Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


This evening’s Sommelier Guild event at 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**
Hors d’oeuvres

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.”

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