Well, I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Restaurant August is one of my FAVORITE restaurants in New Orleans. It's just ridiculously good every single time I go. And Friday was no different.
For my final farewell luncheon in New Orleans, I went to the gorgeously decorated and meticulously run restaurant on Tchoupitoulas Street with my wine group friends, Mike, Warren, Ted, and Todd. When I arrived bottles of wines already dominated the center of the table, and I plopped down one more for a truly daunting array for anyone approaching the table. How can 5 people drink 7 bottles of wine? Do the math. None of us are leaving without a buzz....
2003 Chateau des Fines Roches Chateauneuf du Pape: A bright, vibrant beginning to our luscious lunch. Lovely aromas of cherry, herb, and pepper with a steady meatiness and earth aspect emerging as it breathed. On the palate, the richness of the fruit emerged, with notes of kirsch on the finish. There was some discussion if this was a predominately Grenache or Syrah based CDP, as it can so often vary. The table was split. The answer? 70% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 8% Mourvedre, with a dash of Counoise and Muscardin thrown in. Smooth, gentle, soft, but with vibrancy, it was a good starter wine to the lush decadence that lay ahead in both wine and food....
1994 Cornerstone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon: Absolutely delicious. Almost French in style, with tons of earth, rock, and mushroom wonderfully balanced with dark, rich fruits of currant, black cherry, and plums. I love how some California producers make wines that age like French Bordeaux. Screaming their terroir, rather than the thumbprint of the winemaker. So well done, would have loved to drink this one solo.
2004 Poliziano Asinone Vino Nobile di Montepulciano: One of my favorites, in its perfect balance of fruit and terroir. Nice, red cherry and spice mingled with scrub herbs of rosemary and thyme. Decanted beautifully.
2003 Takler Proprietor's Reserve Cabernet Franc: The oddball in the group. Truly. This guy is from Hungary. Yep. Hungary. Cherries, chocolate, and tobacco are the dominate notes. Not terribly complex otherwise and a bit off-balance, but definitely interesting.
2002 Charles Krug Generations: A straightforward California Cabernet, with sweet black currant, vanilla, and oak on the nose. A berry-rich palate.
2005 Sociando Mallet: A huge, massive '05 Bordeaux. Tons of ripe black currant, blackberry with good structure and balance. Full and lush with a big, lasting finish. More years to come? Without a doubt.
AND FOR THE FINALE???
2002 Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume: One of my favorite wines of all time, this aged Chenin Blanc was the color of ripe apricots. And smelled like them too, mixed with honeysuckle, and a touch of spice. Great minerality on the finish, which cleans the sweetness and makes you yearn for another sweet sip. Paired perfectly with our array of desserts.
Thank you guys and August for an AMAZING final New Orleans meal!!!!