So I am in San Francisco, a lovely place to spend a few days. I’m here for the In Pursuit of Balance (IPOB) conference on Monday here in the city. [You'll be able to watch the seminars live on their website.]
Last night, after I arrived, I headed off for dinner at RN74 with IPOB organizer Jasmine Hirsch, Joshua and Meg Thomas, and Donald and Beth Plumley. It was a really lovely evening, with good company, and RN74 is a great place to eat. It has all the important bits right: the space, the menu and (of course) the wine list.
The highlights: excellent bone marrow, superb truffle risotto, and perfectly cooked steak frites. And the wines! We drank quite well. RN74 has an epic wine list.
Pierre Peters Les Chetillons Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil Grand Cru 2006 was a good place to start the evening. It’s very pure and fine, showing youthful, direct flavours at the moment.
I just loved the Roulot Meursault Tesson Clos de Mon Plaisir 2011. This is a precise, linear, minerally white Burgundy with amazing purity and a lovely flinty, matchstick edge. Roulot take their wines from barrel after a year and transfer them to stainless steel tanks, but with the lees, a process that helps in the development of this pure, linear, reductive style.
Donald Plumley brought his Soliste Saint Andelain Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Lake County, California. It’s a lovely precise barrel fermented Sauvignon showing great depth and precision, with the oak perfectly integrated. Fresh and linear, this will age really well, I reckon.
Time for some red Burgundy, in the shape of Ghislaine Barthod’s Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Aux Beaux Bruns 2008. Barthod’s style is one of freshness and precision, and this is a lovely, expressive wine with bright fruit, and just enough generosity to cover the structure.
Samsara Turner Vineyard Syrah 2010 Santa Rita Hills, California was one of the wines of the night for me. It was served blind, and immediately we were all calling ‘Syrah’ because of the beautifully perfumed,aromatic, floral olive and black cherry nose. It’s a very fresh cool climate style, with lovely precision. This is 100% whole cluster, and the stems really work in this context.
Jamet Cote Rotie 2008 is a fabulous wine. We had the choice of 2008 and 2009, we chose well I reckon. It’s dark, precise, fresh and meaty with some tapenade character as well as lovely black cherry fruit. Some people thought there was a bit of brett there, but I wasn’t getting it.
We finished with Champagne Bereche et Fils NV, a beautifully fresh, almost structured fizz, showing lovely precision.
A good way to start a trip.