Sunday night at Inside gathered myself, Jorge, Jay Miller, and Jeff Grossman for a lovely barbeque buffet dinner. Apparently on Sundays during the summer they grill chicken and all sorts of vegetables which they then whip into a series of lovely salads and side dishes, for $30. Very wine friendly (except for the chili rub on the chicken), and very tasty and delicious. Food that screamed Delicious Outdoor Summer Eating, although we were inside and the city was turning a bit cold.
Anyway, it was good, the people were fun, and here are the wines:
2005 Luneau-Papin Muscadet Clos des Allees
Clean fresh and ripe but light on its feet and very lovely. Still a bit structured and coiled and not fully gushing its glory, but plenty approachable and goes wonderfully with the crab cakes.
1999 Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Spatlese Auction
Jay had intended to bring the regular spatlese, but all the better for us because this was a beauty. In the end I think Jay was happy about his “mistake” because this showed so well, lovely integrated (opened 24 hours earlier) firm elegance, and also light on its feet in that ethereal Donnhoff way. Went wonderfully with the corn salad.
2002 Marc Colin Saint-Aubin “La Fontenotte”
This smelled nice to me, although Jay says oak and sulfur. On the mouth it was less pleasing, a strange cheesy note which pretty much ruins the fun for most of us. Underneath that cheesy note it had hints of minty elegance, but then it was also quite blobby and unformed and didn’t really persuade us to pay much attention. Went wonderfully with the dump bucket.
1989 Olga Raffault Chinon “Les Picasses”
Jay found this tight and muted at first, but I found it pleasant and mellow/mature. It has a definite herbal component, a definite chocolate/leathery/ripe roasted component, and a definite maturing/mellowing mouthfeel component, but somehow they were not all singing together at the moment. To me this was a “rustic” showing, in the sense that it was a bit sour, not very polished, and not very confident, especially in comparison to the Barolo.
1995 Sylvio Grasso Barolo “Ciabot Manzoni”
This starts off quite juicy and tannic, but the fruit rises to the occasion with air, and is probably the most fun red of the three with its nice dark savory fruit, framed by firm iron definition and a bright tart side as well. Shows much more polished and confident in comparison to the Picasses. Apparently it went wonderfully with the chili rubbed chicken, but I was not partaking.
1976 Lopez de Heredia Bosconia Gran Reserva
This starts off quite sour and worries Jay just a little bit. Luckily it perks up and continues to improve throughout the dinner, although it never really scales Olympian heights. Instead, it offers a light sour rusty iron drop of aged wine, with some complexity and interest, but not many thrills.
2002 Domaine du Grand Chemin Vendange Automnale VdP d’Oc Doux Viognier
This was Jay’s attempt to unload his airport purchases (his quote “Hey, I didn’t pay much for it”) and plenty of unloading into the dump bucket went on. Sweet piercing caramel apple cider sparkle, not as bad as many of us feared, but too damned flat on the mouth for me to drink.
Neusiedlersee Eiswein Selection Goldstein
This was Jorge’s attempt to unload mysterious gifts given to him by his uncle, and we could not find a vintage or a grape anywhere on the bottle. When opened it was a pretty straightforward sweet slurp, succulent, tropical, with plenty of acidity. It was drinkable, but I preferred to return to the Clos des Allees.