Browse By Date
Browse By Topic
- Australia (1)
- Barolo (1)
- Bordeaux (3)
- Brunello (2)
- Burgundy (16)
- Chablis (4)
- Champagne (4)
- Chardonnay (7)
- Events (7)
- Fall Wines (2)
- Food and Wine Pairing (20)
- France (10)
- Holiday Wines (3)
- Italy (3)
- Napa Valley (1)
- New York State (3)
- New Zealand (5)
- Northern California (4)
- Northern Italy (1)
- Oregon (2)
- Pinot Noir (2)
- Port (1)
- Rhone Valley (1)
- Rioja (1)
- Rose (4)
- Shiraz (1)
- South Africa (2)
- Southern France (2)
- Spain (1)
- Special Events (4)
- Summer Wines (1)
- Tuscany (1)
- Uncategorized (7)
- Willamette Valley (3)
- Wine Storage (1)
- Wine Tasting (4)
As Alan noted previously, in the coming weeks we will continue to highlight our trip throughout Burgundy. This was my first visit to Burgundy and it was a life changing experience. I can hardly wait to return! I have traveled to vineyards and wineries in California and in Bordeaux, but Burgundy is distinct from those places. One of the most fascinating aspects of the journey was to see the small scale and close proximity of the vineyards in each area of the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune, and then to taste the nuances of the wines made from neighboring vineyards.
The winemakers that hosted us for tasting appointments were unpretentious and in most cases, were on their way to, or from, their vineyard plots where they would spend the day tilling the soil and caring for their vines. The energy and excitement of the winemakers was palpable. The weather had just recently turned for the better and it was apparent that the long-awaited spring season had finally arrived!
The focus of our tasting appointments was on the 2011 vintage, which we found to be showing wonderfully across the board. The 2011 vintage was the sixth vintage in recorded history when harvesting began in August…the only others in the past 118 years were 2003 and 2007. The vintage was marked by early high temperatures, drought, then summer rain and subsequent vineyard diseases. The vintage culminated in a hurried and short harvest. Despite these hardships, the wines that we tasted were beautiful. In general, both the reds and the whites that we tasted were showing deep minerality with a distinct core of sweet fruit, firm structure and precise focus.
Our first tasting appointments brought us to the northern area of the Côte de Nuits, first to Domaine Rossignol-Trapet in the heart of Gevrey-Chambertin, then to the extreme north of the region where we visited Domaine Sylvain Pataille in Marsannay. Later that day we traveled south in the Côte de Nuits to Vosne-Romanée where Domaine Gérard et Pascal Mugneret’s winery is located.
Domaine Rossignol-Trapet, Gevrey-Chambertin
At Domaine Rossignol-Trapet, we met with David Rossignol-Trapet and tasted through a selection of stunning wines that he produces with his brother Nicolas. Although we tasted mostly 2011s, David happened to have availability on two wines from the 2010 vintage, the Gevrey-Chambertin “Vieilles Vignes” and the Beaune Premier Cru “Les Teurons”. (We loved the “Vieilles Vignes” from both 2010 and 2011, so much so that we decided to scoop up the 2010 and offer both vintages together).
The Rossignol branch of the family has owned vineyards in Volnay since the 1500s, while the Trapet branch has owned vineyards in Gevrey since the 1700s. The Domaine was established through the marriage of Jacques Rossignol to Mado Trapet and today, their children David and Nicolas oversee the family estate. In 2007, Rossignol-Trapet was certified as bio-dynamic.
NOTE: The Domaine Rossignol-Trapet wines will arrive in the Fall of 2013.
Bourgogne Rouge 2011, $22 – (from Gevrey vineyards; in bottle for 4 months) Elegant perfumed nose with bright fruit complimented by floral and herbal aromas. Structured and harmonious with pure fruit, sweet tannins and fresh minerality on the finish.
Gevrey-Chambertin “Vieilles Vignes” 2011, $50 – Aromas of sweet ripe fruit with floral and exotic spice notes. Gamey and svory on the palate with firm tannins, great backbone and deep iron minerality.
Gevrey-Chambertin “Vieilles Vignes” 2010, $50 – Aromas of blackberries with elegant spice and floral notes. On the palate, there is incredible intensity and purity. The wine is opulent and expressive with deep minerality and length.
