Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

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Mark Golodetz
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Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#1 Post by Mark Golodetz » August 24th, 2019, 12:17 pm

I am still a technopeasant so unable to include the photograph of Herbert.

The lunch was at MP Taverna in Irvington NY, with celebrity chef, Michael Psilakis at the helm. And the food was magnificent, and Herbert was turned into five different dishes, some really creative like the risotto some just focusing on the different piggy parts. It was a sort of an Iron Chef experience.

Now the wines. With the exception of the Heitz Martha’s all the wines were in great shape. Not altogether surprising in a drought vintage which took decades to come round. Lost my notes but here are my three highlights

Chapellet
Clear winner, and I think most people, scored it first. Had the structure of the vintage, but also a wonderful clear red fruit core that arrived in mid palate and stayed with the wine through its long finish.

Mount Eden
Also very strong. Powerful with a hint of green. Plenty of fruit but also violets and cedar. Excellent length

Ridge York Creek
This was surprising as I have recently had both 1974 and 1975 which both disappointed. This was delightful.
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maureen nelson
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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#2 Post by maureen nelson » August 24th, 2019, 12:26 pm

Sorry I missed this Mark. I look forward to the rest of your notes.

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Mark Golodetz
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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#3 Post by Mark Golodetz » August 24th, 2019, 12:28 pm

Sorry Maureen lost forever, but there were a couple of Berserkers there, and John Gilman will write about them in his upcoming newsletter.

A couple of vague memories
The Phelps Eisele was middling for me, but Gilman, who stayed on, told me it really opened up. He also liked the Mayacamas, which I did not.

The Kenwood which was served first as a palate primer was really fine.
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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#4 Post by GregT » August 24th, 2019, 12:52 pm

Sounds like a great dinner Mark.

You do know of course that you're officially 20th century. I mean having a meal without first photographing what you're eating is so pre-2000.

Although actually naming your food does give it a vegan nightmare kind of vibe!

Nice to know that those wines held up so well.
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[i]"the incorrect overuse of apostrophes is staggering these days. I wonder if half the adults these days have any idea what they are for." Chris Seiber, 5/14/19[/i]

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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#5 Post by Mark Golodetz » August 24th, 2019, 1:31 pm

I have a very nice picture of Herbert but don’t know how to upload it.
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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#6 Post by Hal Blumberg » August 24th, 2019, 1:54 pm

Thanks for the notes! Did Philip Togni make the 1977 Chapellet?

Cheers,

Hal

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Arv R
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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#7 Post by Arv R » August 24th, 2019, 2:17 pm

"I think the title should be amended"
james-suckling-400x400.jpg
james-suckling-400x400.jpg (24.33 KiB) Viewed 1190 times
R_@_0

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Kelly Walker
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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#8 Post by Kelly Walker » August 24th, 2019, 2:33 pm

That was exactly my thought when I saw the thread title!

[rofl.gif] [rofl.gif]
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Mark Golodetz
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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#9 Post by Mark Golodetz » August 24th, 2019, 2:40 pm

😂
Suckling does look a little bit like a Herbert.
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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#10 Post by GregT » August 24th, 2019, 7:31 pm

I have a very nice picture of Herbert but don’t know how to upload it.
Perfect!!!

Anyhow, save the pic somewhere you can access easily.

Then when you're going to reply to a post, go down just below the box where it has these 2 choices:

Options Attachments.PNG
Options Attachments.PNG (9.24 KiB) Viewed 1086 times

Select "Attachments" and you'll see this screen:

Snip2.PNG
Snip2.PNG (3.51 KiB) Viewed 1086 times
Select "Add files" and when the window opens, hunt up your file. Click it and then select "Place inline".
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[i]"the incorrect overuse of apostrophes is staggering these days. I wonder if half the adults these days have any idea what they are for." Chris Seiber, 5/14/19[/i]

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Carlos Delpin
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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#11 Post by Carlos Delpin » August 24th, 2019, 7:41 pm

Cochinillo requires Spanish wines!

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Josh Grossman
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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#12 Post by Josh Grossman » August 24th, 2019, 7:51 pm

If anyone in Ohio wants to try to properly recreate this, I have land in Columbus and Hocking Hills to properly bury a pig with charcoal with. I even have a great farm for any age of pig.

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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#13 Post by Josh Grossman » August 24th, 2019, 7:52 pm

Josh Grossman wrote:
August 24th, 2019, 7:51 pm
If anyone in Ohio wants to try to properly recreate this, I have land in Columbus and Hocking Hills to properly bury a pig with charcoal with. I even have a great farm for any age of pig.
We will certainly name the pig James.

