I bid farewell to the West Coast of the USA. I had ‘survived’ several days of pleasure at the hands of Americans and Canadians, and it was now time to see what New York had to offer. My flight from Seattle to New York was uneventful and I readied myself for the next mutual meeting of wine minds and palates.
I had last seen my good buddy Manuel Camblor and his lovely girlfriend Josie a few months ago when they were in London. They had very kindly extended their warm hand of friendship to me if I should ever venture back to The Big Apple. My people called his people, and before you could say ‘Has Time Square lost its edgy inner city charm’, a private jeebus was planned. This involved a few choice guests being invited to Manuel and Josie’s home for wine fun.
I must say that Manuel is an excellent cook and his dishes are worthy of a Michelin starred restaurant any day of the week. He likes to experiment (don’t we all) and he particularly enjoys matching his culinary creations with wine. Trust me when I say he knows what he is doing. I would like to thank Manuel and Josie for their generous hospitality throughout the evening.
The players for this evening’s fun were:
a) Manuel “Great cook/opinionated as ever and shoots from the hip/generous with his wines” Camblor;
b) Josie “Charming and the perfect hostess/enjoyed the fine wines” Castrodad;
c) Nicos “Your humble narrator/laughed a lot that evening” Neocleous
d) Nuray “Flew in from Toronto/impressive wine knowledge/great company” Ali;
e) Jay “legendary New York wine lover/very welcoming and knowledgeable” Miller;
f) George “Enthusiastic/good palate/’When’s the last train home?’/good to meet him” Henriquez
Some highlights of the evening included:
- Manuel was asking our opinions about the new colour scheme that he and Josie were planning for the walls.
- Their beautiful cats Garnacha and Riesling enjoyed our company by the end of the evening. Garnacha especially, as she tried to sip my 1976 Gran Reserva when I left it on the table. A top cat of taste!
- Manuel’s music mixes were the stuff of legends and the tunes he was ‘dropping’ that evening were entertaining. Loved the dance stuff/R&B from the late 1980’s and early 1990’s!
- Wine shopping in New York and where the best places are to shop.
We drank the following wines and I have posted them as TN’s in the TN section as there is not enough room to post them here.
Flight 1 – white wines
Served with the tasty starters.
1) 1989 Le L’d Or de Pierre Lareau – Cuvee Medaillee – Muscadet Sevre & Maine – sur lie (France)
2) 2002 Gaisberg Riesling – Hirsch: Zobing/Kamptal (Germany)
3) 2002 Vouvray – Le Haut – Lieu – Sec – Huet (Loire, France)
4) 2002 Vouvray – Le Mont - demi-sec – Huet (Loire, France)
Flight 2 - reds
5) 2002 Domaine de Belliviere – “Le Rouge-Gorge” (Coteaux du Loir, S.France)
6) 2000 Domaine de Belliviere – “Le Rouge-Gorge” (Coteaux du Loir, S.France)
7) 2000 Domaine de Belliviere – “Hommage a Louis Derre” (Coteaux du Loir, S.France)
8) 2000 Pierre Frick – Pinot Noir (Alsace, France)
9) 2000 Hermitage – E.Guigal (N.Rhone, France)
10) 1976 Gran Reserva – Vina Tondonia (Rioja, Spain)
11) 2001 Icewine - Riesling – Cave Spring (VQA Niagara Peninsula, Canada)
Wow Nicos!!!! ... in two words: Im-presive ;) ... but you neglected to tell us what happened after the wines :-DD. It looks like a top notch night ... glad you had a great time and a great experience, and that you write this entertaining chronicles to make us jellous ;) (The wines were impressive, indeed)
I see that one of the lucky attendants (Nuray Ali) is from Toronto, which remains me that I will have to ask advice about Toronto, at some point: I am going for some few days on August, and will like to have at least a nice dinner ;) ... surely Nuray does not read verema.com, right?
It was a wonderful evening, indeed. Great to make the acquaintance of the lovely Nuray, who hsould come into Verema soon, I hope.
I had a couple of ideas going into the mini-jeeb for Nicos. Firstly, there were certain concerns of mine about an event we were attending on the following night, an ";offline"; with folks from the erobertparker board in honor of Nicos, at which I anticipated few potable wines to be poured.
Anyway, I decided to surprise those in attendance with a theme I secretly referred to as ";Out Come the Freaks."; Pineau d’Aunis is a fantastic red variety that is very masterfully handled by certain folks in Touraine and other sections of the Loire Valley. I figured, in this world dominated by Cabernillo, Tempranot, Grenachet Franc, or whatever it is that folks use to create those despicable fruit bombs, it was high time to introduce wines that would defy punctuation by virtue of their simultaneous drinkabilñity and weirdness.
Reds from Pineau d’Aunis often combine aromas of black pepper, Vicks cherry cough drops, dried herbs and the most amazing mineral notes you can ever hope to experience. In the wines of Nicolas we had some great examples, all still extremely young and not showing much beyond the primary.