Beaune “Les Teurons” 1er Cru 2010, $50 – Elegant berry fruit aromas with delicate notes of fine herbs and florals. Lush and opulent on the palate with silky texture, great grip and brilliant acidity. The wine’s deep mineral character leads the soaring length. Wonderful!
Gevrey-Chambertin “Petite-Chapelle” 1er Cru 2011, $97 – Aromas of red cherry fruit and elegant floral notes. On the palate the mouth-feel is velvety with a core of sweet fruit; the wine is opulent and refined with deep stony minerality.
Petite-Chapelle is situated just below Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru. The slope is moderate giving good drainage; the soil is deep with clay deposits which imparts depth to the wine.
Latricières-Chambertin Grand Cru 2011, $170 -(just bottled) Dark fruit character. Rich, muscular tannins, deep, complex and concentrated; harmonious, elegant and stylish with incredible depth and length. Uplifting minerality carries the finish.
Latricières-Chambertin has extremely shallow topsoil. The vineyard is a continuation of Chambertin, only separated by a small path. Latricières translates to “little marvel” and this was the word used to describe the vineyard during the middle ages. The vines in Latricières thrive on a narrow band of earth that is bordered by the woods, creating a cool micro-climate in the upper section of the vineyard.
Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru 2011, $170 -Bright cherry, lavender, rose and orange zest aromas. Rich dense minerality with a core of pure sweet red fruit; vibrancy & verve!
Situated just below Chambertin, the soil of La Chapelle is brown, pebbly and shallow, predominately made up of clay and limestone. The vineyard is perfectly exposed to the rising sun. A very slight slope assures excellent natural drainage, which is further enhanced by the limestone pebbles that cover this remarkable vineyard.
Chambertin Grand Cru 2011, $240 – Powerful with dense flavors of black cherry and exotic spice. The wine is complex with miles of depth and intensity. Amazing!
Chambertin is located on the upper slopes of Gevrey-Chambertin, bordering the woods, and has a slightly cooler micro-climate than that of Clos de Bèze. The etymology of Chambertin goes back to the 5th century, when a Germanic settler named Bertin observed the neighboring monks from the Abbey of Bèze planting their vineyard. Bertin decided to follow suit and plant his field with Pinot grapes as well. The resultant wines were of impressive quality and soon after, the vineyard was named “Champs de Bertin” (meaning field of Bertin), which later became “Chambertin”.
Domaine Sylvain Pataille, Marsannay
Our next destination in the Côte de Nuits was Domaine Sylvain Pataille, farther north in Marsannay. Sylvain Pataille is a young, enthusiastic grower and winemaker with an aura of genius. Sylvain makes wines solely from the vineyards of Marsannay and is passionate about the various terroirs within the region. His love for the terroir is apparent in his wines, which are sensational, stylish and beautiful. Sylvain’s wines have a strong presence on restaurant wine lists in Europe and the US. Here in Manhattan, you’ll find his Marsannay “Fleur de Pinot” Rosé 2008 on wd-50’s wine list. We fell in love with his Marsannay Rosé.
NOTE: The Marsannay Rosé will arrive at the end of June 2013.
Marsannay Rosé 2012, $24 (300 bottles made) – Delicate floral and wild berry fragrances on the nose. On the palate, the wine is clean and pure with bright refreshing acidity and deep minerality. Floral and berry flavors carry through on the palate and persist through the long finish.
I have been traveling to Burgundy for twenty years and to me it never gets old and tiresome. In fact, I look forward to going again once I step foot on American soil. This year Gretchen and I traveled with an importer, Michael Feuerstein, of Selection Pas Mal, and we visited his properties throughout Burgundy. To say we had a great trip would be an understatement, as each Domaine we visited brought new light as to what is going on in Burgundy, its trends, gossips, innovations and traditions.
Over the next several weeks, Gretchen and I will be highlighting our trip up and down the Cote D’Or (as well as Macon) along with some side trips to Champagne, Condrieu and Bordeaux.
Domaine Jean-Pierre and Stephanie Colinot
What a way to start off our trip! We got off the plane in Paris and immediately hustled off to our first destination, Domaine Jean-Pierre and Stephanie Colinot. The weather was beautiful and although we were tired, we were eager to get going. Domaine Colinot is located in the small village of Irancy. Irancy, a gem of an area, is tucked away in the northern part of Burgundy, approximately 18 kilometers from Chablis. Unlike Chablis, Irancy produces red wines from Pinot Noir and two little known grapes, Cesar and Tressot. There is a small amount of Rose made as well.
