September 3, 2022

Off-menu and off-duty

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Another Saturday night, and another night spent at Caprice with Hairy Legs. Unlike the big gathering I had last week, though, tonight it's a completely casual affair, with a few dishes served "family style" at the Chef's Table. What hasn't changed from last week is that the focus remains squarely on the wines.

We still started with the canapés, which I just had a week ago:

Tomato ravioli with Parmesan cookie

Balik salmon with Kristal caviar and crème fraîche

Pita with curry chicken mousse

We started with some cold cuts.

This bread basket was definitely much too big for us.

Tuna tartare with tomato and cucumber - the diced belly of Mediterranean tuna was so delicious with those diced tomatoes. I'm not sure we needed anything else after this...

Tomato and burrata salad - of course we've still got those tomatoes from maman, which works just fine with some burrata.

Japanese squid, coco de Paimpol, Scottish razor clams - the same squid sources from Fukuoka that I had last week, cut into the same strips of "noodles". Together with coco de Paimpol cooked with razor clams and razor clam juice and beurre à l'huile d'olive citronnée from Bordier. On the last part - and here's where we see the thoughtfulness of the "king of sauce" - Hairy Legs explained that he prefers using lemon-flavored butter instead of directly using lemon juice as the second option can sometimes end up with the acidity being too sharp and direct, whereas with the butter the lemon juice had already become a harmonious part of the ingredient before being added to the mix. The addition of dill delivered more fragrance, while the toasted buckwheat added to the feel of being in Brittany that we already get from the Bordier butter.

A fantastic dish.

Venison and foie gras dartois, figs - this is something that they're working on for the winter menu, and I guess it could be a replacement for the duck and game tarte from last year. This looked very, very impressive!

We've got minced Welsh venison with little cubes of foie gras encased inside, and a layer of red cabbage in the middle along with some star anise. Topped with whole figs and sprinkled with ground pistachio. So, soooo delicious and soooo filling. I'd definitely be looking to have this a few more times this season.

We got a nice selection of cheese, but I just didn't have any room left in my stomach for it. I did, however, want some dessert.

Millefeuille chocolat banane, sorbet cacao - happy to have this again, even if there was less gold foil on top of the sorbet tonight.

Once again the wines took center stage tonight. I'd been wanting to pop open the pair of Meursault with Hairy Legs, and decided to make it even more interesting by adding the white wine from Sine Qua Non from the same vintage.

1999 Coche-Dury Meursault - decanted 30 minutes after opening. Lovely toasty nose but not too heavy. Some 30 minutes after decanting this was already fucking beautiful, and it really opened up with more time. Soooo toasty, really beautiful, but not overpowering. About 3 hours after opening this just got really powerful, and finally we got a load of the classic popcorn nose.

1999 Maison Leroy Meursault - opened just under an hour before serving, not decanted. Color was deeper compared with the Coche, more oxidized and mature, showing marmalade and a little flint. Softer and sweeter on the palate but still got some acidity here, and the finish was reasonably long. The nose got more sugary with Chinese licorice with time. About 3 hours after opening the nose turned kinda savory and it went downhill on the palate.

1999 Sine Qua Non Tarantella - 39% roussanne, 33% chardonnay, 28% viognier. About 30 minutes after opening and decanting this was sooo sweet on the nose, with obvious notes of straw and very much showing the roussanne in the blend. Hot on the palate, which wasn't surprising considering it's 14.9% alcohol. About 2 hours after decanting this was just really beautiful, and toasty notes came out 2½ hours after decanting.

2010 Sine Qua Non Stockholm Syndrome Grenache - 75% grenache, 22% syrah, 2% roussanne, 1% viognier. Decanted 2½ hours after opening. A little smoky but still muted after an hour in the decanter. Fragrant, minty, and elegant. Still a little young, with sweet fruit but not too overboard, and very soft. After 1½ hours in the decanter - and 4 hours after opening - this was showing more dried herbs and more complexity.

2011 Diel Dorsheimer Burgberg Riesling Beerenauslese, from half-bottle - really floral, plenty of petrol and polyurethane, and of course honey.

This was a lot of fun, and other than the Maison Leroy being too oxidized and a little disapointing - especially given the current cost - the wines showed really, really well. With this last bottle, I've depleted my case of 1999 Coche Meursault purchased more than 10 years ago. They're no longer "affordable" at today's market price, so I guess I'll have to look for something else as substitute...

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I also had some disappointing bottles from Maison Leroy, one should really be drinking her Domaine wines though the prices have become rather prohibitive.


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