Dinner with Jeff Pfohl

Yesterday evening Jeff dropped by for dinner after his haircut and to deliver some Belazu Balsamic from Gourmet Delights. He also provided the first three wines. We started with some smoked salmon & cream cheese pinwheels with a lovely bottle of NV Paul Bara Brut Rosé - dark strawberry-bronze in color; nice brisk fruit with no oxidation; good mousse, and very nice with the appetizer. Then we moved to the dining table for the main course of grilled porterhouse pork chops with beets and beet greens. The pork chops were given a dry rub of onion powder, onion pepper, & dried orange peel about an hour before cooking. The beets were boiled for a little over an hour, peeled, and cut up (large beets in eighths, medium in sixths, and small in quarters), then the cut beets were finished with butter, chervil, coarse sea salt, and freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper. The greens were steamed for about 20 minutes and finished with butter and coarse sea salt. The pork chops were grilled on our Weber Summit Gas Grille for seven minutes - four on the first side, two minutes, then rotate 90 degrees for two more minutes to get crossing grill marks, then three minutes on the second side. The chops were removed from the grille, brought inside and finished with Blood Orange Olive Oil, SI Fines Herbes, and a Verdelho reduction of the juices and seasonings on the plate that the chops were carried in on.

The meal was enjoyed with two, quite different, 1993 1er Cru Morey St. Denis, a Michel Magnien ‘Les Monts Luisants’ and a Domaine G. Roumier ‘Clos de la Bussière’. Both were similarly dark ruby-garnet in color. The Magnien was rich, complex, spicy red and dark fruit in nose and flavors; mid-palate with adequate acidity and no sense of the typical hardness of the 1993s; and a long, rich, complex fruit finish. The Roumier started out with some of the hardness, which dissipated with time and swirling in our Riedel Sommelier Grand Bourgognes; darker, simpler fruit that the Magnien; less acidity than the Magnien, with a very long dark fruit finish. I think the Roumier perhaps needs more development time; the Magnien is drinking beautifully now.

Then for dessert we had ripe Black Mission figs, St. André cheese, and a 2005 Chateau Rieussec Sauternes. The combination of figs, St André, and Sauternes is one of my favorite desserts. This version did not disappoint. It was a perfect end to a lovely meal. The Rieussec was young, rich fruit, and not particularly sweet.

I believe this is the first note I’ve seen on the '05 Rieussec - can you expand on it at all? I’d love to crack one of the bottles I have, but not if they are destined to be epic in many years. Some vintages, like 2003, I enjoy very much, and realize they don’t likely have too much age possible. '05 as a vintage should, but one never knows with Sauternes.

What is your definition of “dont have too much age possible”?

I have no idea if the 03 Rieussec will last 50+ like 90/01 yquem but I say rieussec in a solid year (ie. 03/05) is good for 30+ years. 05 is comparable in quality to 03 right now but I am enjoying 03 a bit better. 05 is still a bit primary for my tastes and could use a few more years in bottle. On the other hand I do like that 05 has a bit more acidity at this stage than the 03 did two years ago.

The '03’s were never known for their acidity - the '01’s were, but now many are losing it. If the '05 is still primary, I can wait it out, at least a couple years.

'05 Guiraud and LTB were both meh. Way too young for both of them.

Todd - The '05 Rieussec was still primary, but nice with the figs and St, Andre. If I can keep my hands off the remaining half bottles, I will get to see how they age.

Serge - The first three Jeff brought - the Paul Bara Rosé and the two Morey St. Denis. The Rieussec was ours.

An amazing dinner with Dick & Carollee, two of my favorite people. Sitting around their table never disappoints.

The color on the Paul Bara Rose was stunning. Quite dark. Yummy!

I’m doing a lot more with beets this year, so it was great to see Dick’s version and to pick his brain a bit on cooking techniques and recipes. Loved the beets and the beet greens.

The pork was moist and outstanding in flavor. Using the O Blood Orange Olive Oil for a finishing oil was inspired. I know Dick does this a lot, but I never realized it until we got to talking about preparation and recipe ideas. Nothing like having the master and his food in front of you to really bring home where the various flavors are coming from. I’ve been using the O Olive Oils (Blood Orange, Tahitian Lime and Meyer Lemon) for sauteeing and in dressings, but will definitely start using them to finish a dish now. [thankyou.gif] Dick’s the one who first introduced them to me and suggested I add them to my pantry and to my website. I’m glad he did.

The wines were as Dick described. The Michel Magnien ‘Les Monts Luisants’ was new to me, I’ve never had one of the Magnien wines. WOW. No rush to drink them up, they have easily 5 years in them, but they are nice now. None of the 1993 hardness.

I think the G. Roumier has a lot of potential. It did start off hard but as it opened it revealed small hints of what is hiding underneath. Give it a good 7-10 years before popping one or decant 4-6 hours before.

I wish I had bought more, but these were my sole bottles. I got to share them with my best friends, so life is good.

The sauternes was lovely. It will last decades but is very very nice now. A perfect dessert to end a lovely evening.

That pork chop dish does sound very tasty [welldone.gif]