22 Nov 2010

Generosity

I do hate people bragging about all the great (and usually expensive) wines that they have had the good fortune to taste. So this may seem like a bit more of the same thing and I could easily be accused of not doing what I recommend! But this article is really intended as a hommage to the remarkable generosity of a friend of mine, who, every year, shares some of the jewels of his very fine wine cellar with a group of friends.

On Saturday November 20th (the eve of the Beaune Hospices annual wine auction) there were 25 of us to enjoy the following wines before and during an excellent dinner prepared by his wife.

The main theme was Burgundy

before dinner
Champagne Taittinger non-vintage (in magnums)
Corton Charlemagne 2004, Olivier Leflaive (in magnum)

with spiced foie gras
Château Yquem 1979
Château Yquem 1986 (in magnum)

with roast beef, mushrooms and other accompaniments
Beaunes Grèves,Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus 1995, premier cru, Bouchard Père et Fils (double magnum)                                                                              
Clos de la Roche 1990, grand cru, Hubert Lignier (magnum)
Clos de Tart 1999, grand cru, Mommesin 
Charmes-Chambertin 2000, grand cru, Dugat-Py (magnum)    
Grands Echezeaux 2001, grand cru, Domaine de la Romanée Conti 

there was also, for those who were still thirsty, a magnum of Chamberin Clos de Bèze 1996, grand cru, from Armand Rousseau

with the cheese
Bianco Gentile from Yves Canarelli (a Corsican dry white: we are agreed that white is usually best for cheese, aren't we?)

with the dessert
an amazing sweet red wine, also made by Yves Canarelli in southern Corsica from the Sciacarellu grape and with only 7% alcohol (just as well, given what had gone before!)

My personal favourite on this occasion was the Charmes Chambertin from Dugat-Py, which had that incredibly velvety texture that only great red Burgundy can procure. Its combination of discreet power and lovely refined and sublimed fruit flavours, just beginning to turn like autumn leaves but still full of youth, was glorious. Close behind came the Grands Echezeaux, also wonderfully refined, somewhat more delicate and tapering off for ever in a gentle echo.

Thank you to OD for this!