Steak night with Scott Manlin

Sammamish, WA
Tasted Friday, October 26, 2007 by Eric with 1,108 views

Introduction

The main event of Scott Manlin's visit to Seattle. Only Scott shows up wherever he goes with 12 pounds of Bryan Flannery's best NY strip, and boy do we love him for it! Scott brought 2 strips each with 22, 32, 42 and 52 days of dry aging on them. Justin Wells cooked a couple of the steaks on the stove-top in cast iron and the rest were done "Pittsburgh" style by Scott on the Big Green Egg.

To honor the occasion, we pulled an eclectic lineup from our cellars. The only theme was "serious, non-California reds." The partners in crime included myself (Eric LeVine), Scott Manlin, Roy Hersh, hosts Ed & Joan Murray, Kris Patten, Justin Wells and his girlfriend Zoe, and Adam Noble.

Flight 1 - WHITES, BUBBLES and BURGS (9 Notes)

While we arrived and milled a selection of white Burgs floated around. (The first couple were popped a couple of hours earlier by the early arrivals, so I was lucky to get a couple of sips from Kris Patten. Note to self: double-check the start time next time...)

Justin was busy baking some fresh bread, a great little olive & onion tart, and then a KILLER first course of cured and sous-vided pork belly which he crisped just before service. It was served with the 1996 Krug as we milled around the kitchen and OMFG on the pork belly! As Scott and Justin started to work on the steaks we broke into the Red Burgs, major yum on that Dujac, wow!

  • 1997 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru

    I only had a fleeting taste of this as it was opened long before I arrived, and to my palate it was actually lightly corked. Wet stones followed by a touch mold. Somewhat stripped.

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  • 1997 Marquis de Laguiche (Joseph Drouhin) Montrachet

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru

    Again a fleeting taste, as this one was opened long before we arrived. Wow, wow, WOW, what a nose and a palate! Rich, creamy, mineral, butterbrickle. This is a sort of wine to contemplate across an evening, a majestic white. Teaches me to get to a dinner late with these scoundrels... :)

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  • 2004 Domaine Laroche Chablis Grand Cru Blanchot Réserve de l'Obédience

    France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru

    Didn't leave a huge impression on me. Clean, stoney, young, not showing a ton at this point.

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  • 2004 Louis Jadot Corton-Charlemagne Domaine des Héritiers Louis Jadot

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru

    Mmm baby, this was funky good. Young, kinky, lots of wet minerals amidst lemon curd. One to curl up with in front of a fire.

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  • 2004 Louis Jadot Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles Domaine des Héritiers Louis Jadot

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru

    Hoohah, as good as the Jadot Corton-Charlie was, THIS was the bottle I wanted to take and go hide. In fact, I would swear someone did this, as after an initial pour I couldn't find this any more. Late, late in the evening it turned up again. Simply misplaced or hidden? Only the shadow knows. This baby has the goods. It just needs some time to unwind all of that spiny, fresh minerality. More of a kaffir lime thing going on than the more buttery Corton-Charlemagne.

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  • 1996 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut

    France, Champagne

    Man oh man, this is so good, so young, so creamy and rich, it is simply scary. An utterly exhilarating young wine. With just one glass and so young it's really hard to peel the layers of the onion and really see what is in there, but clearly the purity, freshness and richness are off the charts. Ed, let 'em rest...

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  • 2001 Domaine Leflaive Blagny 1er Cru Sous le Dos d'Âne Rouge

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Blagny 1er Cru

    A bit of a collector's item. Apparently the last Rouge vintage of this wine. The Pinot Noir was subsequently ripped up and planted to Chardonnay. This had apparently been open a while, and, allegedly, when first tasted it didn't offer much. I hit it later in the evening, and found it to be delicious, crunchy, very Burgundian, fresh, mineral. Not the most complex Pinot by any stretch but darned tasty and interesting.

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  • 1999 Faiveley Echezeaux

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Echezeaux Grand Cru

    Woof, hands off. This is a brooding beast. Tannic, closed, four-square in personality. Hours in a decanter seemed to do little to soften this. An impressive wine but not yielding anything in terms of current pleasure.

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  • 2001 Domaine Dujac Clos de la Roche

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru

    As closed as the Faiveley Echezeaux was, this was THAT open. A total contrast. Sexy and beguiling from first pour, this was Rayas-link in its piercing, kirschy purity. I know, you can't really compare Grenache to Pinot, but this had that piercing element that just smacked you between the eyes, but the palate was pure silk. One of the standout wines of the evening, this was utterly gorgeous.

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Flight 2 - RHONE/SYRAH (7 Notes)

I elected to work on the Rhône wines with my steak, and wow what a match. The Flannery strips are just unreal. I had a preference towards Justin's more gentle and caramelized preparation, but both were delicious. Also, huge kudos on the wonderfully cheesy potato gratin (which I think Joan prepared) and the killer Broccolini which Justin quickly whipped up with some of the Pork gelee and extra fat left over from crisping the Pork belly.

