I had bought a Moët which, I supposed, was from the years in ten. It was very logic to imagine that this champagne could have hundred years. Le color through the dirty glass looked nice. The level in the bottle was very low. As the bottle was dirty with a cork putting stains on my fingers, I paid a very low price.
As it was urgent to drink it I proposed my Japanese friend Tomo to share it with him. I added a Pol Roger rosé 1964 one of the first years of rosé of this maison de champagne and I added a completely unknown bottle with no label, no capsule on the cork. The glass of the bottle could have more than 80 years, with the typical form of DRC bottles or of some old champagne bottles.
Tomo proposed to bring a 1947 Mission Haut-Brion with a very nice level base of neck, and we took a table in restaurant Pages.
At my request Tomo arrives very early at restaurant Pages to open his wine and he sends me by SMS a picture of the cork that looks very healthy. My wines are delivered by taxi around 11 am to cool off in the restaurant as I have an appointment before lunch.
I arrive a little before noon and we discuss the program. The first urgency is to open the Moet. Tomo shows me a piece of tag that I did not see that indicates the year. We are going to drink a Champagne Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial 1928. I open the wine, with a very healthy cork that does not free any pschitt. The color is much clearer than what I expected. The perfume is discreet but noble and in the mouth it is absolute happiness. The sparkling wine is present and the champagne is both tense and very sweet. It is highly gourmet. It’s crazy like an uncommon bottle can make a wine of such quality. I then open the unknown bottle. On the cork, there are three big numbers that make 967. There is no « 1 » in front. It cannot therefore be a vintage number since the wine is very old, much darker pink than the champagne. Is it a wine? Indeed, when you taste there is a discrete attack of wine followed by a final camphor, pharmaceutical. What is it, I do not know and Thibault, the sommelier of the restaurant, thinks it is not a wine. Tomo thinks of a Coteaux Champenois, and I think of a ratafia. Raphael Bereche, winegrower of Champagne, happens to have lunch at a nearby table. At the end of the meal we make him taste this wine. Like me he thinks about ratafia. I gave him the bottle to do an analysis of both the container and the contents.
While we drink the grandissime Moet 1928, we develop with chef Teshi the menu. There will be caviar, half Sologne, half Chinese, then a carpaccio of beef Wagyu. We then have a risotto with ceps and then a Galician beef.
The two caviars are very different. Chinese, more fat, more opulent, is very caviar, but the Solognot is more sensitive, finer, more lively. The Moet 1928 is of an extreme grace, thick on Chinese and more salty on the Sologne. When the carpaccio is served, I want to taste the Champagne Pol Roger rosé 1964. Its color is more amber than pink. At first contact there is a small vagueness that disappears as soon as the champagne is confronted with the delicious fatty meat. The combination is superb, that I wanted color on color, but the Moët is definitely superior.
Chef Teshi serves us a cromesquis of foie gras for champagne but my intuition is that it calls the Chateau Mission Haut-Brion 1947 with a color very black, the nose of truffle and charcoal and that in the mouth is a concentrate of truffle . The combination is relevant. The wine is a bit too truffle and the notes of chocolate and coffee indicate a wine that has aged a little. But it has resources. With the very reduced sauce that accompanies the meat of Galicia, the wine takes a flight that one would not imagine. It is beautiful, warm, and its too pronounced accents of truffle disappear. It becomes coherent, lively and balanced. The potatoes that accompany the meat are so good that they question the memories of the potatoes of my grandmothers which were for me the standard of weights and measures.
So let’s summarize the performance of the wines. The Moët 1928, noble, powerful, impregnating, lively but also gentle is of absolute comfort. It has no fault. The Pol Roger rosé 1964 is brilliant, having erased all small uncertainties of the opening and shows itself at ease with all flavors. The unknown wine remains an enigma, wine, or alcohol or indefinite beverage, which has had fifteen minutes of esteem especially on potatoes. Finally the Mission Haut-Brion 1947 was a little tired, but very present on the beautiful meat, beautiful testimony missing however the small spark that would have made a great wine.
The Pages service is always attentive and full of attentions. Teshi’s cuisine is solid and geared towards wine. The meat of Galicia was a bit too cooked, but the Mission Haut-Brion asked only that.
Raphael Béréche will tell us what unknown wine is.
This comeback with Tomo, after long holidays, was illuminated by a spectacularly good Moet 1928.