We were excited to see Memphis, a new musical on Broadway, and decided to have dinner beforehand. We chose a fine-dining place, not a pre-theater food mill, so explained very carefully to the staff that we had to leave at 7:35, and they assured us that would work. Unfortunately, the kitchen got backed up, and our main courses came out at 7:32, creating anxiety and rather spoiling the meal.
Fortunately, the wine saved the day. Our friends love Marcassin Pinot Noir, and the restaurant offered several of the tiny-production bottlings. We chose the 2004 Blue-Slide Ridge Vineyard ($290 on the list) from California's Sonoma Coast. It had an amazing combination of intensity and elegance. The texture was lithe and polished, dancing across the palate; the flavors were explosive, mingling black cherry, spice, mineral, coffee and earth. I rated it 94 points, non-blind. Sipping it, enjoying its complexity and savoring its long finish took the edge off our wait.
The show was extraordinary, a moving and lively story of music, love and race set in 1950s Memphis. Highly recommended.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review and check the current auction price for Marcassin Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Blue-Slide Ridge Vineyard 2004 (91, $90 on release).
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