TN: WCC Blind Alsace Kaiseki Dinner

WCC ALSACE WHITES BLIND - Shogun Sushi and Sake Bar, Delmar, NY (8/2/2018)

My Albany tasting group met to taste Alsatian wines at a restaurant only a half mile from my home. Alsatian wines are not a specialty of anyone in our group and my two prior experiences at Shogun several years ago were ok, but not special. So I was totally unprepared for what turned out to be a terrific tasting with no bad wines and a lot of really good ones AND an authentic Kaiseki dinner.

Photos and more details on my website.

Executive Chef Jose Kishimoto Arteche III and his wife Elisa Arteche own Shogun of Delmar. Jose is part Japanese and was born in the island country of Vanuatu, east of Australia and southeast of the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. Somehow he made it to the Capital District where he received a degree from the noted Culinary Program at Schenectady County Community College. Eventually he rose to Chef de Cuisine at Yono’s, one of the best restaurants in upstate NY. He was then Corporate Executive Chef for the Panza Restaurant Group. In 2016, he and Elsa became the co-owners of Shogun, which had been started by Elsa’s uncle in 2009.

Here is some more info on Shogun:
Shogun’s website.
Shogun’s Facebook page.

The menu was developed by Chef Arteche in the style of a traditional Kaiseki dinner. There were five savory courses and a dessert course, so Bob organized the wines into five flights.

The wines were opened at the beginning of the dinner, unless otherwise noted.

Course 1 – Hassun (Starter)
Hokkaido scallops, blood orange gastrique, alea sea salt, shishito peppers, lily bulbs, ramps oil.

  • 2015 Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Turckheim - France, Alsace
    Wow, what a way to start. Such a gorgeous, balanced expression of Gewurztraminer. I was surprised to see that this is only a village wine, but it is from over 40 year old vines. Just a touch of RS. Very impressive for $23. Group #1. (93 pts.)
  • 2014 Paul Blanck Riesling Schlossberg - France, Alsace, Alsace Grand Cru
    Light, fresh, young and tasty. Quite delicate, but subtly complex. (92 pts.)
  • 2014 Kuentz-Bas Riesling Geisberg - France, Alsace, Alsace Grand Cru
    Crisp and fresh in the nose and mouth. So floral that I could swear there is some Gewurz in here. 92-94 (93 pts.)
  • 2013 Domaine Barmes-Buecher Sept Grains - France, Alsace
    [Opened at 9am and left open for two hours.] Gewurz nose. Delicate, floral. Medium length. A lovely wine. (91 pts.)

Course 2 – Suimono (Soup)
Sous vide lobster, bunapi-shimeji mushroom, asparagus, lotus, kombu bonito consumme.

Course 3 – Otsukuri (Sushi & Sashimi)
Blue fin tuna toro nigiri, hamachi, tai, fresh hand grated wasabi, shio koji shoyu.

  • 1994 Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Heimbourg Vendange Tardive - France, Alsace
    Wow, a whole different breed of cat here. Dark amber color. Intensely sweet and complex. Loads of botrytis. This must be a Vendange Tardive. Great wine, but out of place in this flight with this food. My #1 wine and the group’s #2. [Happy to see I have 4 more of these. I will have to think of a better food match. Maybe just popcorn?] (96 pts.)
  • 1994 Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Vieilles Vignes - France, Alsace
    The second sweetest wine so far, but no where near as sweet as #8 above. Floral, lovely. A very tasty wine, but hard to follow #8. (92 pts.)
  • 1997 Marcel Deiss Pinot Gris Bergheim - France, Alsace
    Gorgeous floral nose. Crisp, soft, complex. Very tasty tonight. (93 pts.)

Course 4 – Hashiyasume (Intermezzo)
Chilled savory egg custard, shitake mushroom, shrimp, uni, ikura, edamame.

  • 2002 Trimbach Riesling - France, Alsace
    Muted nose. Tight in the mouth. Does it need more time or is it fading? Anyway, quite nice to drink tonight. (91 pts.)
  • 2002 Paul Blanck Riesling Schlossberg - France, Alsace, Alsace Grand Cru
    More open and complex. A hint of botrytis, but not esp sweet. Rich and complex. One of my top wines tonight. (94 pts.)
  • 2006 Domaine Weinbach Riesling Schlossberg - France, Alsace, Alsace Grand Cru
    Gorgeous nose. Rich and complex. Seems like the same wine as #12 above. And that’s good! (94 pts.)

Course 5 – Yakimono to Gohan (Grilled entrée and rice)
Grilled sanma, local tri color carrots, king oyster mushroom, citrus, shiso seasoned rice

Course 6 – Mizumono (Dessert)
Rose water rain drop cake, roasted kinako, kuromitsu syrup, lychee,strawberry, matcha tea.
No wines served with this dessert course, but I did save some of the sweetest wines, the 1994 Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Heimbourg Vendange Tardive to try with this dish. It wasn’t a particularly good match since both were so complex in different ways. The wine would have been better with just some simple biscotti.

Another joyous night of good wines, good food, good friends, and bad jokes!

Posted from CellarTracker