My favourite go to wine related restaurant in Amsterdam is Cafe de Klepel. They have an extremely wine knowledgable staff to support a relatively strong, globally rich wine list with over 30 wines by the glass available. They use a higher end line of restaurant and dishwasher friendly Riedel stemware and graciously change out each stem for the next wine. The food is mostly organic and locally fresh as well as being creatively prepared, presented and so savoury in a French bistro fashion.
One of the 3 wine aficionados who trade off night shifts working the bar and the dining area is Job [Yoob} He just returned from his vacation which was 3 weeks touring the wine regions of Spain which pretty much says something about his degree of passion.
I invariably trust Job to make the wine choice decisions for us and he comes through not only with great wines, but detailed info about each one. We start off with champagne, of course.
NV J L VERGNON CONVERSATION BLANC de BLANC BRUT- from Le Mesnil Sur Oger grand cru fruit, the first nose on this was more of an oxidative one and the initial taste seemed to confirm such; at first, it came on really strong and after a couple of sips, it seemed to mellow out and show off its Grand Cru pedigree, but toward the end of our pour, it regressed back into oxidative notes; in between came robust lemon, lime, apple and pear fruit; it was almost too sweet for me although Job stated the dosage was low; it was mildly acidic and had a mineral component that came in late, after a few tastes, I was going to order more, but then it became apparent we needed to move on .
2015 CHATEAU PECH REDON LA CENTAUREE LA CLAPE LANGUEDOC BLANC- made by grower Christophe Bousquet who heads up the appellation committee for La Clape, this Grenache Blanc, grown in the hillside vineyards was delicious and refreshing with its mineral infused Mandarin orange and green apple notes which followed aromatics of orange blossom and tropical fruit; lightly acidic, it had a medium to full body and a palate cleansing effect in the end.
2013 NICOLAS ROUGET BOURGOGNE ROUGE HAUTES-COTESS du NUITS- this wine kind of grew on me and I went for a 2nd glass; it had a nose suggestive of spice, game and wild red fruit; the taste had wild red cherry with a briary accent that stood out from here on through; it had a medium plus body and a tangy crispness that surprised and pleased.
2013 CLOS du JANGUEYRON HAUT-MEDOC- the label also shows Michel Theron as being the viticulturist; this bottle had ripe black currant fruit embellished with cedar, tobacco and milk chocolate accents; it had a medium plus body, mild tannins and nice mouthfeel.
NV MARGUET SHAMAN 12 BRUT ROSE GRAND CRU- Job selected the perfect way to finish off an evening with a brut rose which is my style at home; i believe the 12 stands for the base wine in this case 2012 as I`ve seen other bottles with the abbreviated number when it was noted with the base wine being the same; 55% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay; this house is a 2005 merger of Champagne Marguet, circa ~1875, and Champagne Bonnerave Freres, circa 1905; it had a nice inviting bright red colour which introduced the fresh lightly sweetened strawberry and red cherry fruitiness; it was nicely balanced although the bright red fruit was the hallmark; the vineyard sources are organically and bio-dynamically farmed when possible.
I love the surrender and accept status that occurs when we travel abroad. Their wine list has some big time heavy hitters that I can get in the US, e.g. MV Krug, Chave Hermitage, Dagueneau, Yquem “Y”, Mommessin Clos de Tart et al. But I choose to go with wines mostly unfamiliar and selected by people in the know to get new and exciting adventures. Life is full of choices and in this case they`re all good.
Please excuse typos and unintended auto-corrects