Fleur de Lys, San Francisco, CA
Tasted Wednesday, December 30, 2009 by Richard Jennings with 1,271 views
I've joined Jonathan and company for this ultimate birthday (and wine and food) celebration for the past three years now. Chef Hubert Keller, Wine Director Marcos and the rest of the team always do a fabulous job for us. This time there were twelve of us in the fireplace/wine cellar room (we had to get them to douse the fire that was raging in it when we got there and open the doors as it made the room very cozy but too hot for our wines). JD had us first meet in his hotel suite for opening wines and appetizers, then we all headed over together to Fleur de Lys. After 8 fabulous courses at Fleur de Lys (and many amazing wines), it was time for JD's traditional post-dinner dinner, which ended up being at Sam Wo's (one of the few places still open at 2 am that night). All in all, an over-the-top but delicious and memorable celebration with our over-the-top wine buddy.
There were many standout wines, as usual, but the ones that were most memorable (and moving) for me were the '99 Leroy Corton Charlemagne (my WOTN), the '74 Heitz Martha's Vineyard, our two '55 Bordeaux (Montrose and Lynch Bages), the '01 Prum Auslese in our pre-dinner flight, the '55 Gilette Sauternes, and the '88 Vogüé Bonnes Mares. As far as the dinner, I'm still savoring the memory of our egg, black truffle and vegetable dish.
Served with duo of chestnut fondant with caviar, salmon and sea scallop ceviche with sea urchin. Both Champagnes were rather flat, lacking in bubbles. The '88 Grande Dame seemed very suspicious, after we examined the cork with an '85 date and virtually no flare to the bottom of the cork. So Grande Dame mags are now being counterfeited?
With the exception of the over-the-hill Calon Segur, these were lovely wines. The '55 Montrose was showing beautifully, as was the '55 Lynch-Bages, one of the best Lynch-Bages I've ever tasted. Our course for this dish was seared duck breast with choucroute gratin and a red wine, shallot, thyme bordelaise sauce with wild mushrooms.
A multi-course dinner at Fleur de Lys is not enough nourishment for JD at night, so we went in search of Pizza Orgasmica, where we had our post Fleur de Lys nosh the prior year. Unfortunately they were closed at 1 am on a school night, so we finally ended up at Sam Wo's in Chinatown, for some noodles and Burgundy out of Dixie cups. The Nadeff Mazis showed the best under these conditions.