When ordinary wines are perfect

Business dinner at The Crossing in Clayton (St. Louis), MO.

Brought at 2005 Haut Bages Liberal from home and ordered a 2015 Foreau Vouvray Sec Clos Naudin off the list. I dropped the Bdx off in the morning and asked them to decant at 5:15-5:30 for a 6:00 reservation. The decanter and bottle were waiting on the table when we arrived. The Vouvray was only ordered when we arrived and served PnP.

Neither of these are the wines that “look what I drank” internet posts are made of, but damn if they weren’t both perfect tonight. Just delightful with a dinner of (for me) foie gras, pasta with morels, veal osso bucco, and fried apple pie. Both just open and singing and exactly why we do this whole wino thing. Classic, expressive on the nose, delicious with the food, with nothing overdone or out of place. Enjoyed by one and all at the table. Cheers! [cheers.gif]


Cheers to this sentiment, and to you. “Just delightful” is a good mantra.

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I don’t know about the word “ordinary”. I mean, I’d think the winemakers who put so much care into crafting those, taking pride in and honoring the heritage in getting the best out of those estates would be insulted by that term. Certainly wines don’t need to be over-the-top, super-prestigious, expensive, gimmicky, highly marketed or whatever to be perfect or perfect for the context you’d consume that wine.

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Very fair point. The sentiment is of course, intended not to disparage these wines but rather to express that they need not be “100 point wines” or 1st Growths, Grands Crus, etc. to provide a “100 point experience” on any given night, which these non-1st Growth, non-Grand Cru wines certainly did last night. [cheers.gif]

We often find the determining factors are time and place. When traveling, we have often had table wines that seemed to taste out of their leagues. Buy a bottle and open it at another time in another place and we often wonder “what were we thinking?”

Having had that Vouvray on several occasions, I have to say that it is a fabulous bottle of wine far beyond the ordinary. According to Rosenthal Imports, Phillipe Foreau “feels that the 2015 Sec is better than the 2002, and perhaps approaching the great ‘96 Sec.”

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It was terrific that’s for sure - thanks for the additional info!

I’ve never dropped off a wine hours in advance for the restaurant to open and prepare. I love this idea. Definitely going to try it next time I do BOY.

The perfect solution for when the restaurant is a short walk from your office and you’re driving in in the morning and heading straight to the restaurant from work at the end of the day. When my wife and I go out on weekends and I’m home during the day, I usually just double decant as far in advance as I want and bring the wine along when we head to the restaurant.

May I be pedantic, Haut-Bages-Liberal is 5th growth “Grand Cru Classe”, so it very much is a “Grand Cru” wine :slight_smile:

I love it when wines that you expect to be good surprise with a stunning showing. It doesn’t happen often but when it does it can be one of the best wine experiences. Part of the explanation is starting with lower expectations, a setting that compliments the enjoyment of the wine, and a wine that is showing its best. My most recent experience of this type this summer was a 2008 Pol Roger Brut, not the Churchill but the lower level brut, shared over appetizers at a wine dinner at a friends house. Had us marveling how great an “ordinary” bottle can show.

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Appreciate you posting, Dave, and all the discussion, but Zachary basically put my sentiments in writing. Glad they both were so enjoyable for you.


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