In the Cellar with Phillip Dunn of Spago

<< Back to Collection, August 2014
AUGUST 01, 2014

Pop Art

Late last year, Phillip Dunn took charge of one of the best restaurant wine cellars in the country: the 30,000-bottle collection of Wolfgang Puck’s Beverly Hills flagship, Spago. Dunn, who previously was a sommelier at Canlis in Seattle, has a global selection at his fingertips, and is as apt to reach for an Austrian Blaufränkisch as a Napa Cabernet. But he is particularly ardent about grower Champagnes, and he is expanding the sparkling list to 120 selections, with 10 by the glass and many in magnums. His personal taste leans toward Chardonnay-based bottles: “I like the elegance,” he says. “They tend to be more nutty and brioche in  character, and the minerality of the grapes grown on those chalky soils is more expressive.” His top five Champagnes for collectors also show a preference for a minimalistic approach to winemaking, with low dosage, biodynamic methods, and a general hands-off technique. This is winemaking on the edge, and these bottles demonstrate the reward of risking it all for greatness. But he is particularly ardent about grower Champagnes, and he is expanding the sparkling list to 120 selections, with 10 by the glass and many in magnums. His personal taste leans toward Chardonnay-based bottles: “I like the elegance,” he says. “They tend to be more nutty and brioche in character, and the minerality of the grapes grown on those chalky soils is more expressive.” His top five Champagnes for collectors also show a preference for a minimalistic approach to winemaking, with low dosage, biodynamic methods, and a general hands-off technique. This is winemaking on the edge, and these bottles demonstrate the reward of risking it all for greatness.

Featured Slideshows

Computer-aided design is allowing watchmakers to push the boundaries of innovation.
The sale will feature architectural treasures salvaged from around the world.
This year’s show saw debuts from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, and other top carmakers.
Looser, retro-inspired suits from these top fashion houses combine comfort and class.
A new generation of imbibers has flocked to the lighter taste of grain whisky.
previous next
1 of 5
Photo by Madison McGaw
Club members celebrated the release of the Cognac at the Surrey hotel in in Manhattan…
A new generation of imbibers has flocked to the lighter taste of grain whisky…
Photo by Bob McClenahan
The bottles from the $6 million worth of barrels sold will be available in as soon as one year…
Because it is not aged entirely in new American oak barrels, the whiskey is not technically bourbon…
Photo by Andrea de Maria
Though banking, land, and vines have occupied Florence’s Frescobaldi family for more than 700 years...
A limited-edition release from Legacy Brands that gets its name from the Spanish word for “turtle...
The growing retro-cocktail trend is putting gin back in the spotlight…
corderostudios.com
Jim Clendenen has been preaching the benefits of restraint and balance for decades...
The lots from the private auction become available through the retailers and restaurateurs bidding…
More than 60 exclusive treasures and experiences will cross the block…