Sunday, December 11, 2011

Business lunch (or almost)

The lunch was part business, part pleasure, as it is often the case in our industry.
It’s hard to behave only like machines, the world of wine is made of encounters and we can be friends with our customers, our critics, our suppliers while maintaining our freedom. Anyway, that's how I try to live a job which is also my passion.

Before the meal, we tasted 4 wines from our property in the Roussillon: Thunevin-Calvet, so we could get a professional opinion from the Rhone wines.
2008 Constance is good, fresh and neat; it’s not surprising that at that price, this wine works well with our clients. Then, 2007 Dentelles, really good, easy to drink, structured, balanced, nothing over the top in this wine, also a great value price. What are my staff and my customers missing?
Then 2007 Hugo, a great wine, powerful, almost Spanish in style, or Napa, or Australian, but again sold at a good price for customers who like this modern Mediterranean-style wine. 3 Marie 2007 is simply a great wine and if it wasn’t labeled Roussillon, it ould sell for 200 to 300 euros, but unfortunately word Roussillon is on the label and except for Petite Siberie, there are almost no wines able to claim such status from this beautiful region.

For lunch, we were 7 including Xavier, Rémi, Murielle and myself. To start, we drank Valandraud Blanc 2008, which was really good, even though we didn’t taste it blind

Then, blind paired with an omelet with black truffle from last Spring: on the left, everyone's favorite, a wine with finesse, length and truffles aromas recalling great Pomerol and its iron rich terroir. On the right we had a powerful wine, much younger, austere, no one guessed it. One of our guests found the vintage which was 2000. L’Interdit de Valandraud (the forbidden Valandraud) was on the left, Leoville Las Cases on the right.

2nd wines paired with a delicious sirloin and Joel Robuchon‘s truffled mashed potataoes:
On the left, a sexy wine where the vintage was found by half of the table: 1998. The suggested appellations were: Pomerol, Old Certan? No, it was Valandraud 1998, a beautiful bottle with a perfect cork, preferred by 5 out of 7. On the right, a more powerful wine with a beautiful terroir. Both wines were relatively similar for some of the guests, less sexy, it was Latour 1998, 1st growth from Pauillac.

Following, and not blind, the Basque cake from Chez Lopez (I thought we would have the chocolate cake  !) : Maury 2007 Thunevin-Calvet, good but not a match for this Basque cake; the elegance, race and harmony of Yquem 2005 was the perfect pairing for this dessert.
Coffee and nap… hard to get back to work again; for this is also my life as a winery owner and negociant.

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