One of my wine suppliers offers me one day to acquire a bottle of 1929 Les Gaudichots Domaine de la Romanée Conti. This bottle is a particular rarity, since wine is actually La Tâche but do not bear the name, and I dreamed of to find one someday, especially in this special year. The price seemed unattainable and unreasonable, but I did not want to miss this unique opportunity. So I talked about this wine with my friend Tomo, with which we open big bottles, asking him to share the cost and drinking together.
Tomo and I agreed and we purchased this bottle which I kept in my cellar. The idea of drinking this wine with Aubert de Villaine, co-owner of Romanée Conti, was very natural, and when I met him, I told him about this bottle and he did not decline the proposal I have made. In the months that followed, I sent him messages which he did not respond. The case seemed closed, we would drink this bottle, Tomo and me.
Moreover, a journalist who has directed many films about domains and winemakers is in the process of work on a film on Henri Jayer be released in 2016 to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of the famous winemaker. He calls me and asks me if it would be possible to film me commenting wine tasting of Henri Jayer.
A few years ago, when Thomas Bravo-Maza made a film « The Four Seasons of Romanée-Conti, » he made me the same request and we found ourselves, Tomo and I filmed drinking two Romanée Conti, 1996 brought by Tomo and 1986 brought by me, and after the shooting made in restaurant Grand Véfour the morning, we finished the two bottles for lunch at this restaurant for our delight, after the departure of camera crews. The temptation was great to combine with Tomo to open two wines of Henri Jayer, in the spirit of equality and reciprocity, and at this occasion we would open The Gaudichots 1929. The date is taken. For conscience, I warn Aubert de Villaine from the date of our next lunch and a miracle happens only in westerns, since the US cavalry always arrives five minutes before the end of the film to save the hero threatened by Indians, Aubert de Villaine announced that he could join us. It will be at Taillevent, Aubert, Tomo and I, with our wives.
One Monday morning, at 10:30, I stand at Taillevent restaurant to open bottles for that lunch of six, Aubert de Villaine, my friend Tomo and I and our wives. Aubert warned me that he would come by train and would be at the restaurant at one pm. Laurent, reporter joined me at the same time because he will film the lunch with two patterns, the very rare bottle Gaudichots of Domaine de la Romanée Conti 1929, and two bottles of Henri Jayer Tomo and I brought. Aubert on his side had sent me a wine of the domain. Tomo has added a champagne for aperitif and I imitated him with a champagne for dessert. Laurent filmed me while I open the bottles. The wines of Henri Jayer are easy to forge, I inspect the beautiful caps that seem authentic and fragrances comfort me. The cap on the Grand Echezeaux Domaine Romanée Conti 1979 is very tight in the neck and the bottle was refurbished in 2005. My attention is great when I open the bottle of Gaudichots 1929. The cork is perfect, but comes around sheared four pieces. The perfume is reassuring. Phew, we’re having a big bottle.
At noon, the Gardinier brothers gathered all the restaurant staff and their staff on the ground floor of the restaurant for a minute of silence related to the dramatic events that mourning Paris and Laurent and I join their group.
The train of Aubert de Villaine is a few minutes late and like many people avoid public transportation, there is a tail that deters Aubert to take a taxi. So he arrives in an underground station and SMS asking me to guide him to find the Taillevent. As a precaution I went to meet him with Tomo and we walked on the Avenue Friedland. From far I see that he is alone. His wife is not with him while my wife and Tomo’s wife, dressed in a beautiful kimono, had come to share a meal with her. I am sad because I wanted a long time that our meetings with Aubert also associate his wife. Pity.
We are on the first floor in the beautiful lounge at the Guimet Chinese décor. The set menu developed with Jean-Marie Ancher and Alain Solivérès is: Atlantic sea bass / mignon of veal, red beets, quince and potimaron / deer nuts, pepper / plum sauce, champagne and meringue.
