White Burgundy

6 March 2013, 21 Warren Street, Tribeca

After the success of our Bordeaux dinner, Diane suggested we do another event focusing on white Burgundy. After some discussion, we narrowed our wines down to four Chablis and five Meursault. Vintages ranged from 1996-2002 and the freshness, diversity and complexity of the wines was incredible.

Our tasting table at the end of the night

Our tasting table at the end of the night

The food pairings worked well as Chef Ryan started us off with three ceviches: tuna with Shishito peppers, rockfish and scallops. The main course was organic roasted chicken on a bed of wheatberry, currants and olives.

On to the wines:

  1. *** 1996 Domaine Francois Raveneau, Montee de Tonnerre (Premier Cru) – in a surprising start to the flight, we had a barrel fermented Chablis that had a combination of the expected minerality and white pepper spice along with noticeable, but well integrated oak. The primary fruit was peach and this was not the stereotypical austere, high-acid Chablis that are typical from the region. $200
  2. *** 1996 Domaine Francois Raveneau, Vailllons (Premier Cru) – peach again, very similar to the first bottle but with more acidity and a less complex mid palate. Still excellent. $150
  3. *** 1997 Domaine Rene & Vincent Dauvissat, Les Clos (Grand Cru) – full bodied, almost creamy with pears and caramel on the palate. Reminded me of a white from Lopez de Heredia – slightly oxidized and deliciously thick. $200
  4. ** 1997 Domaine Rene & Vincent Dauvissat, Vaillons (Premier Cru) – medium bodied and less complex than the Les Clos, hint of peaches and fruit but believes this is past its prime. $165
  5. *** 2000 Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Les Perreiers (Premier Cru) – our first of the Meursault flight, medium body with the smell of burnt oak. Buttery with an extremely long finish. $250
  6. *** 2000 Domaine Coche-Dury, Vireuils (Village) – huge structure with striking acidity and peach/stone fruit on the palate. Balanced and elegant – my wine of the night. $300
  7. *** 2002 Guy Roulot, Les Luchets (Village) – slightly oxidized with a palate of honey and nutty stone fruit. Medium bodied and a long finish. $150
  8. *** 1996 Guy Roulot, Les Tillets (Village) – also slightly oxidized but very balanced with the acidity, less complex than the ’02 Luchets but similar flavor profile. $200

New Year, New Wines

31 December 2011, 140 W 22nd St, Manhattan

At a holiday party this past December, I informed Cohen, to his surprise, that he would be hosting a New Year’s Eve party at his apartment. I had no plans, had no intention of hosting myself, and made Thomas host once already so I figured it was Cohen’s turn – I offered to send out the Evite on his behalf if he didn’t care to.

Not surprisingly, the party was incredible – 14 people total for a seven course meal with wine pairings and some bubbly left over for the midnight ball drop.  A brief synopsis below:

1. 2008 Fontezoppa Marche Rosso

a. Roasted red pepper puree with a ricotta crostini

b. Roasted beet, apple and shallot salad with a champagne vinaigrette dressing

I lump these two courses together as they were accompanied by this same wine, an Italian IGT.  50% Sangiovese, 40% Cabernet and 10% Merlot, the nose reminded me of a Pinot Noir or Beaujolais. The wine is aged in stainless steel for 3 months followed by a cask for 12 months. Very light bodied, fruity however a bit simple and not the most compelling wine of the night:

2008 Fontezoppa Marche Rosso

2. 2009 Brut Naveran Cava – Shrimp and pineapple wrapped in bacon

I’m not a huge fan of super dry sparkling wines – they remind me of bad champagnes that leave a bad aftertaste in your mouth.  Cavas, I find, tend to avoid this issue but often lack the complexity and depth that good champagnes can develop. This cava was as expected – light, refreshing and crisp – just dry enough to not leave a lingering taste and the bubbles were great with the bacon. The cava is made from Chardonnay and parellada with bottle fermentation and 2 years of aging:

2009 Brut Naveran Cava

3. 2010 Yves Cuilleron Condrieu La Petite Cote – Strawberries with vanilla ice cream and balsamic vinegar

For me, the wine of the night. 100% viognier from northern Rhone, the wine was incredibly aromatic and slightly sweet. Went well with this palate cleansing coarse, however, when consumed with salty food, you could easily see the saltiness and fruit. Fermentation is done in oak barrels with natural yeasts. Total annual production is about 24,000 bottles:

2010 Yves Cuilleron Condrieu La Petite Cote

4. 2006 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet – Prime rib roast

