November 25, 2008

An evening with 3 Burgundian winemakers

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My friend Paulo kindly invited me a dinner at the Classified cheese room. The evening was a casual presentation of wines from three Burgundian domaines: Nicolas Potel, Jean Boillot and Jean-Jacques Confuron. We had the respective winemakers with us: Nicolas Potel, Henri Boillot, and Alain and Sophie Meunier. I had the pleasure of sitting between Sophie Meunier and Katie Turvey, one of the winemakers from Kilikanoon.

We started with the 2003 Jean Boillot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Mouchère before dinner, which had toasty oak and minerals in the nose. The wine was ripe and sweet on the palate.

The first plate to arrive was the charcuterie platter, which included some chorizo, pork loin (lomo), parma ham...etc. We had some really nicely baked bread to go with this.

The 2000 Jean Boillot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles from magnum had lots of the classic minerals and was ripe and sweet on the nose. Initially it was a little acidic on the palate but improved in glass.

The leek and potato Vichyssoise with soft poached egg and winter truffles was creamy, rich and delicious - a great way to stay warm in the cold cheese room. But again, how can you call this a Vichyssoise when it is not served cold?

The 1985 Nicolas Potel Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes was easily the wine of the evening for me - it was so beautiful that I wish my glass would never go empty... Lots of green apple, sweet grass, straw and honey in the nose. Oh-so-smooth on the palate due to its age. I need to get my hands on some of this...

The smoked duck gizzards with frisee salad and pommery dressing was pretty interesting. There were slices of smoked duck breast and a small amount of gizzards.

2006 Nicolas Potel Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru Les Hauts Jarrons was a relatively big and full-on wine, with plenty of red fruits on the nose.

I was full after taking just one look at the hunk of roast pork belly with pomme (de terre) purée, apple sauce, cider jus. The meat was gigantic, and it was done so well. The meat was soft and tender, with that nice layer of fat giving it all the flavor one would want. The skin was quite thick and crispy, and it took some effort to cut it into bite size pieces, but one is well-rewarded for the effort.

The 2004 Jean-Jacques Confuron Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru comes from a couple of vineyards. It was silky smooth and velvety, with loads of fruit and a bit of grilled meats on the nose. Such fragrance! While tasting the wine, Paulo commented that it was "Unmistakably Chambolle-Musigny!" I reminded him of MNSC's general poor performace in blind tastings, and told him I would make sure to test him at a future blind tasting that we hold...

Our dinner was held in the cheese room, so it was only fitting that we end with a cheese platter. As wonderful was they were, I was just so stuffed that I managed to have just a small piece...

The final red was the 2000 Jean-Jacques Confuron Romanée Saint-Vivant from magnum. The wine was still very fresh and young, with sweet caramel and a hint of grass on the nose. It was still a bit grippy with higher acidity than I anticipated. I think this wine actually needs more time to pull itself together.

The final drops of alcohol for the evening came in the form of Dow's 20 Year Tawny Port. How could I ever turn down nectar like this...?

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