TWO INSANELY FANTASTIC NIGHTS IN SAN FRANCISCO.
Thursday dinner on my own at Benu I enjoyed a pre-pre party bottle of 2006 Montrachet.
NIGHT ONE was just a warm up — the pre-pre party (not all the guests had arrived for Saturday). We started in a private room at the RITZ CARLTON (best hotel in SF and one of the most gorgeous hotels in America) with a double magnum of 1996 Winston Churchill by Pol Roger. Sir W.C. knew his food, drink and smokes, and this champers which is named after the great man lives up to him. If I am not drinking Krug, I want this (and maybe old Dom). The 1996, esp. out of large format, set me straight up for the night. Energy, vibrancy and intelligence, like the man himself.
I brought a 1990 Sandrone Barolo (to get started) which was opened and kind of ignored — I thought it was stellar and still drinking fantastically.
There were a bunch of other starter wines which I completely forgot. Sorry.
We all walked from The Ritz Carlton to Mr. Jiu’s, a few blocks away, just on the Nob Hill edge of Chinatown.
My favorite wine of the night, aside from the Magnum of 1996 Winston Churchill and the 1990 Sandrone Barolo, was the 1969 Volnay — I had never had this particular wine before and it was quite beautiful (rose petals, light berry). I also though the trio from Alsace was pretty good, especially with the food (nouveau Chinese) — although still a tad too sweet for mid dinner wines IMHO.
NIGHT TWO was the big show at the always great Saison:
There was an incredible flight of Coche Dury Corton Charlemagne: 2012, 2009, 2004, 2001 and 1998. The 2012 and 2004 were extraordinary. White burgundy flight of flights.
We had magnums of 1975 and 1982 Dom — both delicious, with the 75 edging out the 82. But both incredible champs.
We had lots of Rousseau Chambertin — my favorite was the 1988 — but the 1990, as always (see CUT blog for full description), was great as well. Rousseau makes the best chambertin, and especially close de beze cham, IMHO.
We had two magnums of 1982 — a Lafite and a Margaux. The Margaux showed the best this wine has ever been for me — but the Lafite was a stunning example of Lafite — textbook, really. One of the best bottles of Lafite I have ever had (along with the 1959 I had last month at CUT).
Next up were TWO DRC BOTTLES: 1964 Romanee Conti and 1985 La Tache. Both were phenomenal. Of course the 85 was younger and more vibrant, but the 64 had a core of ultra=ness that was hard to dismiss.
We then had two bottles of 1962 Leroy Burgundy — a La Romanee and a Richebourg – both were stunning — the Riche won the battle with some very deep dark secondary and tertiary flavors — a monster wine (while the La Romanee was lighter and more delicate).
We had an incredible flight of Barolo from 1961 (along with a 1958) — probably the best single Barolo flight I have ever had — mainly because the bottles were all in such excellent condition — not usually the case with old barolo. Everyone realized why burgundy lovers next best love is barolo, you know what i mean.
We finished with an 1840 Madeira.
WHAT ELSE CAN I SAY?