Sunday, February 25, 2018

BURGUNDY, baby, and oh my what a night......

When we originally split up the countries for our theme nights, I had drafted "France"...but it quickly became clear that there was just TOO MUCH great food and wine in France to cover it in a single night. Hell there is probably too much to cover in 10 nights, actually; but I decided to split it up into three.

1. Bordeaux, which we hosted last summer (refresh your memory here if you like)

2. BURGUNDY, which is this report

3. France - "Other", which will feature a host of wines from all the other regions of France. I'll be hosting this one in the late-spring/early-summer.

For this one I did less courses than I have done in the past, but a few of them were bigger portions. Lots of great wine available in Burgundy, of course, so food and wine pairings were fairly easy. I was looking forward to some of the terrific Chardonnays we were going to enjoy, and especially looking forward to sampling the oldest Pinot Noir I have ever tasted.

For those of you unfamiliar with wine from Burgundy, the red wines are all Pinot Noir (unless otherwise indicated) and the whites are all Chardonnay. Generally, if it says "Chablis" it is unoaked, and "Montrachet" is oaked. Let's get to it!

Premier Cours

First time I've ever made fondue in my life, and it was tasty, although it didn't thicken like I would have liked or expected. We just kept adding cheese until it got thick :) The vegetables that were suggested to go with it seemed really weird, but they worked...especially the Brussel Sprouts, which were a huge hit!

Domaine Laroche 2012 Chablis ($75.99 from Everything Wine)
Aromas of quince, citrus, peach, pear and strong minerality. Citrus, peach and pear flavors dominate, with well-balanced acidity and a nice finish. If unoaked Chardonnay is your thing, you will love this one.

Louis Latour 2015 Bourgogne ($28.99 from BC Liquor Stores)
Look closely at the bottle, you'll see it indicates "Pinot Noir". That right there is a sign that this is entry-level stuff, produced for the masses. True French wine (like almost all wine from the Old World) does not indicate the grape on the bottle. Still, even the 'cheap' stuff from a top producer like Latour is perfectly quaffable. Two-thirds of this bottle went into the Coq Au Vin. Aromas of blackberry, black cherry and herbs. Bitter cherry, earth and mushroom flavors with a medium finish. 

Deuxieme Cours

Coq Au Vin is about as traditionally French as you can get; the pot pie, notsomuch, but I thought I'd riff it up a bit when I saw this recipe. Delicious, and easy to put it all together the day before and then bake the pies just before serving them. 

Thibault Liger Belair 2012 Moulin-A-Vent ($52.99 from BC Liquor Stores)
The only non-Pinot Noir of the night, this comes from the Beaujolais sub-appelation. This is such a distinct sub-appelation that many consider Beaujolais as it's own region, but it is technically in South Burgundy so for tonight's purposes, I treated it as Burgundy. Gamay is the grape here, and that is not generally a grape I have enjoyed in the past. This one was terrific; just goes to show you, you just need to find the right wine. Sweet aromas of black cherry and earth, with mushroom, red cherry and earth flavors. Finishes very long. I will definitely have this again. It paired beautifully with the Coq Au Vin. 

A-F Gros 2015 Vosné Romanée Maizieres ($149.99 from Liberty Wines)

2015 is generally regarded as one of the all-time great vintages for red Burgundy, but of course they are still very, very young. As was recommended to me, this was decanted 4 hours.. Light fruity nose of red cherry and sagebrush. Herbaceous notes dominate the palate which also features some sweet red cherry and black tea. Delicious, if a bit pricey. 

Troisieme Cours

Admittedly, this recipe was a large pain in the ass to make. It was very good, but realistically too much trouble to make again except for a special event.

Philippe Colin 2013 Chassagne-Montrachet ($96.99 from BC Liquor Store)

Aerated and decanted for 5 hours. Aromas of hazelnut, red apple, pear and very slight buttery oak. Flavors of apple, lemon meringue pie and baking spices. Vibrant acidity and a lovely finish. Superb.
Domaine Joseph Faiveley 2015 Puligny-Montrachet ($99.99 USD from
Aerated and decanted for 5 hours. More buttery than the above on the nose and the palate. Aromas of baked pear and clove. Flavors of citrus and butterscotch are framed by well-balanced acidity. Delicious. 

Quatrieme Cours

This was superb, and a couple of the guests proclaimed it the "dish of the night". The herb sauce was a perfect compliment to the pastry. Really tasty!
Domaine de la Bongran 2003 Viré Clessé Cuveé Tradition ($52.99 from Liberty Wines)
Oh my, what an excellent example of what aging Chardonnay can do. Butterscotch, citrus and toasted almonds on the nose. Citrus, hazelnut and orange blossom flavors. Beautifully balanced with a long finish. A steal at this price. If you can find some, buy one. No, buy many. 

Cinquieme Cours

I had prepared a different version of Beef Bourguignon for Bordeaux night, and at the time had realized how incredibly stupid that was, given that it literally translates to "Beef Burgundy". Anyhoo, that notwithstanding, I went ultra-traditional with this, getting the recipe from the Master herself, Julia Child. It was a big hit, and my wife actually enjoyed it even more the next day. She insists I make this frequently, not just for special events.

Louis Jadot 1996 Corton-Pougats ($99.97 USD from

Aromas of moss-covered forest floor during a rainstorm. Virtually no fruit left on the nose but notes of black cherry and strawberry linger with the earthy notes on the palate. Still delicious at 22 years old.

Joseph Drouhin 2015 Clos des Mouches ($119.99 USD from
Also decanted 4 hours. Aromas of black fruit, leather and forest floor. Black cherry, rich earth, black plum flavors dominate the slightly dusty palate. Just delicious and I can only imagine how good this will be after a decade or so to settle down. So good. 

That's it! No dessert at all tonight, as I tried to stick to the theme and as far as I know, no dessert wine comes out of Burgundy.

Next up: Still have a lot of great wine to catch up on, and we are just DAYS AWAY from the 39th Annual Vancouver International Wine Festival. We have Gold Passes this year and we are going to be hitting this one hard. Full reports to come!

No comments:

Post a Comment