Thursday, February 17, 2011

2 meals and 1 argument

On Tuesday, February 14, I attended a lunch organized by a friend of mine, Jean Claude Aubert from Château La Couspaude, for 18 guests around the theme: friendship, truffles and wine. Every time it is a success, this marriage works well, all the guest take a break from their busy work load. Work began at noon with Champagne Brut Roederer and scallops with truffles, mash potatoes with truffles, woodcock and thrushes and woodcock, brie with truffle and desert without truffles, phew!
The truffles from Dordogne were ripe, almost in a decadent way, with aromas close to the white truffle from Alba.
The wines (and I must have forgotten some) were serve by 2 bottles or magnums. La Couspaude 1994, delicious, with the fine and suave texture of a good Chambertin. La Couspaude 1996, very young, followed by 1999, opulent. 2001 La Couspaude, still a baby, followed by a delicate Corbin Manuel 2006, then Valandraud 2005 still tight and powerful. Fortunately, to soften our palate, we had a Clos des Papes 2005, Chateauneuf du Pape, perfectly balanced and still with 15% alcohol, goes to show that it is always the same story: class, balance, talent in vinification make you forget the 15%.
We left the table at around 5:30 pm and for dinner at our house with Jean Dutruilh (Château La Croix Figeac) and the owner of Château Grand Destieu. We served: Grand Destieu 2008, Compassant 2004, Virginie de Valandraud 2003 to check if it tastes better than at the last tasting. I believe that the environment and atmospheric pressure play a great role in appreciating a wine and without being too esoteric, if a participant doesn’t like a wine, everyone will have a hard time with this wine. Jean really liked this Valandraud 2003 which will remain one of the best 2003 in Bordeaux in the next 4 to 5 years.
Nice day though, when it ends it starts again… for lunch (I will write about it).

I took some time to read on the site of the Grand Jury European a comment posted by François Mauss on the Lascombe 2005 affair which, having ended 1st in a tasted created a controversy.

A well-known wine merchant who takes himself a bit for a lost journalist, although friendly in life - well, that's what I thought - said that garage wines and Valandraud are worth less than a soufflé. At least, it is written. I knew that he didn’t like my wines, but I find him rather stupid to defend the 1st growths from 1855 when his friend Jacques Dupont, who is a well-known and committed journalist and who does not particularly like garage wines, like Patrick Dussert Gerber, tasted, at my house, blind, my wines with other crus (1st, classic, garage) and gave good notes to the "old " vintages of Valandraud.
It’s true that it was blind, it's true that there were other great professionals, some unconvinced by garage wines, it’s true that there was an article about this tasting in the Amateur de Bordeaux, and it is also true that not having been able to prove that Valandraud was not good after 10 years of age, the number of years necessary to see these soufflés of garage wines collapse, the conclusion was: "we'll see in 20 years.”
Well, I expect that this great store owner organizes this sort of blind tasting with Valandraud and 1st growths over the past 20 years. And as he will organize this tasting, finance it, no one will challenge the result, as is the case for the Grand Jury European tasting sponsored by the owners of Lascombes.

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