Our Mondiale brought in the new year with camaraderie by raiding our cellars to share in some favored bottles that had been gathering dust while awaiting a perfect moment. Several years passed since this successful idea had been done and all rose to the occasion with some real treasures. Assembling at Jimmy D’s Steakhouse with a culinary backdrop for an evening of special tastes, we had a total of 32 unique bottlings to choose among for a wide array to suit anyone’s favor.
With Vilmart Champagne to start, we had excellent samples of Chardonnay from producers such as Newton and Verget, with a Boillot Puligny-Montrachet among the best of the night. A Thanisch Bernkastler Riesling also made an appearance. Pinot Noir was well represented by Martinelli and Archery Summit, but the big guns came out with red wines from Napa and Bordeaux. Pride Mountain, Far Niente, Joseph Phelps, and Dalla Valle were some of the better known of eight California wines, while France had LaGrange, Montrose, and Jaboulet Hermitage to help carry the fleur-de-lis.
Fans of Italy could choose from renowned areas shown by six examples from such producers as La Spinetta, Corte Farnori and the famous Tignanello from Antinori. International spirit came in a Marqués de Riscal from Rioja brought by a visiting French priest while a lone Australian Shiraz from Chateau Leamon held its own in the battle of the bottles. Our oldest vintages were the 1983 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle, 1984 Phelps Eisele Vineyard Cabernet, and 1989 Chateau Montrose which, like the attending cellar masters, had all aged quite gracefully.
The buffet presented by retired Officier Jimmy Duane proved as all encompassing as the wine selections. We had sea scallops, beef loin, turkey breast, and crab cakes as part of our choices with spring rolls, potstickers, and shrimp tempura adding some Asian character to the menu. Our piratical plundering of fabulous drink and boundless comestibles left all hands sated from a grand night of merriment. Drink up me hearties!
J.T. Mayer, Vice Chargé de Presse