Belated Mother's Day at the Oregon Grille

A spring from hell, my Mother's death as well as that of my best friend's wife, delayed any real celebration of Mother's Day. It has long been our tradition to have the most expensive white Burgundy in my cellar (the 1986 DRC Montrachet) as well as one great red wine on Mother's Day. It has been a nice tradition as it has allowed me to follow the DRC 1986 for nearly a dozen years. This year, we drank the last bottle. The wine has changed considerably over the last decade. Unctuosity, thickness, and honeysuckle characteristics have been subtly replaced by a wine exhibiting more acidity, definition, and nuances. Over the last few years, it has begun the inevitable decline from a fresh, lively, juicy, thick, gloriously complex beverage, to one where the acidity as well as a hint of oxidation are beginning to poke through. Served with delicious soft shell crabs at the Oregon Grille (no one does a better job with soft shell crabs than Chef Mark Henry), this wine revealed stunning aromatics and great freshness, but within 45 minutes, the oxidation began to take over. Consequently, we left about one-fourth of the bottle for the wait staff, something that would never have happened four or five years ago. After Le Montrachet, we had a fabulously pristine magnum (from my cellar) of the fully mature 1982 L'Evangile (which was shared with some acquaintances at a nearby table). It boasts gorgeously fresh, lively fruit, a complex nose of truffles, earth, and black fruits, full body, and sensational length. With the L'Evangile, we had the house strip steak, the finest steak to be found south of New York City.

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