February 26, 2008

Off by 20 years

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The first MNSC dinner of the year took place tonight at Caprice in the Four Seasons Hotel. Alex played host and served up some fantastic wines.

We started with a bottle of 2002 vintage Champagne, a blanc de blanc from a house whose name I do not recall. Not bad although it's clearly a bit young.

Next we had the 2005 Marc Colin Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Caillerets. This was an amazing wine! Powerful and explosive nose of flint, minerals, sweet corn, butter and toasty oak. This was probably the wine of the evening. Very impressed and dying to get my hands on some.

Next up was a pair of reds. One of them was a bit off while the other was classic Bordeaux. They turned out to be the 1966 La Lagune - with nose of sweet fruit, sweet grass, green peppers and smoky, gravel - and the 1966 Calon Segur - madeirized with nose of stewed prunes.

The second flight of reds were a trio of Saint Julien - the 1966 Beychevelle, 1966 Leoville Poyferre, and 1966 Talbot. All three wines showed amazing concentration, with tell-tale grassy nose with a hint of green pepper. The wines were amazingly young and there was no way that we could have guessed that the wines were 40 years old! All of us guessed that the wines were from the better vintages in the 80's - '85, '86 and '88. Needless to say we were 20 years off the mark!

As usual the food at Caprice was excellent. We started with beef cheek samosa as the amuse bouche. Very yummy.

Next we had the noix de Saint Jacques en carpaccio with Périgord black truffle, cauliflower cream and Mache salad. The scallops were very tender and nice - a great pairing with the Chassagne-Montrachet.

We also had scrambled eggs with Périgord black truffle. This was classic with finely diced black truffle blended with the eggs, topped with a large slice of truffle. Yummy as expected.

The main course was milk-fed veal fillet with Brittany artichoke and black truffle in Albufera sauce. The veal was pink, juicy and tender - pairing well with the mushroom sauce. The deep-fried, breaded cubes of mushroom (chanterelles?) were full of flavor. Yum!

The cheese trolley was rolled into the room, and each of us picked out our own favorite selections. The 4-year old Comté was delicious as usual, although it was really, really salty. The 18-month Mimolette was also pretty rich. I also enjoyed the Munster. Caprice truly has the best cheese selection in Hong Kong.

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