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Wakefield Taylors, Clare Valley (Australia) Shiraz "St. Andrews" 2015 ($70)
 Spot-on Aussie Shiraz that’s not shy about letting you know where it comes from, with bold blackberry and menthol aromas leading to a savory palate where the fruit matches the umami and menthol character beautifully.  There’s a long life ahead here, but if you can’t wait, decant well and bring on the lamb.   A Platinum Award Winner at the 2018 Monterey International Wine Competition. 
94 Rich Cook


Posted by Robert Whitley on March 10, 2018 at 10:01 AM

Postcard from Paris: Chez Papa

PARIS -- Stopping in Paris for a few days on my way to the wine regions of France has become a ritual. There's usually a trip to Willi's Wine Bar on the Right Bank. Willi's has always served exceptional wine but the cuisine was somewhat rustic. They've recently upped their game in the kitchen at Willi's, for which I am grateful.

Joel Robuchon's l'Atelier, on the Left Bank, is another ritual. It's a splurge because it's very expensive, but it's my favorite restaurant in Paris. And the selection of wines by the glass is superb.

I also frequent the Chez Papa Jazz Club in Saint-Germain, not far from l'Atelier, but I had never even considered dining there. My mistake, as I discovered this week on my way to Les Grands Jours de Bourgogne in Burgundy.

I had booked a hotel, Bel Amis, in Saint-Germain because it had recently become a Starwood partner and I am addicted to Starwood (SPG) points. Bel Amis had the added advantage of being a few doors up Rue Saint-Benoit from Chez Papa.

There are many fine restaurants in the area and my typical play would be to enjoy dinner at one of my favorites and then pop into Chez Papa for the last couple of sets. For a change of pace, I decided to test Chez Papa's culinary chops.

The jazz show was sold out this wet and cold Friday evening and I had to practically beg to get a table. They were very gracious and moved some tables around to squeeze me in. Others were turned away after I was seated. I considered myself lucky, and I was.

Pleasantly surprised, too. I opened with a coup de Champagne from Nicolas Feuillatte as an aperitif. For a starter, I ordered a plate of jamon Serrano. It was thinly sliced and served at room temperature. Perfect.

A bottle of Gigondas, fairly priced at 39 euros, worked well with the ham. But it was even better with the main course, filet of veal in a cream sauce made with fresh ceps.

The food and wine were first-rate, the service exceptional, and the music sublime.

And I now have a new routine to add to my bulging list of Paris rituals.

Dr. Michael
This Issue's Reviews
For Value, Think Chablis
Robert Whitley

CHABLIS, France - France would be the last place most wine enthusiasts would look for great value in wine. The staggering cost of many of the most familiar estates in Bordeaux casts a mighty shadow over the entire French wine business. The problem with that narrative? It's simply not true. Here in the northernmost village of Burgundy, where the cool climate renders anything but white wine commercially useless, the chardonnay grape is the only game in town.
Eight Takeaways from South American Wine Country
Jessica Dupuy

Just back from a whirlwind six days in South America--Chile and Argentina to be exact--where I caught a glimpse of some of the top regions from each country. Although it will likely take me a few weeks to digest the vast amount of information and experiences from the trip, there are a handful of takeaways that are still fresh in my mind.
Wine With
WINE WITH…Coq au Vin Blanc

Coq au vin is one of France's archetypal dishes. While it is usually made with red wine, the white wine adaptation has been a beloved favorite throughout France for generations. This version is lighter and somewhat more delicate than its sturdier red wine cousin, but the flavors are every bit as complex and perhaps even more wine friendly. Classic coq au vin calls for a whole chicken, but because white meat cooks faster than dark, we find it more expedient to use just one or the other. We generally prefer more flavorful dark meat, but if white meat is your favorite, just reduce the cooking time a little. You may also prefer to use boneless, skinless meat, but bear in mind that it will be somewhat less flavorful.
On My Table
A Third Single-Vineyard Cabernet from Heitz
Mary Ewing-Mulligan

In 1961, Joe and Alice Heitz entered the vanguard of modern-era Napa Valley winemaking when they purchased their first vineyard land in Napa Valley, where Joe was already making wine at Beaulieu Vineyard under the great Andre Tchelistcheff. In 1966, Heitz made history by producing the first single-vineyard Cabernet in Napa Valley, from the legendary Martha's Vineyard. The Martha's Vineyard site is owned by the May family; since that initial collaboration with the Heitzes in 1966 the family has consigned its Martha's Vineyard grapes exclusively to Heitz Wine Cellars. As Heitz expanded its own vineyards over the years, it produced a single-vineyard eatate-owned Cabernet, Trailside Vineyard in Rutherford, which debuted in 1989, as well as a single vineyard Zinfandel, Ink Grade Vineyard on Howell Mountain, also in 1989. Now, Heitz has released its first new single vineyard wine since 1989 -- Linda Falls Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.