Cellar Favorites, France: Burgundy
Rousseau’s 2001 Chambertin-Clos de Bèze offers stunning aromatics and striking purity of fruit, along with notable brightness, especially for a wine of its age. Silky, gracious and super-polished, the 2001 is drinking well today, although ideally it could use a few more years in bottle to shed some tannin. Even so, the 2001 is utterly captivating today.
Italy, Vinous Table
Lio Pellegrini is an eclectic space housed in a 16th century building that offers classically rendered dishes. There are no bells and whistles here, just solid cooking with an eye towards classic recipes and traditions. That, along with well-sourced ingredients and an interesting wine list make for memorable dining.
Within just the last six weeks I’ve experienced global warming up close and personal: 92-degree late-May weather in Burgundy, 102 degrees in Walla Walla before the end of June, and the steam heat of a New York City summer. But somehow Mendoza, Argentina’s engine of wine production, a semi-arid desert region that could not produce wine without irrigation from melting Andes snow, has not had a classically warm, dry growing season since 2012 – until this year, that is.
An annual “Celebration of Riesling” thrills the converted and inspires them to proselytize on behalf of Germany’s great white grape.
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s 1979 La Tâche is absolutely brilliant on this night. A wine of extraordinary aromatic presence and freshness, the 1979 is redolent of crushed rose petal, lavender, kirsch, blood orange and exotic spice. The flavors are bold, racy and precise in a decidedly mid-weight, slightly slender La Tâche that makes its case on balance and harmony. A kick of whole cluster savoriness adds the final shades of nuance. What a captivating, arrestingly beautiful wine the 1979 is.
With its Montparnasse address and splendid Art Deco interior, La Coupole delivers a quintessential Paris moment. The 14th arrondissment may not be the French capital’s most beautiful (not by a long shot), and La Coupole is not be the haven for artists it once was, but it still is one of Paris’s best brasseries. It makes an especially fine lunch stop when looking for simple, fresh fare and good wines.
Italy: North, featured
Thanks to their affordability and their bright, crisp notes of fresh orchard and citrus fruits, white flowers and minerals, the wines of Soave are some of Italy’s most popular whites. The 2014 and 2015 vintages are a study in contrasts, allowing a glimpse of the delightful spectrum of aromas and flavors that Soave offers.
Rest of the World, featured
Among the oldest of many wine cliché’s is that Rosés don’t age well and, like seersucker suits, are out of style after the Labor Day following the vintage. While wearing summer suits out of season might not be in good taste, drinking the best pink wines year-round is highly recommended.
This recent tasting of David Abreu’s 2007s was a great opportunity to check in on the wines as they approach their tenth birthdays. More importantly, though, the tasting showed just how far some of the more recently planted vineyards have developed in stature since these wines were made. Aside from the Cappella, which is showing some effects of aging, the 2007s are still very young wines that will drink well for years to come.
Italy: North, Vinous Table
A playground for adults and kids alike, Alto Adige offers world-class skiing, superb cuisine and fabulous wines, all set against the striking natural backdrop of Italy’s Dolomites. The Ciasa Salares hotel and its flagship restaurant La Siriola are must-stops for readers seeking the very best in Alto Atesino hospitality.