A great dinner at Capella in DC

Washington DC

Tasted December 18, 2014 by Eric with 655 views

Introduction

I was visiting DC with my wife and was able to extend the stay for an extra day in order to make it to an amazing dinner with some locals. The venue at Capella was really perfect with a great private room, fantastic service, great glassware, and of course terrific food.

Flight 1 (1 note)

As we arrived, there isn't much better than a nice Krug to get things going.

White - Sparkling
1996 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut France, Champagne
Dark and crazily yeasty on the nose. Very reminiscent of the 1988 Krug. The palate is more what I would expect. Lots of nervy acidity moving to that lovely, yeasty, rich, classic Krug palate. Always a great way to start a meal.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 2 (3 notes)

These were poured with a variety of shellfish and then a seared scallop.

White
2009 Y de Yquem France, Bordeaux
Wow, this is a cool wine. So rich and powerful without being heavy. I followed a glass for about an hour, and it was at its best next to a seared scallop. A perfect match.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
1995 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru
Wow, what a wine. A bit of a deep color. Butterscotch and minerals on the nose. Salty, fresh and spiny palate. Drinking gorgeously!
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2005 Etienne Sauzet Chevalier-Montrachet France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru
Mmm, this rocks. Vanilla, creamy, moving to nice minerality. It's a little showy, but it drinks exceptionally well. Really nice white Burg.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 3 (2 notes)

Here we go with the reds. An amazing pair of wines, obviously in very different places in their evolution.

Red
1990 Château Margaux France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
100 points
Wow, right out of the gate, probably the best wine of the night. Screaming minerality, a really electric wine. Hyper graphite. Just a crazy example of Margaux and about as perfect as wine gets.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1937 Château Cheval Blanc France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
Very light rim on the ancient beauty. Mint, menthol, tar and some BBQ notes on the nose. Cherry, nuts and coffee on the palate.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 4 (2 notes)

A nice pair of Moutons. My clear favorite tonight was the 1982.

Red
1986 Château Mouton Rothschild France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Deep and sultry but just not giving a ton right now. All of the Mouton elements were there, but this just needs a ton of time.
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
1982 Château Mouton Rothschild France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
I loved how this came out of the gates, just firing on all cylinders. Dust, graphite, cassis, and iron. With time there was a troubling, almost moldy, green note that peeked out, and there was considerable conversation about whether this was corked or just a bit off. Interestingly, at the end of the night I took another small pour from the decanter, and it showed totally clean. Probably not the best bottle of 1982 Mouton, but I still thought it was enormously enjoyable.
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)

Flight 5 (2 notes)

Ahhh, Haut Brion. Together with Margaux, these are my favorite firsts.

Red
1989 Château Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
OK, now it's a party. This wine is so unbelievably dense and smouldering, always a wow wine. It was fascinating to taste next to the 1990, as they are on very different aging trajectories. This wine seems more impressive and less ready every time I have it. All of the Haut Brion elements are there with the cherry fruit, the smoke and the earth. This one is just so loaded and powerful. Always a special wine.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1990 Château Haut-Brion France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
I love where this is. So much more open and giving than the 1989. It's not as profound a wine and clearly much more a product of the vintage. Ripe, roasted, horsey. Chicory coffee. Roasted earth. A warm, voluptuous wine. Haut Brion always makes me happy!
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 6 (2 notes)

And we finished out with a couple of babies. One isn't close to ready, and the other already feels a little over the hill.

Red
2000 Château Cheval Blanc France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
Another impressive wine a long way from primetime. Deep, dark, mineral. Very pure with so much good stuff but not even close to ready. It is going to be a true beauty someday though.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2000 Château La Clusière France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
89 points
Not for me. Sur-maturite. Ripe. Zinfandel like. My big issues with the wine were some very noticeable VA and a somewhat hot, obtrusive note of alcohol. I found the wine interesting with nice texture and depth, but the the relative "faults" sort of spoiled it for me. (And there was no concern that this was in any way a bad bottle. I just don't like VA. Others seemed to notice this aspect much less.)
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 7 (3 notes)

Finally with a baked Alaska, some great Sauternes. Love that 1986 Yquem!

White - Sweet/Dessert
1997 Château d'Yquem France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
Deep color. Coconut and burned sugar. Pretty classic, mature YQuem.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
1986 Château d'Yquem France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
Holy moley! This is amazing. Vibrant and powerful with a massive cornucopia of Yquem flavors. There is a nice hint of white pepper. Really a great bottle of Yquem.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
1955 Château Gilette Crème de Tête France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
Not my favorite. A bit hot and burned. A lot of that comes down to the fact that I don't really love very mature Sauternes.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Closing

Awesome night guys!

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