November 8, 2010

MNSC Burgundy Trip Day 3: Le Montrachet and La Tâche

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Got up this morning and had a fantastic breakfast at Maison Troisgros.  Pineapple told us that the bread and pastries here were well worth having, and he wasn't wrong.  Surprising the croissant was a little soggy, but the rest of the items in the bread basket - including the wonderful sweet brioche - were awesome.  I also nibbled on some saucisson and blood saucisson...

Our first visit was Domaine Michel Niellon.  The tasting notes for the wines can be found here.

We had a little time before lunch, so we drove around to take a look at the most famous of all white Burgundy vineyards - Le Montrachet.  It's really not that big, and one can see that the different growers who own or lease plots of land in the appellation put up their own gates or markers with pride.

Lunch was at Le Montrachet in Puligny-Montrachet.  Against my better judgement, I did not have salad and took the set lunch instead.  I would regret this later in the day.

We were served some pretty yummy amuse bouche, including jambon persillé.  A pretty good start.

Vichyssoise with salmon - this wasn't bad at all, although interestingly it was green, probably from the parsley.

Les escargots de Bourgogne «en persillé», fraîcher automnale - I thought I'd get the touristy thing out of the way and order the escargot, since we are in Burgundy after all.  Turned out to be a little disappointing... Maybe my expectations were too high, but these weren't that big...  Flavor-wise they were pretty decent, and each was stuffed with a tiny piece of bread to soak up the sauce.

Le quasi de veau rôti, brochette de shiitake au lard et pomme de terre - I could see that the veal has been overcooked, which ruins this supposedly tasty cut of meat.  It's actually part of the loin, which explains its texture.  Fortunately not all the pieces were dry and a couple were still pink and moist in the middle.  The thick cuts of bacon sandwiched between potato slices were tasty, though...

Velouté d'ananas rôti et citron - the roasted pineapple at the bottom sure was tasty...

Le tartelette sablée aux noix et caramel salé - very nice and sweet, with gin and tonic sorbet on the side.

As we are dining at a restaurant called Le Montrachet, it is only fitting that we enjoy a bottle from the famed vineyard.  The 2004 Sauzet Montrachet had a good, buttery nose with toasty oak, flint, minerals, lemon citrus, and honey.  Ripe and a little hot on the palate as well as the finish.

2003 Roumier Bonnes Mares - minty, lots of fruit, pine needles, sweet, very beautiful... lots of minerals and almost a little iron.  A bit hot on the palate and very sweet.  The finish was a little grippy towards the end, and after a while the palate pretty much died.

Next we visited Domaine Hubert de Montille/Domaine du Château de Puligny Montrachet.  Tasting notes on the wines are here.

Our final visit of the day was with Domaine Michel Magnien.  Tasting notes on the wines can be found here.

We checked into L'Hotel de Beaune and rested up a little before dinner, which was just next door at Le Bistro de L'Hotel.  Thankfully we could order à la carte and cut down on the intake.  I was only a little bit hungry...

A simple little ham and cheese sandwich to start us off.  Very good.

A little cup of butternut squash cream soup was really thick and sweet.  Left half of it as it was pretty filling.

We took the chef's suggestion and started with papardelle au beurre et truffles d'Alba.  The papardelle wasn't the best, but the white truffle shavings and butter was just amazingly fragrant.  Thank you sir, can I have another?

Côte de boeuf grillée «Black Angus» (1.2kg) - this was supposed to be shared by two people, but it was so huge we thought it would feed a party of four easily.  The kitchen sent it out bleu without asking us how we wanted it done, and it was promptly sent back.  Fortunately the kitchen did a perfect job and didn't overcook it the second time around.  It's a damn good piece of beef, with a good amount of fat to make it oh-so-tasty.  I don't eat steak all that often, but this is how I want my beef done!

We were served a pile of frites maison in a bamboo steamer basket.  Interesting...

Poularde de Bresse de chez mieral rôtie entière - also shared between the 6 of us.  Bresse chicken is really the best in the world for me, and this was just about perfect.  I got one of the drumsticks, and loved it.  The meat was so tasty, especially with the fat of the chicken dripping all over it.  The skin was crispy and awesome.  Absolutely heavenly.

The restaurant sent out some rice and some creamy mashed potatoes.  Lord Rayas was already craving for a bit of home, and I could see his joy as he drizzled chicken oil from my plate over some rice...

Now onto the wines.  We have had a lot to drink and taste today, so decided to skip the whites and went straight to reds.  Once again Pineapple outdid himself and set us up with a kick-ass set of wines.

1993 Mugnier Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses - a little bit dusty at first, with stewed prunes, grilled meats, a little smoke and leather.  Sweet and grassy.

1998 Mugnier Musigny - sweet fruit, mint and ripe melon.  Very nice and lovely.  Nose kinda showed a little oxidation later on.

1978 DRC La Tâche - O-M-G.  This was an awesome wine, and such a privilege to drink!  Amazing amount of sweetness in the nose, with sweet grass, bacon, farmy, floral and fragrant, minty... Just absolutely lovely.  Mind-blowing.

1985 DRC La Tâche - the other wine in the pairing could only be the '85. A little more muted than the '78, with some mint, sweet fruit, a little ripe with leather notes.  Also a little sharp at the beginning.

The evening could only be summed up with one word: AMAZING.  With a line-up of legendary wines, and some simple yet wonderfully delicious food.

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