October 7, 2006
A few months ago I tried to book Victoria & Albert’s chef’s table in Disney’s Grand Floridian for Linda’s birthday, but they had no openings. I asked Israel, the manager, to wait list us. Margaret from V&A called on Wednesday and unexpectedly asked if we’d like to take over a cancellation Saturday night. We called our friends Ron and Bev Siegel, and set up a dinner and tasting. Chef Aimee provided us with great food and Israel was a terrific host and sommelier. We learned that Chef Scott and Israel go on some very high end restaurant scouting missions around the world, spending thousands of dollars of Disney’s money on dinners at restaurants in Paris, Barcelona, Chicago and New York. That sounds like a dream job for a Maitre d’.
The Line Up
|Flight 1||1995||Taittanger Comtes Champagne||Youthful color, clean citrus and pear nose, nice effervescence, good match with the four different amuse bouche items.||93 points|
|Flight 2||1923||Musigny||Dark garnet, leather and mineral nose, classic old burgundy, sour cherries in the mouth. Lasted about twenty minutes before going sour on the palate, but the nose continued to improve for hours.||93 points|
|1947||Chambertin Jaboulet||This was a much more youthful wine that the ’47 we had last December. My notes for that wine were: Medium brown, sweet, earthy, leather and bacon fat in the nose, medium body, a floral, woody finish. This one was more garnet in color, with a very minty nose, tending to smoky bacon later. The wine was surprisingly fruity in the mouth, belying its age. It was a very tight competition between all the wines at this dinner, but this was probably the favorite.||96 points|
|Flight 3||1961||Hermitage Chapoutier||Probably my favorite wine of the evening. A classic, still youthful Rhone, complex, with mint, cherries and a mineral finish.||96 points|
|1968||Grange||The first Grange I’ve had that was ready to drink.; Balanced between syrah fruit and wood with a soft mouthfeel (surprising for Grange) and vanilla on the finish.||95 points|
|Flight 4||1993||Ch. d’Yquem||Not the greatest Yquem ever, but a steal I picked up at K&L for $94 in a 750ml. Good match with the fois gras. Phenolic, waxy, not blindingly sweet, possibly due to high acid.||90 points|
|Flight 5||1928||Ch. Lafite||This was the wine in our cellar we’ve had the longest. Linda bought it as a birthday present for me in 1984 for $400. At the time, it had just been released from the winery, so the label looks brand new. The wine was classic Lafite, with lead pencil and wax in the nose, and still appealing fruit on the palate. I would have guessed it was from about 1970.||93 points|
|1959||Ch. Baron Pichon Longueville||Very youthful, quite fruity and floral. Another true to form wine.||93 points|
|Not opened: 1973 Heitz Martha’s Vineyard, making this perhaps the first tasting I’ve ever done with no California wines in it!
As you can see, the wines were all in good shape, and true to type. Since my preference has migrated to old Burgundy, the Bordeaux seemed a bit anticlimactic, so I might reconsider the order in future events with old wines like these.