Friday, May 04, 2012


Been so busy lately with work that I just haven't had time to write here. But I want to share some recent "Whoa," wine and food that really knocked me out.

1999 Clos Rougeard Saumur Bréze, Louis/Dressner Imports, price unknown. Whoa, this is just amazing wine. Clos Rougeard's rare (and pricey) Chenin Blanc is one of the most intriguing white wines of the Loire Valley. I've had three bottles in my life, including this one, and this was the best of them. Such wonderful freshness and purity on the nose, such well articulated aromas and flavors. Beautifully balanced, deep, complex, so very delicious. More, please.

 Have you ever been to City Island? I grew up here in New York, my parents both grew up in the Bronx, and I had never been until a few weeks ago. Among other things, we ate this plate of Little Neck clams. Briny. Cold. Refreshing. Whoa.

 2009 Chateau Pradeaux Bandol Rosé, Imported by Neal Rosenthal Wine Merchant. I bought two bottles last spring and never got around to drinking one of them. Whoa! I need to remember to put some good rosé away and forget about it for a while. Well made Bandol rosé definitely improves with age. This Pradeaux rose is only a year old, but already offers a glimpse of what time in the cellar will do. Mellow, incredibly mineral, very complex, flashes of the savory. Truly lovely.

This is William Mattiello, one of the owners of Via Emilia, in the Gotham City section of Manhattan, pictured with a bottle of Vittorio Graziano's white Lambrusco. William's wife is the owner of Lambrusco Imports, a small company that brings some very special wines to NYC, among them the very fine wines of Vittorio Graziano. At Via Emilia you will spend $36 for Graziano's red Lambrusco, the best that I've ever had. Initially the wine smells like a barn but it does beautifully with air (and with age, says the wise Levi Dalton). Try the white wine too, called Ripa del Bucamente, made mostly of Trebbiano. Oxidative, herbal, fresh, delicious. And $34 on the wine list. Whoa!

Crabby Jack's in (just slightly out of, actually) New Orleans. Do you like a po'boy? I do. I had the half and half, with fried shrimp and oysters. Very good. My friend had roast beef. Whoa.

2006 Benoît Lahaye Champagne Millésime, $68, imported by Jeffery Alpert Selections. I haven't seen Lahaye's vintage wine in the states, ever. I drank the 2002 in Portland on the day that I met my good friend Peter Liem, back in August of 2008. Always wanted to be able to buy the wine here, and now Chambers Street has a few bottles. Whoa, the 2006 is drinking so well right now, such a silky texture, so well balanced, so graceful, and with such wonderful finesse, and such a skilled bit of blending. At this price, it is among the very best Champagnes available in NYC.

I used to make fish soup all the time. It's been two years now, I think, but I made fish stock from a black fish rack the other day, and then fish soup. Whoa, one of the best I've made, if I may say so. Made an aioli to go with it, with green garlic pounded to a paste with a mortar and pestle, and hot paprika. Tried a few different wines with it this week. Best was a Provence rosé, the 2011 Domane les Fouques Côtes de Provence La Londe, $18, Direct Import of Chambers Street Wines. On day two the wine has distinct licorice notes. Lovely.

I have a good friend who loves Bordeaux wines. He's younger than me, so it's not that he grew up in the glory days of Bordeaux. He just loves the wines, that's it. He likes to open one when I'm over for dinner, and he's gotten quite good at picking one that I might also enjoy. Recently it was the 1995 Calon Segur, whoa. Tobacco leaves, mellow, honestly a lovely wine. Very, very young, and also very enjoyable on this early spring evening.


Anonymous said...

"pictured with a bottle of Vittorio Graziano's white Lambrusco" --- Graziano's 'Ripa del Bucamente', as you pointed out, is made mostly of Trebbiano - hence it's a Emilia Bianco but cannot be a "white Lambrusco" because it's not made from a minimum of 85% Lambrusco grapes.

Do Bianchi said...

in response to anonymous, Lambrusco is a state of mind...

in response to this post, whoa... miss you Brooklyn Guy...

Steve said...

Great post! Clos Rougeard is definitely pricey, but well worth it. Although I've only had two bottles in my life, I can't forget it's fresh aroma.