Overlooking Los Angeles, Mr. Wools hosts a fabulous kick-off to the 2017/2018 Royal Order Of The Purple Palate sessions


When you walk into a room and the Somm hands you a glass of krug clos d’ambonnay champagne from 1996, you know you are in for a good night.  Right place, right time (for once).  And as you take your first sip of this insanely delicious liquid, all the craziness of the world, just for a moment, seems to melt away.  This is one of the best champs ever made.  The best producer, the best vineyard, one of, if not the greatest, years for champ (1996).  I would take the 1.5 hour uber ride downtown just for this juice alone.

However, there was a lot of fantastic stuff to follow.

HIGHLIGHTS FOR ME:  the 1970 CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva was my favorite wine of a fantastic flight of Spaniards (although I thought it was 1945 or 1947 — shows how much I know!).  As you all have read here, I love Spain, and I love Spanish wine.  It is very difficult to find outside of Spain because when these older wines were produced, they were not exported to the USA because Americans, when they drank wine, were drinking French stuff or cheap stuff from Napa (“no wine before it’s time”).  So the wines stayed in Spain.  To this day, if you go to Spain (SAN SEBASTIAN, ANYONE?!?!), you can find incredible old wines on most restaurant lists for amazing bargains.  Word.

The 1986 flight was very enlightening, simply because for 25 years or so the 86 Bords were very monolithic (i.e. undrinkable).  They are now, suddenly “in the zone” — it only took 32 years!  Time to start drinking them.

The 1968 Cali flight was fantastic.  They don’t make ’em like this anymore.  I love the old school Cali style, especially from Louis M. Martini (also BV and Inglenook — especially BV).   If anyone has any 1958 for sale, please email me!

Other than Nobu Malibu, this may be the most beautiful private room in Los Angeles.  The delish food was extremely well thought out by our host, Mr. Wools, our fantastic Sommelier Catherine Morel, and Chef Abgaryan (special props to Ms. Morel for her pitch perfect Somm skills).  The service in the private room could not have been better.

This restaurant is really special and absolutely worth going downtown for.

Oh, and I almost forgot: during our dessert course, the emergency lights suddenly came flashing on. Then, one of those emergency robot voices told us to immediately evacuate the building. I walked into the main restaurant to see what was going on, and in the chaos was almost pushed by other patrons into the stairwell. I walked 71 flights down (took almost an hour) to the lobby level. I ended up across the street at the Biltmore bar (amazing place), had a Paradis (great Cognac) while waiting for my uber home. The uber drive home to BH only took half an hour at 11pm, during which time I fell asleep due to my post wine dinner workout.

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