Gastronomic Fight Club SM

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

INTERVIEW: Thomas Keller

posted by snekse
Label for The French Laundry's Modicum Cabernet
No, I didn't get a chance to interview Thomas Keller. To be honest, even if I got the chance, I have no idea what I would ask him. Instead I thought I'd share a recent Wine Spectator interview with the owner of The French Laundry empire.

Chef Talk: Thomas Keller

What I thought was interesting, but obviously fitting, was the fact that they discussed The French Laundry's house wine - Modicum.

Modicum instantly became one of my favorite wines the first time I tried it. I remember being blown away by it's rich, but bright chocolaty fruit flavors with amazing complexity and balance. I've been a bit obsessed about it ever since.

It's very rare that Modicum gets more than a passing mention in an interview, so to eek out some additional information about this amazing Cabernet is exciting. In general, the details about this wine are minimal and not always reliable. Beyond the basics, it's been protected under a shroud of secrecy. Of course that, combined with the French Laundry name just adds to the wine's sexiness.

For a little peak under that shroud, here's what I have been able to gleam from various sources about the wine.
  • It's made from a single vineyard in the Rutherford district of Napa Valley
  • Bottled under the name Vita Morrell Vineyards, but all indications seem to point that this is bottled by Sloan Estate
  • The 2000 vintage *may* have been bottled by Colgin from their Tychson Hill Vineyard
  • It's very likely Mark Aubert was involved in the initial project launch because of his involvement with both Colgin and Sloan during the 2000 vintage.
  • For the same reasons, it's very likely that the vineyard was planted by David Abreu
With a pedigree like that, it makes me feel very fortunate that I was able to acquire a bottle of the 2000 vintage for my personal collection.

***UPDATE***
You can now order Modicum from The French Laundry. Thanks to our anonymous commenter below for letting us know.

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