NOT (all of them) but B-21 still had a barrel of fun!
B-21's Dinner with Jeffrey Davies at Currents in Tarpon Springs
The ash cloud over Iceland cast its long shadow even over the Tampa Bay area last weekend. Flight cancellation to the U.S. grounded some special guests coming to the annual Bordeaux tasting, both celebrated winemakers and consultants, and their infant prodigies, barrel samplings of the beloved new 2009 vintage.
Several stalwarts were in the U.S. before flights stopped including Coralie de Bouard of Chateau Angelus, negociant Jeffrey Davies and Emilie Riebel-Dombey representing Chateau Le Gay.
And the 2009’s arrived in spirit and starred in the table talk at the Bordeaux dinner at Seasons 52. “Good as they say?”, “That’s not what I read.” “I’m absolutely going to buy,” but when and at what price? Will the prices be highest for the first futures or later tranches? Will the dollar buy more now or later?
Actually if the samples had arrived, they might have distracted our conversation.
Besides we had 2005s in our glasses and they were not abstractions. They set a high standard for the ’09s to match and sparked their own debate.
Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Leognan) $89.99
The winners were Smith Haut Lafitte ($89.99) and La Gaffeliere. ($99.99) I put the left-banker first because it was so big and smoky and friendly like a coat by the fire. Smart and passionate tasters went for the La Gaffeliere from St. Emilion, with more berries and chocolate, in five years I may switch sides. A strong minority report supported the neighboring Canon La Gaffeliere ($109.99), which was the sleekest and most approachable. If you ask one to dance tonight, the Canon is your partner.
Seasons 52, Tampa’s “it” restaurant of the moment and the newest location of the Orlando concept was luminous that night and the menu had all its vaunted style and spunk. “I‘ve been to many wine tastings in my career but I’ve never had chiles relleno,” confessed importer Greg Miller, “and I think the Bordeaux stood up well.”
He’s right. Nothing timid about husky smoky ancho chiles with goat cheese and punchy pico de gallo, smoke fire and a pinch of sour. Yet first quality right bank 2006’s were bold enough. My choice was the 2006 La Croix St. Georges, ($59.99) from Pomerol, a spiced creamy fudge that made a mole with the chiles.
But as a Tuesday night go-to Bordeaux for Mexican spice and big flavors like Seasons 52’s crackling flatbreads , the 2008 Croix Mouton ($10.99) has value and excitement. Jean-Philippe Janoueix makes this in the Bordeaux Superieur appellation on the left bank; a merlot for all seasons with more guts and finish than you expect.
- Chris Sherman, The Blogging Nibbler