Drinking The Chef Wine

Spring Tastings

Springtime motivates me to re-dedicate myself to tasting more wines, as I look to exchange the heavier winter wines for lighter ones. So while you might pick up a bottle of rose prematurely, I still cling to some robust reds and whites that pack a wallop. Recently I attended two tastings which reinvigorated my spirit, if not my thirst.

At the Ibanez Pleven Offerings (IPO) gathering at Per Se, wine professionals spent the day slurping and spitting wines from what turned out to be a solid portfolio of French, Portuguese, California, and Spanish wines. I carry a few of these wines at Ostia, and was curious about wines outside the Spanish D.O.
There was a lovely chardonnay from Elke Vineyard (2004) which exhibited great minerality and good acidity. I really enjoyed the second label from Screaming Eagle, Jonata, especially the 2004 “la alma” from the Sanat Ynez alley. The style was more Bordeaux than California rocket juice, and look forward to seeing how these bottles will age in the future.

The Mas D’en Compte Planots, a Prioriato fashioned from 100 year old vines evoked spicy tickles and Languedoc sensibility. Gramona made its presence felt with better than avergae cavas from Penedes, but it was the artfully crafted godellos from Bodegas Val de Sil out of Valdeorras that had me humming. These wines glistened with golden hues and Burgundian elegance and floral beauty. Roger Sabon out of CDP was being poured as well, a treat for anyone.

A proper follow up a few days later was at the Polaner Selections tasting at the Puck building, a great venue for these type of events. Louis/Dressner Selections represented as well, pouring fab wines from Eric Texier, Catheirine and Claude Mafrechal to Michel Tete and Catherine & Pierre Breton. Top that off with Clos Roche Blanche and Domaine du Closel, and suddenly spitting is no longer an option.

I ran into a lovely Champagne by the name of Agrapart et Fils who sported a lovely Blanc de Blancs and Brut Rose with minerally, silky, elegant texture.

One corner of the room had a line up similar to the N.Y. Yankees. What would you say these heavy hitters: Emilio Pepe (’77-’04), Mascarello (’98-’04), Roagna (’96-‘0), Giacomo Conterno Barolos and Lopez de Heredia (’99-’73)? The 1976 Bosconia was unbelievable.

Back to work, tasting flights of Ricardo Palacions, Palacios Remondo, Rafael Palacios, Bodegas Olivares, Bodegas Artadi, Artazu, El Seque, Vinedos AAlto, Capcanes, and Quinta Sardonia, just to name a few, as finally I was able to say I clocked on for the event. All in all swift work in under two hours, as I barley had room for Tomasso Bussola’s amarones.

As I’ve told many a friend or customer, life’s too short to drink bad wine. So get out to a wine shop somewhere and start your spring tasting. After all, with the weather these days, summer is just around the corner.

By Chef Mateo

Just a man in pursuit of all things delicious. Eat and Drink life!