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. 

Featured Slideshows

From Around the Web...
Santo Puro Mezquila ($55)
Santo Puro Mezquila might be the ultimate mashup of Mexico’s most popular agave spirits…
Four Roses whiskey
An incredible, limited-edition debut from a new master distiller…
Shinji Fukuyo is the chief blender for Suntory
Suntory’s Shinji Fukuyo has made award-winning whiskies. Will Whiskey Toki be next?
We offer up six refreshingly different margarita recipes to help you celebrate the day…
Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel, 18-Liter Bottle
Wine collectors can bolster their Zinfandel holdings at the annual auction that begins this week…
Highland Park Ice Edition ($300)
This first in a series pays tribute to Scotland’s Norse heritage…
Seductive red wines sure to sweep your sweetheart of her (or his) feet…
Produced in a near perfect vintage, Ovid’s latest release of Hexameter, its poetic red blend, makes...
Photo courtesy of MGM Resorts International
These are the perfect Valentine's Day cocktails to share with your special someone…
Discover how pét-nats can add sparkle to your Valentine’s toast this year…