More importantly, Domaine Colinot is reputed to be the finest producer in Irancy. Stephanie has taken over the winemaking and the Domaine has not lost a beat. In fact, she has taken the wines to new heights. The Domaine is made up of approximately 12 hectares and produces around 5,000 cases per year. We tasted through the whole lineup of wines. It is a shame that these wines are not more well-known, as they are pure expressions of Pinot Noir (with a touch of Cesar for color and body).
We came away with one particular wine that both Gretchen and I loved, Irancy ‘Les Cailles’ 2010. The ‘Les Cailles’, 100% Pinot Noir, is elegant, with wonderful minerality to round the wine out. Heaps of dark red fruits, cherries, blueberries and blackberries dance across the palate. The wine has richness, complexity and concentration. The tannins are well-integrated with the fruit which leads to wonderful length that lasts a good minute. They say that Irancy is best drunk within the first 3 to 4 years of the vintage, but this wine has enough going for it that it will last ten years.
On Tuesday the 23rd, my colleague Alan and I had the pleasure of attending a special lunch at Rouge Tomate, hosted by co-founder of Maison Lucien Le Moine, Mounir Saouma. Lucien Le Moine is a boutique winemaking house in Beaune owned and operated by Mounir and his wife, Rotem Brakin. Relatively new to Burgundy (their first vintage was released in 1999) the couple’s reputation for exceptional wines has grown fast. The winery is focused exclusively on producing grands and premiers crus from the very best growers in the region using traditional winemaking methods.
Le Moine is the epitome of artisanal craftsmanship in wine. The couple does everything in the winemaking process by hand, from carefully timed battonage (hand-stirring of the lees) all the way through to bottling, which is also meticulously timed and always takes place after a full moon for the benefits of ideal atmospheric pressure. From the beginning, Mounir and Rotem have selected grapes from only the best vineyards and growers, crafting their wine in precious small batches. They produce only between one and three barrels per Cru (that’s a very limited 25 to 75 cases). Keeping production this low means that the wines must be crafted with the utmost care throughout the entire winemaking process.
The small group attending the lunch had the pleasure and good fortune of tasting ten selections from Le Moine’s 2006 vintage while listening to Mounir’s passionate discourse. The red and white Burgundies that we tasted displayed the greatness of Maison Lucien Le Moine, giving the category of négociant wine a whole new connotation.
We tasted the wines listed below in order of appearance, all of which hail from Burgundy’s challenging 2006 vintage. The wines were opened at 9am, three hours prior to the lunch, and double decanted. Mounir emphatically recommended double decanting all Lucien Le Moine wines. Le Moine’s wines undergo a lengthy malolactic fermentation, the byproduct of which is carbon dioxide (CO2); the naturally occurring CO2 gives Mounir the option to use little sulphur dioxide (SO2), but the wines can end up with residual CO2 after bottling, hence the importance of double decanting. Mounir compared SO2 to a veil of make-up, dressing the wine up to make it attractive early on, but altering the wine’s true character. Mounir fervently opposes the popular credo in winemaking that SO2 is essential to making age-worthy wines and disagrees with its use for preventing oxidation.
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Embrazees
Puligny Montrachet Les Enseigneres*
Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champs Gain*
Pommard 1er Cru Rugiens*
Pommard 1er Cru Les Epenots
Corton Bressandes Grand Cru
Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Combe Aux Moines*
Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Estournelles-St-Jacques
Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru*
Before establishing Maison Lucien Le Moine, Mounir studied viticulture and oenology, and then went on to work in wineries in both Burgundy and California. Rotem comes from a family of cheese makers and studied Agriculture extensively, with a focus on wine. She had worked in both Burgundy and California before establishing Maison Lucien Le Moine with Mounir. Mounir and Rotem were initially drawn to Burgundy by their infatuation with the native varietals, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but the couple soon fell in love with the unique and distinctive terroirs within the Côte d’Or. Mounir expounded on the terroirs of each wine that we tasted and the character that is imparted by various soil types, such as the clay soils of Charmes and the resultant tannic concentration and minerality.
