March 11, 2008

Ducru-Beaucaillou Vertical

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Last night I hosted the first of my MNSC dinners at Petrus in the Island Shangri-La Hotel. It's been quite some time since we held an MNSC dinner there, so I felt it was time to give it another try.

We started with the 1996 Philipponnat Clos des Goisses on the recommendation of the maitre de restaurant, since I asked for something other than the usual suspects of Krug and Dom Perignon. Despite being from a young vintage, this was much more mature than we expected. The palate was very yeasty, with nose of pain grille. It went very well with the caviar oscietre sur glace, blinis. This was the first time that we had caviar at an MNSC dinner, and with the skyrocketing prices, this may well be the last!

After the Chamapgne and caviar, we moved to the dining table at started the dinner. First came the bouillon de chataignes et de potiro, chorizo espagnol. The creamy soup was yummy, and the chorizo was very enjoyable.

Next came ceviche de noix de St Jacques et de truffe noire vinaigrette au citron du mentonnais. Here I am getting flak about serving scallops during a blind tasting, but the scallops were very nice and fresh. They also worked well with the black truffles, and I found myself wanting more.

Vol au vent de grenouilles et de langoustines followed, and I love both vol au vent and langoustines. This was a very small vol au vent, topped with 2 small pieces of pan-fried frog legs, and the lone langoustine was nicely presented on the plate.

Paulo decided to skip the next course as he felt there would be too much food. The foie gras de canard pane au pain d'epices, reduction d'un vin de Banyuls was quite interesting. The foie gras was rather thick, and it did resemble a giant piece of ginger bread in terms of looks, and the crust gave it an interesting taste as well.

The seafood course of bar de Bretagne vapeur, creme de chou-fleur et legumes d'hiver was ok. I am normally a big fan of sea bass and this wasn't anything I got excited about.

The last main course was grenadin et ris de veau, pates cheveux d'anges la truffe noire. I love veal sweet bread, and this was pretty delicious. The angel air paste was paired with a lemon cream sauce, and we couldn't quite understand why...

The last thing we had for the evening were the cheese selections from Bernard Antony. Wonderful stuff. We were so full that we never made it to dessert and it was cancelled.

Now the wines...the theme of the evening was a vertical of Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou - 6 wines served in 2 flights of 3. I asked the wines to be mixed up a little so that the order would not be so obvious.

1988 Ducru-Beaucaillou - This was a classic left bank Bordeaux, with a very smooth palate. Thoroughly enjoyable, and the wine of the evening going by the scores given around the table.

1986 Ducru-Beaucaillou - This was even better than the '88, and certainly one of the best wines of the evening for me.

1995 Ducru-Beaucallou - This was obviously put with the first two to mix things up. It was much younger and the tannins were all there. In fact, if I didn't know the identities of the wines, I would have guessed this to be a new world wine due to the ripeness of the fruit. The least favorite wine of the evening.

1996 Ducru-Beaucaillou - Like the 1995, this was much younger than the others and the tannins showed. The wine clearly could use more years in the bottle.

1989 Ducru-Beaucaillou - Another classic left bank Bordeaux, and the guys still had no idea what this was.

1982 Ducru-Beaucaillou - This should have been a blow-out...but it wasn't. It was good, and I did love it, but incredibly it was overshadowed by the '88.

I really enjoyed hosting my first vertical tasting for MNSC!

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