Dinner at Joseph (2) with great wines
I had a new lovely dinner at Joseph last MON May 18 with an intimate group of friends. It was planned in advance so we had an initial list of 3 wines and a food tasting menu to go with it. As before, that initial list of 3 wines got up to 5 by the end. Food was top again here.
Food tasting menu was: Calamari a la plancha, Semi-row salmon sashimi, Lentil risotto with red wild shrimps, French veal chops and Chocolate bar. The wines were upscale so expectation were naturally high and in my opinion they fully delivered, or at least most of them.
2013 Aile d’Argent produced by Chateau Mouton Rothschild is made from a small parcel of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle planted in 1980, it is fermented in 100% new oak barrels and half of it matures in the same barrels for some months. In a few words this wine is the epitome of class and opulence, just like its producer. The nose is an intense and complex kaleidoscope of aromas of mango, peach, smoke, vanilla bar and citrus essence. Opulent and almost luscious palate, but there is enough vibrant acidity to energize the thick and oily texture and enhance the tropical fruits, vanilla and citrus flavors. Long and vibrant finish, where mango and tangerine flavors are lingering. I just love this wine. (94-95/100)
Aile d’Argent was meant to pair with both first two courses but it quickly evaporated from the bottle by the end of the first course.
2010 Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru made by Domaine de Lambrays is on a similar line with the 2012 I had at the same location on April 28: a very high quality Pinot Noir, however the two vintages are well reflected into the wines. While 2012 is already open and expressive on the palate, 2010 is more intense and needs to be left alone in the bottle for a few more years. Color is a medium ruby red. The nose already shows high class and it is developing into pure and clean aromas of strawberries, red cherries, fresh green tea leaves, potpourri and chocolate. On the palate the wine is more closed than the 2012, but there is so much structure and intensity in it that points to a long aging potential. I believe in 10 years this will be a masterpiece. (95/100)
Not necessarily the ideal pairing with Lentil risotto. I believe the wine needs a more neutral pairing.
2007 Domaine de la Janasse ‘Cuvee Chaupin’ Chateauneuf du pape was open 2 h in advance and decanted for 1 h. This is a show off wine. No wonder some of the participants of our intimate gathering preferred it. The color is deep red garnet and opaque. It has the aromatic profile of an Amarone, even the 15.5% alcohol puts it in the same league. The nose is very intense and ripe. The aromas of black sour cherries, rum, chocolate, Provencal herbs and licorice are strong. Opulent and lush palate, richly textured and concentrated, tannins are smooth. The finish is long but the wine is missing freshness to balance all this dense and thick texture. (93-94/100)
2002 Burge Family G3 is a Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre blend from Australia. It has the same 15.5% alcohol but there is freshness. It is the second time I am having this in the last 4-5 months and it continues to impress me. It is one of the most interesting Australian wines I tasted and I would put it in the country’s best league. Very dense, highly textured, similar to an Amarone but so different and so fresh compared to ‘Cuvee Chaupin’ 2007. It combines sweet red and black fruits with chocolate, leather, game and spices. A wine that entered its plateau of maturity, but really no rush to consume it. It has at least another 5-8 years ahead. (94/100)
Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve NV was the wine to close the night. Its clean citrus fruit and green apple acidity cleansed the palate after such a delightful 4 h dinner.