l’etoile Wine Dinner Review & Photos

l’etoile Wine Dinner Review & Photos

Posted on Jun, 09. 2010 by

Categories: Events

PHOTOS: Click here for photos from the evening.

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month’s newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Wow! Let me say it again, Wow! The excerpt from Stevens’ poem above is one of the only ways I know how to express it.

That was a great dinner last night. A big thank you to Mark Gresge at l’etoile for a fantastic and perfectly matched line up of succulent courses. Thank you also to Williams Corner wine for providing such interesting wines for us to taste. And most of all thank you to you all for attending, I hope you had as much fun as I did. We will keep doing these dinners as long as you find them interesting. this was one of our most successful dinners to date.

Below I will give a brief description of the wines as I saw it:

Domaine Klein 2002 Crémant d’Alsace Blanc de Blancs
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $18.34 • Premier Cru: $19.17 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $24.99
Buy this wine!

This was a great wine of all Chardonnay. One of the most Champagne-esque Cremants I have tasted. Seven years on the lees along with the age on this thing has given the wine a nice biscuity richness. This is an elegant style that I think is a great accompaniment for food. Compare this to a Champagne of like quality and you will pay twice as much.

Domaine Klein 1991 Muscat
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $27.14 • Premier Cru: $28.37 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $36.99
Buy this wine!

Much lighter in style than I was prepared for. this was a delicate beautiful little number. There was an initial scent of eucalyptus or mint or something, whatever it was I liked it and recognized a hint of it in the other wines from this producer all night. The Muscat flavor was subtle but present and made this an excellent pairing for the light richness of the wild mushrooms in cream. A great food wine with much to consider.

Domaine Klein 1985 Riesling Schlossreben 70cl
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $33.00 • Premier Cru: $34.50 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $44.99
Buy this wine!

I loved this Riesling. The wine had all of the components of great Alsatian Riesling brought together and softened into a harmony of subtle complexities that just are not present in youth. A fine wine for enduring consideration, also a fantastic match for the dish of Mushrooms and with the more going on that it brought it was fantastically suited to the Chicken and Sausage roulade as well. This wine will put the polish on any fine meal and truly should be considered on its own as the apex on an evening not the entry as it was. A philosophical wine to say the least -consider, consider, consider and that is the joy in itself.

Domaine Klein 2005 Pinot Noir Rouge de Saint Hippolyte
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $18.34 • Premier Cru: $19.17 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $24.99
Buy this wine!

Few Alsatians make fine Pinot Noir but when they do it is fantastic. And it is fantastic for many reasons, it is unique and deliciously so, It sounds stupid to say but there is something so Alsatian about Alsatian Pinot Noir. By this I mean there is something of a woodsy quality to the wine, reminiscent of deep dark Germanic forests and wild mushrooms and smokey chimneys, it is fortifying and hearty, it is delicious and full Pinot with a character all of its own far better for full rich meals than many other Pinots out there and it was ideal with the fatty duck and confit potatoes last night. Buy this one and cellar it for a long time, or drink it only in the winter and fall and it will keep you warm. Or…

Domaine Klein 1988 Pinot Noir Rouge de Saint Hippolyte
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $33.00 • Premier Cru: $34.50 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $44.99
Buy this wine!

Or don’t cellar the 2005 and just pick up some of this beauty which is everything I said above but more so. Especially on the smokey mushroom side of things, Like liquid Morels with brooding cherry fruit. There was a sharpness to the nose of this wine at first that I attributed to the bottle shock of having recently landed on shore. The sharpness was not in the palate however and as predicted it blew off of the nose and the wine was complete. Now don’t make me regret full disclosure by letting that comment mess with your desire for this wine, many agreed this was on the top wines of the night. A perfectly aged Alsatian Pinot Noir and NOTHING will go better with game bird this Autumn, trust me.

Domaine Mussy 2005 Beaune 1er Cru Montremenots
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $29.34 • Premier Cru: $30.67 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $39.99
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All I can say is that 2005 was a stronger vintage in many ways than 2002 even though 2002 was an excellent vintage. I am saying this because this wine was a classically soft Beaune, elegant and perfumed and delicious. But, at my table last night, the next wine (the 2002) was the favorite of this pairing because it was showing so much fuller and rounder and bigger. The question was will the 2005 fatten and fill out like the 2002? Well, they are two different vineyards so in any case it will be a different wine. That said, the answer was a screaming yes! The 2005 Montremenots had all of the depth and richness that you want in a young Burgundy to fatten and flesh out with some time, it was a perfectly made wine with the individual stamp of a small producer.

Domaine Mussy 2002 Beaune 1er Cru Epenottes
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $39.34 • Premier Cru: $30.67 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $39.99
Buy this wine!

This was an excellent 1er Cru Beaune from the the famed vineyard that spans into the Epenots of Pommard. I don’t really no what else to say but that this is everything you want from a well made Beaune wine. Drinking now, excellent Burgundy flavor, classic soft style with tons of bouquet and nuance, a French wine for French palates. Well done.

Domaine Mussy 2006 Pommard
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $36.66 • Premier Cru: $38.33 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $49.99
Buy this wine!

Fuller, richer, more flesh and flavor, just what Pommard should be. In fact if I were teaching a class on Burgundy villages I think I would select this wine as the text book for what Pommard is. I am biased though as I love Pommard, it offers so much Burgundian character for a far better price than many of the other great villages. It is a drinking wine and even with its youth this one was drinking excellently. That said I would set it down for a bit as the older wines from this estate show without a doubt that these wines really gain in character with only a few years of cellaring.

Domaine Mussy 2002 Pommard 1er Cru Les Petits Epenots
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $58.66 • Premier Cru: $61.33 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $79.99
Buy this wine!

For me this was the wine of the night. Everything seems to have come together for this wine, the vintage was strong, the vineyard is strong, and as we have seen the estate is strong. Final take on Mussy is that he is making Beaune wines for a classic Burgundian palate. So many Burgundies are made with a concentration to appeal to the world Pinot market which I feel is a mistake. Burgundy is Pinot but it is the nuance that makes them Burgundy and Mussy has held on to that style. These are pretty wines that bear a little more sniffing, a touch more swirling and a tad more consideration, not because they need it but because so much of their enjoyment is tied up in the full consideration and not just in the dousing of the gullet. An excellent 1er cru Pommard.

The sum up is that I think everyone I talked to agreed that these wines opened up and changed for the better as they sat in the glass a little bit. As with all great wines, they bear some decanting or age and the fact that they showed this makes me feel strongly about the quality that these wines represent. these are classically European wines and fine additions to your cellar, the pleasure is that having some of the older wines available means that you can get some those for drinking now while you wait on the others to gain.

Thank you all and I hope to see you at next weeks tasting.

PHOTOS: Click here for photos from the evening.

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