Dinner of very antique wines in Château de Beaunedimanche, 20 novembre 2016

After the tasting of the 2015 reds and whites of Maison Bouchard Père & Fils, it is time to toast with a beautiful champagne to recalibrate the palate. The wines were great, but the whites were difficult for me because of their youth. We are welcomed at the Orangerie of the Château de Beaune by Gilles de la Rouzière, president of the group including Bouchard and Henriot champagnes.

We are served the Champagne Henriot Cuve 38 non vintage which is produced according to the method of the solera. The first glass which is served to me is not very pleasant, the champagne presenting itself as a little unbalanced. Fortunately another bottle gives a more pleasant wine, but I prefer the Henriot Cuvée des Enchanteleurs to which I am more accustomed.

We go to the table. I am at the table of Gilles de la Rouzière with two of the managers of Christie’s who will lead the sale of Hospices de Beaune tomorrow, with Michel Bettane and Bernard Burstchy as well as other guests including a Belgian importer of Bouchard wines.

The menu that has been elaborated for the wines is: gougeres and puff pastry / oyster in cucumber jelly / roasted pike-perch meurette garnish and truffle of Burgundy / terrine of pigeon, Jerusalem artichoke, foie gras and juniper vinaigrette / Roast back of roast, gourds, declination of onions in texture / cheese plate / chocolate bar, creamy with morello cherry.

The Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru Bouchard Père & Fils 2000 has a glorious nose. The wine is characterized by its amplitude and its wonderful acidity. The combination with the oyster and especially with the cucumber jelly is sublime. The wine is transported by the pairing. It is broad and golden, grandiose because powerful and enthralling. It is a mature and accomplished wine. It breathes the oyster and combines power and elegance.

The 1955 Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru Bouchard Père & Fils is struggling to pass after such an extraordinary 2000. He needs the pike-perch dish. It is the sauce that magnifies the wine that does not have the power of the 2000 but is of a beautiful subtlety. Very romantic, graceful, it is a great subtle wine a little milky.

The Clos-Vougeot Grand Cru Bouchard Père & Fils 1999 presents itself with a nose of ash. It is a very bourguignon wine that needs the dish. Michel Bettane finds it very large. The combination is brilliant. Who would say that a pigeon terrine with Jerusalem artichoke and a vinaigrette would go with a red wine. Congratulations to the designers of this pairing that I adore because it comes out of conventions. With the dish the fruit of this wine is fascinating. It is thundering thanks to the great deal. Such inventiveness delights me.

The Beaune Greves Vigne de l’Enfant Jesus First Growth Bouchard Père & Fils 1949 is exceptional. We drink a dream. The nose is a little smoky and the mouth is velvet. The bitterness is divine. It is a wine of meditation. It is very subtle and its velvety makes it almost sweet. But it also pepper and its complexity is limitless. I’m so happy.

The Beaune Clos de la Mousse Premier Cru Bouchard Père & Fils 1864 has a color of eternal youth. Not a single trace of tile. The nose is imperial. There is rose in this perfume but also an imposing fruit. It is incomparable. In the final there is fruit and the freshness of the unstucked grape. What a lesson! This wine is perfect and bigger than the 1949. There is salt and rose. We are in a perfection of the style of the old wines of Romanée Conti. It is a moment of total grace and it is the unstacked who gives this perfection. One would be mistaken without any problem of 100 years if one drank this wine blind. The complexity and structure are impressive. This wine is unimaginable. The dregs are served to me and this dregs explodes in roses. It is sweet, unthinkable madness.

The Malaga 1859 has an intoxicating nose. It is very fat and velvety. Very cherry and pruneau it is divinely worn by the dessert. What is curious is that it also has rose and raspberry. It is a fresh wine with a dry finish that brings freshness. It also has accents of currant grape. This wine is pure charm.

The generosity of our guests is extreme. The last three wines, from 1949, 1864, 1859 are steps that lead directly to the ultimate Grail. The kitchen was perfect and brilliant chords of ingenuity.

This dinner is among the greatest ones.