Before I kicked off my En Primeur tastings on Tuesday, I had Saturday through Monday to putter around Bordeaux solo. If you’ve been following the trip this far, you know I have been eating well. So here’s a little more into what I have been drinking.
While at my favorite Bordeaux wine bar, Vins Urbains, the owner passed me an invite to the Cellier des Producteurs (cdp) Anthocyanes tasting on Sunday. Smeared across the invite were names like Charles Heidsieck, Clos Mogador, Emmanuel Rouget, Georges Noellat, Robert Groffier, Selosse, Krug, Scavino, Pio Cesare, and more. How could I not!?
Turns out I know Morne from HK and this tasting was put on by the company he works for. Morne is 3rd from the left with Scavino rep on the right.
Paolo Scavino highlights:
2012 Barolo Carobric- 10% new oak from 3 grand crus. A total classic
2012 Barolo Monvigliero- from Northern Piedmont with high altitude. Sharper tannins, richer fruit, awsome.
2006 Bric de Fiasc- flagship. Chocolate covered dried flowers, round and still so young
The afternoon tasting was in their stock cellar which provided a great big wide open place to taste. None of the wines were EP, but instead recent releases available in the market now.
The new generation at Groffier who I sat next to at dinner. He make great wines across all appellations.
Morne and the owner of Vins Urbains, and quite possibly my favorite person in bdx, with the Krug rep. NV. So rich and full!
My first white from Rouget and this was a real stunner. Fennel with quite a reductive nose (I like it) licorice palate with citrus and a mineral core. Quite complex given its appellation.
Also enjoyed the 2014 Nuits St Georges (quality and concentration- effortless) and Echezeaux (spicy and elegant with some sweetness, although still tight).
The cellar is located right at the Saint Emilion train station and looks up the hill at Ausone and Angelus. I love how quickly a Bordeaux sky can turn from dark and sulky to bright and sunny.
At 5 pm the band came on to usher the masses out…mostly…
Morne very generously invited me to stay for (a Michelin rated chef) dinner. There he is preparing the mind blowing scallops, creme, uni and oyster ice cream- you heard me-entree. I think oyster ice cream (really more like icy salt water) should be requisite on all seafood going forward.
It was even better than it sounds.
And each winemaker in attendance brought at least one double magnum or bigger of a back vintage wine, starting with a d-mag of Krug that was absolutely robust, smokey, and full of vanilla. A blousy beginning to the night.
Then onto rose (2015 Chateau La Verrerie) and Chablis from Patrick Piuze. 2011 was full of mineral and flavor and later we had his 2009 Butteaux 1er Cru that was ravishing. Rich and drinking great now with brilliant acidity.
Sitting just behind you can see Patrick (sort of) third in from the right. Check out those bottles.
This scallop mound of perfection is one of the best bites of Bordeaux and perhaps of the past year. Raw scallops and uni over a light creme mousse topped with what can only be described as the essence of ocean frozen, or as my table liked to call it, oyster ice cream. Perfect with chablis.
The 1994 Bonneau de Martray Corton Charlemagne was a star. Creamy with milky buttery aromas betrayed the fruit dense palate, showing much younger than its 22 years would let you think.
More seafood, this time with pillow-y pockets of herbed gnocchi. Sublime and a great match with Burgundy like the 2013 Gerard Julien Cote de Nuits and 2011 Nollat NSG 1er Cru Les Boudets- bacon and smoke, smoked vanilla, full of flavor with big tannin that worked with the oily fish.
And of course bread to sop up everything.
Another star. Funky with dried and stewed red sweet fruit. So concentrated with huge acidity, powdery tannins, and a long woody finish.
The powerful reds came out just in time for one of the many duck courses of this trip. The 2010 Oreno was filled with big fruit and tannin as if it were made for duck.
Duck and beets also worked perfectly with 2012 Paolo Scavinos Barolo, but better yet with the 1998 Carobric. Bacon, flowers, and totally delicious. One of my wines of the night.
The wines kept pouring, this time a 2009 Clos de Lambrays Jeroboam. Peppery fruit, balanced and not heavy, this is my kind of red Burg.
It was also around this time that Morne told me Rene Barier was sitting behind me. Wait whaa?? Barbier singlehandedly brought Priorat into the mainstream and is a total icon in Spain, and perhaps more aptly, the whole wine making world. We drank his 2004 Clos Mogador which was rich and filled with vanilla and spice. Unfortunately he only speaks Spanish and French, so our conversation went like this.
me: “me encanta tu vino!”
And then probably my favorite of the night, the 97. Dried strawberries, oak and cream on the long finish, this was in the absolute perfect place for enjoyment now. Hear that? Drink the 97s now!
Dessert didn’t photograph well, but I can tell you it was nothing short of chocolate decadence. Under that glob was an amazing crunchy cookie crust that worked with the bigger wines like the Oreno and Mogador.
One thing that I did not think about until 9:40 was how to get home. I just assumed the trains would continue running. Not so, Sunday night in Bordeaux. The train stopped at a very convenient 9:20 and there were no Ubers to be found. This is the country afterall. Morne’s super generous colleague Amelie, and more so her sober boyfriend Sinq, were kind enough to drive me back to town at a cool 1 am. As you can see the party was still raging on…
No rest for the wicked. Jet lag, thoughts of oyster ice cream, or just plain old excitement, got me up bright and early Monday so I took advantage with a jaunt around the river. Bordeaux, you are gorgeous.