One day, someone asked me to make a dinner with Jacques Le Divellec one of the greatest chef for fish, and we studied what to do with my list of wine. Jacques invited me to put everything in form, and I was happy with the cooperation.
The man who ordered the dinner had a familial problem and asked me to postpone the dinner.
Time went on, and meanwhile, we created friendly relationship with Jacques.
I kept in mind the dinner which was postponed, but the wish to do something together was still there. As I had no news from the man who had ordered a dinner, I decided that one of my next dinners would be with Jacques. He wanted that we work on a new wine list that I had prepared. So I said : you have been so nice to me, if we have lunch together, I will bring wine.
We met with his wife Marguerite for a lunch for three. As I arrived just for lunch time, none of my wines had the necessary oxygen.
What did I bring? The first bottle is Frederic Lung Royal Kebir Algerian wine 1945 that I had bought recently as a cat in a bag. Perfect fill in the neck for a bottle coming from an original case that I opened myself. The cork stuck to the glass so I had to tear the cork into pieces to pull it out.
The second bottle came from a friend whom I appreciate, who is in the wine business, who asked : could you buy some of my wines as I am short of money. He proposed a La Tache 1960 with a low fill, saying : it should be good. The cork went out very easily, and the acidic smell did not hurt me.
We began with some crevettes, some amuse-bouche on a Puligny-Montrachet les Pucelles Domaine Leflaive 2000. Very drinkable, powerful, it is very pleasant, but I must say that it is more charming than elegant. No mistake, but no thrill. Then, on a plate, I had two huge belons oysters number 0000 (four times zero), which are enormous. What a taste! Amazing. And on a Besserat de Bellefon which is an average champagne, the oysters put the champagne on a trampoline. It gained some personality. The spéciales number two were nice, but not at the level of complexity of the belons.
Then I tried “violets”. I am 63 years old. It was the first time that I tried this animal. It is so ugly that the aesthetical disturbance prevented me to try it up to now. Jacques wanted to see my reaction on the violet plus champagne. It was fantastic.
We had some crude turbot, fantastic meat. The Puligny was not appropriate, too strong, but the wine of my dinner will be.
We had some sea fruits with complicated names (I have not my dictionary), like moules, palourdes, young calamars. The recipe should be changed, but it will match perfectly the Krug Clos du Mesnil that I intend to open.
Then we had two huge langoustines with foie gras, and the Royal Kebir 1945 was fantastic. This wine appears like a burnt wine. It makes you think of Port wine, of Maury, it is torrefied. But when you look behind the curtain, it is an emotional wine that you could take for a Chambertin. All in this wine is balanced. I felt liquorice in it. It is as if a Chambertin would have grown up in Lebanon. The more it developed, the more its complex structure was brilliant.
And I must say : it is strange, but it is a great wine.
We had then lamproie, which is one of the oldest fishes living in France, created some million years before our time. The meat tastes like earth, so I thought that La Tache 1960 would be great. But, I should never trust friends. I try to emphasize a wine which was largely over the hill. No hope despite some flashes.
I tried it on a cheese and at one moment I had some memories of a good La Tache.
But the final test was definitive : on a chocolate mousse, the Royal Kebir 1945 was magnificent, and the La Tache was like a lost sponge.
We have prepared the menu for a dinner to come in May (paying), and there will be in the menu three completely forbidden animals whose hunting is forbidden. Jacques, who is 73 years old, thinks that with me he can make mad things that he would never do with other people.