Plumed Horse Restaurant, Saratoga, California
Tasted Thursday, May 7, 2009 by Richard Jennings with 492 views
David Niederauer is known in wine circles not only for his showcase cellar, love for d'Yquem and tremendous generosity, but also for his sometimes diabolical blindtasting stunts and general sense of fun. Last year he hosted a dinner on tax day that he dubbed "a Hobo's dinner," and got Chef Peter at Plumed Horse to create some stunning dishes with whimsical hobo-inspired names. The results were too good not to create demand for a sequel this year. This time David had a little help with the wines from Howard Graham, of Graham Family Vineyards, who supplied a flight of '01 Montrachets that were double blind to the rest of us. Red Restaurant Sommelier Jason Heller, who is developing a reputation as a highly talented blindtaster, also joined us this year.
Besides the lovely Montrachet flight, other highlights for me this year were the red Burgundies in two blind flights of Pinot (unexpected, since David has only lately started collecting Burgs), a terrific flight of Diamond Creek Cabs, and a beautiful bottle of Massandra. On the food side, besides usual Plumed Horse favorites like the black pepper and parmesan souffle with uni and Dungeness crab fondue, the standouts for me were foie gras dumplings, roasted squab breast with morels, and a beautifully prepared Sonoma lamb loin with ricotta gnocchi and fava beans. All in all, another fun, tasty and memorable evening with David and company.
The Novy Blanc de Noir, which I'd had before (with David in the Russian River last fall), really threw me. Best I could guess was a tart Riesling Kabinett. But I and others guessed that the other two wines were SQN white Rhone blends.
Served with "Pepper Pot Soup with Vegemite": always delicious Chef Peter speciality Black Pepper & Parmesan souffle, uni and Dungeness crab fondue