Vito’s Café

Chef Luca got some fresh baby octopus in, and created a wonderfully, garlicky marinara to complement the sweet and tender octopus. The other dishes, including the wonderful pizza, were all excellent as well. Of course, I love it when one of the specials is locally line-caught Maryland rockfish, this one in another tomato-based seafood broth, topped with generous servings of mussels, shrimp and clams.

Both wines were at the top of their game, with the Aubert 2008 Chardonnay Reulingdisplaying extraordinary minerality, absolutely vivid, vibrant fruit flavors, a remarkable personality and a singular character that makes it very special. (This wine is alleged to have come from a suitcase clone taken from the Montrachet vineyard in Burgundy.) We followed that with one of the great 2007 Châteauneuf du Papes, the old-vine cuvée from Janasse, which is 80% or more Grenache, all aged in neutral wood or tank, and the rest Syrah and Mourvèdre aged in small barrels. Wonderfully opulent, rich, and full-throttle, Janasse has made so many great wines since the mid-1990s under the inspired leadership of Christophe Sabon, his sister Isabel, and his father Aimé, who is still on the scene, it is hard to say if this could be their summit of quality, but it sure looks like that to me. This wine should go on for at least another 10-15+ years, assuming anyone has the patience to wait that long.

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