All of Maison Lucien Le Moine’s wines are aged in custom-made barrels, sourcing the fine oak from the Jupilles forest. The barrels are customized for each vineyard, and even for the different vintages. All of their wines, both reds and whites, are aged on 100% of their lees and are gently stirred three or four times per month. The ageing on lees and stirring imparts the wines with impeccable balance and great complexity. The wines are bottled without being fined or filtered, which preserves the extraordinary character and unique quality of these wines.
Mounir’s candor and insights surrounding the region of Burgundy, the winemaking process and the industry as a whole, were captivating. As I mentioned earlier, Mounir was insistent on the importance of decanting Le Moine’s wines and recommended opening a bottle and enjoying that one bottle over the course of eight hours for the full tasting experience. He excitedly explained how the wine changes and evolves as it is exposed to oxygen over longer periods and how fascinating this whole experience is for a wine lover. Mounir emphasized the ultimate goal for wine consumers, which is the enjoyment of what is in your glass. Finally, this memorable event was concluded with Mounir’s recommendation against trying to dig too deep and to look for an explanation for everything that is happening in the wine. Just keep it simple and enjoy the wine! An excellent piece of advice, albeit easier said than done for many of us.
The Name Lucien Le Moine stems from two references: “Mounir” means light in Lebanese and “Lucien” is the equivalent in French. Mounir’s winemaking career began at a Trappist Monastery, where he learned about Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. “Le Moine” translates to “the monk”, and is a reference to Mounir’s experience at the monastery.
Steven Tanzer Reviews:
2006 Lucien Le Moine Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot Reticent but very ripe, spicy nose. Rich, fat and exotic, with honey and spice flavors and a distinctly glyceral texture that called to mind a late-harvest wine featuring some noble rot. Finishes plump and long. 89-90 points
2006 Pommard 1er Cru Les Epenots Good deep red. Restrained, complex nose combines dark fruits, licorice, botanical herbs and subtle woodsmoke. Supple and broad but light on its feet, offering considerable early sex appeal to its flavors of dark cherry, minerals and oak spices. Has plenty of mid-palate fat to support its dusty tannins. Finishes with good grip and structure, and subtle lingering perfume. 90 points
2006 Lucien Le Moine Corton Bressandes Medium red. Musky, wild aromas of red fruits and smoked ham. Sweet, supple and meaty, with a slightly medicinal cast to its fruit but also a sensual texture given shape and lift by ripe acids. A classy Corton, not at all a brutal style. Finishes with slightly dry but fine tannins. 89-91 points
2006 Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru Good full red. Brooding aromas of dark berries, licorice and violet. Big, rich and sweet but a bit youthfully simple, with a wild aspect to the black raspberry and floral flavors. The saline, savory finish communicates a strong impression of soil. This needs a few years of aging to express its full personality. 91(+?) points
David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate:
2006 Maison Lucien le Moine Pommard les Rugiens The Le Moine 2006 Pommard Rugiens is scented with lightly-cooked cherry and strawberry; comes to the palate quite broad, rich, and caressing in texture, with smoky pungency typically associated with this site and the ferrous soil for which it is named; and finishes with sweet, smoke-tinged fruit, though in a soft, slightly diffuse, low key manner. I would expect it to be at its best already within 3-4 years. 89 points
Lunch Venue Rouge Tomate, 10 East 60th Street, New York, NY
Emmanuel Verstraeten’s Michelin starred restaurant
Executive Chef Jeremy Bearman
Picture this: you are sitting outside; it’s hot but not unbearably humid. You have a chilled glass of white wine in your hand which reveals an occasional sweat bead dripping down the smooth crystal of the glass. What do you have in your hand? A fabulous Chablis. More specifically, Vincent Dampt’s 2008 1er Cru Chablis Vaillons $25/btl.
When you give this glass of Chardonnay its first little swirl to lift those aromas to your nose, you get a fresh and cool bouquet with florals, spice and some earthy tones. Now take a sip. There is balance and purity in the wine showcasing lemon zest notes, with the finish lingering in a pleasant mineral explosion. Hopefully, as you are sitting outside with that glass in hand, you just happen to have some pan-seared scallops, pepper and garlic marinated prawns, or oysters with a fresh shallot sauce. Really, any type of shellfish is quite a treat with this Chablis.
