Dinner at Choi’s Palace
In a fantastic show of hospitality, once Mark Johnson from Wineberserkers found out I was going to come to Honolulu, he arranged this offline with Ralph Earle. Mark picked a great Korean place near Waikiki where we could bring some bottles, and then Mark and Ralph really pulled out all the stops. The Pierre Peters was a pleasure, and at just a perfect stage of maturity now with great complexity. The JJ Prum I brought (bought on the island) was excellent as well, but nothing to compare to what was to come. Mark pulled out a pair of 2004 Allemand Chaillot and 2004 Chateau Rayas, both truly superb wines. I’ve had Allemand a handful of times before, generally in younger vintages, and this was just as good as I expected. The Rayas was a novel experience for me since it was my first time with this Chateau, and I can see why it’s so sought after. It had an elegance and lightness that reminded me of superb red burgundy. But that wasn’t all… Ralph came with a couple of sweet surprises. Tasted blind, the 2010 “Sauternes” (thought to be declassified Yquem) was excellent, comparable in style and quality to a Doisy Daene in a good vintage (though also the same price as the Doisy, to be fair, so it’s not a cheaper alternative). It was a wine I’ve wanted to try, and it succeeded at being a “second” wine that I would love to drink. Ralph followed with a Kracher TBA, which had excellent concentration though could use more acidity (which I’ve found is common with Kracher TBAs), but which I still found really enjoyable.
Truly guys, this was over-the-top incredible. The food and company would have been more than enough, but I also picked up some potential WOTY candidates in the Allemand and the Rayas. Hopefully I can return the favor if you’re in San Francisco.
1999 Pierre Péters Champagne Grand Cru Cuvée Speciale Blanc de Blancs Les Chetillons - France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru (1/22/2017)
Golden color; nice slight oxidation and excellent white fruit with a bit of apple; palate is balanced, medium-plus acid, drinking well now and I would not age further as it has some mature character already. A pleasure to try this tonight!
2011 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (1/22/2017)
Wonderfully aromatic with petrol, no reduction, peach, white fruit; palate is superbly balanced with good fruit and medium-plus acid, off-dry, almost spatlese level of sweetness, nicely balanced; medium-plus finish. Very nice, lovely to drink now or with more age!
2004 Thierry Allemand Cornas Chaillot - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas (1/22/2017)
Medium ruby with slight bricking; lovely highly aromatic nose with superb red fruit, berries, blueberry, spice, superb depth, meaty, iodine, bacon fat; palate is medium bodied, medium-plus acid, present but very approachable medium velvety tannins, superb red fruit; long finish. Wonderful, and classic Allemand with its elegance and depth compared to other Cornas. This could easily evolve more in the bottle.
2004 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (1/22/2017)
Pale ruby with slight bricking; highly aromatic nose with superb elegance, Burgundian red fruit, spice, meaty; palate is light to medium bodied, some spice, wonderful meatiness, but overall a lightness and elegance throughout; long finish. My first time trying a Chateau Rayas, and it is a unique wine with superb balance, length, and complexity with unparalleled elegance for a Chateauneuf du Pape. Superb wine, though out of my price comfort zone despite its excellence.
2010 Château d’Yquem Declassified - France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes (1/22/2017)
Tasted blind. Medium golden, youthful color; nose is youthful, minerality, apricot, pineapple, tropical fruit; palate is medium-full bodied, youthful fruit, tropical fruit, minerality; medium finish. My first guess was barsac, possibly something like Doisy Vedrines from 2005. Drinking very well now, and quite an interesting experience to try, since this may be the only “second” wine from sauternes that I thought was comparable to a “first” wine from another chateau.
2006 Alois Kracher Scheurebe TBA #11 Zwischen den Seen - Austria, Burgenland, Neusiedlersee (1/22/2017)
From 375. Golden color; highly aromatic, plenty of fresh fruit, ripe orange fruit; palate is full bodied, orange fruit, almost icewine level of concentration without the purity, some botrytis, medium acidity (could use more); medium-long finish. I think I liked this more than others at the dinner. Yes, it could use more acidity, but the concentration of fruit is excellent and in the right context is enjoyable to drink in limited quantities.
Posted from CellarTracker