We arrived shortly after 7pm, the Van Blanc loaded with
holiday gifts, wine and a few provisions for this wonderful event.
Marjorie had ordered some caviar from "Bob The Fish Man At Trag's".
Henry took care of serving the Caviar.
Sandy Obester made a huge batch of Blini and these were outstanding with the
We had a platter of three different varieties of Oysters, accompanied by a
wonderful magnum of Laurent Perrier Brut Ros.
Henry dives in!
Paul got busy preparing some "Bombas," a Mediterranean bread to
accompany Sandy's White Bean, Turnip and Fennel Soup.
He's rolling out a series of these dangerous breads.
After a few minutes in the super hot, wood-fired oven, the "bomba"
begins to rise.
A certain amount of supervision is required.
And, finally....Voila! Ecco!!!
Meanwhile the soup was waiting patiently.
And it was time for serving the soup and accompanying bomba...not to mention a
couple of Sauvignon Blanc wines.
Chteau Smith Haut Lafitte
Tement 2001 Sudsteiermark
The Smith Haut Lafitte displayed its marvelous green, melon-like, herbal notes,
while the Tement offered a mlange of mango, peach, nectarine and citrus
fruits. Both were dynamite with the Bomba and soup!
Paul "painted" another bomba with olive oil.
Earlier in the day, meanwhile, Sandy had a trio of live crabs crawling around
By this hour, they were not crawling anymore.
Sandy magically produced her magnificent West Coast Crab Cakes.
These were accompanied by a duo of interesting white wines:
2001 Condrieu "La Doriane"
2001 Sonoma Coast
The Guigal offered its marvelous apricot-like notes of Viognier, while the
Aubert was a big, smoky California Chardonnay with a wallop! (Nearly 15%
Marjorie was hungry and thirsty.
So was Alexia.
After this we had a little "break," serving a Granit of
"Domaine de Colette" Beaujolais.
This was a deliciously chilled palate-cleanser, having nice acidity and a lovely
As Paul Obester was busy putting the finishing touches on his Veal "en
Feuilltons", Sandy was working on a Truffle Risotto. A bottle of 1982
Barolo "Cannubi Boschis" made by our dear friend Luciano Sandrone was
It was at cool cellar temperature and blossomed beautifully once poured as it
aired and warmed up.
Paul made a fabulous Madeira Sauce for the Veal.
This was fantastic.
Sandy's Risotto was coming along.
And finally Paul sliced the Veal "Feuilletons" which featured Foie
Gras and Truffles.
What a masterpiece!
The combination of flavors was sensational!
The Sandrone Barolo was still VERY fine and marvelously energetic! The
wine was superb.
Gourmand Robert Gorman was savoring the finesse and complexity of these taste
Paul was thrilled that this "experiment" (the first time he's made
this dish!) turned out so well, precluding a call for pizza delivery.
But Paul still had much work to do!
Another course featuring red meat and the wood-fired oven was coming.
Racks of Lamb.
Paul said "We needed something to accompany the Haricots Verts and the
Onions in Balsamic Vinegar...Green Beans.
Do those look good, or what?
Meanwhile, we opened a number of prospective accompanying red wines.
A 1970 Chteau Lynch-Bages proved to be an "off" bottle, displaying a
musty aroma due to a bad cork. A "back-up" bottle of a 1961 Chteau
Lynch-Bages was "shot," having been a ullaged bottle.
But a 1970 Gemello Cabernet Sauvignon was its usual magnificent self.
And a 1972 Heitz "Martha's Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon turned out to
be amazingly good.
The Gemello 1970 was ripe, showing a warm fruit note...I felt it took on a jammy
note as it sat open. Smooth, medium-bodied and with an
"old-style" woodsy note.
This wine was matured for about a decade in large cooperage.
Meanwhile, the 1972 vintage from Heitz was a stunning surprise. This
vintage featured a rainy period towards the end of the harvest season and many
1972s were lighter than the more highly-regarded 1973s and 1974s. You
could sense a more "modern" style of wine from Heitz compared to the
Gemello. It was smooth, supple and magnificent, with its textbook
"minty" and mildly "eucalyptus" notes.
Both wines proved exceptional with the lamb.
Marjorie reminded the group that "1960 isn't all THAT old and 1972 is
And the evening
As you'll see if you click here.