Thursday, 24 November 2011

bar Veloce new york

As each year around this time, i have the encounters of more dinners and more parties to attend, as much for the private house party or a gathering of enthusiasts in a public place that forget about Mr Liver and Miss Kidney. Yes, I admit i see fewer people drinking water around this time than any other time of the year. So its the season of self indulgence i might say.

I try to keep the bottle of Volvic close to hand, a very well balanced water for our system i must say, but I do not drink enough of it at the moment. Usually i give my body over 1.5 liters of the juice of life a day but at the moment i knock the 1 liter and sometimes a bit less. Ai people keep up the water, anyways not here to talk you about that.

Past weekend I had a trip to New-York, yes just for the weekend. Nothing to do with wine, i went to visit someone dear and close to my heart i haven't seen for way to long. Of course knowing what i do wine bars were on the list, but funny enough first night there we ended up in a vodka bar.
Me not the typical vodka drinker had to adept to this different texture perceiving through my palate. I had all sorts of flavors and must admit had a great time, but next following morning tummy was not so happy even so we filled the stomach with solid foods to absorb the amount of liquid entered.
Please don't think i was binch drinking, i am a light weight my friends.

After all that, the next day was more civilized i must say, we visited one wine bar out of the bunch offered. Also I was not in the mood to drag my butt from bar to bar.

Bar Veloce, 176 seventh ave ny, ny (chelsea) http://www.barveloce.com/
A welcoming and soothing place, where stress and worries are brushed away. A simple, effective straight forward designed bar, making you feel comfortable, giving you the motion of spending some quality time.

We were received with a smile and professionalism and were given help where ever needed. We were offered tasters and suggestions a very nice touch, gives the customer a bit of freedom before buying.
The bar is solely orientated in Italian wines, which made me straight away looking for a couple of regions. Piedmont, Tuscany, Sicily. After some consultation, tasting, I decided to go for a Sicilian wine.

Antica Tenuta Del Nafro http://www.nanfro.com/
From this winery we had the Frappato (Frappato is a typical grape from Sicily) 2009.
What impressed me to start was its beautiful, rustic, sophisticated, fruity, earthy nose. The aromas of ripe red fruits hits you immediately but than the power of spice and even hints of ash were flirting with your nostrils.

So of course you want to taste it immediately and surprisingly its very light for a wine coming from a very warm part of Europe, but than if there is enough fresh wind during the night it will help to give this wine its lightness and freshness.

It enrolled onto your palate with bursting fresh fruits and a good balance in acidity and even last for a fairly long time.
Overall a very pleasant and enjoyable wine, with character and personality. Price wise $52 was very well placed and I had no objections paying that money, even so its a wine in Europe you get for €11 in a shop.

We ordered some food to nibble, bruschette with prosciutto di Parma, which was tender and very tasty, only i wish it was a bit more substantial.

I was in perfect company and great wine, so if anyone hits New York, looking for a wine bar, bar Veloce is definitely recommended.

So listen to your gut, when it says "hey buddy we should stop here", it has learned me viable lessons. So keep control of the desire at this time of the year we find any excuse to have a drink. a laugh, a great time.

Till next time drink responsibly.
H.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Latour 1976 and Margaux 1996

Yes, we have come to that point in the year were we receive so little light, and like a day like today there is not even a ray of sunshine to be seen. The London fog, well let me tell you living next to the river Thames, the mighty fog is truly and well present around this time in London town. Makes you think mysterious and even smell the mystery of uncertainty, so i had to find the light and certainty somewhere else and boy oh boy what a light it was.

I was at a clients house deciding what wines should be served for the dinner organised that evening.
As usual I went through the whole list of wines that would impress and feast the least of wine enthusiasts, than my clients finger suddenly stopped and pointed at Chateau Latour1976, asking me "what about that?". http://www.chateau-latour.com/index_fr.php#/home

This Iconic property is most likely one of the most known wine brand in the world. It has produced superb vintages like,1928,1945, 1949,1959,1961, 1970,1982,1990, 1996.2000,2001,2002,2003,2005,2009,2010.

