Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tree-Decorating Wines (Champagne & Burgundy, what else?)

We finally bought a lovely little tree for our NYC apartment and spent most of Sunday's miserably cold and rainy afternoon decorating it. What better way to celebrate the nice tree and the crappy weather than with a bottle of bubbly? Heck, what better way to celebrate any day? Champagne is just wine with bubbles, and in my continued quest to find well-priced bottles, I opened this:

-NV Andre Clouet Brut
Toasty, yeasty with more of a light brioche and gingerbread aspect than lemony fruit, this was nice, especially when its high acidity met the silky, velvety fat of the Jamon we were eating. A surprising complement, it just cut through the Jamon's hedonistic delight while simultaneously clearing the palate for the next bite. A nice, not great Champagne, especially at $28.

Dinner was a light workout on the new stove, with a potato-garlic gratin, some sauteed Bok Choy and a broiled 28-day dry-aged boneless sirloin. What better way to celebrate the beginnings of a new kitchen than with a lightly-aged Burgundy?

-1993 Robert Ampeau Volnay Santenots
At first blush, this teasingly revealed some funky fine fruits and berries, the nose coming and going, like a cabaret dancer darting on and off stage. I let it breathe while I cooked, and doing so helped out tremendously. Still shy when plates were served, she finally woke up to lightly dance and prance around our palates, a feather-light boa of red fruits curling around the tongue, with some stiletto heels of acidity to balance the fruit, its medium-length finish like a whisper reminding you of what you just saw.

Much better than the 1976 I opened recently, which didn't show anything at all and was a complete no-show. Did I mention how much I love Burgundy?


Jorge said...

But more importantly, where are the pics of the tree??? ;)

Anonymous said...

The '76 Ampeau Volnay-Santenots is a magisterial masterpiece. The '93, while quite good, doesn't even come close at this point. I speak from the experience of having the '76 around 12 times, and the '93 about 20 times. You should try the '76 again, and you should decant it (not something I would normally recommend for old Burgundy of either color). It was a tannic vintage.

RougeAndBlanc said...

Hi, I was looking for tasting notes of '93 Ampeau Volnay Santenots and found your blog. Question: If the '76 has such a long life, what do you think about the '93? Do you think it can hold for at least 5 more years?