New Year's Eve, 2001 at Chez Parker
There were no surprises at this New Year's Eve bash except that these bottles of 1982 Bon Pasteur and 1982 Cheval Blanc were less impressive than usual. Previous tastings have revealed how variable the latter wine can be. There were no inconsistency problems with the 1982 Pichon Lalande, 1989 Haut Brion, or 1970 Pétrus. Readers who purchased the 1995 Verget Chablis Valmur will be glad to know that wine is still an infant in terms of development, but it is one of the greatest Chablis I have ever tasted. However, it should be given 60 minutes in a decanter prior to serving as it responds brilliantly to exposure to air. It's a shame the Dom Perignon Rosé is so expensive, but the 1990 is a brilliant champagne.
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Petit Louis Bistro
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...