Of course, lunch was brilliantly lubricated. Highlights: Mike Hill-Smith and Warren Winiarski brought their Chardonnays (Mike’s Shaw & Smith 2010 M3 a Chablis-like analogue, and Warren’s Arcadia 2008 closer to Meursault); Fattoria Nittardi’s Chianti Classico 2008 (with a label illustrated by Gunter Grass) was vibrantly fresh, and Roberto Bava’s sweetly vivacious “Bassotuba” Moscato d’Asti 2010 a perfect finish. The wine of the day, though, was Chateau Leoville-Barton 2002, a vintage many people wrote off; it was poised, silky, suavely sensuous, supremely elegant, and just right now.
We also celebrated Steven and Bella’s vineyard, where the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes are about to be harvested for the first time. (It's in the background, behind Warren, Steven, and me) More on that in good time. . .