TN: Pre-covid wines in France

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dalewilli...@gmail.com

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Sep 9, 2022, 2:12:22 PMSep 9
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First night in Paris, sharing an apartment with friends in Montparnasse, after the overnight flight not a lot of energy but found a well known seafood spot, La Cagouille, just blocks from flat. Really excellent meal, best part might have been the 2 bowls of buttery cockles they served as an amuse. But I also loved my starter (sections of small fish- not one I knew at least in French fried and accompanied by flash fried watercress) and grey mullet with a leek confit sauce (amazing, and I’m not one who thinks of mullet as something to seek out - why I ordered, shocked a fine place would serve).
Great list, with some bargain prices on trophies(Ravenau, Coche,etc), but as I was tired and only geek there, I ordered the 2014 V. Dauvissat Chablis (70 euros- and dollar is at parity, so probably less than US retail currently). Great ‘14 acids, grapefruit with saline and floral notes, really fine for the level. B++

We were with a flatmate’s niece, and they had more energy, so niece gave us the extra key while they went looking for last boat ride of night. But it turned out it was garage key. Oops. While we whatsapped them, we went back out, and sat outside a bar on Ave de Maines to wait. I had a glass of the 2021 Le Dolmen Chinon rose (after turned out a Grolleau was sold out). Fruity, forward, fine for the situation.. B/B-

Cooking in apartment, duck breast, potatoes, chanterelles and cremini, salad. We had spent day walking, remembered too late most wine stores close or close early on Sunday. Local mini-grocery had the 2018 Jean Chanussot Gevrey-Chambertin. OK, great that a basic convenience store as village AC Burgunday, but what we got was basic convenience store PN. Tart red fruit, slightly grainy tannins, moderate acids, not much to admire or show terroir here, drinkable. C+/B-

Just around corner was a neo-bistro with nice (deserved) reviews in Michelin. Beautiful weather as we ate out at Le Cornichon. I started with a pigs foot and langoustine pastilla, followed by sweetbreads (both glands) with chanterelles, roasted artichokes, & artichoke puree. Others enjoyed aged Breton pave steak, duck, fish, etc.

2015 d’Angerville Bourgogne-Aligote
I never knew they made Aligote. The ripeness of the vintage is a good foil for the acids of Aligote. Lemon cream, a little wax, good length. B+/B

2018 George Roy Chorey-les-Beaune
Snappy raspberry and cherry, some soil tones, new producer but I quite liked. B+

A dozen of us gathered at Papy aux Fourneaux to celebrate Lenore’s birthday and have pre-wedding fun. A table d’hote restaurant where everyone ordersfrom limited choices, but then they bring “family style.’ So we got to try everything. Starters were salad with hard boiled eggsand a great eggplant compote with greens; then we had beef bourguignon, saithe (cod-like, ubiquitous at places we went) with a spicy (reunion Island I think) sauce, as well as another eggplant dish I missed. Dessert was a panna cotta with mirabelles and some chocolate creation.

Very limited (but very cheap- most expensive still wine was 38 euros) natural wine list. We had a Moulin-a-vent that I never saw label, fruity but also a bit mousy. C+. Also a 2019 Domaine du Seminaire Les saffres Cotes du Rhone- round, ripe, easy. B-
Best wine was the white, 2020 Gueguen Cotes Salines Bourgogne Blanc. Clean pear and lemon Chardonnay fruit, expressive nose, clean acids, good finish,. B/B+

In apartment with a few friends,Breton oysters, 2 Bresse chickens, potatoes, salad
NV A. Bergere Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Champagne
Bright, elegant mousse, apple turnovers and chalk, seemingly moderate dosage, good length.B+/B

2020 Droin Chablis
Lemon and mango, on more opulent side for Chablis, did well with chicken but could use more snap.B

TGV to Reims, a nice tour at Taittinger. Caves are spectacular and so is the history. Tasting ended with NV Grande Reserve and Rose, each of which I have always liked not loved and nothing changed. Then we walked into town for lunch at Au Bon Manger, recommended by a couple of Champagne importer friends. What a place, a temple to Champagne and artisanal food. We had an assortment of salmon, charcuterie (one typical plate was lomo, chorizo, coppa from a Gascogne pig breed brought back from extinction), salads, etc. We had a bottle of bubbles that they did as a joint project with a grower
2015 Champagne Bourgeois-Diaz Cuvee Aline100% Meunier
Apples and almonds, elegant, fine mousse, refined and lively. A-

Drove down to Acheres La Foret , our base near Fontainebleu, and then to the pre-wedding petanque tournament in Samoreau, where my team was eliminated. A couple of days of light sniffles, I coughed a couple of times, in an abundance of caution I took a rapid test, oops. OK, so I traveled across an ocean to NOT go to a wedding. Back to Paris (solo, I made Betsy stay for wedding). Really a bummer.


Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C drinkable. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
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