choose your destiny

lunedì 27 settembre 2010

right bank style

lots of tasting of incredible wines this week at the castle... some beautiful right bank action, a little meursault, cote-rotie, and right as i wanted to give up on california, a napa valley wine that gave me some hope... working at a Relais Chateau may be turning me into a french wine whore, but it is quite an exciting opportunity... here are five divine wines i discovered this week.

Chateau L'Evangile Pomerol 1985
Merlot dominant with a small percentage of Cabernet Franc
RP 95
WS 92

Starting with the small pomerol area of only 1,846 acres (compared to medoc of 40,199 acres).
Everyone agrees there is lots of earth truffle and definitely smoke all over this wine.  When I drank it, it was giving off the most unique spicy hot pepper/peperoncino notes.  heaps of smoke, some leather, tobacco. The nose and palate being very similar.  Beautifully balanced, stimulating, intriguing....

 tonight i tasted two wines together...this 1992 napa, and a cheateau angelus....
Dalla Valle Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 1992
First produced in 1986
Blendid with a small amount of Cabernet Franc
Aged in 50% to 60% new french oak barrels

I could sum this wine up in one word, rye.... I felt like i was standing outside of a rye bread factory tasting this wine.  in a good way. beautiful rye nose.. a little on the palate as well, nice fruits acidity... not too Napa'd out. Some good earth..
So many Napa wines I found have a lack of interesting or enjoyable components for my palate...
this wine gets all my respect....enjoying Calfornia on this one...

Chateau Angelus St-Emilion 1995
RP 95
WS 94
Merlot dominant with a small percentage of Cabernet Franc

A deep wine, palate staining dark cherry, attractive manure notes for sure. very enjoyable and to put it simply do bianchi style, poop and fruit in a glass!

Sommelier Luc Chevalier reminded me of a Casino Royale scene with a 1982 Chateau Angèlus....

Vesper Lynd, and James Bond enjoying a Chateau Angelus, on the train to Montenegrò.

 Domaine Leflaive Meursault 1er Cru Sous Le Dos De Ane 2004
100% Chardonnay

This beautiful wine reminded me of tasting the 2005 DRC Montrachet, in the sense of how much your getting from this bottle for a hundred dollars, compared to dropping bank on a DRC... but we wont get into that!

This nose full of that beautiful burnt hair complexity that I describe my burgundy white wines with. Some hazelnuts, long, flinty, mineraly... the fruit not coming out so much at the moment, but beautiful and elegant nonetheless.

E. Guigal Cote-Rotie Brune Et Blonde 2003
RP 93
WS 92

This wine not nearly as complex as the reviews I have seen for it.  Boat load of Acidity which makes it not so enjoyable without food.  Some fruit is there, and a nice mushroom element coming out.

below i included a shot i took of the main room as you arrive into blantyre..

Main Room. Blantyre Castle, Lenox Massachusetts.

sabato 25 settembre 2010

arriva l'autunno

torando ai berkshires, mi accorgo che si sono cambiati tutti gli alberi.... sono arrivati i colori tipici autunnali....

venerdì 24 settembre 2010

brooklyn to newport, rhode island

after spending the better part of the week in brooklyn with old friends, i'm heading to newport, for the Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival. I have no Idea what wines will be there yet but it should be a fun time either way....

celebrating with a refreshing brooklyn lager toast, upon arriving into brooklyn with mr. boxer.

Brooklyn. outside of a bar i cant remember due to several shots of tequila.

smoke break with friends in williamsburg stairway.
the 3rd night consisting of a spaghetti alla amatriciana, made with brooklyn house cured guanciale, along with a dolcetto.

 off to newport in the a.m.

martedì 14 settembre 2010

birthday culinary snapshot mayhem!

A splendid september 14th, spent with good friends, between restaurants exploring new places and food...
First up, was a lunch at Nudel Restaurant, in Lenox MA.. seasonally inspired food, with magical creations supporting local farms.  This place blew me away and is just the type of place I have been looking for in the berkshires...
I will let these photos speak the rest....

beet salad with walnuts green beans pesto shavings of parmigiano reggiano dressed in olive oil and lemon juice.

braised berkshire pork, vegetable pickles and sambal aioli.

mostly all u.s.a. wines on the list, but i must say this aligote from WA paired superbly with all of the food.
celebrating a threesome of september birthdays... nico 14 jay 30 huck 16
stopping into lenox coffee for a much needed after lunch caffè.
mid burn toscano sigaro...
later that night a sushi dinner at bizen, in great barrington.
and grappa next door at allium.

for the 15th of september, i met up with big frank and family for a brunello-bistecca fiorentina dinner... which i have now made an annual happening for my birthday.. what better way to spend the day...

