September 12, 2009

A bunch of 45-year olds

Pin It

Tonight I had to pleasure of hosting a dinner to celebrate (belatedly) the birthdays of two friends.  I had asked my friends to fly in from Tokyo, because I was going to open some really nice wines for dinner that won't travel well by air.  I'm happy that my friends obliged with my request.  I think we all agree that this has turned out to be a fantastic evening for all.

The celebration would be held at Pierre, where the chef set up a menu to match the wines of the evening. I was very apprehensive about how things would turn out this evening.  After all, the line up of wines are all from my friends' birth vintage - 1964.  With wines of this age, you never know how things would turn out.

We started with the 1964 Bouchard Corton-Charlemagne Château de Beaune, served from a magnum.  This was the oldest dry white wine I've ever had, and I really didn't know what to expect even though the vintage was rated to be a decent one for white Burgundy.

This wine turned out to be the surprise of the evening.  It was simply fantastic.  Beautiful amber color.  Initially nose of mushrooms, oxidized with a bit of sweet grass.  Very, very long finish and the alcohol was very evident.  A bit ripe on the palate as the acidity level has fallen.  Later on notes of oxidized pear, figs, cotton candy.  Hitting its peak around one and a half hours after opening, with rich, creamy vanilla ice cream, apple, straw and mineral notes.  Awesome!

Cauliflower cream, cucumber jelly; oysters with caviar, white mushrooms - this was very refreshing and yummy on a warm day.  I can't say that the flavors of cauliflower were prominent as it was upstaged by the taste of cucumbers.  Of course the oysters and caviar were the center of attention.  The oysters were very sweet and creamy, with just a bit of the brine.  Caviar was delish, too, and strips of white mushrooms completed the dish and complemented the Corton-Charlemagne.

Pan-fried foie gras with gingerbread, slightly acid figs and baby spinach - the foie was absolutely perfect.  The gingerbread, though, was a surprise as the taste was pretty strong and kinda overpowering.  The figs worked well with the foie.  Initially we were pretty surprised that the chef chose to pair the white wine with foie, but I think it worked pretty well.

1964 DRC Richebourg - this was clearly the wine of the evening as we all expected.  An explosive sweet nose with tons of fruit.  A little bit minty almost, with some bacon fat, leather, red currant, prune and tangerine notes.  Absolutely beautiful to the end.

Chicken pascaline: lobster sliced with brown butter and carrot stew; polyphénol sauce - the pascaline was kinda interesting.  The lobster was a little on the dry side, much like a similar dish I had last time.  I quickly removed the pile of dill and parsley on top since it would have detracted from the wine.  Most people found the polyphénol sauce interesting - kinda like a red wine reduction.

1964 Haut-Brion - my friend Kevin kindly dug this out of his cellar to go with tonight's theme.  This was a beautiful wine in its own right, with smoky, brett / medicinal nose along with notes of animal, game, pine, sous bois and a hint of grass.  Unfortunately the wine followed the spectacular Richebourg, so it did pale a little in comparison.

Beef filet, flambé with Armagnac; mashed potatoes and truffle - the filet was very tender, but it was the potatoes that stole the show.  Blocs of foie were encased inside the potatoes, and the whole thing was enhanced with the beautiful taste of truffles.

1964 Noval Colheita - now this was also a real treat as one of the birthday boys is a real big fan of port.  The colheita was harvested in 1964 and aged in cask until bottling in September 2008, and it spent more than 40 years oxidizing just like a regular tawny.  Nose of hazelnut, grape, walnut, caramel, crème brûlée and prunes.  Nose was initially a bit sharp but the alcohol dissipated a bit in glass.  The finish was just wonderful, as the fragrance stays in your mouth long after you've swallowed the wine.

Pre-dessert was an interesting bowl of beer ice cream and passion fruit sauce, with a few small bites (such as marzipan) on the side.

Biscuit soufflé au chocolat guanaja - nice but a little too much and rich for me...

Finally there was a small blini with a slice on lemon on top to finish.

This was an evening of great wines and good food, and one that I am sure to remember for a long time to come.

1 comment:

Lambda said...

Polyphenol... Isn't that what we use in the lab?

I'm hungry again


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map