The Intercontinental Hotel, Restaurant Terrace Fleurie
Having been delayed in the Rhône Valley because all the trains were cancelled due to flooding between Nîmes and Montpellier, I missed a scheduled lunch at one of my favorite Paris bistros. Instead, after checking into my hotel, I had a late lunch at the hotel's flower-filled Terrace Fleurie restaurant. The food was excellent, with the chef featuring primarily Provençal dishes to take advantage of the late season tomatoes and eggplants, but the wine list was terrible except for one brilliant offering, Domaine Tempier's 2001 Migoua. Even with decanting this young, powerful, extremely concentrated, muscular wine did not become all that supple, but, wow, what extraordinary potential and future this dense purple-colored, earthy, leathery, black fruit, and licorice-dominated wine exhibits. One of the most concentrated, powerful Domaine Tempier offerings I have ever tasted, it possesses 20-25 years of aging potential.
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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...