The origin of this wine and its namesake, is the famed Burgundy town of Chablis. Vincent Dampt’s estate, producing solely Chablis wines, makes up slightly less than 3 hectares and lays along the left bank of the Serein River. The vineyards are planted in Chablis’ famous Kimmeridgian soil; a mix of clay, chalk and marine fossils which provide the wines with their beautiful minerality.
Born into a family of winemakers, Vincent developed an interest in the wine industry at the young age of 14, when he enrolled himself into a Beaune wine school. Vincent was able to broaden his wine knowledge by training in the Jura, working with Olivier Leflaive in Puligny-Montrachet, and travelling overseas to work in New Zealand’s Marlborough region. He then returned home to France and began producing wines with his father in 2002, until 2004, when he inherited some pieces of land. At that point, he began producing wines under his own name, Vincent Dampt.
Getting back to the glass that you are ideally still holding, I would like to pass on several tasting tips particular to Chablis wines.
-Temperature: For a Chablis Premier Cru in particular, the ideal serving temperature is 50-53 degrees Fahrenheit.
-Opening the bottle: Make sure to cut the cap under the ring of the bottle neck so that the wine does not touch the cap when it is poured.
-Glassware: Serve the wine in a specific Chablis glass which has a tulip shape with a narrower opening. This shape will allow the wine to access the palate in the perfectly precise way so that the flavors are enhanced to their maximum potentials.
For those of you who were unable to attend our Domaine Joseph Drouhin wine dinner at the ‘21’ Club on June 26th, don’t worry, I am here to give you the scoop. I’ll take you through the journey of delicious courses created by executive chef John Greeley and a mouthwatering array of nine wines produced by Domaine Joseph Drouhin. Just a heads up, I highly recommend reading this with a glass of wine in hand.
Our Drouhin dinner took place in the private dining room on the second floor of the ‘21’ Club, strategically named Upstairs at ‘21’. As guests began to trickle in, the pleasantly chilled 2009 Drouhin Vaudon Chablis was offered, a delightful pair for the various passed hors d’oeuvres, including a fresh lobster salad in a beautiful cone cracker, delicate smoked salmon toasts, and mini burger bites.
As our final guests arrived, we were seated at our tables, each placement adorned with the proper fine dining utensils and an overwhelming set of eight wine glasses, begging to be filled. Before our first course was served, we were greeted by our host, Laurent Drouhin, great grandson of the founder Joseph Drouhin, and one of four children at the helm of the estate. As the first wines were served, we had the privilege of receiving a mini lesson by Laurent on the Burgundy region, appellations, grape varieties, and of course, a little background on Domaine Joseph Drouhin. If only all classrooms were this way!
Our first two wines were the 2009 Meursault and 2009 Puligny-Montrachet, two delightful village Chardonnays which were paired perfectly with the fresh soft shell crab dish showcasing tender baby artichokes, cherry tomatoes and an herb-basil pesto. Both wines were crisp, with the Meursault expressing more yellow stone fruits, citrus and florals on the palate and the Puligny-Montrachet with slightly less sweetness and more spiced pear notes, lemon and minerality tones.
Next on the menu was lightly seared tuna with grilled prawns in a wasabi pea purée which accompanied the 2009 Chassagne-Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche and 2009 Beaune Clos des Mouches Blanc. At this point in the dinner, monsieur Drouhin stood up to explain the two wines and this routine ensued throughout the rest of the evening. The Marquis de Laguiche was packed with different rich and round flavors spanning hazelnuts, ripe fruit and creamy butter. Similarly, the Clos de Mouche Blanc portrayed a blend of flavors, but with a different flavor profile, revealing a swirl of stone fruits, and firm acid and minerality that danced on the palate.
The amusement of our taste buds continued with the third course, a scrumptious pork dish lying lazily on a bed of red rice drizzled in the pork’s jus. It was a comforting dish with a genial medley of flavors, but none too overwhelming or overpowering. Along with the pork dish, we made the transition to Drouhin’s Pinot Noir selections and said farewell to our Chardonnay glasses, though many of us chose to keep them at our place settings to revisit as the wines continued to evolve. Our two picks for this dish were the 2009 Chambolle-Musigny and the 2008 Gevrey-Chambertin. This is where I found my personal piece de résistance, the Chambolle-Musigny. It was the perfect match with the pork, intertwining its balanced tannins, and subtle cherry and candied fruit flavors perfectly with the tender meat. The 2008 Gevrey-Chambertin was also dressed to impress, showcasing a velvety texture also with balanced tannins and more peppery and spicy flavors.