a first course of a ribollita i cooked earlier that day, followed by a porterhouse and some newyork strips on the grill, for juice a capanna brunello di montalcino 2004.  very reasonably priced, a traditional brunello.  this one showing classic brunello dark fruits, but very tamed tanins and approachable as shit! nice vino...
some after dinner calvados, a new obsession...this one a great pick. the ''fine'' not aged terribly long which allows the apple flavor to show more and detatch itself from the typical brandy your used to.

lunedì 13 settembre 2010

KFC double down VS Mcdonalds Italia 280 gr. al parmigiano reggiano

I guess mindlessly browsing the internet at 5 in the morning not being able to sleep, can lead to some ridiculous horse shit like this.  Fat ass America and the endless pursuit for bigger, ''better'', faster, cheaper and sloppier indulgence.  The KFC double down sandwich...Why waste a sandwich by using some fuckin' bread, when it can be some fried ass chicken!  The only thing stupider than this sandwich is the vegan version.  I dont even know if it is serious, i quit reading it half way through, due to tiredness and lack of giving a shit...
but before that I did find a Mcdonalds Italia ad Campaign of the 280 gr. al parmigiano reggiano and I want you to compare these two fast food items between the two countries... haaaa ha
KFC's ludicrous double down sandwich. WTF?

Now lets check out this Italian fast food sandwich made by Mcdonalds in Italy.  Made with the famous Parmigiano Reggiano... haha too hilarious...
I tried to make myself eat at Mcdonalds just once in Italy for the experience but couldn't do it.  I guess because I am 9 years deep without eating there....anyway
Peep this brilliant Video below....

domenica 12 settembre 2010

picasso, degas and burgundy on a september sunday

Waking up this morning, I suddenly realized it was the last day for the Picasso Looks at Degas exhibit at The Clark Art Institute, in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  A beautiful showing of Picasso's earlier paintings as well as the influence Degas had on his work throughout his career, while never actually meeting each other but living in the same neighborhood in Paris.
Later, a negroni sbagliato in a textbook western Massachusetts backdrop, followed by some supreme burgundy tasting...

Below...two works showing one example of many similar themes Picasso and Degas took on.
Pablo Picasso, Nude wringing her hair. 1952
Edgar Degas, Coming the hair. 1896

a burgudy pairing for a degas/picasso exhibit....

Tasted two burgundies... 
2005 Joseph Faiveley Nuit St Georges Aux Chaignots 1er
2003 Camille Giroud Latricieres Chambertin Grand Cru.

The 2005, a bit young but gorgeous straight forward fruits/cherries, well balanced, but not as complex.  The Latricieres Chambertin, was on point, still with years ahead of it, but showing off beautifully right now.  On the nose gorgeous layers of dark fruits, purple plums, some soil and beef marrow lingering.  Very long on the palate, with the fluidity and elegance that you look for in a great burgundy.

lunedì 6 settembre 2010

from the Romanée-Conti diaries pt. 2.....

Quite the treat being able to taste this Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2005 Montrachet,  this sunday.
Although very very young, it was incredible nonetheless to take a look at this wine, and into it's future.  I like how my friend and sommelier Billy D responded to the tasting of this wine by calling it ''infanticide''.

Grape variety: Chardonnay
Vineyard holding: 0.67 hectares (1.65 acres)
Average age of vines: 62 years
Average production: 250 cases 

Often called the most prestigious label in the world, DRC wines are a must taste at least once in a lifetime for every wine lover.  My first experience with DRC a few months ago was with a '96 La Tache.  With this Montrachet however, I had more time to evaluate and see what was happening.  In the Blantyre cellar we also have the 89, 90, 94, 03, 04 vintages.

Going in for a sniff here, the nose just explodes out of the glass. A burst of excitement....
At first you notice heaps of toasty notes.  Somewhere between a toasted almond, and burnt hair.  If burnt hair could be elegant and enticing!  Wait five minutes keep swirling and you will receive a whole other layer of aromas unraveling... white flowers, vanilla, citrus...
on the palate you receive a powerful wave of a thick, pure one of a kind juice... a beautiful dried apricot, a long finish and a tightness that says let me age and grow.  I really want to revisit this wine in ten years but that is like getting struck by fucking lightening twice...

Sommelier Christelle Cotar, with the precious montrachet
bottle number 84 of just 3,413 bottles produced

rainbows do bring magical things, like this september 4th here in the berkshires

Later I tasted an Italian delight, which was my first time to taste a Sassicaia.  In this case a 2002 Sassicaia... a crumby year for most of Italy with lots of rain, but for super tuscans maybe not as bad.  The sangiovese and it's thinner skin suffered more from the rain.

This wine, was packed with an amazing nose, unleashing with very pleasant fruits and spices.
A bit misleading because on the palate it was not as long and smooth.  starts out with very nice fruits and then hits a slightly watery note followed by a slighty bitter astringency, and then strong tannin. No doubt this wine would go better with food, but for the high price of this wine I don't recommend at least the 2002.

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