Rhone Wines at Bodega Bistro w "The Gelbs"

Somehow I found out Marshall was going to be in SF for Pinot Days - perhaps it was during the round of 3,000 emails to put together a small offline with Xpensive Winos when I am in LA next week. Either way, I love hanging out with Marshall and Diana, drinking wine, talking about how the Dodgers will win the NL West and go to the WS, and eating (pleasantly surprised to see Marshall wasn’t wearing his Giants hawaiian shirt!!). Since I knew they would have an expensive dinner/offline on Sunday, I suggested Bodega Bistro. We eat there quite a bit when we have offlines - why? The food is excellent, service very good, and they don’t charge us corkage and we walk out stuffed for around $40 per person. The food is Vietnamese/French so you get great takes on Vietnamese street food, excellent calamari, then you get squab, lamb chops, etc. For this event, it was Traci, Christianne, Marshall, Diana, Aida (the Gelb’s daughter) and her boyfriend Robert who is the winemaker at Sarah’s Vineyard down in Gilroy. We usually bring our own stems to BB but were pleasantly surprised to see some pretty nice stems on the table now. Must have upgraded since we were there last.

On to the wines:

2007 Château de Vaudieu Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc - I’ll copy Richard Jennings note from CellarTracker on this wine b/c I think he captures it perfectly (I have had this wine several times and it nevers ceases to impress me). RJ: “Light canary yellow color; almond, oily, lime peal and dried peach nose; oily textured, almond, mineral, floral, dried peach, pear and green fruit palate; medium finish 91+ pts. (85% Grenache Blanc, 12% Roussanne, 3% Picardin)”

2007 Michaud Marsanne (from Chalone appellation) - Robert brought this and previously worked at Michaud. Once we got the temp down a little this was very good. I don’t think I’ve ever had a Michaud wine before and I was pleasantly surprised. A little more honey and almond than the Vaudieu with some citrus fruit and stone fruit on the palate with nice balance between fruit and acid. Probably right behind the Vaudieu for me. 90/100 I have no idea the price on this.

2000 Domaine Weinbach Riesling Schlossberg (France, Alsace, Kientzheim, Alsace Grand Cru AOC)
Sadly I can’t find my notes on this one but I remember it showing a lot of Petrol. If you aren’t a fan of Petrol, you wouldn’t like this one. A little light on its feet with stone fruit, petrol, slate. Nice wine and our last one.

1998 Domaine de Font-Sane Gigondas - brought by the Gelbs. I see CT notes saying the fruit is fading/drink up, etc. However, I found Marshall’s bottle very nicely fruited. Typical brambly raspberry fruit, provencal spice, black pepper with medium length finish…this is a perfect Gigondas for drinking with dinner and if you can save a glass for after, you won’t be disappointed either. Perfect with lamb chop. 90/100

2003 Barroche Chateauneuf-du-Pape - as much typicity as the Gigondas showed, the Barroche was just one glass of very good Red Wine. don’t get me wrong, i really enjoyed the wine. It’s big rich up creamy red fruit, a little pepper/provencal spice on the back end. A fun wine to taste but I dug the Gigondas.

2000 Domaine Jasmine Cote Rotie - sadly my last bottle of this as well but it was enjoyed in great company…a terrific Cote Rotie and probably my Red WOTN. Tar, smoke, rich fruit but lovely acidity keeping it fresh with a little earth on the back end. This one did seem a tad richer/bolder than the bottle I opened about a year ago. I love this “elegant” Cote Rotie. I have a 2001 waiting for a good ending as well. 92/100

We also had some nearly full bottles of Pinots that I brought back from the Pinot seminars on wednesday. All were still showing very well.

A terrific evening had by all at one of my favorite restaurants/offline venues in SF.

Thanks for your notes, Tony. Sounds like you guys had a great time! FWIW, I had the exact same impression of the '03 Barroche as you did.

Yep, the '00 Jasmin is drinking prefectly right now. I’ve slurped all mine up.

Sounds like a good time, TV–look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks. I still remain shocked that the brett loving Marshall Gelb likes the Pure. Each time that I have had it, it was over the top (and that is for the big zin loving me). I was once served one more recent of Pure blind and I thought that it was likely a Clarendon Hills grenache. Not what I am looking for in CdP but to each his own.

Walter - it was, and Traci and I are looking forward to throwing down with you guys in a couple of weeks. I have had the Barroche wines a couple of times now and they are very good “red wines” but don’t scream CdP to me…Clarendon, i like the analogy.

Now should I bring the Beaucastel blanc or are we going Chablis/Chardonnay

Great call on Bodega Bistro!!! If I lived anywhere near the Bay Area I would be there quite often!!! The food was terrific , varied, and went very well with our assortment of wines. Tony mentioned only a few of the amazing dishes we had…cannot forget all the shrimp and pork wraps, the “shaken” beef plus the fantastic soft shell crab salad. I am back in a heartbeat! [winner.gif]
As to the wines; great notes from TV…A little aside on the Gigondas and Barroche. I recently (early May) purchased these wines at the Cystic Fibrosis event in Los Angeles. They were all from the same collector and every bottle I have tried has been stellar. I have discovered that whenever I attend large charity events many slightly “esoteric” wines get virtually no bidding interest. Therefore, I always donate “big names”, which sell very quickly and then purchase some underpriced (less known) gems! neener

One more thing for my buddy Mr. Page… This was the '03 and was only the “regular” Barroche and not the “Pure”…Speaking of brett, [stirthepothal.gif] I did open a '98 Pegau sunday night. To me, it was a relatively clean bottle.

Thanks again to my favorite Dodger fan…I was seriously thinking of wearing my “Giants hawaiian shirt,” but Diana talked me out of it!! [pillow-fight.gif] The pennant race is not quite over…and who would have “thunk” the Giants would be leading the wild card!!!

Marshall [wink.gif]

Marshall - you know you are right. The soft shell crab was a new dish for them and was damn tasty. In some ways it is a poor man’s Chinois on Main. Very versatile food. You can drink gewurtztraminer, bdx, cdp, riesling and cdp blanc…plus.

The wines were terrific but the company was even better. So much fun!!!