Editor's Note: Back in June, K&L San Francisco held a charity wine tasting to benefit the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. One of the items in the silent auction was a private wine dinner featuring old and rare vintages of Pichon-Lalande with K&L’s own Clyde Beffa at Lark Creek Steak in the city’s Westfield Centre. The dinner was held over the weekend, and Clyde brought a number of wines from his cellar, as well as 1975, 1978, 1985, 1986 and 1991 Pichon-Lalande.
A fabulous hit to start the evening. Focused, clean, lemony, balanced and totally palate-pleasing.
Hand-cut Fettucini with Dungeness Crab and Braised Leeks
1997 Château Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
Heavenly aromas of cedar and cassis; elegant and perfect right now/
1999 Château Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
The nose was more closed at first, but it opened up nicely. It had more mineral and higher tannin content, but with a gutsy and fruity impression.
Liberty Farms Duck Confit, Marbled Potatoes, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Pomegranate, Duck Jus
Elegance personified. Perfect right now. More black fruit flavors. At peak. The cork was not great.
1986 Château Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
More tannic but a classic Cabernet, with tons of cedar oak. Still a bit closed, but many diners loved its richness.
1991 Château Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac (Just in from Lalande’s cellar)
UNBELIEVABLE WINE! We drank two bottles. This wine just arrived Wednesday from France. Pure silk and satin on the palate. Still has richness for the cellar. Up there with 1991 Palmer, and maybe better tonight.
Filet Mignon, Braised Spinach, Seared Foie Gras, Veal Demi-Glace
1983 Château Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
As good as Pichon gets. Elegance and finesse personified. Super sweet on the palate, but still some stuffing for a few more years.
Huge wine, blackberry flavors and tons of tannin. Much too young—wait 10 years.
Comte Cheese Plate
A crumbled cork had me worried, but the wine was so good—maybe the hit of the night—with tons of spicy aromas and flavors. High acid and some tannin but quite well-balanced.
2004 Château Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
New oak dominates the nose; this is a very sweet wine, a classic, but way too young to enjoy now.
1978 Château Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
The only disappointing wine of the bunch. This bottle was tired and funky. Well, 9 out of 10 isn’t bad.
1991 Château d’Yquem, Sauternes
Tasty. Not great, but quite nice. Not much botrytis.