Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wine Dinner at Rivera in Downtown

Last week, I got together with friends for dinner at Rivera in Downtown. We brought wine, and the chef created the tasting course to pair with our wine. Both the food and service at Rivera were outstanding, and we had a great time. I'd love to go back there for another wine dinner soon. Among 5 of us, we opened 7 bottles. Here's the list.

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Bollanger, Champagne, Brut Rose(Ay)
...62% PN, 24% CH, and 12% PM, of which 5-6% of red wine (Pinot Noir from Ay and Verzenay Grand Crus) is added to this cuvee. Berry tea, fresh minerality, spice, sour dough, yeasty. Soft and delicate palate, wet minerality, exhotic spice, brown sugar, very balanced and elegant.
2004 Didier Dagueneau, Blanc Fume de Pouilly, "Silex"...It's Dagueneau's "Grand Cru" wine. Compared to the same vintage we tasted last year, this one definitely tasted more "opened up" and awake. Preserved lemon, big time slate, spice, high acidity with round palate. Petro. Beautiful texture and minerality.
2004 Camille Giroud, Corton Grand Cru, "Le Rognet"...Lately, I'm so happy that 2004 Burgundy are showing so well. And, this wine was especially amazing among 2004 reds I've had this year. Le Rognet is located in Ladoix-Serrigny (right on the border to Aloxe-Corton). Giroud makes very elegant-style Corton. Dark garnet. Cherry, soil, mushroom, earthy. Fresh acidity, berry, spice, tingling fruity sweetness. Very smooth and soft. Tea candy. Elegant long finish.
1971 Pio Cesare, Barolo...Beautifully aged Barolo. I thought this could age even many more years. It was hard to believe this wine is older than me. Beautiful dense garnet color. Leather, coffee bean, dry konbu and mushroom aroma. Earthy. Truffles, chocolate, dry fruit. Smooth tannins. Long finish.
1998 Numanthia (Toro, Spain)...100% old-vine Tempranillo (70-100 years old). My first time to try this wine. 1998 is their first vintage. Aged in 100% new French oak for 19 months. Dense ruby color. Somewhat medicinal aroma, cookies, furniture, dry berry. Milky chocolate, berries, big tannins on the palate. Smoky character. It's a big wine and went great with the lamb chop.
1999 Numanthia (Toro, Spain)...99 vintage was quite different in taste than 98. Chorizo, furniture, cola, dry cherry on the nose. Dark cherry, soft tannin, mid+ acid. 99 vintage tasted more balanced and somehow older than 98.
1985 Giuseppe Mascarello, Barolo, "Belvedere"...Traditional producer from Monforte d'Alba. The wine was unfortunately a little off when we opened. It smelled like old fruit basket. But it did have some perfume.