Flagstaff House

Located on one of the best cycling roads/climbs in North American (Boulder is a mecca for professional cyclists), Flagstaff House lies roughly three kilometers up the steep, curvy and scenic Flagstaff Road, just outside of Boulder, Colorado. It has a slightly old school, traditional ambiance, yet the view overlooking the town of Boulder is stunning, the food is first-rate, and the wine list is spectacular. On this occasion, Traci and I were celebrating our 23rd anniversary and had a relaxing, food and wine-filled evening. Looking first at the food, both of the tartare dishes were superb, and worked nicely with glasses of Billecart Salmon's NV Brut Reserve. We had the obligatory salad, and then dove into the main courses of Seared Barramundi (white fish) and Lump Crab, and a rocking Pork Tenderloin with Bacon and Goat Cheese. Both were perfectly prepared and presented, and loaded with flavor. The Valrhona Liquid Chocolate Cake had to be ordered ahead of time, but was a death-by-Chocolate-styled dessert that delivered on all accounts.

As to the red wines, we started with two older Bordeaux, both served using a Coravin. While the 1966 Mouton-Rothschild was clearly over the hill, with little charm in its celery seed, herbal and old wine, oxidized character (and since it was served via Coravin, should have been removed from the menu), the 1983 Mouton-Rothschild was gorgeous, with classic lead pencil shavings, tobacco and lots of currant-like fruit on the nose and palate. Opening up nicely in the glass and holding up beautifully over the evening, it is a silky, refined and elegant Bordeaux that's fully mature, but that will nevertheless continue to evolve nicely. Next up, a terrific bottle of Vieux Télégraphe's 2003 Châteauneuf du Pape gave up classic iodine, dried spice and sweet black raspberry notes in its full-bodied, resolved, yet rich and concentrated style. While it's time to start drinking your ‘03s, this will easily hold for another decade. We finished with glasses of Manfred Krankl's 2005 Sine Qua Non Fe 203 2A (Grenache). Still inky purple, fresh and youthful, it's a stunning Grenache that gave up heavenly notes of blueberry, cassis, flowers and violets, full-bodied richness, and a fabulous, unsurprisingly elegant and seamless texture. It was a terrific cap to a great evening.

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