an immense Henri Jayer wine and a so-so Coche-Dury by Michel Brasdimanche, 16 avril 2006

I have celebrated with my wife the anniversary of 40 years of our wedding. We went to Laguiole, in the hotel and restaurant of Michel Bras.
To go to Laguiole is a real adventure as this hotel is in the middle of nowhere.
The building is extremely modern and expresses the personality of Michel Bras, the son of this difficult and poor region.
We spent two days, which gave us two opportunities to discover the way of cooking of Michel Bras. In a recent study, classifying the chefs, he was named number six in the world, and second French, just after Gagnaire.
The way of cooking has a high level of perfection. But the will to show many different tastes in the same preparation does not correspond too much to my personal search. So, compared with a Marc Veyrat whose creation is endless, I must say that I was more attracted by the style of Veyrat than by the very proper and justified style of Michel Bras.
The greatest splendour of the place is the wine list.
I complain with the Parisian wine lists which have insane prices. There the prices are absolutely normal and show a very appreciable approach.
In such a case, I want to show a sign by ordering nice wines, to give, at my modest level, a reward to their attitude.
So, the first dinner I ordered a Vosne Romanée Cros Parantoux Henri Jayer 1992. I had almost tears of pleasure with that incredible wine. I would be happy to know if some people who have drunk this wine have had the same impression.
The nose has the smell of a jam of red berries. It is sweet, candied fruits, smells of jam of roses. It is like a perfume. And in mouth this is the ultimate form of an easy wine. The wine tastes as if it was a new born wine, just taken from the barrel. And it is a easy as a village wine. It is so pure, so direct as if it were just pressed. It is, for my opinion, the definition of a pure wine, as the David of Michel-Angelo is the pure definition of the proportions in a human body. I was pleased at an immense level, saying every minute to my wife how I enjoyed this wine. It is certainly my best ever Henri Jayer.
The second day, I ordered a Corton-Charlemagne J.F. Coche-Dury 1997. By the first smell, I knew that it did not please me. The first smell was mineral, like petrol, but this petrol disappeared. The wine, for me, was too much. There was power, and not elegance. Of course it is a great wine, but after the seduction of the Henri Jayer, this wine, much worked, did not please me. I cannot be suspected to have anything against Coche-Dury, as I have adored the CC 96 and the 90. But this wine was too much. And I was desperate, as it was our wedding anniversary. I felt trapped by this wine. So, I drank it as I felt that it would have been too much to change for another wine, as it represents a great wine.
And my patience was rewarded, as at the moment of the cheese course, I saw a local cheese, a Laguiole of 6 months, which is like a Cantal, a little softer. And the CC plus the cheese went wonderfully together.
The cook of Michel Bras, made of very authentic tastes, with a regional expression was marvellously enlarged by the authenticity of the Henri Jayer wine. The Coche-Dury, more civilised than authentic, more urban modern style, was not adapted to this cook.
So, one great wine at an unbelievable level. A great wine not giving me the pleasure I was looking for. The world of wine is full of surprises.