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Lunch @ Annalien Today (Napa)

Sam B | Aug 19, 200506:47 PM

Met several friends for an annual lunch get together today. Checked out the new "contemporary" Vietnamese restaurant in downtown Napa.

Waiting for the fourth member of our party we pulled the cork on a '96 Cotat Les Culs de Beaujeau, and ordered a few apps - green papaya salad, green onion bread, and crispy vegetarian rolls. All were perfectly acceptable, indeed delicious, but the wine was amazing - honeyed and rich, but still showing vibrant acidity. Cotat is king where sauvignon blanc is concerned.

With our party intact we ordered four entrees and a side of garlic noodles, and opened two wines - a '95 La Chablisienne Montee de Tonerre, and a '90 Meulenhoff Wehlener Sonnenheur Auslese. The entrees were just o.k. A chicken curry was pretty good, shaking beef was anemic, on a bed of green leaf lettuce, grilled shrimp were bland, and sea bass steamed in a banana leaf overcooked and underseasoned. The garlic noodles, while tasty, were also overcooked. The Chablis was beautifully mature, if a bit short, and the Riesling a real wowser! spot on, and another reminder of the aging potential for Auslese, as well as it's affinity for this sort of food.

Catching up on things, we nursed a 375 of 2000 Scharzhofberger Eiswein. No dessert needed

Annalien is neither blazing new trails, or taking traditonal food to new heights. While everything was good, portions were small, and prices high.

The wines carried the day.

Corkage is $15

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