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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#14 Post by Mark Golodetz » August 25th, 2019, 3:34 am

Thanks Greg.

Herbert and James
Attachments
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357836D2-89D1-4D7F-9A62-C6E8311B4119.jpeg
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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#15 Post by Arv R » August 25th, 2019, 9:37 am

Are suckling pigs all male? Sort of like how veal is a 'byproduct' of the dairy industry, where male calves are sent to the packers since they won't generate milk?
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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#16 Post by William Kelley » August 25th, 2019, 10:55 am

Hal Blumberg wrote:
August 24th, 2019, 1:54 pm
Thanks for the notes! Did Philip Togni make the 1977 Chapellet?

Cheers,

Hal
No. Should have been Joe Cafaro's last vintage.
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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#17 Post by Jayson Cohen » August 25th, 2019, 11:19 am

Excellent vintage. Was the bottle of Mayacamas off? Greg Dal Piaz turned me on to ‘77s many years ago, and I’ve had a few. Mayacamas (now basically unaffordable) is my favorite although I recall Mount Eden being very good.

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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#18 Post by Mark Golodetz » August 25th, 2019, 11:27 am

As I said, John was there at least an hour after us and felt t was getting better.

General consensus was that a lovely nose but dour and hard on the palate, and we had a sense that it was stuck there. I have only had it once, and that bottle showed a lot better.
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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#19 Post by Brad Kane » August 25th, 2019, 11:31 am

Jayson Cohen wrote:
August 25th, 2019, 11:19 am
Excellent vintage. Was the bottle of Mayacamas off? Greg Dal Piaz turned me on to ‘77s many years ago, and I’ve had a few. Mayacamas (now basically unaffordable) is my favorite although I recall Mount Eden being very good.
I remember he brought a mag of it to the first Bersekerfest at PDH and it was one of the best older Cal Cabs I've had.
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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#20 Post by GregT » August 25th, 2019, 12:56 pm

Great looking pig Mark!
Are suckling pigs all male? Sort of like how veal is a 'byproduct' of the dairy industry, where male calves are sent to the packers since they won't generate milk?
Yes. We want the pig milk from the females.

neener

Actually they're both sexes and slaughtered very young. Mature male pigs taste too much like pig and Americans typically don't like strong-flavored meat. That's why most "mutton" is really lamb, since a grown sheep has a stronger flavor.

So if the male is going to be raised to slaughter age, it's usually castrated.

But there are some people who don't mind the stronger flavor of a grown male, or boar, and of course if you hunt them, you're going to get that flavor in addition to the wild gamey flavors. There was a market I used to go to where they sold entire pigs or parts of pigs, and one of the farmers gave me some older male pig to compare with some female and they were indeed different. He'd grow some males to full size for chefs and butchers and people who wanted the stronger flavor.

As far as that Mayacamas, it was one of my in-law's favorite wines and one that made me want to learn more about wine in general. Last time I had it was almost twenty years ago. What a great wine.
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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#21 Post by Arv R » August 25th, 2019, 2:10 pm

Interesting. Thanks for that. Last summer the kids spent a month on a farm where they raised heritage breed pigs, at least two varieties, but I never inquired much into that.
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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#22 Post by Mark Golodetz » August 25th, 2019, 2:50 pm

Chef said Herbert was Amish. (Not sure about James)

I thought the pork was incredibly tender, the skin addictive, and some of the other dishes were delicious.

Next year spring lamb and I am thinking Magdelaine.
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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#23 Post by Dale Williams » August 25th, 2019, 3:20 pm

Thanks Mark for including me, Herbert was delicious is so many different ways- skin, spiced skin and meat with lettuce wraps, tortillas with gyro-spiced pork, risotto, ribs, straight meat, and more. I don't usually do lunches but this was special
Wines were really fine overall. My preferences didn't really match table's. My tops were Mt Eden, Ridge York, Heitz Bella, but lots of others (Montelena, Chappelet) were great. I liked the Kenwood but not as much as Mark and others. The Mayacamas seemed tight but potentially great. Just a really solid lineup- I was a fan of all but the Martin Ray, the Burgess (I usually like Burgess of this era) and the non-representative Marthas.

