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Château de Chamirey, Mercurey (Burgundy, France) Clos de la Maladière 2015 ($35)
 This is the first vintage that Château de Chamirey decided to bottle wine from this 3.5-acre vineyard separately.  Half went into this bottling, while the other half went into their village Mercurey blend.  Although not from a premier cru vineyard, this 2015 tastes like a premier cru wine.  An exceptionally glossy texture combined with bright red fruit flavors and a hint of earthiness makes it a delight to drink now. 
93 Michael Apstein


Posted by Robert Whitley on March 10, 2018 at 10:01 AM

Postcard from Paris: Chez Papa

PARIS -- Stopping in Paris for a few days on my way to the wine regions of France has become a ritual. There's usually a trip to Willi's Wine Bar on the Right Bank. Willi's has always served exceptional wine but the cuisine was somewhat rustic. They've recently upped their game in the kitchen at Willi's, for which I am grateful.

Joel Robuchon's l'Atelier, on the Left Bank, is another ritual. It's a splurge because it's very expensive, but it's my favorite restaurant in Paris. And the selection of wines by the glass is superb.

I also frequent the Chez Papa Jazz Club in Saint-Germain, not far from l'Atelier, but I had never even considered dining there. My mistake, as I discovered this week on my way to Les Grands Jours de Bourgogne in Burgundy.

I had booked a hotel, Bel Amis, in Saint-Germain because it had recently become a Starwood partner and I am addicted to Starwood (SPG) points. Bel Amis had the added advantage of being a few doors up Rue Saint-Benoit from Chez Papa.

There are many fine restaurants in the area and my typical play would be to enjoy dinner at one of my favorites and then pop into Chez Papa for the last couple of sets. For a change of pace, I decided to test Chez Papa's culinary chops.

The jazz show was sold out this wet and cold Friday evening and I had to practically beg to get a table. They were very gracious and moved some tables around to squeeze me in. Others were turned away after I was seated. I considered myself lucky, and I was.

Pleasantly surprised, too. I opened with a coup de Champagne from Nicolas Feuillatte as an aperitif. For a starter, I ordered a plate of jamon Serrano. It was thinly sliced and served at room temperature. Perfect.

A bottle of Gigondas, fairly priced at 39 euros, worked well with the ham. But it was even better with the main course, filet of veal in a cream sauce made with fresh ceps.

The food and wine were first-rate, the service exceptional, and the music sublime.

And I now have a new routine to add to my bulging list of Paris rituals.

Dr. Michael
This Issue's Reviews
The 2016 Bouchard Père & Fils Burgundies
Ed McCarthy

Having heard that the 2016 vintage in Burgundy was a disaster because of early frost and mildew, I was not exactly excited about attending Bouchard's comprehensive tasting of both its red and white 2016 Burgundies. I had momentarily forgotten that a disastrous vintage for the growers--and the Burgundy merchants--actually meant that there will be a shortage of 2016 wines available on the market. Those grapes from 2016 that were harvested and vinified, at least by Bouchard, really turned out very well. In fact, a short harvest in Burgundy is often a blessing for consumers; only the best grapes are harvested, and the cool spring climate provides us with concentrated grapes.
Spit Take
Jim Clarke

I taste wine with other professionals -- sommeliers, wine writers, and the like -- very often, of course, but it's been some time since I tasted wines with 'regular' wine drinkers, at least anywhere resembling a formal setting. Recently, however, I've had a series of opportunities to do just that, and it's had me thinking about what some people find to be one the least savory aspects of wine tasting: spitting. I spat as a matter of habit, and I saw a few disapproving looks from the guests I was presenting to. From my point of view, I was there as a professional, and it behooved me to behave as one; to these guests' point of view, it was distasteful. The overriding rule, it seems, is that fluids don't leave the body in public, even if they've only been inside the body for a matter of seconds. I have little patience for this attitude, but even baseball, the only other public forum for spitting I can think of, has cut back on the practice.
Wine With
WINE WITH…Zip Sauce for Pan Seared Steak

Zip Sauce originated in Detroit more than half a century ago, but it has become a favorite steak lovers' condiment throughout the Midwestern sections of the country. You can buy a bottled version of the sauce online, but there is nothing quite as delicious as a juicy steak topped with a homemade version of Zip Sauce. After experimenting with conventional Zip Sauce ingredients we've made a few adjustments that we think make the sauce even more fabulous. For example, using fresh rosemary and parsley rather than dried herbs adds freshness to the overall flavor, as does substituting fresh garlic for the garlic powder that original recipes called for (by contrast, a small amount of dried thyme rather than fresh seems to yield tastier results). We've also cut back on the amount of butter used in original versions of the recipe, and we have found that the addition of a tiny amount of red wine brings a certain, well, zip, to the Zip Sauce.
On My Table
A Third Single-Vineyard Cabernet from Heitz
Mary Ewing-Mulligan

In 1961, Joe and Alice Heitz entered the vanguard of modern-era Napa Valley winemaking when they purchased their first vineyard land in Napa Valley, where Joe was already making wine at Beaulieu Vineyard under the great Andre Tchelistcheff. In 1966, Heitz made history by producing the first single-vineyard Cabernet in Napa Valley, from the legendary Martha's Vineyard. The Martha's Vineyard site is owned by the May family; since that initial collaboration with the Heitzes in 1966 the family has consigned its Martha's Vineyard grapes exclusively to Heitz Wine Cellars. As Heitz expanded its own vineyards over the years, it produced a single-vineyard eatate-owned Cabernet, Trailside Vineyard in Rutherford, which debuted in 1989, as well as a single vineyard Zinfandel, Ink Grade Vineyard on Howell Mountain, also in 1989. Now, Heitz has released its first new single vineyard wine since 1989 -- Linda Falls Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.