Wine Spectator Awards Banquet

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This past week the Wine Spectator held their annual wine experience, and it was as they say “a three-day joyous celebration of great wine”. I attended the black-tie Award Banquet on Saturday night in which the 2012 wine of the year was annouched and that wine is the 2008 Shafer “Relentless” Napa Valley which is a blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah. In addition, Robert Drouhin the longtime proprietor of Maison Drouhin and the founder of Domaine Drouhin in Oregon was given the Distinguished Service Award. Drouhin’s wines were served at the banquet. The wine experience had alternated between New York City, San Francisco and Chicago but at the banquet it was announced that the event will be held in New York exclusively for the next five years. The last time I attended the event, the musical guest was Neal Sedaka, this time around they chose someone a bit more contemporary, John Legend.

Before the dinner a Champagne cocktail hour gave us the opportunity to drink wines such as:

Bollinger Brut Special Cuvee NV

Charles Heidsieck Brut NV

Delamonte Brut Blanc de Blancs NV

Dom Perignon Brut 2004

Krug Brut Grande Cuvee

Louis Roederer Brut, Brut Premier

Perrier-Jouet Brut, Grand Brut

Tattinger Brut Rose Prestige.

For our appetizer we were served an Apple and Goat Cheese Tart with celery and golden raison salad with crème fraiche dressing and mint oil. It was a pretty tasty starter and I enjoyed the celery and raison salad most of all. With it was served the 2010 Drouhin Vaudon Chablis “Secher”. On the nose, floral with honey and dried mushroom with very tight fruit and high acidity on the finish.

For the Entrée we were served a double-cut Rack of Lamb with mushroom risotto, swiss chard and a fig and mushroom ragout. The dish was excellent especially considering it was served in a mass seating. With the entrée two of Drouhin’s red wines were served:

2009 Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir Willamette Valley (Oregon). Started with a big nose of classic Burgundy forest floor and damp earth and was very tight with notes of red leather followed by crisp acids.

2008 Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru. A nose of black cherry, cassia and herbs with tight young and dusty fruit with notes of cherry and leather with firm acids on the finish.

With dessert which was a 64% Chocolate Mousse, Luxardo Cherries, Chocolate Blackout Cake and Crème Fraiche Ice Cream, we enjoyed a performance from musical guest, John Legend and of course, more wine.

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