François Mauss from the Grand Jury Européen, Mr. Hugues Touton, architect, Eric Fauchon from the BNP who is financing this large restoration work, my in-laws, Murielle and I, had a simple lunch in preparation for the holidays feasts that we will celebrate with a few couples in our new Château Valandraud, with its 5 guest rooms, dinning room, semi-professional kitchen, living room with view on the valley. It will be fully air-conditioned and the work will be completed by January 1st 2008.
Back to our simple lunch, Pata Negra, roast beef, mash potatoes, fruits.
I decided to serve Burgundies - go figure – some offered by a friend (thanks Patrick) and others from my wholesale stock.
The bottle of Domaine Humbert Frères, Gevrey-Chambertin 2005, 1er cru Estournelles Saint Jacques was a real delicacy with flavors of pure and fresh grapes and was swallowed with no comments except for glasses emptied in no time (probably due to thirst).
The second bottle of Gevrey Chambertin (Villages) 2005 from Domaine Rossignol-Trapet was a bit closed, not as easy, more on the power of the terroir than of the fruit, not as much a delicacy. It tasted more like a Bordeaux. One glass each for lunch. Murielle and I had the 2 last glasses for dinner, and appreciated it more. It showed the potential of this cru which I had the chance to visit with interest, as they are seriously committed to biodynamic.
The 3rd bottle, as opposed to the 2 others, was opened, decanted and served blind to test the knowledge of our guests, and particularly the president of the Grand Jury Européen.
Everyone agreed that it was a great wine, at the level of a 1st growth Bordeaux. François Mauss easily guessed the vintage (2001), but only Murielle said that it was a “great Burgundy” (she only likes great wines!). Everyone else, including François Mauss, said: Saint Emilion – Pomerol. Names like Petrus, Eglise Clinet, even Ausone were given, but this time, it was a Burgundy. François Mauss should have guessed it for it was from Mr. Denis Mortet, 1st cru Aux Beaux Bruns 2001, in the beautiful appellation of Chambolles-Musigny. Now I believe that I like Burgundy, not because François didn’t recognize it, but because, finally, in one meal, I liked 3 wines from Burgundy, and especially thanks to Denis Mortet’s wine I want to buy some more… Is it serious doctor?
Oh, I forgot to ad! While driving back home Monday evening (around 7pm), I ran into 2 pilgrims chilled to the bone and famished wandering through the streets of Saint Emilion: Jean-Pierre Xiradakis from La Tupina and one of his friends who just walked 70 kms in 2 days from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion via the Entre Deux Mers. The dinner Murielle prepared for the 2 of us was shared between the 4 of us. There too, we drank 2 bottles of Gevery Chambertin… I believe this getting contagious! (We had a delicious meal… Just ask Jean-Pierre what he thinks of Murielle’s French fries and roast chicken!)
I will be at the Carrousel du Louvre for the Grand Tasting with the Cercle des Grands Vins de la Rive Droite, Saturday from 11 am to 2 pm and will be presenting Château La Commanderie de Mazeyres (and see friends!).