So as you can see Latour has been very busy with being very good to excellent, of course that does also influence the price and which wine maker would not want his wine to be seen at the price of a piece Art.

That's what the likes of Latour and a few others have the privileged to be tagged as. Yes, seal your lips to this wine and you will realize that certain things are definitely done better by the hands of man than the hands of god himself.

Chateau Latour 1976, I was a bit hesitating even so '76 was a very hot year only 47 and 49 were hotter, also early that September there was some heavy rain fall which would have brought the grape to an over spill of water and so the sugars and aromas getting slightly diluted. Only the brave would have waited a bit longer and let the late September sun finish off the work evaporate the excess water and re-balance the aromas,sugars and acidity. Still 1976 was not seen as iconic vintage.

So I said to my client it should be drunk, its peak years were ending around 2000 so from now it was a little bit like the feeling of tipping over, not sure when the drop would be.

So we opened it and let it breath for a bit. When I decided that it was ready to be tasted, we were so sudden like two kids, tingling with anticipation. When pouring the colour appearing was still indicating that here we were talking big and experienced. You could see that the dress or robe had its heydays and was now more like a matured aged being than a matured young dynamo, I could not say if we should call Latour a He or a She, well not this vintage.

When the nose got involved you still got the flurry of fruits and dissipated oak and spice, my first word was interesting, which my client asked me why???
I said its a personal thing , its interesting for me as I did not expect it to hold that well.
When you tasted it it was smooth and soft very soft, only to end in the back of your throat dry becoming a bit astringent. It lasted still for some time but became very watery at the end. 

So still wonderful to have tasted a Latour 1976 but not the one to have a fond memory in waiting.

So of course other suggestion came up there was Ducru-Beaucaillou 1996 and 1998 one of my favourite wines, there was of course Lafite 1983, Mouton Rothschild 1996 and Margaux 1996.

I have been waiting to taste the Margaux 1996 for some time now and yes ai ai ai caramba what a slap, smile, love, seduction, power, elegance you name it.

Yes, it needed some breathing and you have to be patient with this wine as it will let you know when its ready to be drank. I had it breath for a good 60 minutes (you can decant it but do it for only about 15 to 18 minutes before serving) anyway if you want to let it breath longer its up to you but don't forget it will sit in your glass for some time as well.

When it was poured into the glass this dark red warm burst of fruit colour shined at you. Made you frown your eyebrows and fill your face with a cheeky smile, like a beautiful mature young woman walking by in the street and you need to turn around as you wanted to be sure, what you saw was so beautiful, than only to smash you head into the lamp post and have birds dancing around your head but still you keep on smiling. Yes Margaux is a she for me and she gives an amazing impression.

Which of course holds you to do one thing and that is to smell. Very composed and balanced, the fruits comes alive one by one, from blackberries, to dark cherries, to redcurrant, lifted by a warmth of spice and soft subtle oak. The smells went up your nostrils, invading your senses, seducing your mind.

When you finally are ready to take the sip, from the moment it touch your lips, you were seduced by its elegance, delicacy and a good injection of power. The enrolment of the fruits and the balance of the acidity very well preserved made this wine feel very young.

She plays and tickles your palette, she has made many grown man quieten for a moment. Through your mind will filter many thoughts which are only reserved for me my dear friends, we all have our journeys, this one becomes personal.

This wine finishes with a linger so impressive you want to pinch yourself, wondering if Charlize Theron was not the woman for who the lamp post was your destination.

So there you go i tasted two myths of which one had already one foot in the grave. Still enjoyed it for the experience and the journey but if you can lay your hands on a Margaux 1996, please do and find a good spot to open her.

Have a thought for me, i promise you will truly walk in the footsteps of giants.

Until next time be safe and drank responsibly.

H.