Masterclass - Shanghai, China
This Masterclass was designed to showcase two great vintages of Bordeaux. The more tannic, classic 2000s were austere, young and vibrant, and in need of more time. In contrast, 2009 is a more modern day vintage with a lusciousness, opulence and voluptuous, showy, flamboyant personality. It is similar to, but even better than 1982 given the selection process that existed in 2009, and the health of the grapes. In every case, I personally preferred the 2009, even though, sadly, I own more of the 2000s than I do of the 2009s. Most 2000s need another 5-6 years of cellaring, and most 2009s, while still young, are so exuberant, fleshy, and filled with fruit, glycerin and concentration that they are impossible to ignore. If you can still find pristine, well-stored bottles to purchase, they are a total joy to taste, so buy as much of these 2009s as you can. They are as good as Bordeaux can be. All of them carry between 13.5% and 14% alcohol, relatively high for Bordeaux.
The 2000s are beautiful wines as well, but they do not possess the showy brilliance and charm of the 2009s, but I do think if you are looking for a more structured, classic vintage, 2000 offers that. All of these wines performed brilliantly, and we had no corked bottles even though we had close to 250 people at the tasting.
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Petit Louis Bistro
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A lookalike, authentic French bistro, Petit Louis in Baltimore's Roland Park is the creation of restauranteurs par excellence Cindy Wolf and Tony Foreman. You feel like you’ve walked into a bistro on the Left Bank of Paris when you enter Petit Louis. The food is classic bistro, and they do it well. All of the courses we had were flavorful, sometimes a trifle rustic, but delicious in their intensity. This was good comfort food prepared extremely well. The wines started with one of the major surprises for me over the last year, the 2006 sparking wine from Tony Soter in Oregon. I had this several times while I was out visiting Oregon, and I had always been impressed, but this is a 10-year-old sparking Rosé that is just sensational, and I’m talking world class—it’s that good. Something this good from France would cost at least two to three times as much, so kudos to Tony Soter. The 1995 Billaud-Simon Chablis Mont de Milieu was oxidized and undrinkable. The 1996 Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Clos St. Urbain Rangen de Thann was sweet, and although it went well with the foie gras, it was just a little too unctuous and sweet a wine...