Bit of a big night at Eleven Madison Park last night. Four of us met for dinner and a few bottles were brought along. I didn’t take notes so what follows are some hazy impressions…
1988 Krug - The first thing that struck me was how young this is - 21 years old but still pretty tightly wound. That said, it had plenty on offer. Fabulous aromas of apple, nuts and fresh bread. Long finish with real precision and delineation. I have one left - I’d love to think I have the patience to leave it for 10 years but that isn’t going to happen.
1985 Haut Brion - in a great place right now, with its classically smoky nose with hints of tapenade. Seamless on the palate - not a hard edge in sight, it just floats down your throat with a haunting finish. A great HB, bested only in my (limited) experience by a sublime bottle of the 1990 two years ago.
1985 LLC - I know this gets a ton of love from folks who post here and elsewhere but on this night it was a clear second to the HB. A nice aged leathery nose, but just a hint of sharpness/greenness on the palate that stood out given the sublime nature of the HB. Not bad, mind you - but I wonder if the bottles suffered from poor storage somewhere along the way.
We needed something to go with dessert so we ordered a 1999 Talenti Brunello off the list, which was pleasant but not hugely memorable in the context of what came before. In hindsight it mightn’t have been the best choice, but there you go.
To no-one’s surprise, the food was off the charts-good. They’ve a blue footed chicken on the menu for a short while this time of year, to be shared by 2 people, with a layer of foie-gras and brioche between the (really crisp) skin and the flesh. Anyone who thinks that chicken is boring should try this - it will change your life. Our pals had the duck, which was similarly outstanding. And as ever, the service was impeccable.
Wilfie… you can order the blue foots from D’artagnan if you like… I think they are about $25 delivered…I haven’t ordered them, but a friend did and she liked them and Paul Jaouen did as well, but I think he preferred the Earthshine, if I recall… a friend of mine, who works at Blackbird did a comparison of the Earthshine and the WF Air-cooled and she thought the Earthshine was superior… maybe there is chicken variation as there is bottle variation.
Oh, yes, I know that–I ordered two about 3-4 years ago. Had a chef from Alain Ducasse roast them with me (we bought and cooked two). We were unhappy with them; they were very tough. Served them to the GM of Le Bernardin who said he thought they were tough because they walked freely around the farm.
So…been there, done that; but I’m curious what Daniel is doing with them. I’ve emailed to ask how long it will be on the menu and will report back.