drink.

Jacques Selosse Version Originale, dégorgée le 10 Novembre 2009 - definitely bigger nose than the Cristal, with sharper acidity in the nose, along with caramelized notes.  Almost a little too ripe on the palate.

1997 Salon - very lovely and ready to drink.

1967 Lafleur, en magnum - very savory nose.  My glass  had lots of sediment.

1978 Cheval Blanc, en magnum - opened for 2 hours.  Lots of smoke, coffee, and cedar notes.  Beautiful.

1967 La Conseillante - a little pungent and smoky.

1976 Mouton-Rothschild, en magnum - minty, smoky, and a little earthy.

1995 Kistler Chardonnay Cuvée Cathleen - a little flinty with plenty of toast.  Ripe but not too much.  Fucking beautiful.

1976 Jaboulet La Chapelle, en magnum - smoky, a bit of animal, minty.  Lovely.

1999 Robert Groffier Bonnes Mares - soooo ripe and sweet on the nose, almost like Robitussin or some other cherry-flavored cough syrup...

Very, very privileged to have been part of Dr. Poon's big bash, and grateful for his friendship over the years.  As Dr. Poon remarked during dinner, here's to another 50 years (of MNSC)!

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