Despite my elation from the food and wine endorphins, a slight sadness settled over me as I realized that we were reaching the final course of the meal. The four selections of cheeses were accompanied by the last two Drouhin Pinot Noirs: the 2009 Volnay Clos des Chênes and the 2008 Beaune Clos des Mouches Rouge, each sporting red fruit aromas, but with the Volnay Clos des Chênes showcasing refined tannins with plums and floral fruity flavors that lingered on the finish, and the Clos des Mouches Rouge portraying an earthy and firm body with tart rhubarb, some spice, as well as sweet and silky fruit.
The amazing combination of exquisite wines and gourmet dishes in an atmosphere both informative and relaxing was utterly mind-blowing, and an experience to remember. Now if you’re feeling hungry, I apologize for exciting your salivary glands, but if I have portrayed the slightest notion of this delectable dinner to you, I am satisfied. If you feel that this is the kind of event and experience that you don’t want to miss out on, we host a number of events every year that you can choose from. We have several great dinners lined up in the fall, our next one on the list being the Chateau Palmer Dinner at Aureole in September. Stay posted for more events to come!
Le Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet first saw mediocre success under the ownership of poet-vigneron Roland Thevenin in the 1950’s and during the 30 or so years that followed. In 1985, he sold the property to the Chablis firm Laroche, which several years later passed on the estate to Credit Foncier, a subsidiary of Caisse d’Epargne, who produced commercially-popular wines. Then, in 2002, BNP banker Etienne de Montille took over as director of the estate and the makeover ensued. His first major move was to transition to organic and biodynamical viticulture, which he successfully achieved by 2005. Additionally, under Etienne’s reign, the Domaine has grown from 15 to 21 hectares (37 to 51 acres) of healthy, fruitful vineyards. Not only did he work deliberately at transforming this estate, he also began taking a more active role in his family vineyard in Volnay, Domaine Hubert de Montille.
The Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet estate covers 23 appellations in the Burgundy region including some prestigious ones such as Chassagne-Montrachet and Nuits-St.-Georges. Most of the production consists of Chardonnay wines, although 7 out of the 20 hectares are dominated by the noble Pinot Noir. The 2009 Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet Bourgogne Blanc Clos du Chateau $24/btl is a product of 4.5 hectares (slightly more than 11 acres) of vineyards in the heart of le village of Puligny-Montrachet, one of the best Chardonnay-producing areas in the world. The “Bourgogne” title, whether rouge or blanc, covers wines that are produced in locations that do not have specific appellations and can be produced from grapes in one or more of 300 communes.
With the first swirl of this lightly golden wine, wafts of lemon verbena, straw and ripe citrus first awaken the nose. On the palate, floral notes and minerality are present with slight acidity and a long finish to bring an overall harmonious presentation in the mouth. Grab a bottle to see for yourself!
It’s not often that you get the chance to taste a Chardonnay from Burgundy’s Cote-Chalonnaise village of Mercurey, given that 90% of the village’s output consists of vin rouge. Citrus and fruit aromas are the first to tingle the nose on this Joseph Faiveley Mercurey Blanc Clos Rochette 2008 $25/btl followed by a light smokiness and wet stone. On the palate, notes of minerality and florals are distinct and crisp. The silkiness that ensues in the mouth gives it an extremely smooth finish, bringing along with it notes of pineapple and sweet apples.
At $25 per bottle, this Chardonnay is a great pick for a warm summer night dinner or barbeque, and pairs nicely with a variety of seafood dishes. Below you can find a grilled shrimp kabob recipe from Chef Billy Della Ventura to pair with this gem. All you need to do is fire up that grill, assemble your kabobs and pop a bottle of Faiveley’s Clos Rochette to enjoy a wonderfully paired and simply delicious meal.
