After visiting Bordeaux , it was a relief to be back in Puligny-Montrachet, where I stay at a friend’s house. My friend welcomed me with a couple of wines from 1978: Mongeard-Mugneret Grands Echézeaux (refined and exotic, with cherry, tar and beet juice–like flavors) and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Echézeaux (even fresher than the Mongeard, with spicier high tones and a soft and seductive texture).
I was at one of those rare-wine tastings at a friend’s house in Portola Valley--sniffing and swirling, sipping and spitting--when a woman at the table asked me, "How far is Château Latour from Château Lafite?" (We were doing a comparison of those two first-growths from 1865 to the present).
My life has always been about finding great food and wine experiences. That quest recently brought me to San Sebastián on the north coast of Spain, a town reputed to be Spain's finest for modern cuisine.
Larry Stone and I started a sommelier tradition in 1997. We were working at Rubicon in San Francisco (which won a Wine Spectator Grand Award for its wine program in 1998). On Saturday nights, after service, we invited a few friends to join us for a late-night blind-tasting session.
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