Lunch at Restaurant Daniel in New York City

I do not need to talk about the cuisine as no chef in the world can cook any greater food than Daniel Boulud. We began with the 1997 Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne, a fat, forward Corton, but sumptuous and chewy. That was followed by the 1995 Michel Niellon Bâtard Montrachet. The more I taste 1995 white Burgundies, the more I think this is the best vintage since 1985 and 1986. This wine was young, vibrant, well-delineated, and spectacularly concentrated. The third white Burgundy was one about which I have had mixed feelings, from truly sublime examples, to those that have been oxidized and overly woody. Who knows what's going on, but they all were from my cellar and had been purchased at the same time, so what gives? The 1989 Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne was splendid stuff, offering a nose of buttered popcorn intermixed with honeyed fruit. It appeared to be fully mature, in contrast to the Niellon which seemed to need another 5-7 years.

The theme for lunch was the Brunello di Montalcinos of Soldera. We had the 1994, 1993, 1991, 1990, and 1983. My ratings ranged from a low of 88 for the 1991, and a high of 91 for the 1994 and 1983. They are very aromatic and concentrated, with high levels of acidity. However, it must be noted that these are wines where the aromatics are far more appealing and complex than the flavors, which tend to be a bit lean and austere. I feel that Soldera's recent vintages are even better than some of these efforts, but time will tell.

We then had a 1955 Biondi Santi, a legendary Italian wine, but it was completely maderized and undrinkable. After a number of requests to

"drink some wine with fruit"

, we had a double magnum of 1995 Domaine Pégaü Châteauneuf du Pape. It was just a baby. That was followed by a 1999 Beaux Frères Pinot Noir. Obviously I cannot comment on that wine.

More articles from this author