  • 1995 Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape Flawed

    France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    Corked. Sorry Adam.

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  • 1982 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    Mmm, this bottle provided pinnacle Hermitage drinking. Amazing pine mixed with roasted meat, this offered everything you could want in terms of aromatics, a beautiful wine. The palate offered a bit less, well resolved with a nice streak of acidity, smoky black cherries. It was a pleasure to drink but OH that nose, wow!

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  • 1990 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle Flawed

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    Not obviously flawed, perhaps cooked, but this opened up somewhat mute and never really exploded. Ripe but a bit mute. Decanting for a few hours did improve the wine, but everyone agreed this was not a proper 1990 La Chapelle. Bummer.

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  • 1990 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    A pristine bottle but rather closed. Lightly floral with nice purity, but this was locked up tighter than a drum on the palate. I recall tossing this in a decanter, but I was never able to track down another pour so I don't know how much the air helped.

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  • 1991 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    When we pulled the capsule on this (my) bottle, it was a somewhat crappy looking leaker with dried gunk all over the place. I was relieved when I popped the cork though and saw that this was screaming with goodness. Stunning bouquet, plush palate, this was exotic, ripe, yet with more than enough poise and structure to keep it interesting. One of my wines of the night, this rocked!

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  • 1997 Henschke Shiraz Hill of Grace

    Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley

    Had this been tasted blind, this would certainly in the neighborhood of the preceding Hermitage with similar weight, texture and some aspects of the flavor profile. Perhaps a little bit more sweet, but the most noticeable difference is the Eucalyptus element on the nose and palate. A nice, classy wine that held its own quite well in an all-star French lineup.

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  • 2003 E. Guigal Ermitage Ex-Voto

    France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage

    Wow, a ridiculous young wine. The concentration here is hard to believe. It makes the 2003 Chave (tasted this summer) look like a thin little waif of a wine. More academic than pleasurable at this point, but it was worth killing one young to understand this a bit more. Where the 2001 was actually quite seductive about 18 months ago, this is a huge, bruising monster of a wine. It amazes me how Guigal was able to make such a La-La like Hermitage in only his second vintage (albeit by buying into some of the greatest vineyards). Incredible wine.

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Flight 3 - BORDEAUX/CABERNET (6 Notes)

As we started to wind down on the steak I moved towards the Cabernet and Bordeaux. The pair of 2000's appeared around midnight just as things started to get really raucous...

  • 1989 Château Léoville Las Cases

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien

    This is not usually a vintage of Las Cases with which I am especially entranced, but this was a fine, fine bottle. Long and strong on the green elements with distinct Bay leaf and bell pepper on the nose and palate, this is fairly mature. It lacks the truly great black fruit personality of a killer Las Cases, but as a wine to move me over to Cabernet country on a long evening it did the job well.

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  • 1990 Château Sociando-Mallet

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc

    Mmm, always a delicious wine with wonderful tobacco and cherry, textbook Bordeaux, nicely ripe, wonderful flavor profile, plenty of structure and grip. Delicious with the steak.

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  • 1994 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon

    USA, Washington

    Textbook 1994 Quilceda. Firm tannins. Soaring bouquet. I always have a soft spot for this bruiser of a wine. Yes, it's too tannic and austere, but it's still very pure, powerful and pleasurable.

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  • 2003 La Mondotte

    France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion

    Wow, a BIG wine, chocolate, raisin, really pushing the envelope. A bit overdone and a bit much for me at this stage, but I have a feeling in 10 years I might LOOVE it. Let 'em sleep...

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  • 2000 Château Lynch-Bages

    France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac

    Where did this come from? I don't really recall it, as we were DEEP into the silly portion of the evening. But it is listed on my tasting sheet. A few recent tastes of this great, great wine do suggest that it is starting to open up lately.

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  • 2000 Château La Mission Haut-Brion

    France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan

    Who decided to open this? Even in a highly degraded state late in the evening, even with such a ridiculous baby killing, OMG, mmm-Graves, smoky chicory even at this young age. Quite locked up and showing savory minerality, this needs a decade or more to even begin to unwind, but the concentration and breeding are there for greatness.

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Flight 4 - DESSERT (1 Note)

And finally, one last, luscious sip with a nice cheese selection.

  • 1968 D'Oliveiras Madeira Boal Reserva

    Portugal, Madeira

    Roy broke out this blind and asked us to guess. I figured it was either a really plush Verdelho or a Bual. For age I figured it was in the 1920's-50's. Needless to I was surprised to see this was the 1968 Dolly. An awfully nice drink for the $$. Perhaps a little simple and caramel-laden on the nose, but on the palate it is nicely balanced with those beefy, onion flavors that I tend to find in Madeira. A nice way to cap off a ridiculous evening!

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Closing

Awesome night folks!

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