At the aperitif, delicious gougères, we drink a Champagne Krug Collection 1976 to the color of a light amber. The nose is superb generosity and openness. In the mouth it is a wine of sun, the bubble is small but you do not mind. It already has a beautiful evolution towards bringing the serene maturity. It is a great champagne especially by its complexity. Acidity is beautiful. The fruits are yellow with a peaceful lemon. Tomo who brought wonder if the wine is flawless. We agree on the fact that this is not a perfect bottle for that 1976 could be even greater, but it has lots of charm and personality. It lacks just a bit of radiation. This observation is at the margin. The appetizer, a lobster to Tarama salata smoked herring roe is delicious and vibrates the champagne.
With line bar, we drink both wines of Henri Jayer that Laurent wants to include in his film and what is striking is that both wines are very different.
Vosne Romanée Cros The Parantoux Henri Jayer 1991 has an incredible personality. It is extremely bourguignon, with a nice salinity and has a remarkable tension. Its fruit is rather brown. This is one of the greatest wines of Jayer it was given me to drink.
Beside him, Vosne Romanée Cros the Parantoux Henri Jayer 1995 a redder color than that of 1991 and its fruit on the palate is also more red. But it has much less vibration and emotion as 1991. Initially the difference persuasion is great. It will diminish and end of meals, 1995 has made some of the difference. Aubert lived in the same village that Henri Jayer and had long discussions with him over the whole or not whole stalking and other subjects, although they spoke little together at the time. He anecdotes that Laurent films with great interest.
Grands Echezeaux Le Domaine de la Romanée Conti 1979 appears with cute calf. Its scent is compelling and conqueror. It is like a powerful breath. In the mouth the wine is booming. It has a rare power, but in the style of the area, ie it exposes more than is needed. I like salinity is discrete and rose petals. 1979. It is a beautiful success Pink fruit tart is just superb. What impresses is its power.
I had expected that Les Gaudichots Grand Premier Cru Domaine de la Romanée Conti 1929 that appear deer service but the temptation to taste the next wine from another area. Certainly in doing so, we no longer have two loves like Josephine Baker, but only one, the 1929. From the first contact, we know we are dealing with absolute perfection. This wine reminds me fast enough La Tâche 1962 which is the most legendary vintage of La Tache. One can also think of préphylloxériques wines that are very rich as this one. It has a density, grain and chews that are copies. We are moved because this wine is at a level of rare perfection. It does not age and is confusing because it is likely that if you opened it in a hundred years, it would have the same balance. So Aubert tells us that there are times when words can no longer express what we feel and the wine imposes itself in our hearts and our memories. The final form, the richness, range, consistency make this wine an unforgettable example of the perfection of the wines of Domaine de la Romanée Conti. Without that everyone does not want to announce it, we are close to the great wines that we never have drunk. The enthusiasm is there. The frame where we see truffles and candied grapes melts into a block, an elusive rock that gives us a sense of perfection.
Return to the other wines is possible, especially the 1991, which is distinguished in a similar direction. 1979 is beginning of his quiet enthusiasm to become more gallant and it suits her. The 1995 gains in personality and in wealth.
I brought a 1966 rosé Champagne Mumm who sadly died. Unpleasant nose and mouth. Jean-Marie Ancher always eager to please us exhume the cellar of Taillevent A. Jacquart Champagne rosé NV without disturbance to the color that has a cider acidity, also the end point will be given by the Armagnac Domain Cavaillon J. Lassis 1928 dame-jeanne who had already finished a previous meal in this place.
We had the chance to drink a 1929 wine legend who confirmed his legendary status, two wines of Henri Jayer that match the excellent reputation of this wine and champagne 1976 great level. The film was able, with Aubert de Villaine capture great moments and beautiful stories of the history of Burgundy wines, Tomo and I had the chance to share great wines with Aubert de Villaine. Only missing his wife would have met our wives. This is a good reason to start a dinner of this level by finding another excuse !
that match the excellent reputation of this wine and champagne 1976 great level. The film was able, with Aubert de Villaine capture great moments and beautiful stories of the history of Burgundy wines, Tomo and I had the chance to share great wines with Aubert de Villaine. Only missing his wife would have met our wives. This is a good reason to start a dinner of this level by finding another excuse !
(see pictures in the next article)