But I should say something about the whites I took out of my cellar before going on about the reds and the food, I think...
Aged Muscadet is a treasure one has to travel long to find. Most guzzlers of oaky New-World Chardonnay wouldn’t understand the beauty of a ten-, fifteen- or twenty-year-old Muscadet if it came and bit them in their rosy bottoms. I thought it was high time for Nicos to come into the fold... The L d’Or is Pierre Luneau-Papin’s top wine. This ’89 was a library release and I must disagree with Nicos’ remarks about its simplicity. It’s a very nervy, tightly-wound wine with breadth, depth and length aplenty. Lots of flesh and layers upon layers of savory minerality. I have a feeling it’s one of those wines that could have accompanied the entire meal very well.
Ah, if only Marc Olivier would do a library release like this!!!
Okay, with the whites we had my version of tuna tartare on rice crackers. When we sat at the table, we had deep-fried lobster ravioli with avocado coulis. Wonderful with the dry Le Mont (or was it Haut Lieu) from Huet. The Demi-Sec was a bit of a disappointment. Flat. More bottles of that need to fall, to see if this one was merely a defective one.
I think our main dish consisted of broiled pork medallions over a warm salad of black beans and jícama. Am I wrong? One forgets what comes out of one’s kitchen, since things move so damn fast.
I really liked the Pierre Frick Pinot Noir from Alsace. Pierre does a fantastic job, maintaining detailed expressiveness and elegance while going for some fruit bombast. The Guigal Hewrmitage seemed to me a bit facile. A problem with a wine of that price and hype-level. And it didn’t really improve over the four days the dregs of the bottle spent in my fridge.
It was a wonderful showing for the ’76 Tondonia, and it made some converts, which is always a very good thing. It would be very intersting to carry out a ’76 Rioja horizontal involving the Bordeaux-bottle juices and those in Burgundy bottles, just to see how they compare. Maybe we can throw in some ’73 ringers to spice things up.
But here I go again, I’m planning other jeebi and we’re still talking about this one.
Thank you for a great evening of fine wine, gourmet dishes and entertaining company. I musn’t forget to add Josie’s name as she was an excellent hostess.
I do appreciate your ";Bring out the dead"; theme on varietals and other types of wines. Truly both educational and a lot of fun to drink.
Perhaps I am being a tad harsh on the Muscadet, but it certainly was a relevation to try one that old. Certainly fresh and I can see that going at least another decade. The Alsatian Pinot was the second one I have tried and it really did not ring my bell. OK, so Pinot is not my favourite grape, but I struggled to enjoy its mysterious charms.
The offline at Triomphe was an eyeopener in terms of those Cult US Syrahs. I know you would describe them more eloquently than I can, and I will post my thoughts on them via the Forum/YN’s.
Lastly, for anyone who does not know this, Manuel is a master music mixer with a great ear for the funky tunes from the 1970’s to date. none of this manufactured boy and girl band crap!
Thanks for your kind words. Manuel has done a good job in his post of explaining the wonderful dishes and the wine pairings. Everything went well and no clashes.
Thanks for your kind words. It was my pleasure to act as the humble scribe for the evening. My trip to the USA/Canada was a lot of fun.
Nuray does post occasionally on the Squires Board. As far as I know she has not visited this growing site.
Well, the whole thing about djing came out of my defunct career as a musician (bad car accident in the late ’80s, destroyed nerves on fingers of left hand); but my love of the funk comes from plying the bass with any number of bands, down here in the islands and in the US. Of course, being an addict to other people’s tunes didn’t hurt when I turned my attention to dropping beats and mixing up mayhem. You think the wine cellar’s deep? You should see the record collection!!!
In terms of the wines, again: I guess the Muscadet simply caught you by surprise. Once you get used to what those babies can really do, you can relax and start dissecting their subtle, yet very complex aromatics. Luneau is one of the best in the field. Above him, I put Marc Olivier, of ocurse, whose Muscadets are truly extraordinary stuff, especially the mighty Clos des Briords. I’ve tasted some of his first wines, from the mid ’80s, and they’re the stuff terroirist dreams are made of.
Alsatian Pinot tends to beeither very dull, woody, clumsy stuff, of Pierre Frick, ’m afraid. I find his wines to be balanced, focused and always interesting. Of course, we must do something about this ";Pinot Noir is not my favorite grape"; thing, Nicos. That’s not something you should be admitting to the world too readily :-). I guess next time you should do some true Burgundies, along with a couple of important pink Sancerres and pink (or Blanc de Noirs) Champagnes, to see if one can break your heart and remake it forever in a cast of pure beauty.
I guess, tout court, what I’m trying to say is that if Pinot Noir isn’t your favorite grape by now, you’ve probably been rolling with the wrong crowd (believe me, the stuff doesn’t take well to 15% alcohol and simply cannot make blue-black, impenetrable juice from the pit of Gehenna with impunity). When Musigny speaks, you hear the voice of God. Alas, Musigny doesn’t do the West Coast.