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Mark Sommelier

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Everything posted by Mark Sommelier

  1. This over-supply problem is not new in California. It is several years old, already. Note that the growers mentioned are not vineyardists in prime Napa Valley locations. Lodi, Central Coast and Sonoma are feeling the pain. As far as Charles Shaw being the fastest selling wine in history, that is wrong. In its heyday, the mid to late 80s, Riunite sold in excess of 300 million cases a year.
  2. Zaytinya won the Restaurant Association of Greater Washington's "Best New Restaurant" award on June 22nd.
  3. Dear Lady Robinson, Thank you for participating. Do you have strong opinions regarding such practices as reverse osmosis, chaptalisation, de-acidifying, oak chips and other tricks winemakers use to produce 90+ point wines? How much is too much?
  4. Congratulations to Jarad and Jamie on a great review!!!!
  5. Egg wash large scallops. Toss them in kataifi cut about 4 inches. Drop them in a deep fryer just long enough for the kataifi to stand up and firm. Bake in slow oven 6-8 minutes. Voila! Porcupine Scallops.
  6. Last year the Wine Spectator called GV the "Sexiest Wine of the Year".
  7. Bob Parker no longer reviews Burgundies. Pierre Rovani has that job now. Parker had lunch and a tasting in our restaurant today. I asked him to stop in and take a look at eGullet.
  8. So do we have call her Dame Jancis from now on or Lady Robinson?Us Yankees don't know about this stuff.
  9. When salesmen hand me copies of Wine Spectator reviews I immediately throw them in the trash. If you want to see real live wine geeks in frenzied action, visit Mark Squire's Wine Bulletin Board on Robert Parker's werbsite ( http://www.erobertparker.com )
  10. Both sides of the Rothschild family have expanded their offerings far beyond Mouton and Lafite, with wines from the Pays d'Oc, Chile and Bordeaux. Mouton Cadet is the most familiar "brand" from Bordeaux, even though it no longer costs $4.99. Phillipe de Rothschild's website states that they sell 28.5 million bottles of wine a year. Yvon Mau and Domaines Barons de Rothschild must move similar numbers or more. What are they looking for?
  11. I believe there are some errors in this article. I think this fellow has confused cases and bottles. The Gallo Wine Company produces way more than 300 million bottles of wine a year.
  12. Good review, Sara. I thought the eWineList was a little too much, also. Its heavy and the interface I felt was somewhat awkward. The odd thing, we had lunch in a private room - 3 of us had a wine tasting with about a case and a half of wine. They brought us the eWineList to look at. They left it in the room. We came on the late side of lunch, so the shifts changed and we were turned over to the "closer". The wine gizmo would have been very easy to pocket by more unscrupulous people than I.
  13. I can't think of one. Not Opus, Trilogy, Insignia, Maya, Pahlmeyer, Lewis, Dominus. By the way, I just tasted and bought a really cool one: L'Aventure Vineyards "Optimus", Paso Robles. Cabernet, zinfandel, petit verdot and I think some syrah. Very seductive and attractively priced, too.
  14. Interesting article, Craig. One of the factors that the researchers seem to have left out is: Ego. Winemaker/Vineyard owner's egos go a long way when pricing the wine comes up. The old formula from UC Davis says that to find the price of the bottle, divide the price per ton by 100. This actually seems to work in the $15-$40 range. After that, are people really paying $8,000-$12,000 a ton for grapes? I don't think so. That is the ego part. 2 years ago a salesman brought me a first release of a merlot from Napa Valley. The wine cost $100 a bottle wholesale ($150 retail, $225 restaurant price). First release. No track record. When I asked why it cost so much, the answer was ....blah blah blah French winemaker......blah blah blah Jess Jackson thinks its worth that.....blah blah blah. The same wine, 3 vintages later, is on the market now for $60 wholesale, despite good ratings from Parker. Go figure.
  15. That's exactly what the French have been doing for centuries. Not every grape variety reaches full potential every year. In years where they do, it is a great classic vintage. In years where the cabernet sauvignon fails, more merlot and cabernet franc are used, giving forward wines. In years where the merlot fails, cabernet sauvignon makes up the larger part of the blend giving backward, hard wines. Its all a balancing act.
  16. No, not really. Perhaps I was there on an off night. I think it is the grandest restaurant in the area, and that it has great potential.
  17. This was the dish that I re-named the "Quivering Nipple".
  18. Craig, I just checked my inventory: I paid $67.96 wholesale for the XL, that means retail @$100! The '95 is as good a Montus as I have ever tasted.
  19. I think this place is a work in progress.
  20. Well, then, I defer. Haven't been to Ben's. Sietsema is high on Stoney's on L Street. My recollections are different.
  21. Jaleo is fun for lunch. Order a bottle of sherry, not wine, to go with it. Hotel Washington is ONLY good for cocktails. They even manage to screw them up. Don't even think of eating there. The view is killer. Have lunch at Charlie Palmer Steak, Bis, or the Prime Rib. At the Rib, ask for the lobster salad. Make sure to wear a jacket, also. (Yes, even at lunch!)
  22. Steve, This is what I know: GWU owns the building. I live in the neighborhood, they've been buying like crazy recently. They bought the famous Watergate Howard Johnson's and turned it into a dorm. They also own One Washington Circle Hotel. GWU Inn and One Washington Circle are managed by the former owner: Conrad Cafritz/Potomac Hotel Group. The consultant working with the university on the food service in their boutique hotels is my friend Janet Cam. She hooked up George Veitsch at Circle Bistro. She has limited if any involvement at Nectar. The drag part at Nectar is room service and breakfast, by the way. Those are not fun.
  23. Hop the metro to Silver Spring. The Tastee Diner is the epitome of this genre. Years ago, the Trio Restaurant at the corner of 17th and Q St. NW DC was the spot. I don't know about today. The waitresses with the banana curls are all gone........
  24. Paul, Chateau Montus Cuvée XL 1995 is still in the market. Though not cheap (@$70), it will give you perfect example of what this wine is all about. It defines the term "sauvage". As far as drinking blood is concerned...... my friend Bob Parker once left a half bottle of Bodegas Mauro 1995 Riserva for me at the restaurant to taste. As I sipped it, I tried to think what food could possibly accompany this wine. The image that popped into my head was that of a lion eating a freshly killed gazelle on the Serengeti Plain. Perfect match!
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