Côte de Beaune Dinner
In the lead up to the our grouses dinner, Anja liaised with our guests to organise the wines into flights and to match them to Francis Percival’s menu.
We started the night on a high:
Canapé: Gougères with Cream Cheese and Chive
2006 Santenay, Jean-Marc Vincent
2004 Meursault La Sève du Clos, Arnaud Ente
It has become quite difficult to get one’s hands on Arnaud Ente’s La Sève du Clos which comes from over 100 year old vines. The wine has a beautiful balance and intensity. Our first bottle was excellent and still had the potential to age for easily a couple more years, though the second bottle was more advanced and showed a light oxidation.
The Santenay was one of the surprises of the night, a delicate white Burgundy, balanced and well rounded with hints of melted butter and stonefruit.
Wild Sea Trout with Braised Fennel
2006 Bienvenues Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, Domaine Leflaive
2006 Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, Domaine Leflaive
2000 Bienvenues Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, Domaine Leflaive en Magnum
2000 Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru la Cabotte, Bouchard Père et Fils
The 2006 Leflaives showed some rich, buttery flavours, the Bâtard-Montrachet more so than the Bienvenues, and there was some oxidation to find in both wines. However the 2000 Leflaive Magnum was one of the wines of the night for me personally. Intense, striking minerality and balance. Delicious! If a Leflaive is good, they are real pleasure!
In light of the new opening of Cabotte Restaurant, the lieu-dit La Cabotte could not have been poured at a better time. This was balanced with plenty of freshness and good intensity.
Chicken with Corn and Girolles
1995 Volnay Mitans 1er Cru, Domaine De Montille en Magnum
1993 Volnay les Aussy 1er Cru, Bitouzet- Prieur
1993 Volnay Clos des Ducs 1er Cru, Marquis D'Angerville
1978 Volnay Clos des Chênes 1er Cru, Domaine du Château de Meursault
1966 Volnay Les Santenots 1er Cru, Maison Roche de Bellène
Everyone agreed that this flight was definitely the favourite flight of the night. Over past dinners we had ‘grander’ wines in the line-up, yet these were definitely intriguing pleasure wines. The Volnay les Aussy 1er Cru, Bitouzet- Prieur was pretty much new to everyone around the table, though neither the vineyard nor the winery are still existing. When I opened the bottles, both of them were rather closed and a bit ‘stinky’ but they opened up, delighted guests around the table and were even named wine of the flight by some. The Clos des Ducs was of delicate and fragrant nature and the 1978 Volnay Clos des Chênes 1er Cru, Domaine du Château de Meursault was the wine of the flight or even wine of the night for most. On opening of the 1966 (from one of Maison Roche de Bellène’s recent releases) it would have been difficult to even get near it’s age if it was served blind. There was still plenty of berry fruit present, though it was discussed around the table the wine aged considerably and fast once it was in the glass. Definitely a special treat!
Roast Grouse with Bread Sauce
2002 Pommard Clos des Epeneaux 1er Cru Monopole, Comte Armand
1997 Pommard Les Rugiens 1er Cru, Domaine de Montille en Magnum
1990 Volnay Pousse d'Or, Domaine de la Bousse d'Or en Magnum
Francis told us before dinner that this will be his first grouse of the year. He got lots of praise for it. The Comte Armand offered rich and ripe berry fruit as well as a dusty, earthy minerality. We suspected that it might have been in a slightly dull stage at them moment as it wasn’t as expressive as expected. The De Montille had a smoky, rich nose, packed with dark fruit. On the palate it had a fine tannin and sour cherry, red berry flavours. Definitely a food wine and a good partner for the ‘fragrant’ grouse dish. The Volnay Pousse d’Or had enough richness and complexity to win the the ‘wine of the flight’ title!
Cheese from Neal's Yard Dairy
2009 Chassagne-Montrachet, JN Gagnard
NV Jacques Selosse Substance
2009 Chassagne-Montrachet Ruchottes 1er Cru, Bernard Moreau en Magnum
1992 Volnay Clos des Ducs 1er Cru, Marquis D'Angerville
Wine wise this proved to be the most challenging flight. Opposed to still prevailing general opinion that red wine matches best with cheese, we chose to pair some whites as well as Champagne with it as these cut through the creaminess of cheese far better.
The JN Gagnard did see quite a bit of oak, but this was well integrated and had a gentle hint of very pleasant spiciness. The Selosse was disgorged in April 2015, so fairly recently and had lots of freshness to offer as well as toasted nuts and hay with a fine perlage. More a wine than a Champagne and as some say it is a ‘Marmite Wine’, you either like it or your don’t. I am one of the ‘likers’ and enjoyed it with the more nutty cheeses. We poured a 2000 Roussanne Vielles Vignes from Château de Beaucastel which was far more advanced than other bottles I have tasted previously, yet I felt it could be an interesting match with cheese for the same reason. Bernard Moreau’s 2009 Chassagne was very opposite to that: precise, citrussy and a better match with creamy and the goats cheese on the plate. The Marquis D'Angerville surprised with a structured, quite prominent and sandy tannin and delicate fruit.
Greengage and Almond Tart
2010 Sauternes, D’Yquem
Made from declassified Châteu D’Yquem, this has fruit driven apricots, honey, saffron, vanilla and sweet spices. There is only one Châteu D’Yquem, but this is definitely well made Sauternes.
By Anja Breit