Last night, Dorianne and I had dinner at Mary Stec and Richard Clark’s (again). Mary was trying out a recipe for her upcoming Autumn in Tuscany cooking class (sold out), and was also preparing a coq au vin for the main course. Dorianne and I dug into the French area of our cellar and came out with a Burgundy and Bordeaux. Both wines were exceptional.
The appetizer was squash ravioli with balsamic and sage; Mary used won ton instead of pasta. It was a little sweeter than expected, but very good. We began with the Bordeaux, a 2007 Chateau Millens Saint-Emilion Grand Cru that we purchased in Saint-Emilion in 2013. The wine shop where we purchased it, as part of a mixed case, purchases the entire production of this small producer (so you will not be able to find this amazing wine, except at that shop – sorry). The Bordeaux blend, Cabernet and Cabernet Franc, was very well structured, with a nice mix of cherry fruit and minerality on the nose, and hints of cherry, tobacco, and chocolate on the tongue. It finished very well. This wine was not a perfect match for the unexpectedly sweet appetizer, but it was a very good wine. We still have a couple of bottles left, and the wine could use some additional time to age. With the coq au vin, we poured the Burgundy, a 2003 Domaine de la Vougeraie, Nuits St. Georges Les Damodes Premier Cru Pinot Noir. This wine was a Christmas gift from Dorianne a few years ago. It was simply magnificent.
The nose was very complex, with floral notes of lavender and rose predominating. The wine had a nicely structured mouth-feel, velvety smooth, a bit softer than the Bordeaux, as you might expect. The flavors were berries, floral notes, and just a hint of minerality. This wine also had a great finish – something that I usually do not notice. I was surprised to see that some of the online scores for this wine were only in the high 80’s. I would score it higher. These were special wines pulled out for a special dinner, and not every day wines. That being said, they both delivered a superior experience that you would not find in an everyday wine. For more info on my philosophy of wine, go to the ABOUT section.