Saturday, December 6, 2008

BYOB Excursion 2: Coast

Many moons ago several of us went to Coast to eat sushi, drink wine, and celebrate my friend Kyle's birthday. What is it about women and sushi? We were some of the only men in there, and it's a pretty large restaurant. Maybe I should be asking why the men were so few. The sushi was fresh, the ingredients creatively assembled, the tempura perfectly light and crisp (I usually avoid tempura), and of course you can bring any damn wine you please.

Huët Le Mont Demi-Sec Vouvray 2002
By the time I had arrived the boys had already opened this to sip in the waiting area. I would have placed this third in line, but I sure as hell wasn't going to refuse a glass. Not surprisingly, this was pretty tight and had only begun to open by the time we polished off the bottle, but even so it showed gorgeous purity, with lovely acidity, just a hint of sweetness, and long, gorgeous minerality. This youngster's really gonna be something someday.

Soutiran Grand Cru Champagne Brut n/v
Undoubtedly the wine of the night for me and for my dining companions, who oohed and ahhed as we noshed on light and crunchy vegetarian maki. I have no idea which vintage this was based upon, nor do I know the disgorgement date, but in any case this Ambonnay brut, which is dosed at 10.6 grams, was perfect. The bready / yeasty notes were not overly toasted one whit, and they were perfectly integrated with the chalky red and white fruit. The mousse was full and elegant, while the cut was marvelously precise. The energy here was phenomenal. The grapes (60% pinot noir, 40% chardonnay) for the Soutiran are not subject to chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

Chateau Carbonnieux Pessac-Léognan 2004
This is the wine I would have had us start with. Following up the Soutiran with this trim and reserved wine could have been disappointing, but the Carbonnieux had no problem holding its own. It was green-gold rainwater in the glass, so right away you can see that a light hand was used during the oak regime. The hay and apple aromas were somewhat muted, yet the balance and presence here is impeccable. The citrus and minerals on the palate were nicely sustained, and it paired nicely with the heartier plates we ordered. Still, if I had more of this, I'd wait another three to five years to let this develop further.

Austin Hope Rousanne 2004
We ended the night with this late-ish-harvest rousanne from Paso Robles producer Austin Hope, who sources the grapes from the Santa Lucia Highlands. In retrospect, we should have waited to digest our meal before moving on this this 4th bottle, as it was too big and heavy coming on the heels of the food and wine that had preceeded it. In fact, if I was to do this all over again, I would have paired this with braised pork and not have brought it at all to a sushi joint. Ah, but nothing ventured, and all that.


Jim's Loire said...

Huet Le Mont Demi-Sec Vouvray 2002. Interesting – further evidence of the quality of the 2002 vintage.

Wicker Parker said...

Jim, surely (?) you have had this Huët; I have become a frequent reader of your blog. In any case, I love everything I've tasted from Huët and this indeed shows that the 2002 vintage is quite something.