Dinner with friends in Miamimercredi, 13 décembre 2023

Some of my son’s friends want to have a wine dinner. There are six of them, which means we have to have dinner somewhere other than my son’s. We are going to visit a wine merchant, Happy Wine in the Grove which sells wine but also has a restaurant. Upstairs, we could privatize the very pretty large room.

A few days later, the group of six was reduced to two, which changed the program a little but did not prevent us from keeping the pretty room.

When the day comes, at 3 p.m., I open my son’s two Bordeauxs, a Latour 1984 and a Cheval Blanc 1969. Both wines need time for the flavors to blossom. My son adds to his contribution a Charlemagne by Louis Jadot 2003, which will be opened if necessary. My contribution will be an IWA 5 sake that Richard Geoffroy gave me a few days ago when we met, taking advantage of the concordance of our presence in Miami.

There are six of us at dinner, Austin, my son’s friend, who came with his wife Eileen and three lovely wines, Adnan, another friend of my son, and Abdo, the young owner of the shop and restaurant Happy Wine in the Grove, created by his Colombian father.

The unopened wines are opened when the guests arrive, except those from Austin which he had opened in advance as we had done.

We will eat appetizers based on Iberian ham or cheese, tapas, paella, various meats accompanied by fries and other vegetables. The dishes will jostle in no precise order, but this is not a problem.

The Champagne Blanc des Millénaires Charles Heidsieck 2004 is impressively intense. He is lively, sharp and has a very nice personality.

The Champagne Pol Roger Winston Churchill 1990 is the exact opposite of the previous one, because it is all charm and presence. What a great champagne! A delight. The two champagnes are complementary.

The Charlemagne Louis Jadot 2003 is not very powerful but I find it very pleasant. It is not in the class of the greatest, but we can appreciate it with pleasure. It should be noted that if you drink Pol Roger just after drinking Charlemagne, the champagne gains in width and strength. Wine propels champagne.

The Corton-Charlemagne Bonneau du Martray 2014 is fascinating. It has an incredible length. His message is very fresh and fluid and never ends. It’s pure aesthetic joy. We are all won over by wine of rare nobility. Which length !

Sake IWA 5 now appears. I had tried to read the recommendations for serving temperature for sake, but there are so many possible cases that I preferred to serve it quite cold. None of us has sufficient knowledge to grasp the subtleties of this pleasant, slightly sweet liquid and a sensitive and delicate alcohol. It is imperative that I ask Richard Geoffroy to introduce me to the world of this beautiful sake.

We wouldn’t normally expect much from a 1984 Château Latour due to its vintage, but we know that with time, small vintages improve. This is the case of this Latour, who is not one of the greatest but shows that he is of good lineage. A very pleasant wine.

Château Cheval Blanc 1969 is one of the very great wines, even if its vintage does not suggest it. Rich, structured, intense, it is a very great wine with extreme complexity and a youth which disturbs several guests, still marked by the periods of « drinkability » falsely predicted by Robert Parker.

The Clos de Tart 1985 is acclaimed by everyone at the table, because we rarely drink this legendary wine and in this great vintage. I am the only one who is not won over because his alcoholic strength prevents him from being balanced. We feel the great wine, but not integrated, at least for my taste.

For dessert, Ado opened a Château Rieussec 2001 with a strangely dark color for such a young wine. Its scent and taste of a great year are absolutely delicious.

I told a lot of anecdotes because I felt that my guests appreciated them. My presence on Instagram certainly has influence, to the point that Abdo’s deputies who did the service all wanted to be photographed with me.

It was a great opportunity to vote for the five favorite wines of the nine wines served. The Corton Charlemagne had three first votes, the Clos de Tart two first votes and the Cheval Blanc one first vote.

The vote of the entire table is: 1 – Corton-Charlemagne Bonneau du Martray 2014, 2 – Clos de Tart 1985, 3 – Champagne Pol Roger Winston Churchill 1990, 4 – Château Cheval Blanc 1969, 5 – Champagne Blanc des Millénaires Charles Heidsieck 2004.

My vote is: 1 – Corton-Charlemagne Bonneau du Martray 2014, 2 – Champagne Pol Roger Winston Churchill 1990, 3 – Château Cheval Blanc 1969, 4 – Champagne Blanc des Millénaires Charles Heidsieck 2004, 5 – Château Rieussec 2001.

The kindness of everyone and their generosity made this meal a great moment of sharing. It’s extremely pleasant.