Spent most of the week in Woodland Hills on a business trip. I was completely wiped out thge first two evening, so all I did was schlep across the street to P.F. Changs for dinner.
2004 Trimbach Pinot Blanc Just what it should be: light tree fruit and rainwater. Easy to drink and enjoy.
2003 La Crema Pinot Noir Ack! Spoof. Lots of fruit, but most of it candied, and too much alcohol.
2004 Bonny Doon Pacific Rim Chenin Blanc I did not know this existed, so it was fun to try, but it does not have much character. There a little honey and beeswax in there but not much. Bland.
2004 Bonny Doon Pacific Rim Riesling A touch more character, and some minerality, but still shy on flavor interest.
2002 Domaine de Lambrays Clos De Lambrays Grand Cru From half bottle, this is much too young, and still showing only primary fruit, but it has a lot of depth. I bought a few halves to cellar.
Thursday night Gregg Greenbaum set up a dinner for 8 at Max Restaurant in Sherman Oaks. We were given a tasting menu that was fantastic (the lobster and crab risotto and the braised short ribs stood out), and drank a lot of really good wines. I did not take notes, so I am without the particulars on a number of bottles, but what I do recall is:
2001 Prager Riesling Klaus Still a bit closed down, but with air time it became both minerally and creamy. Good but wait.
2001 Hirtzberger Gruner Veltliner Honigvogl Initially too cold, this really blossomed with air, showing all the pea and pepper along with lots of peach and apple fruit. It really bacame quite lush while still retaining a lot of structure. Excellent.
We then had a 1999 White Burg that was showing some oxidation, and a 2002 Chablis Vaudesir (can't recall the producer) that was very good and incredibly salty. In fact it really reminded me of dry roasted peanuts.
There was another white wine in there that I don't recall.
The reds included a 1995 Laurent Pommard (forgot the vineyard) that really blossomed with the Indian spiced lamb we had, a 1998 Daniel Rion Echezeaux that was too young but smelled wonderful, and a 2000 D'Angerville Volnay Champans that was drinking very well, and reminded me to just drink and enjoy my 2000s.
We also tried to have two Chateauneufs, bu the 2004 Vieux Donjon was corked, and I think the 1999 Bousquet de Papes Chante le Merle was a touch oxidized.
Anyway, the food was fantastic (please patronize Max if possible....it deserves your support), a number of the wines delicious, and the company stellar.
Talk less, smile more. Don't let them know what you're against or what you're for.