June 21, 2010

My last night as a thirtysomething

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Today is the last day in my life with a three-handle to my age. It was also my turn to host the MNSC dinner, and I finally got a chance to open up some of the nice wines that I'd been saving up for this occasion.  But the day started off badly... both of the female guests for dinner - within minutes of each other - informed me of their illness from recent travels and bailed out of dinner.  That left me with a party of all guys, and once again it was gonna be a sausage party...

We returned to Caprice after a three-week absence.  The restaurant staff were on their toes tonight as it was the first day for the new menu.  Needless to say I was well taken care of by the team.  Many thanks to Vincent and Sebastien for setting up the menu to match the wines, and of course to Jeremy and the entire staff.

I picked a bottle of 1991 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses from the wine list to start us off.  This was an amazingly beautiful Champagne... Nose was very sweet, with lots of caramel, honey, a bit of citrus fruits, nutty and a little metallic. 

The amuse bouche was a trio of crispy toast with melon, deep-fried raviolo with scallop and cream, and finally a very yummy tomato granité with aubergine purée.

Petits Gris snails fricassée, Japanese black garlic emulsion and parsley coulis - pretty nice... and I liked the fact that there was a mix of textures here. 

1970 Heitz Martha's Vineyard - mint, a little oxidized, prunes, a little pine needle and definitely soy sauce.  I served it at another MNSC tasting 3 years ago, and that bottle also drank pretty well.  This was part of the Californian contingent at the now infamous 1976 "Judgement of Paris". 92 points.

1970 Chapoutier Hermitage - nose was clearly oxidized, with orange and sweetness.  A little flat on the palate.  88 points.

Steam duck foie gras, saffron fennel, liquorice, orange blossom foam - always interesting to have steamed foie... as it ends up being very soft and tender.  The orange blossom foam on top was pretty nice.

1970 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle - mint, a little green and vegetal, followed by sweetness, smoke and a little brett.  Even though I knew which wines were in each pair, I actually thought this was the Petrus... 95 points.

1970 Petrus - nose was a little stewed, ripe, smoky, really sweet with honey, syrupy and cotton candy, later on orange, coconut butter, mushroom and wet sous bois.  Very smooth on the palate.  A beautiful wine.  97 points.

Suckling pig rack, carbonara conchiglie and fondant zucchini in sage jus - the suckling pig was just soooo tender... but unfortunately I am not a fan of herbs like sage, so this does not get a "two thumbs up" from me.  I want the full flavor of the pig!  The fondant was very nice, and I liked the conchiglie, too. 

1990 Vogüé Musigny Vieilles Vignes - mint, sweet fruit, some oxidation, concentrated and ripe.  93 points. 

1990 DRC Echezeaux - wow! Nose was explosive, with lots of smoke and toasted/grilled corn on top of the core of sweet fruit.  95 points.

Roasted Racan pigeon, eggplant caviar and morel mushrooms in smoked jus - I really loved this... the smoked jus made the dish for me, and of course I just love roast pigeon, and the morels... yum!  Couldn't resist grabbing the bones with my hands and stripped them bare.

1990 Chave Hermitage - very farmy, with lots of bacon fat, a little orange and even a hint of floral notes.  A beautiful wine.  95 points.

1990 Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon - I have never tasted a bottle of Le Pavillon that I liked, and all of those bottles have carried the "RP 100" designation.  This bottle was no exception.  Initially I just couldn't get anything out of the nose, except a hint of alcohol and a little brett.  Am I genetically wired to dislike Le Pavillon?  Perhaps.  But one man's junk is another man's treasure... My least favorite wine of the evening turned out to be the favorite wine for Mr. Pineapple.  Go figure...  89 points.

Covaillon melon, biscuit de Gêne and aromatic mint cream - very refreshing to have a cold dessert at the end of the evening, and I do love melon... Interesting combination of textures, too.

It was a very enjoyable evening, at least for me.  I'm glad that the MNSC boys were there to share the evening with me.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Happy birthday Peter...and wow...what a line-up you had.

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