Now for a little background and a brief history lesson…
Domaine Faiveley was founded by Pierre Faiveley in 1825.The Domaine’s reputation took hold in the early 19th century when many Burgundian wine producers began traveling to Northern Europe to trade their wines for textiles.Today, the Domaine rests in the hands of seventh generation Erwan Faiveley.The family owns vineyards in some of the most prestigious appellations such as Pommard, Gevrey-Chambertin, Volnay and Puligny-Montrachet, among others. Several climats are owned exclusively by the family including Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos des Issarts, Beaune 1er Cru Clos de L’Ecu, and the Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley Grand Cru. Not bad, right?
Meet the perfect Springtime red…the 2006 Francois Gay Savigny les Beaune ($20) offers a core of red cherry and strawberry aromas overlain with orange peel, clove and rose notes. A savory, gamey quality is present, adding to the wine’s complexity and intrigue. On the palate,the texture is soft with lush fruit, fine tannins and vibrant acidity, giving way to a persistent, lengthy finish.
This wine is an excellent value that is showing beautifully now. Pair with pan seared duck breast, braised kale and sauteed potatoes.
Bouchard’s 2009 Auxey-Duresses Les Duresses is showing beautifully with an intensely fragrant bouquet of floral and wild berry aromas. Soft and supple on the palate, the fruit shines with the slightest accent of spice. This Pinot’s elegant, charming finish beckons another sip. If you’re looking for a really great “everyday” red Burgundy that offers superior quality and undeniable value, look no further. At $28 per bottle, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Auxey-Duresses is a smaller, under the radar appellation that is nestled in the valley between Volnay, to the north, and Meursault, directly adjacent and to the south. Directly to the north of Auxey-Duresses is Monthélie, home to a handful of premier cru vineyards and another place to look for great value in Burgundy.
The 2009 Bouchard Père et Fils Auxey-Duresses Les Duresses is a lovely companion for tonight’s dinner, French Onion Soup. I can also see pairing this with other regional classics such as Beef Burgundy. Even a simple mid-afternoon snack of French cheeses (Saint-andré, Brie and Comte), fresh baguette and salad would be a great accompaniment for this delightful wine.
Renowned for exceptional quality, Bouchard Père et Fils is one of Burgundy’s oldest and most prestigious producers. Established in 1731, the Domaine has grown over the centuries to encompass 130 hectares (321 acres) of the Côte d’Or’s finest vines, including 12 hectares in Grand Cru and 74 hectares in Premier Cru vineyards. The diversity of Bouchard’s portfolio is united by the House’s dedication to producing the purest expressions of Burgundy’s unique appellations. The result – true terroir-driven wines of consistent high quality.
On December 7th 2011, I had the pleasure of meeting Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier, the Chef-Owners of renowned Arrows Restaurant and MC Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, Maine. Mark and Clark demonstrated an unforgettable five-course menu for De Gustibus Cooking School’s Glorious American Cooking class. The delightful menu included their Mushroom Pie and ethereal Cider Poached Salmon. Trailblazers of the farm-to-table movement, their cooking styles showcase the pure, clean flavors of the ingredients that they use. Each dish was delicious and sumptuous without feeling heavy, evidencing the true mastery of these great Chefs.
The featured wines were provided by importer Frederick Wildman & Sons and included NV Champagne Pol Roger Reserve, 2010 Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Les Caillottes and 2008 Potel Aviron Morgan Cote du Py.
After the class, I had the opportunity to sit down with Mark and Clark and ask them some questions about their culinary careers and wine preferences. The Wine Cellarage’s exclusive interview with Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier is below…
WC: Based on what I’ve read, you guys are trailblazers of sustainability and the farm-to-table movement. What was the driving philosophy or inspiration behind the Arrows garden that you founded back in 1992?
Mark: The initial reason was necessity because we couldn’t find the produce that was good enough for our restaurant. We had been in California before Maine and had access to nice fresh ingredients. In New England, in the late 80s, it was still really difficult. There were only a few local farmers and they were growing things and doing an okay business, some of them did a great business, but they couldn’t supply our restaurant with quite enough produce. It was unreliable. We felt that we needed to go with the spirit of the people that lived here 100 years ago and just grow what we needed. People used to be self sufficient in many ways and now of course most people aren’t. We thought that with a restaurant like Arrows and five acres of land, we could have an incredible garden and it really worked out.
Clark: For most of the year, the garden sustains almost all of the produce for Arrows, about 90-95%, and about 20-30% of the produce for MC Perkins Cove. It’s a lot. It’s the real deal and not just for show. It is three quarters of an acre and one of the most intensely cultivated pieces of land you’ll ever find.
