|Our hosts Mike and son Matt|
This dinner follows an earlier gathering of this group when colleague Matt hosted a dinner with Chef Zubair Mohajir who prepared a Wazwan Supper Club dinner.
Tonight's dinner was held at Etta neighborhood restaurant in trendy Bucktown Wicker Park on the near northwest side of Chicago, one of the hottest new venues in the City.
Etta is the latest sensation of Danny Grant who earned two Michelin stars for RIA Restaurant and who also overseas popular Maple & Ash steakhouse on Chicago's Gold Coast.
“For the Table”
Etta is rustic, bright and lively with large windows and an open patio deck upstairs. The main ground floor dining room is centered around a wood-fired hearth serving wood-fired pizzas, six different house-made pastas, and salads all featuring farm fresh ingredients from locavores across the region, served in their “For the Table” family style.
For the dinner, Mike selected a special menu to accompany and complement the spectacular wine flight featuring a selection of the finest labels from some of the best vintages from a range of old world and new world regions, that he brought from his cellar for the occasion.
The Etta staff provided superb attentive, professional wine service of the BYOB wine
Giuseppe Quintarelli Rosso del Bepi
Veneto IGT Corvina Blend 2002
Soldera (Az. Agr. Case Basse)
Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Sangiovese 2004
Château Mouton Rothschild
Pauillac Bordeaux 2000
Bryant Family Vineyards
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Penfolds Grange (Hermitage)
Shiraz/Syrah Blend 2005
|Glazed Lamb and Big Reds flight|
Sauterne Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend 1990
|Tom R and buddy, Owner/proprietor|
checking out special menu and wine flight
The Etta proprietor/owner checked in on us and our special menu selection and joined us for a taste of some of our premier labels.
The flight shown below featured a selection of the finest labels from some of the best vintages from a range of old world and new world regions.
Rick Wine Note and Comments:
Pol Roger "Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill" Brut Champagne 2006This is a classic special labeling, made only in the very best vintages, from this legendary Champagne house. This label is a blend that is predominantly Pinot Noir, as preferred by the label namesake, Sir Winston Churchill, the exact blend is a closely guarded family secret.
This vintage release got 98 points from Wine Enthusiast, 95 points from Wine Spectator's James Suckling and Robert Parker's Wine Advocate,
Readers of these pages know, while I love Champagne, I do not represent to have a discriminating palette for such, hence I defer to the pundits on such tastings. Robert Parker wrote about this label, "Very clear, precise, ripe and complex bouquet with fruity and refreshingly chalky, nutty and brioche notes. Full-bodied and complex on the palate, the 2006 is supple, round and rich but also fine, elegant, fresh and well structured. It has a harmonious yet tight, persistent and very promising finish that puts this silky textured, with rich and expressive flavors of peach tart, raspberry sorbet, candied ginger and orange peel, and sleek acidity that leaves a mouthwatering impression on the satiny finish."
92 points from Wine & Spirit - "A classical style of grande marque Champagne, Pol Roger’s tête de cuvée has seamless elegance and clarity of fresh citrus flavor. Rather than minerality and ripe fruit, it’s more about airy fragrance and spicy lemon zest, firm and cool."
Jean-Louis Chavy Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Perrières 2015
Giuseppe Quintarelli Rosso del Bepi Veneto IGT Corvina Blend 2002
This was imported by the legendary Kermit Lynch who brought Loire Valley and many other French wines to America. This is the first non-French label I've seen from them.
Dark garnet color, medium full bodied, more approachable than a fully classified vintage Amarone, never-the-less big, bold, deep and complex yet nicely integrated and balanced black cherry fuits with notes of prune, earth, spice, tobacco leaf, hints of cigar box and vanilla.
RM 90 points.
Soldera (Az. Agr. Case Basse) Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Sangiovese 2004
Cellartracker consensus score for this wine is 95.2 - high praise, indeed.
A classic First Growth Bordeaux from a classic vintage. Mouton Rothschild of course are known for their artist labels, each vintage release adorning a customized label featuring art from a renowned artist - even the empty bottles are collectors items! I have a Mouton Rothschild Artist Series Label Library page devoted to the subject. The 2000 vintage release replaced the painted label with an enamelled illustration of the gold-encrusted Augsburg Ram from the Chateau’s own Museum of Wine in Art.
This release was awarded 97 points by Wine Enthusiast, 96 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 95 points by Vinous and Wine & Spirits, 94 points by Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, 93 points James Suckling and Wine Spectator.
Dark blackish ruby garnet colored, medium full bodied, complex but balanced and polished with black fruits accented by smoky cedar, violet, kirsch, coffee and notes of mocha, floral, spice and oak with elegant silky tannins on the lingering finish.
This is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Merlot and while balanced, polished and elegant has firm full tannins that should provide graceful aging for fifty years.
RM 94 points.
Bryant Family Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Another classic label, from Napa Valley, Bryant Family Vineyards from Pritchard Hill, in the neighborhood of exclusive legendary cult-producers Harlan, Screaming Eagle and Colgin, and more earthly yet respectable premium labels David Arthur and Del Dotto's newest ultra-premium brand and label from their new property Villa Del Lago.
This 2009 Bryant Family release got 97-98 points from Wine Spectator's James Suckling, 97 points from Vinous, and
96 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, Wine Enthusiast and Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, and 95 points from Wine Spectator. (I share these metrics because many of us find our preferences align with certain reviews and it provides a good basis of comparison).
Robert Parker cited this is a candidate for 'wine of the vintage'. Wine Spectator cited it a "Cellar Selection" as a notable Collectable.
Dark garnet colored, full bodied, rich concentrated and powerful yet elegant and polished with nicely balanced and integrated bright vibrant blackberry, plum and black currant fruits with tones of spice, oak, mocha, expresso and hints of cassis and cedar turning to a firm but silky smooth long lingering finish.
RM 96 points.
Penfolds Grange (Hermitage) Shiraz/Syrah Blend 2005
One of my prized holdings in my wine cellar is a OWC (Original Wood Case) of this label from the 1990 vintage, designated Wine of the Year by Wine Spectator, and birthyear of son Alec. I still remember picking that case up at Berry Brothers & Rudd wineshop in London and carrying it back on the plane! So it was back in the day!
Another fond memory of this wine was tasting it with Penfolds Grange Global Ambassador, DLynn Proctor. What fun to meet DLynn in person having enjoyed watching his pursuit of his Master Sommelier Certification in the entertaining documentary movie SOMM which is a feature on Netflix. What irony that I read recently that DLynn is now Wine Director for Fantesca Winery in Napa, one of our favorite collectables.
Folks that have followed this wine over the decades still refer to it as "Hermitage", a moniker if carried from the early years till it was dropped in the early nineties.
This release was awarded 97 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator, and 96 points by James Halliday.
Dark inky garnet colored, rich concentrated, full bodied, Wine Spectator describes the nose as "a bit animal with some smoked game, mincemeat and bacon notes'. The fruit is ripe blackberry and black currant with a hint of blueberry with notes of tar, coffee, earth, black truffles, anise and hints of pepper and spice on the long finish of fine grain nicelly integrated tannins and crisp acidity.
RM 95 points.
Château d'Yquem Sauterne Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend 1990
This vintage release was awarded 99 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 96 pointsby Wine Advocate's Neal Martin, and 95 points by Wine Spectator and 94 points by Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar.