Petite Auberge zeroes in on red Bordeaux, specifically the vintages of 2009-10. For me, that is a win-win: my favorite wines, and in vintages that are considered by many to be not merely good, but splendid.
Throw in some of my most beloved proteins - duck! beef! lamb! - and I am already drooling. It should be an evening of Wretched Excess... and for extra fun, the three flights will be tasted blind. We won’t know which is which until we’ve had a chance to decide which one(s) we like best.
Now, what’s for dinner? Glad you asked:
2009 Niven Valley Wine Estates Baileyana Chardonnay Grand Firepeak Cuvée**
First Flight: Right Bank (served blind)
2009 Jean de Trimoulet Grand Cru - Saint-Émilion*
2010 Duo de Conseillante - Pomerol***
2010 Château Reynon - Côtes de Bordeaux**
Duck Breast à l’Orange - pan-seared Maple Leaf Farms duck breast topped with a duck jus flavored with a hint of orange, served with a cauliflower gratin
Second Flight: Southern Haut-Medoc and Graves (served blind)
2010 La Parde de Haut-Bailly - Pessac-Léognan***
2009 Moulin de La Lagune - Haut-Médoc*
2010 La Sirène de Giscours - Margaux**
Beef Wellington - Beef tenderloin, ham, and mushroom duxelles baked in a puff pastry crust, served with sauce bordelaise
Third Flight: Pauillac (served blind)
2010 Château Lacoste-Borie - Pauillac**
2009 Fleur de Pédesclaux - Pauillac***
2010 Hauts de Pontet-Canet - Pauillac*
Grilled New Zealand Lamb Chops - herb-encrusted rack of lamb served atop a root vegetable purée with a mint reduction
2008 Philippe Leclerc Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Cazetiers****
1996 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
1990 Château Lafleur du Roy Pomerol****
2009 Louis Latour Marsannay*
Several of the wines in this tasting are “second wines” - a more economical version of the first wine produced by a given château. (For example, Château Giscours produces La Sirène de Giscours as their second wine; Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste calls their second wine Château Lacoste-Borie.) In great years like 2009 and 2010, the second wines ought to be pretty damned good, and I suspect they’d be even better with another ten years or so of bottle age on them.
We’ll just have to see...
Update: My favorites denoted with the usual asterisks... and several excellent bottles for “afters.”