WC: Can you tell me a little bit about how you ended up opening a restaurant in Maine?
Clark: We were trying to open a restaurant in Carmel, California and it kept falling through. We had a backer, but Carmel is really expensive. One day, Mark’s friends called and asked if we would like to buy this restaurant. Mark said, “Yeah, sure, but we don’t have any money”. They really wanted to give us the option to buy and encouraged us to come check it out. So we loaded up everything we owned, got in the car and drove across the country. We said, “What the hell, we’ve really got nothing to lose.”
Mark: I knew the restaurant because I had lived in that area of Maine before, I frequented the restaurant, but never really thought I would buy it.
WC: Can you tell me about the wine list at Arrows? What is the philosophy behind the wine selections?
Clark: The wine list is split to a large degree between French and Californian wines, with maybe 1/3 devoted to other international regions. We have a particular depth in Bordeaux because Mark and I like Bordeaux and because we can’t keep enough Burgundies on hand, mostly due to demand. The Burgundies fly out the door so fast. We used to have about 700 selections on the list. We paired that down during the recession and made the list leaner and cleaner. We have two cellars with a lot of capacity. We’ve tried to make the list as accessible and interesting as possible. We try to have a lot of interesting, lesser known wineries and eclectic options. We still love Bordeaux, so we keep collecting those and try to have a fair amount in that area.
WC: What was your biggest challenge in getting Arrows established in Ogunquit 23 years ago?
Mark: The location was challenging, because it is very seasonal in Southern Maine. We’re not in a town, but in the countryside and in sort of a middle class resort area and Arrows evolved into a really upscale restaurant.
Clark: And if you will, the prejudice of Maine, that Maine is for lobster rolls, blueberry pies and down-home and it took people time to acclimate to the idea of a “Great Country Restaurant” which is what Arrows became. Rattle people’s cage, and present a really interesting restaurant that’s not in New York or New Orleans or Chicago, not in the city. This was a pretty wild concept and it still is. In the Americas, people still don’t really look to the countryside for their restaurants. I think that was a really interesting challenge. And frankly, at that time Boston was a real backwater with just a couple of good restaurants. There was Jasper’s and Aujourd’hui, and that was about it. That’s why the Zagat guide kept having us as the most highly rated restaurant in New England.
WC: What experience(s) have had the biggest influence over your cooking style?
Mark: Working for Jeremiah Towers and Mark Franz at Stars [in San Francisco], had a strong influence on us. We consider them mentors.
Clark: The story I told during class about living in Beijing and the seasons. And Mark and I travel all the time. That really not only influences our food, but for example, all of the uniforms at Arrows are hand made in Thailand. All of the plates, a lot of the things at the restaurant are made for the restaurant from our travels. The food and the whole sensibility are influenced by our travels. We both really enjoy reading historical things, that’s really influenced us a lot. For years we’ve done dinners that revolve around historical menus: Renaissance, Belle Époque etc.
Mark: Reading, research and travel are all elements that inform our cooking.
Clark: And then of course, the people who work with us have a big influence. Justin Walker has worked with us for 15 years and has had a real impact with ideas like foraging. Mark and I don’t really forage, we’ll go out with him, but he’s the expert.
WC: Do you have a favorite wine region, if so, which is it and why?
Mark: I love Champagne.
Clark: We both love Champagne.
Mark: That would definitely be a favorite. For me, Champagne and then Burgundy. I like Burgundy more than Bordeaux. Clark prefers Bordeaux. I really love Burdundies…Drouhin is a favorite. For Champagne, I loved the Pol Roger earlier.
Clark: We love the Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill, which a friend brought for New Year’s one year, a huge Methuselah sized bottle. We love rosé Champagnes too, especially Billecart-Salmon.
Mark: That’s probably my favorite producer, especially the rosé.
Clark: Gosset is another favorite Champagne producer. I love Bordeaux, old and young, but it really has to do with the food for me. I like lighter wines now, as I get older, which is really odd. I always liked big wines, and now I’m more into light, food-friendly wines.
WC: If you could drink one wine every day, what would it be?
Clark: Yeah, I could drink Champagne every day.
WC: What is your current favorite ingredient to work with?
Mark: That’s a tough one. Probably the mushrooms that we’ve foraged lately.