Tuesday’s Stannary St Wine Co. dinner theme was Morey-St-Denis. The line-up of mostly Grand Cru wines suggested that we were about to go on a festive celebration dinner, with Christmas being just around the corner!
As there were no white wines served during the dinner, Francis Percival’s menu was tailor-made to match the four flights of red wine.
To get our palates ready for supper, we started with some AR Lenoble Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs . This has a delicate perlage, fine mushroom and buttery, autolytic flavours as well as hints of dried flowers. It is one of our favourite Champagnes from AR lenoble which lends itself, due to its elegance and finesse, to an aperitif, but it can equally as well stand up to food.
Canapé: Duck Biscuits
2008 Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs, AR Lenoble
Sea Bass with Autumn Vegetables and Meat Juices
1999 Morey-St-Denis 1er Cru, Vieilles Vignes, Hubert Lignier
1998 Morey-St-Denis 1er Cru Clos de la Bussière, Domaine G. Roumier
2003 Clos-St-Denis Grand Cru, Domaine Dujac (MAGNUM)
2013 Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru, Mark Haisma
Despite the fact that the Lignier had been double decanted at 4pm, it was still very, very youthful and slightly reduced. A wine, one would expect, to benefit from at least 5 more years in the cellar. While the Roumier was the most elegant wine of this flight, the Dujac was a balanced wine and much more classical than many had imagined it would be. It was indeed a very enjoyable glass of wine. The 2013 Bonnes-Mares was the only wine which wasn’t made from Morey-St-Denis grapes tonight, and this was due to a last minute drop-out, the seat being filled again on the same day, and any Morey-St-Denis not being on hand at this short notice. It was vibrant and plush, dominated by dark berry and cherry fruit flavours with ripe tannins. Still a baby wine, which should be drinking in about 5-10 years.
Pappardelle with Veal Ragù
2007 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Domaine Lucie & Auguste Lignier
2006 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Lucie & Auguste Lignier
2008 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Domaine Armand Rousseau
2004 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Domaine Dujac
Lucie & Auguste Lignier are the children of Kellen and Romain Lignier. Sadly Romain passed away far too early, yet Kellen continued to make wine from her father-in-law’s vineyards until she and her children moved back to the United States, from where she hails, in 2013. To me personally these wines have a slightly modern touch, with some noticeable sweet spices. The balance and intensity of fruit is beautiful in both wines with the 2006 being the slightly better vintage of the two. It was discussed at the table that most would ideally keep this in their cellar for at least 3-4 more years.
Despite the 2008 Rousseau being, quite possibly, the most anticipated wine of the flight, some felt it lacked a bit of intensity and weight. When I opened the bottles though, I was surprised how accessible they seemed to be for a Rousseau of such young age.
The Dujac clearly showed some of the herbal, stalky characteristics of the 2004 vintage, however most guests around the table were surprised about it and said it was far better than they had expected. Some said it was their best 2004 vintage experience ever!
Wines aside, the Pappardelle was an absolutely stunning and delicious dish which worked wonderfully well with the flight.
Partridge with Savoy Cabbage and Smoked Bacon
1997 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Domaine Ponsot
1996 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Domaine Ponsot
1995 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Domaine Ponsot (MAGNUM)
1989 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Domaine Ponsot (MAGNUM)
Expectations around the table were high. Ponsot can be hit and miss and we had a fair bit of both in this flight. The 1997 was a very good wine which was enjoyed by most, and it was discussed that in general 1997s seem to drink extremely well at the moment. The 1996 was slightly leaner, but an enjoyable wine to drink. The 1995 was muted and felt very dry and, unfortunately, as well a bit thin when it was opened. Some suggested there might have been some TCA involved, however I could not detect any myself. The wine of the flight was clearly the 1989. On opening the cork was very smelly and suspicious, but there was no TCA to detect in the wine. Although this had a great complexity, there was no real ‘wow’ factor and I over-heard that people who had tasted some other great vintages of Ponsot (for example 1985, 1990,1991 and 1993) felt it was far behind the experience of tasting these. The owner of the bottle found it slightly ‘soapy’.
In general there was more consistency in this flight, compared to the previous flight, though, considering the cost of any of these wines, I feel a bit disappointed about it. Of course we complain at a high level, since these still are special wines. One guest pointed out that Ponsot, similarly to de Voguë, falls into the category of producers who have a fantastic reputation but often underwhelm. And I completely agree with that. The fact that Ponsot picks very late and also has a very own style brings a certain amount of risk with it. We discussed that the Asian market, for example, buys Ponsot on reputation which keeps the price up. However, Allen Meadows scored the 2005 with barely ever seen 99 points, so hopefully the future is bright!
Cheese from Neal's Yard Dairy
Innes Log, St Cera, Mature Kirkham's Lancashire, Coolea
2002 Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru, Domaine des Lambrays (MAGNUM)
2001 Clos-St-Denis Grand Cru, Domaine Dujac
2001 Clos de Tart Grand Cru, Mommesin
1995 Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru, Domaine des Lambrays (MAGNUM)
Chocolate Tart with Crème Fraîche
This flight, and everyone agreed, was the flight of the night. The level of quality was a completely different level to the previous flight, though the 1995 fell slightly short of the other 3 wines. While Jason provocatively stated that the 2001 Clos de Tart was ‘the last good wine they made’ (before the style became far more modern with one of the longest cold macerations in Burgundy - this is nowadays ‘more Bordelais in style’, as Francis pointed out),the Dujac and Clos de Tart were the wines of the night (both got 6 votes each from a total of 16 guests).
The Dujac was indeed a lovely bottle of wine which many would have liked to see in another 5 years’ time. My personal wine of the night was the 2002 Lambrays magnum, a still very youthful wine, though with a well rounded complexity and intensity.
By Anja Breit