A delicious main course was the oven roasted prime rib. Cooked perfectly and served with the wine Diane and I brought – a solid Napa Cabernet. What you’d expect – very fruit forward, with sweet, smooth and balanced tannins. Aromas of plums and blackberries – very easy drinking. The blend is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot.  Aged for 25 months in 100% new American oak and 20 months in the bottle:

2006 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet

5. 2010 Patrick Piuze Chablis, Terroir de Chablis – assorted cheeses

Pedro and Christina brought the wine for the cheese course. He asked for a suggestion from me earlier in the day and I sent him to NY Vintners. The chablis was perfect – after a long meal with the heavy meat course right behind us, a lighter wine with citrus and minerality was perfect with the various cheeses:

2010 Patrick Piuze Chablis, Terroir de Chablis

6. 2004 Madame Fleur Sauterne – red velvet cake and other assorted desserts

The last course was a full dessert dish with a Sauternes. I have very little experience with sauternes but tend to find that they typically err on the side of being too sweet and syrupy and lack the necessary acidity to balance the wine. I found the same to be true with this – while a pleasant wine with the dessert courses, definitely needed to be taken in a small portion:

2004 Madame Fleur Sauternes

* 2008 Fontezoppa Marche Rosso

** 2009 Brut Naveran Cava

*** 2010 Yves Cuilleron Condrieu La Petite Cote

** 2006 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet

** 2010 Patrick Piuze Chablis, Terroir de Chablis

* 2004 Madame Fleur Sauterne

Double Birthday Dinner @ Dan and Sul’s

11 November 2011, 27 N. Moore St., Manhattan

Dan and Anthony (my coworkers) wanted to plan a dinner to celebrate two birthdays – mine which had just passed (11/4) and Diane’s which is coming up in a week (11/19).  I need to start out by thanking Dan, Sul, Anthony and Jennifer for an incredible evening.  Dan and Sul were our hosts at their gorgeous new Tribeca apartment (along with Panchito and Nacho).  Ryan from New York Vintners, our preferred NYC wine store, came over with Jesse to cook the meal.  Dukie, another coworker, joined solo since his better half had other dinner plans.  Dan and Anthony provided all the wines for the meal.

Diane and I tried to come up with something useful to bring and after being told the wine was “taken care of”, we decided to go for some white truffles that are now in season:

White truffles before being added to the pasta

We started with some cured meats and manchego cheese (my favorite) with two bottles of Dom Perignon, 1998:

1998 Dom Perignon

I’m not a huge fan of champagne in general – I tend to find them too dry and biting to really enjoy but this was an incredible wine.  Bread-like flavors with an incredibly smooth start and finish – lacks the over-dryness I dislike in most champagnes.  With the first course of the meal, we had two bottles of Domaine Vocoret & Fils, Les Clos Chablis Grand Cru, 2008:

2008 Domaine Vocoeet & Fils, Les Clos Chablis Grand Cru

Perfect example of a great Chablis – a citrus/mineral-like taste and high acidity. Refreshing but also subtle with complexity.  Diane’s favorite wine of the night.

Our meal: mixed green salad with roasted figs, a miso dressing and fleur de sel (a.k.a. crack salt).  Two pasta courses were next – one had three types of mushrooms along with the shaved white truffles, the second was a lamb ragu pasta.  Our first pasta:

The main course were Brandt farm filet mignons.  They were so tender you can easily cut them with butter knives.  Taken down with two bottles of Pianpolvere Soprano Barolo Bussia Riserva, 2000.  Incredibly complex wine –  pronounced vegetal aroma, some oak and spice and an incredibly long finish.  In the Parker notes for this wine, they mention that Bruno Giacosa was once asked what the best terroirs in Barolo were.  The best one? Pianpolvere:

2000 Pianpolvere Soprano Barolo Bussia Riserva

Dessert was two birthday cakes – one for me and one for Diane (Dan noted Diane’s was a yellow cake – har har).  Along with dessert we had the wine of the night for me, a Chateau d’Yquem, 2002:

2002 Chateau d'Yquem

While I’m 100% an Italian wine guy with a strong preference to Barolos and Barbarescos, Chateau d’Yquem is the perfect wine to me.  Its incredible balance of sweetness and acidity, the smell of honey and sweet fruit, and the absolutely incredible finish – no wine can compare.  It’s made from Semillon grapes that are partially “rotting” to increase their sugar levels but somehow, that climate, terroir and winemaker produces one of the best wines I’ve ever had.

Thanks again to everyone for an incredible night.


*** 1998 Dom Perignon

*** 2008 Domaine Vocoret & Fils, Les Clos Chablis Grand Cru

*** 2000 Pianpolvere Soprano Barolo Bussia Riserva

**** 2002 Chateau d’Yquem