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Old 15-04-2007, 02:52 PM posted to alt.food.wine
DaleW DaleW is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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Default TN: Bordeaux wine with Latin food?

Bill & Jan Johnson fromTexas stopped through NY on their way to
Scotland, and Arv organized a welcoming dinner. Near-panic ensued when
a week or two before the night the restaurant where we had
reservations decided to close for a private party. Corkage deals for
groups of 10 on Saturdays are hard. But Arv resolutely worked with the
restaurant management, which arranged for us to get the same deal at
their sister restaurant, Calle Ocho.

A very convivial group (though as always, I mainly talked to my end of
the table- a rather loud space) and a fun evening. The food was good,
though Nuevo Latino is a hard match for Bordeaux. The waiters clearly
weren't used to working with wine geeks (mojitos seem to be more the
house style), but tried. I had a good time, and enjoyed the company
and wines:

1999 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne
Pre-ox rears its ugly head. This wasn't totally ruined, but I would
have guessed 15-20 years old from the nose. Light maderized notes,
apples and honeysuckle, good acidity. You can feel the class and verve
underneath the oxidation notes, but overall a disappointment. C+

2002 Pierre Matrot "Chalumeaux" Puligny-Montrachet
Pear fruit with a spicy edge, good acidity but with a very broad
Meursault-ish texture. I revisited late in the evening and found it
more Puligny-ish, with long mineral finish and some light mushroom
notes. I liked a lot. But even this young wine has had some pre-ox
reports. My current plan for white Burgs is to drink young, and to
concentrate my buying on less expensive ones and drinking them early
(Matrot Bourgone to substitute for Meursault, Pernot Bourgogne for
Puligny, and Clair St Aubin to fill in edges). B+/A-

1970 La Lagune (Haut-Medoc)
This is doing just fine,thank you very much. Pretty red berry fruit, a
real deep ferric streak on finish. Holds up fine for couple hours. B+

1981 Lafite-Rothschild (Pauillac)
Darker fruit, though not weighty. Attractive cedar and pencil notes,
smooth and resolved, a nice wine on the elegant side. A-

1982 La Conseillante (Pomerol)
I had just tasted some of the appetizers, between a lobster ceviche
and some pepper-laden dishes I was having trouble getting a fix on
this flight. But with about 14 glasses of water and some bread I was
able to taste, and was glad I did. Beautiful black plum and cassis
fruit, big nose of cigarbox. Got better and better through night,
sweet fruit but with balance and structure. No fading here. A/A-

1982 La Tour Martillac (Graves)
Like the Conseillante, hard to get a handle on at first. Revisited it
showed rather typical lush '82 fruit, but without the depth and
structure of the Pomerol. Nice enough wine for the dinner table, but
outclassed here. B/B-

2004 Martinet (St. Emilion)
Grapey and primary, a pleasant innocuous young wine. Probably held my
interest less than any of the reds. B-

2005 Vieux Montagne (Montagne-St. Emilion)
Burst of red berries, a little vanilla, surprising tannins for a
Montagne-St.Emilion. Pretty good showing. B

1983 Gruaud Larose (St Julien)
I've consistently loved this wine. Meaty/animal notes on the nose,
funky but not flawed. Strong black fruit, little hints of herbs (mint,
sage). Nice finish, got stronger through night. A-
,
1990 Cos d'Estournel (St. Estephe)
Soft and lush, lots of power. I found a little roasted, and probably
liked just a tad less than table (I think the Conseillante edged this
in WOTN voting). But still a wonderful wine. B+

1990 La Grave a Pomerol (Pomerol)
This is also soft, but without the power of the Cos. I liked, but in a
rather anonymous style. B

2000 Pichon-Baron (Pauillac)
Tight, tight, tight. Others seemed to get a lot out of this, but I
found it unexpressive. You could sense the power underneath, but I
would say don't revisit this for at least 5 years. B+?

1986 Climens
Lots of botrytis, deep color, I felt it was a lovely wine, but a tad
ponderous. I also felt it was fairly advanced, in contrast with others
who felt it had a future. I'd drink up, and give it a B+ for drinking
now.

Fun night, thanks to Jan and Bill for giving us the excuse.

As a side note, somehow I ended up eating "Nuevo Latino" 2 nights in a
row. Friday Betsy and I had eaten at Pacifico in Portchester for date
night. Nice seafood, I had shrimp tacos and softshell crab, Betsy a
salad and tuna. I ordered a glass of Albarino (I wrote down Duque de
Albari, but Winesearcher shows no such Albarino) and it came wafting
aromas of TCA. I groaned, thinking that the staff would have no idea
what I was talking about (again, a mojito place). But to my surprise
the waiter took a sniff , said "you're right, it's corked" and headed
for replacement. I saw him give another waiter and a busboy a sniff,
obviously tutoring them. Kudos to the staff for being willing to
learn, its not always the case. The replacement was fine, although a
little softer and maybe oakier than I like in Albarino, and I got a
glass of the dependable Basa Rueda to follow.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't
drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no
promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.