Mark's Duck House

This was another brilliant lunch at this Hong Kong styled restaurant located just outside of Washington DC. We had called ahead and ordered a bevy of dumplings, with both the lobster and scallop dumpling being insanely good. The never-ending flow of dim sum being wheeled around the restaurant ensured there was never a dull moment as well. While I believe there's a new owner here, I can say the quality hasn't slipped a beat and the food was superb.

As to the wines, we started with an awesome bottle of Chapoutier 2011 St Joseph les Granits Blanc. The greatest white coming out of this up and coming appellation, it would easily stand toe to toe with any number of white Hermitages that cost 2-3 times its price. Giving up thrilling purity in its honeysuckle, buttered citrus and mineral-drenched aromas and flavors, this was an incredible showing and it worked perfectly with the food. Even better, the 2003 Pierre Usseglio Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvee du Mon Aieul was also firing on all cylinders and offered a fabulous array of kirsch, lavender, ground herbs and sweet spice. Drinking at point, it's a full-bodied, thrilling example of Grenache that was borderline perfection on this occasion. We left completely stuffed and happy.

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