For our 15th Anniversary this past summer, Christina and I were in Seattle and kid-free, so we decided to celebrate at a wonderful restaurant in downtown Seattle called Mistral Kitchen. We have been long time fans of William Belickis, the Chef and Owner, and have been visiting his restaurant since he opened up the original Mistral restaurant almost two decades ago.
We love French food and I have always enjoyed pairing it with our love for the French wines. With this evening being a big anniversary, I knew I wanted to have something special. I have always loved surprising Christina with a glass of nice mature older Bordeaux or Chateauneuf du Pape and not telling her what it is, just letting her take it in and trying to solve the riddle, “what am I?” Christina is a very good sport with this little game I like to play.
For this evening, we had the eight course Chef’s table experience and I brought in some wine to go with it. It was great to see William again, as he got us settled in at the table, he assured us that he had a wonderful evening in store for us. We started things off with a bottle of the 2002 Krug Brut vintage Champagne. Krug is my absolute favorite Champagne producer above everyone else, and they are also very singular in style. The 2002 Krug was just released about three months prior and my mouth was watering in anticipation to see what the Masters at Krug had created. Krug releases their Champagnes when they feel they are ready, so in this case the 2003 was released before the 2002.
The 2002 Krug vintage Champagne is expressive on the nose with grilled nuts, bread crumbs, white fruit, nutmeg and lemon zest. The color was a slightly golden yellow color, which is a little darker than I expected, but I could not sense anything amiss. In the mouth, the white pears, toasted whole wheat bread, grilled nuts, slight baking spices and lemon peel have a playful dance together in this full bodied package. There is a refreshing streak of acidity that keeps everything in check and lively throughout. The 2002 Krug has a very nice long white fruit, toasted bread and lemony finish. This is an excellent Champagne and an excellent Krug, a definite step up from the 2003. The 2002 Krug Champagne will have a long life ahead of it and I look forward to following its evolution. (95+pts.)
The wine highlight of the evening was a bottle of 1990 Chateau Margaux. I was excited to taste this wine, as I had never had it before. I bought this wine on release and have been holding it, so that it would mature and we could have it for a special occasion. This particular wine has been written up many times by various critics as one of the perfect 100 point wines of the 1990 vintage and on this night it did not disappoint. The wine is still a dark red color and has a glorious nose of black plums, ripe red cherries and brown baking spices. As Christina said, the nose was so captivating that we would have been totally happy just smelling it. This is the reason why I (we) love mature Bordeaux wines. It is the reason why we are willing to buy a bottle and hold it for 24 years before opening it.
In the mouth the wine was like a fine tapestry of different flavors all interwoven together, ripe plums, red Bing cherries, some black currants, a little damp earth, brown baking spices and with lively acidity. The tannins are mostly resolved, but this wine has a long life ahead of it, as it is only at the beginning of the maturity plateau. The long rich spicy dark fruit finish lasts for a minute after it is gone. This is truly a beautiful wine and well worth the wait. I just loved smelling the wine as it evolved and we enjoyed it over a three hour period. (100pts.)
There isn’t anyone on this planet that I would rather share/experience a wonderful wine with than my beautiful wife. So to Christina, Thank you for being my partner, the love of my life and soulmate for 15 wonderful years. I so appreciate you and I look forward to creating/sharing many more experiences with you in the world of wine and beyond. I wonder what we will have for our 20th?