TN: Pepiere, Riesling, Rhys and Leflaive

I met some friends at Lusca for dinner on Saturday, where we enjoyed a nice group of wines, very good food, and even better company. We kicked things off with an assortment of oysters and nigiri, and bought one of my favorite Muscadets off the excellent wine list to drink with them.

2013 Domaine de la Pépière (Marc Ollivier) Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Les Gras Moutons - France, Loire Valley, Pays Nantais, Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine (3/7/2015)
Stony with just a hint of salinity, and fuller body than I expected cloaking the acidity, a delicious and refreshing match for oysters and nigiri. (91 pts.)

We moved on to a contrasting pair of older Rieslings, one from Austria and one from the Mosel, which we drank with a terrific dish of rock crab with avocado on toasted pain au levain and scallion that is baked in house. Neither of the wines were even close to being over the hill.

1998 Weingut Willi Bründlmayer Riesling Zöbinger Heiligenstein - Austria, Niederösterreich, Kamptal (3/7/2015)
Still fairly youthful, though it is now lightly honey colored, with nice body and a little sweetness supported by a structure of stones and acidity. No rush to drink them now, but it is so good there is little reason to wait. (92 pts.)

2002 C. H. Berres Kinheimer Hubertuslay Riesling Kabinett - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (3/7/2015)
Fresh and crisp with nice off-dry sweetness and minerality and a hint of petrol, it isn’t incredibly complex, but is still well worth drinking and has a lot of life left. (88 pts.)

For our next course, we brought out a pair of Chardonnays to pair with four shared entrees: a lovely black cod; a decadently rich uni pasta; a tasty clam cavatelli; and well-seared diver scallops (I thought they were excellent, but others found them to be a bit salty), along with sides of roasted cauliflower with a salsa verde that bordered on the addictive, and tender and tasty turnips with garlic and shallots.

2006 Rhys Chardonnay Alpine Vineyard - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains (3/7/2015)
It starts with some smoke on the nose, which gives way to lemon as it airs out. A nice balance of richness and mineraility and acidity, and while the oak is noticeable, it acts as a spice that complements the savoriness without overwhelming it. (93 pts.)

2009 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru (3/7/2015)
Fairly subtle, nuanced, and elegant. Very nice and it really perked up with an uni pasta. (92 pts.)

A friend generously shared an older Madeira to close out the evening.

1971 D’Oliveiras Madeira Terrantez Colheita - Portugal, Madeira (3/7/2015)
Tangy salinity and dried orange peel, the acidity suppresses most of the sweetness. A real treat. (89 pts.)

Very nice, Mike.
That Rhys sounds great, have not had a Rhys Chard in some time.
I really like what they are doing at Lusca, always leave there happy.