Veranda on Highland’s wine cellar is filled with legendary wines.
By Jan Walsh
Photography by Beau Gustafson
My favorite table at the Veranda on Highland is the chef’s table in the wine cellar. Here vintage, first class—and first growth—wines are displayed under lock and key, in wine cabinets with antique bronze screens in this 1,500 bottle capacity cellar. And above these racks are personal wine lockers of VIP patrons.
Available on the library wine list are half-bottle selections, large formats, and incredible vintage wines. The 1935 vintage of Chateau d’Yquem ($4,500) would make a sweet experience. This French Sauterne is made with grapes affected by Botrytis cinerea, which develops into “noble rot.” The grape skins shrivel, while the sugar and acid increase, concentrating the flavors and aromas of the grapes. Among the lineup of Bordeaux is a 1982 Chateau Margaux ($3,500). Chateau Margaux wines are among the more elegant of the first growths, beautifully concentrated deep ruby red in color. This vintage could age until 2030. While Pomerol has no formal classification, its Chateau Petrus is considered to be equivalent to a First Growth estate. And the ultimate Merlot lovers’ wine is the 1964 Chateau Petrus, Pomerol ($4,500). Another French gem is the 1972 Chateau Cheval Blanc, St. Emilion ($1,050) is opulent, powerful and can age up to 50 years. And from California is a 10 year vertical of Harlan Estate, 1991-2000. This inky purple, small production cult wine comes from the heart of Napa Valley. In this 1991 bottle ($750) and its vertical, Bill Harlan has achieved his vision of producing a “California first growth from the hills of Oakville.”
In addition to the library wine list, the Veranda on Highland also offers a regular wine list, artisanal wine list with small mark ups—such as the 2007 Shafer Relentless for only $65—as well as a by the glass list with both variety and value.