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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#24 Post by Dale Williams » August 26th, 2019, 11:11 am

So finally wrote up my notes (pretty different preferences from table I think)
I seldom take lunch, much less long lunch with wine, but Mark & John offered me an irresistible chance to taste a lineup of 1977 CalCabs. I jumped the train 2 stops to Irvington, and crossed the tracks to MP Taverna. While we were gathering we had the 2002 Piper-Heidsieck “Rare” Champagne. Full, toasty, smoky, with pit fruit and pear, good acid spine, elegant mousse, excellent length. A-

We had openers of tzatziki , eggplant puree, & chickpea puree. Then they brought out Herbert the suckling pig, and the chef Michael Psilakis described the various ways he would send the pig out. While we awaited the pork we were also offered Greek salad, sausage, octopus with chickpea salad, calamari, green beans.Then came the series of pig courses- Skin, crispy bits & foreshank, pork ribs, chipotle spiced pork with lettuce to wrap, risotto, Gyro spices and tortillas, and roast pork. Yum

And the wines were tasty too:

1977 Jordan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma)

Tart yet with some richness, dried cherry, tastes like a good aged Chianti. B/B+

1977 Kenwood “Jack London Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon
Plummy red fruit, a little green, tart. Pretty acidic, quite young. Table liked more than I did B/B_

1977 Martin Ray Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (assumed going in Santa Cruz, but this was Napa from Howell and Steltzner)
Pretty oxidized, some green underneath, not a fan. C+/C

1977 Mount Eden “Estate” Cabernet Sauvignon (Santa Cruz)
Richer, mature but not tired, black fruit and floral notes. A-

1977 Burgess Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mountain) (in a PN/Chardonnay bottle, John theorized they just ran out of Bdx bottles)
Some liked but I thought pruney with clear VA. I usually like Burgess of this era (for the price). C+

1977 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa)
Lean and a little green (eucalyptus) but with long complex finish. B+

1977 Ridge “York Creek” Cabernet Sauvignon (Spring Mountain)

Fully mature but quite complex, black fruit and cigarbox, spice, and coffee. Good length,. A-

1977 Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa)
Table favorite. Delicious sweet red fruits, good acids, good finish, I just thought a little more straightforward fruit-driven than some others. A-/B+

1977 Heitz Cellar “Bella Oaks Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon

Delicious, red cherry fruit with a distinct red appleskin note, citrus zest, smoke. Earthy, rich, long. A-/A

1977 Robert Mondavi “Reserve” Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa)
Cassis and black cherry, leather, earth- great flavors but not as long as some others this day. B+/B

1977 Ch. Montelena “Estate” Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa)

I think I liked better than table. Blackcurrant and plum, leather, some tannin still. A-

1977 Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Mount Veeder)
Nose great, but pretty tight & structured on the palate. To me this is still about potential- B for now, A potential.

1977 Diamond Creek Red Rock Cabernet Sauvignon

Good nose of coffee and dark fruits, interesting palate with earth and cassis, but just a touch dried out. B

1977 Heitz Cellar “Martha’s Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon

Good looking bottle but clearly compromised, some maderization. NR

1977 Joseph Phelps “Eisele Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon

I didn’t really give this enough time, nice mocha and black fruit nose, some tannins , a bit hard at moment but I heard opened up. For me B

Great showing overall, nice group, fun way to spend afternoon.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C drinkable. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice.Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.

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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#25 Post by John Gilman » August 28th, 2019, 11:47 am

William Kelley wrote:
August 25th, 2019, 10:55 am
Hal Blumberg wrote:
August 24th, 2019, 1:54 pm
Thanks for the notes! Did Philip Togni make the 1977 Chapellet?

Cheers,

Hal
No. Should have been Joe Cafaro's last vintage.
Philip Togni was at Cuvaison from 1974 onwards until he opened up his own winery. It is my understanding that Tony Soter made the 1977 Chappellet.

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Re: Herbert, the Suckling Pig, and 1977 Cabernets.

#26 Post by William Kelley » August 28th, 2019, 2:48 pm

John Gilman wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 11:47 am
William Kelley wrote:
August 25th, 2019, 10:55 am
Hal Blumberg wrote:
August 24th, 2019, 1:54 pm
Thanks for the notes! Did Philip Togni make the 1977 Chapellet?

Cheers,

Hal
No. Should have been Joe Cafaro's last vintage.
Philip Togni was at Cuvaison from 1974 onwards until he opened up his own winery. It is my understanding that Tony Soter made the 1977 Chappellet.
I thought Tony Soter made only the 1978, John, but I may be mistaken!
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