Recollections from Hospice de Beaune 2009 - Pt 3 - Dinner w/ Jadot

There are times when I sit back in wonder at where my life has led me. Saturday, 14 Nov. 2009 was one of those times. How a kid from the wrong side of the tracks in a small Pennsylvania steel town wound up where I was on this night is something I’ll never quite figure out. From a wine experience that began with high school bottles of Boones’ Farm Strawberry Hill hidden in the hedges behind my friend Collin Youtz’s parents’ house, I wind up at:

Couvent des Jacobins, Beaune, France, night before the 149th Hospice de Beaune auction, in the 150th year of the house of Louis Jadot. Winemaker Jacques Lardiere asks me to sit at his left hand for the dinner and I’m sitting across from Dominique Mounier, the managing director of Jadot. Pretty humbling stuff. For some reason, Jacques and I really hit it off, much to the pain of my right arm, which was subjected to repeated clutching by Jacques when he found a comment of mine to be funny. No accounting for senses of humor. [basic-smile.gif]

The dinner is in the sanctuary of the 14th century convent at a table off to the side. It is a spectacular setting with a very simple table. All Louis Jadot wines.

We start with a carpaccio of beef wrapped around foie gras and raw beets. A good starter - the contrast between the beets and foie gras lent an exciting juxtaposition of flavors. With it is served:

1990 Meursault, Les Charmes, 1er cru - we were served two magnums of this wine, which showed surprising differences. The first was a little flat, with a thick mouthfeel. Lots of complexity, but seemingly fully mature. The second magnum was much fresher, with a lively acidity that cut through the food much more effectively. Also very complex but with a lighter mouthfeel.

Next course - cauliflower puree with black truffles. Yum! That’s all I can say. With it:

1979 Beaune, Clos des Ursules, 1er cru - for a 30 year old beaune 1er cru, this had held up very nicely. A grand match to the truffles, the earthiness of the wine offered a nice complement. Still balanced and youthful tasting. No real signs of age on it.

Next course - veal medallions with morels. Veal was a little overdone to my palate, but the morels were spot on. Served with:

1953 Chambertin, Clos de Beze, Grand cru - Wow! Silky mouthfeel with great complexity and balance. Earthy and ethereal at the same time seemingly with many years ahead of it. Conversation-stopping quality.

Cheese course with:

1959 Grands-Echezeaux - are you joking!?!!? An embarrassment of riches. I’m past the point of taking mental notes except to note life does not get much better than this. Another stunning wine, seemingly ageless.

We close out the night with coffee and a rather disappointing dessert. Jacques drives us to our house in Coberon. An unforgettable night, to be sure. How lucky can a guy be?

Steve, great write-up.
Glad to see you having a little fun these days… [stirthepothal.gif]

Great story. Even better than those cool wines. Well done.