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On a warm, late summer afternoon, we hosted a small, impromptu little meal to celebrate the birthday of Connie Poon, whom Kareasa now has dubbed "The Poonster."


Some French bread from the local farmer's market and a bit of pate from Fabrique Delices...

We were preparing a risotto and had stood up a nice bottle of Barbaresco from the Birthday Girl's "vintage."


The cork came out easily and in one piece thanks to an Ah-So cork-puller.


The wine had a small bit of sediment and it was easy to decant.

Connie brought a bottle of 1997 Laurent Perrier Brut Champagne and Ralph, who's taking some wine classes, took care of the sommelier chores.


The Poonster, as Kareasa now calls her...


The O'Toolster and The Ralphster...


The LP 1997 reflected the somewhat warm vintage, being somewhat bigger and a bit less acidic than we typically find it to be...

We had a few Escargot as part of our "nibbles"...


Back in the kitchen, we had two hunks of lamb ready to roast...


The table was set.


We began with a nice Mushroom Risotto, featuring Portabellas, Black Chanterelles and Porcini, along with some Truffle Cream.

The Barbaresco showed well. It was mildly earthy, faintly cherryish and with a dusty sort of character.  The wine still had life to it and if you had a bottle in the cellar, you could keep it for a number of years.



A palate-cleansing Beaujolais ice came next...

Kareasa then took care of opening the two bottles of 2008 vintage Walla Walla Cabernets...

The vittles were just about ready to serve...

Haricots Verts, Potatoes roasted in Duck Fat and some Grilled Eggplant...

And the "Lego Lamb":

 



The Figgins family make stellar red wines at their Leonetti Cellar.  We've been fans since they started!
The 2008 Cabernet shows the finesse of Leonetti...sweet red and black fruits with lovely oak notes throughout.  The tannins are present, but don't come across in a harsh or coarse fashion.

Chris Figgins also is involved at the Doubleback with his high school pal, Drew Bledsoe.  The name is a reference to Bledsoe's days as an NFL Quarterback, but he grew up in Walla Walla and has returned to the Pacific Northwest and has invested in this little enterprise.
The wine is similar in style to the Leonetti, but it's a layer or two less complex to my taste.  We liked the red fruit notes and the hints of brown spice from the oak, however.  And it's balanced and drinkable now, with a good future in front of it.



Cheeses next with some really good breads from Burlingame's Fresh Market...

 

 

 

Mark continued to sing the praises (in B-Flat, too) of the Michel Gros wine...


Who's older, Connie, You or Kareasa?
Well, that answers that question!

The Oldster, then, passed the cheese board...


The 2007 Michel Gros Vosne-Romanee from the Clos des Reas vineyard was spectacular, especially the fragrance.
The wine offered sweet cherry fruit, hints of red berries, forest floor scents, toasty oak and a touch of tobacco.  It was marvelously complex.  On the palate, it's a shade less evolved, perhaps, but still thoroughly delicious.  The wine a delight presently and probably has 5-10 more years ahead of it.

After the cheese course, we opened a lovely Gewurztraminer from Domaine Weinbach...
Connie and Mark visited both Michel Gros in Burgundy and Laurence Faller at Weinbach in Alsace on their recent trip to France.

The wine was beautifully aromatic and showing its classic Gewurztraminer spice notes.  It's sweet, but balanced with good acidity.

We paired the wine with a fresh apple tart from The Cakery (over on Burlingame Avenue).

OH MY GAWD!  NUTELLA GELATO !!!


Damn, that Gelato is good!

My memory became a bit foggy at this stage of the evening and I was surprised to find this photo in the camera.

Not sure what caused this.

Well, that's all folks!

 

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