Saturday night in New York. A story of two dinners. We began with am 1830 reservation at The Four Horsemen, which is the restaurant/natural wine bar of LCD Soundsystem front man James Murphy. It’s based in Williamsburg in Brooklyn.
This was another hit. A short menu, a great wine list of natural/authentic wine, and a good vibe. I can’t remember what we ate but it was delicious.
The wine list here is genuinely an exciting one, and we chose two really good bottles.
The first was a rare no-added sulfites bottling from Domaine Belluard in the Savoie. I’d actually tried this the previous month in Canada with Raj Parr, and it was equally beguiling this time.
Domaine Belluard Pur Jus 100% Gringet 2016 Vin de Savoie, France
12% alcohol. Varietal Gringet with no-added sulfites. Aromatic with lively lemon and grapefruit notes with some fine spiciness. The palate is so stony, vital and pure with lovely mineral depth and some spicy intensity. Fine-grained and detailed with incredible precision and purity. Utterly beautiful with astonishing complexity and precision. Such a beautiful wine. 96/100
Then, a Fer Servadou from the Aveyron that was just delicious.
Nicholas Carmarans Mauvais Temps 2016 Averyon IGP, France
11.2% alcohol. A varietal Fer Servadou. Supple, fine, elegant black cherry fruit with some blackberry and plum. Expressive with sweet fruit on the mid-palate but also some peppery notes. Northern-Rhône-like but there’s also a bit of Gamay-like character here with its lightness. Stylish, seamless and pure. 93/100
We bought T-shirts!
Second stop was back over the bridge in Manhattan at Racines. This turned into a wonderfully crazy evening. Pascaline Lepeltier looked after us, and we began by tasting through some wines that Wild Arc Farm had sent for us to look at – they’re based in the Hudson Valley that we’d driven through on our way here from the Finger Lakes, but we hadn’t been able to visit them. More about these somewhere else: they were really good.
The food we ordered was really, really good (pictured are the scallops), but it was the wine that had our full attention.
Champagne Olivier Horiot ‘En Barmont’ Rosé des Riceys 2012 France
Rich, textured, supple and dry with nice red cherry and lemony fruit showing good freshness. Stony and bright with a sappy edge and some rhubarb hints, finishing in a cascade of stony, mineral notes. 93/100
Domaine Andrée Anjou Blanc 2014 Loire, France
This was a good choice. Wonderful nose with some matchstick reduction and then broad yet focused pear and peach notes with some citrus, too. Powerful palate with citrus, grapefruit and ripe apple and spice. Complex, grainy and fine, this is quite profound. 95/100
Then we were joined by Sam Lyons, who’s a young neuroscience researcher from Harvard and a wine geek. He came over to our table bringing vinous treats from his evening, which had also consisted of multiple parts. This was fun.
Marcel Juge Cornas 2014 Northen Rhône, France
This wine is remarkable, not least it’s because it’s from post-retirement Juge who just farms the flats and bottles wine barrel by barrel. Fine, peppery and detailed with lovely sweet ripe cherry and plum fruit, with some juicy, peppery notes. Bright and elegant with lovely texture. So detailed and generous but with freshness and a peppery finish. 95/100
Floral Terranes ‘MX’ 2017 North Fork Long Island, New York
This blend of Lagrein, Toreldego and Syrah is quite amazing. Fresh and focused with supple black cherry fruit and some blackberry. Lovely structure with fine-grained tannins and some spiciness. Really focused with nice fruit and purity, and some depth. A striking wine. 94/100
Bell Hill Chardonnay 2009 North Canterbury, New Zealand
Focused with a hint of reduction, and lovely pear and peach fruit. Such precision with fine spices and a taut mineral edge. There’s richness and freshness together: a slightly confusing wine, but lovely. 93/100
Viña Tondonia Rioja Rosé 2008 Spain
Third time with this wine of late, a rare rosé release from Tondonia. Taut and fine with red cherries, plums and strawberries. Supple and fine with some citrus notes. Sappy and expressive. 93/100
Then, as an extra bonus, we were joined by Tony Coturri, who was dining here and who Pascaline was kind enough to introduce me to. Tony is a pioneer of natural wine in the USA, and has been making wines with no added sulfites for a long time – well before it became fashionable to work naturally. We tried his Mendocino Petite Sirah 2016, a vivid, fruit-driven yet savoury wine of real impact.
It was a memorable evening, and a fitting end to this all-too-brief foray into the food and wine scene of New York.