Monday, February 19, 2007

Japan, February 5 to 8

We spent a few nights in the Conrad Hotel in Tokyo, one of the newest boutique hotel, with superb and spacious rooms and busy restaurants where everything is perfect: luxury Japanese style, attentive and professional with, of course, talented sommeliers, wines served at the good temperature and in proper glasses, and all of that with a smile. I was happy that meals in Japan are served very early (7 pm) and end early (10 pm) to allow everyone to go home on the subway (which I think stops at midnight).
Taxis are everywhere, with incredible respect for customer (and often white gloves), which allows you not to worry about getting home. I must point out that over there “tolerance zero” is enforced for drivers, they are not allowed to drink a drop of alcohol.

As soon as we arrived on February 5, a reception was organized by our important Japanese client, Tokuoka (who translates my blog in Japanese), with around 20 journalists at the Okura Hotel. Tasting of Présidial 2005, Blanc de Valandraud N°2 2004, Bel Air Ouÿ 2003, Clos Badon 2003 and Valandraud 2003. Then, during the meal Blanc de Valandraud N°1 2004, Bel Air Ouÿ 2002, Clos Badon 2000 and Valandraud 2000.

Already a few articles were published: Yomiuri on the internet and I was able to get a copy of a very nice article in Créa.

February 6, great VIP meal at the Xex Atayo Green Hills

February 7, 2 wine seminars with sommeliers and distributors: 2 times 120 people at the Pastral Hotel and departure for Osaka and the Royal Hotel.
We had a meal at Chambord with one of our friends, all around truffles.
Amuse-Bouche « Truffe en Surprise »
Galette de Langouste et Noix de Saint Jacques Marinées
Oeuf poché continental
Risotto à la Truffe
Ragoût de truffes en cocotte
Blanc de Turbot Enroulé de pommes gaufrettes et de truffe
Granité de mimosa à la truffe
Canard Challandais en croute au foie gras et à la truffe
Fromage de France
Pré dessert
Fausse truffe de desserts
Café et mignardises
And an amazing tasting: Latour 1970, Ausone 1970, Blanc de Valandraud N°1 2004, Axelle de Valandraud 2000, Interdit de Valandraud, Clos Badon Thunevin 2000, Bellevue de Tayac 2004, Griffe de Cap d'Or 2000, Bernat 2000, Haut Mazeris Canon Fronsac 2003, Haut Mazeris Fronsac 2003, La Dauphine 2001, Clos del Rey 2004, Yacochuya 2000, Tour de Mirambeau 2004

On the 8, in the superb Ritz Carlton in Osaka: Wine seminar with 130 sommeliers and distributors, followed by a gala dinner in the French restaurant La Baie, where we also had a meal of great quality. During the meal a charming lady told us that she saw a piece on Japanese TV which mentioned Virginie de Valandraud as the wine you had to drink at least one time in your life. Vive le Japon!

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