February 19, 2012

Bibendum, A Night in Paris, A Secret Supper, Salem, MA

Truffle, Potato Veloute – Smoked Salmon
NV Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Reservé Particulière Brut (France) – 40% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Meunier grapes

The cooperative that makes Nicolas Feuillatte is doing good things with this brand. This Réserve Particulière is elegantly made, with fine white fruit flavors along with a touch of toast. It is light, poised and makes a good apéritif. Rated 86- 88 Wine Enthusiast

Tuna, ‘Canned’ – Nicoise Garnish – Quail Egg
2010 Caymus Conundrum White (California) – blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Canelli, Chardonnay, and Viognier grapes

The “puzzle” of Conundrum lies partly in guessing the range of grape varieties used, because its exact composition is never revealed! To create the layered flavors that go into the Conundrum blend, Sauvignon Blanc grapes were brought in from the Napa Valley, Muscat Canelli from Tulare County on the Central Coast, and Chardonnay and Viognier from Conundrum’s vineyards in Monterey County. About one quarter of the wine lots were fermented in stainless steel in order to preserve their individual fruit characteristics. The remaining lots were fermented in a combination of new and seasoned oak barrels for up to ten months. Conundrum 2006 exhibits soft tropical notes of guava and cherimoya, also peach and honeysuckle. The rich perfume is supported by concentrated and focused layers of peach and apricot nectar, pear and green melon with spicy vanilla notes. The creamy texture and balanced acidity carries through the palate for a long finish.budgetbottle.com

Oyster, Rock Oyster – Beet Air – Horseradish ‘Caviar’
Beer: Blanche de Chambly Ale Canada

In the spring of 1992, Unibroue introduced the first bottle-refermented white ale crafted in North America! Taking inspiration from Quebec history, Unibroue created Blanche de Chambly in honor of the volunteer militiamen who fought and died under Captain De Salaberry—a French Canadian officer and nobleman in the British army—to defend Lower Canada against invasion in 1812. Blanche de Chambly is the very first ale brewed by Unibroue and as Belgian tradition dictates for white ales, it is named after the city in which it is brewed. In 1996, the Chicago Beverage Testing institute declared Blanche de Chambly “The World’s Best White Ale.” Since then, it has gone on to win numerous other awards and distinctions. nibroue.com

Salad Paysanne, Hen Egg – Pork Belly & Veal Tongue – Tarragon
2009 Bastianich Friulano Adriatico (Italy) – Friulano grape

The 2009 Friulano is quite pretty in its debut vintage. Succulent ripe peaches are intermingled with flowers and mint as this soft, lush white takes shape in the glass. The Friulano delivers outstanding varietal character, and it is also a terrific value. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2013. Never one to keep still for long, proprietor Joe Bastianich has a new set of wines this year in his Adriatico line. These entry-level whites are meant to showcase indigenous varieties as seen through a unified terroir that happens to be spread across three countries; Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. Only the Ribolla Gialla, bottled by Slovenian grower Marjan Simcic appears to still be a work in progress. Rated 88 The Wine Advocate

Bass, Roasted Striped Bass – Salted Fennel – Calamari Chowder – Carrot Puree
2009 Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir (California) – Pinot Noir grape

The 2009 Pinot Noir bursts from the glass with expressive red fruit, flowers, spices and mint. It shows lovely mid-palate juiciness and an elegant, polished finish. At $24 a bottle, it may very well be the single finest value in American Pinot Noir. I was hardly surprised to learn Emirates chose to serve this wine in their business class cabin last year. This is a dazzling wine from start to finish. It is also one of the two 2008 Pinots made from fully destemmed fruit. Wow! Rated 92 The Wine Advocate

Beef, Braised Petit ‘Cote de Boufe’ – White Polenta – Kale Mushrooms – Smoke
2007 Monte Degli Angeli Barolo (Italy) – Nebbiolo grape

Boasting a red color with orange reflections. This wine has a generous nose of red fruits, licorice, plums and black cherries the wine has excellent grip, and silky tannins. In a world of modern, high alcohol Barolo, this is a nice medium and balanced wine at only 13.5%, rich but not overpowering. Great for grilled veal dishes, pork tenderloin, risotto or cheeses. Winery

Cheese, Artisanal Cheese Platter – Black Mission & Calimyrna Figs – Organic Cracker
Graham’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port (Portugal)

This is rich on the nose, with candied fruit, fruitcake, toffee and maple syrup. Full-bodied and medium sweet, with a brilliant aftertaste of fruit and caramel. Lasts for minutes on your palate. I have always loved this tawny. Rated 92 Wine Spectator
Powered with acidity and its firm structure, this is an intensely dry, concentrated, powerful wine. It certainly has wines in the blend that are older than 10 years, yet it is definitely a 10-year-old in style, as the fresh fruit to finish confirms. Editor’s Choice. Rated 92 Wine Enthusiast

Sorbet, Lemon-Thyme-Green Tea Nitrogen Sorbet – Cured Mayer Lemon
Chocolate, Mousse – Milk Jelly – Hazelnut – Cake – Tobacco

Cold Steeped Fair Trade Certified Coffee