Dinner with Friends
Dinner at a friend’s house was a simple meal accompanied by some exquisite wines, all from magnum. Michel Genet is a reliable as well as outstanding Champagne that sells at a realistic price. It is an exclusive of boutique importer Wines of France (John and Alain Junguenet). The 2005 Sans Permis Chardonnay was made by a producer who ended up being liquidated. That’s a shame because this is a beautiful Chardonnay exhibiting lots of buttered citrus along with hints of hazelnut and brioche, a well-controlled, subtle use of new oak and a Meursault-like nutty, buttery, full-bodied mouthfeel. The wine’s fresh acidity should keep it going for another 5+ years. Schrader has been making magnificent Cabernet Sauvignons, and it’s hard to say whether their 2005s, 2006s, 2007s or 2008s are the finest, but certainly the 2007 Schrader Cabernet Sauvignon Old Sparky from the Beckstoffer Ranch in the Oakville Corridor of Napa is fabulous. An inky/blue/purple color is followed by gorgeous notes of crème de cassis, acacia flowers, lead pencil shavings and spice box. The wine’s dominant characteristics are its extraordinary purity, extravagant fruit, luscious, full-bodied texture and its seamless integration of all its component parts. It represent Napa Cabernet Sauvignon at the pinnacle of greatness. While drinkable now, it will keep for 25-30+ years. The beautiful 2003 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was made by Philippe Melka during a transitional period at Bryant. Although not an easy vintage for some producers, the opaque black/purple-colored 2003 Bryant exhibits tell-tale notes of black raspberries, blueberries, licorice and spring flowers. From a great terroir high on the hillsides of Lake Hennessey, this stunningly proportioned, unctuously textured, full-bodied, beautiful wine is still an infant at 8 years of age. It should last for another 25 years.
More articles from this author
Petit Louis Bistro
A lookalike, authentic French bistro, Petit Louis in Baltimore's Roland Park is the creation of restauranteurs par excellence Cindy Wolf and Tony Foreman. You feel like you’ve walked into a bistro on the Left Bank of Paris when you enter Petit Louis. The food is classic bistro, and they do it well. All of the courses we had were flavorful, sometimes a trifle rustic, but delicious in their intensity. This was good comfort food prepared extremely well. The wines started with one of the major surprises for me over the last year, the 2006 sparking wine from Tony Soter in Oregon. I had this several times while I was out visiting Oregon, and I had always been impressed, but this is a 10-year-old sparking Rosé that is just sensational, and I’m talking world class—it’s that good. Something this good from France would cost at least two to three times as much, so kudos to Tony Soter. The 1995 Billaud-Simon Chablis Mont de Milieu was oxidized and undrinkable. The 1996 Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Clos St. Urbain Rangen de Thann was sweet, and although it went well with the foie gras, it was just a little too unctuous and sweet a wine...