A lot of great wines seemed to pass my lips this past week, something I am quite thankful for. Almost every night seemed to bring another lovely bottle and meal, it was just one of those weeks where everything went smoothly. Here are a few notes…
First, the Beaujolais:
-2008 Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorees Vieilles Vignes L’Ancien Beaujolais
When I first had this late last year, it was tight tight tight. I even did a comparison tasting with the 2007 Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Cuvee Traditionelle Beaujolais Vieilles Vignes in October and it was giving nothing on the palate. Lately, however, it’s been coming around and smoothing out, and this night was no different. Gorgeous aromas of crisp cherries with a lush, plush mouthfeel that trailed off into a tart background, leaving your mouth refreshed and ready for more, with a lovely, perfumy memory of what was.
-2005 Jean-Marc Burgaud Morgon Cotes de Py Vieilles Vignes
I jumped when I saw this on the list at a restaurant for $60. A slightly-aged Bojo? Who ever sees that in NYC? This was a no-brainer, and it rewarded us with gorgeous funky yet snappy cherry and mineral, stony and slightly bloody aromas, almost a blend of aged Burgundy and aged Rhone. On the palate it was velvety yet tart, a lovely balance of the two, with a long mouth-watering finish. I had the restaurant place the bottle in a cool water pitcher, which helped the wine settle as it breathed. It also went great with our beef tongue app and my porchetta main.
Now the Burgs:
-2001 Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche
Ooooh, what a lovely aroma, I can still recall it 5 days later. Funky cherries, leather, tons of sous-bois, with a stone fist of power that was hidden by a velvety glove of loving red fruits, ending in a long, haunting finish. I decanted this for a good 2 hours in a bottle-shaped decanter to let it breathe slowly, and boy were we rewarded. I just wanted to do lines of this, it smelled so good. Tasting it was almost, but not quite, a let-down after the amazing aromas, but luckily it was as good in the mouth as on the nose. The long finish just seemed to permeate all the nooks and crannies of my mouth and nose, clinging to them for dear life, reminding me how lovely they were. Sigh…
-1996 Comte Armand Clos des Epeneaux
Brought to 11 Madison for a dinner to commemorate the 12th anniversary of my father’s passing, this was another great bottle. These 1996 Epeneaux have been slowly coming around after being shut down for many years, and I was happy that this bottle decided to come out and play on this night. I did have it decanted (they put it in a duck decanter), but this only helped the wine. Gorgeous wild aromas of sous-bois and mushroomy, truffly cherries, with a core of minerals, but more rustic than the Clos de la Roche. The palate was velvety yet masculine, rustic yet elegant, if that makes sense. If not, who cares, it was delicious, with a long-lasting finish that went on and on and on. This was amazing with my braised veal cheek course.
Finally, the bubbles:
-NV Ganevat Oh! “La Combe Rotalier” Cremant du Jura
This is one of my house bubblies, a great value at $18 per. Flowery and lemony with crisp white fruit aromas and flavors, this actually deepens as it breathes, turning minerally with a hint of white truffles on a very tart frame. Quite nice to start any night off with.
-MV Champagne Krug (half-bottle)
OK, what’s not to like? Big and robust yet light on its feet, like a rhino dancing ballet, a core of minerally power that was wrapped in a blanket of nutty lemons. Compared to the Ganevat, this was a powerhouse, almost heavy but not quite.
-NV Champagne Moutard Rose
Moutard is a favorite of mine, so it’s not surprising that I reached for this one night. Lovely red berries and cream on the nose, with more emphasis on the berries than the cream. The mouthfeel is fruity at first but quickly segways into a nicely structured, long finish with lots of acidity. Just really well-made.
-NV Champagne Pouillon Brut Vigneron
This is a geekily-cool assemblage, Solera-style, of 50% various vintages (1997-2006) and 50% of the 2005 vintage. Surprisingly darker than you’d expect for a NV, it had the liveliness of youth with bright citrus and yeast notes leading to slightly oxydized aspects and a heavier mouthfeel. As it breathed, it became slightly smoky with honeyed apple notes and a long finish. Another great glass of Champagne to start off a lovely dinner at 11 Madison.