Vito’s Café

This excellent BYO Italian trattoria does a marvelous job with its deep-fried calamari and thin crust pizzas made in their wood-burning oven. I decided to go with fish even though I was drinking a big, rich Châteauneuf du Pape made from 60% Grenache and 40% Mourvèdre, the 2007 St.-Préfert Cuvée Charles Giraud, out of magnum no less. It offered another example of how Châteauneuf du Pape seems to work with all types of cuisine, from vegetable dishes to big, hearty beef and pork roasts. The delicate Dover sole was perfectly cooked by Chef Luca, deboned table side and served with brown butter. We also enjoyed the gorgeous 2008 Reuling Vineyard Chardonnay from Aubert, which displayed striking minerality as well as lemon butter and honeysuckle notes. The 2007 St.-Préfert Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Charles Giraud is a superb example from the greatest vintage I have ever tasted in the southern Rhône Valley. Boasting silky tannins along with wonderfully sweet red and black fruit, lavender, licorice and earth notes, this full-bodied red cuts a brilliant, hedonistic and intellectual profile through the aromas and flavors. It should drink well for at least another decade, but who can wait that long for something this profound?

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