Bea and Bryant

November 2012, Manhattan

Two memorable wines from the month of November came at two great restaurants:

The first was a sommelier’s choice (on this occasion, Joey Campanale) at the newly opened L’Apicio in the East Village. A somewhat impromptu dinner with Diane, Pedro and Christina led to a bottle of wine that I had nearly forgotten about, having last consumed it a couple years ago at Anfora:

2006 Paolo Bea Sagrantino di Montefalco

2006 Paolo Bea Sagrantino di Montefalco Pagliaro

A stunning wine from Umbria, made by a very traditional producer, this wine is huge and structured but with fruit and balance to match. Big mouth feel and a good match for meatier foods. The wine spends 38 days on the skins, 10 months in stainless steel and 25 months in casks before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. At $60-$70 / bottle, decent value for a top wine from its region.

The second meal was Diane’s birthday dinner at the NoMad Restaurant in Flatiron. The meal and service were great as expected and the piece de resistance of the night was the chicken for two. We brought our own bottle of wine for the night:

2003 Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon

2003 Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon

Bryant Family was one of the first, big new world Cabernet’s that I fell in love with and this bottle did not disappoint. Possibly the biggest body wine I’ve ever had, this needs some serious food and flavor to compete with the huge fruit and textures you find in the wine. Fortunately the foie-gras enhanced chicken was up to the task.

*** 2006 Paolo Bea Sagrantino di Montefalco Pagliaro $70

*** 2003 Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon $350

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