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TN: Damn Good Burgs and a Toast to Hanky J

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DAMN GOOD BURGS AND A TOAST TO HANKY J - Keyaki Grill at Capital Tkyu Hotel (10/2/2006)

Cathryn and I got together with a few similarly Burg-obsessed friends for dinner last night. Other than one oxidysed '95, everything showed well.

With an amuse of rice, tomato, cucumber, parsley

  • 1996 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon Rosé - France, Champagne
    Bright copper orange, deeply colored, with a vigorous mousse that settles into spurts of bubbles after ten or fifteen minutes. Nose shows sweet apple, smoke, bass-register raspberry, a slight honeyed character. Palate is initially closed up tight, like perfectly structured water – great body and acid to balance. Eventually opens to show coppery mineral, some bright light stone fruit and a long, long finish of peach and herb. This has tremendous balance, great cutting strength combined with freshness. In fact, it has everything but powerful flavor on the palate. But that will come with time. Hands off!

With a mousse of yuba with caviar and uni

  • 1991 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pernand-Vergelesses
    Rich yellow-gold. Touch of vanilla oak on the nose, along with citrus over crisp apple, brie rind, and warm stone. A tiny hint of volatility or heat, but that passes quickly and doesn’t reappear. On the palate, great mineral to open, turning smokey on a mid-palate that features rich ripe white fruit, cream and granite, and a whiff of anise, especially on the finish. Full, sweet but clean, great showing for an underrated vintage. After a long time in the glass, settles into a lovely lemony sweet slightly candied mode but never gets cloying or loses freshness. Beautiful now but with time in hand.
  • 1995 Domaine Guy Amiot et Fils Puligny-Montrachet Les Demoiselles 1er Cru - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet

With veal tenderloin slices on a purée of mushroom, garnished with truffle slices

  • 1972 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Bonnes Mares - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny
    Surprisingly bright, aging red with orange tinge. Expressive and beautifully expansive nose screams mature burg with pine, earth, mushroom, a bit of washed rind cheese. Behind these tertiary elements is a nice remaining dose of deep but bright strawberry fruit. On the palate, the fruit is much stronger and not fading at all. Great fruit and acid balance. As it sits and develops, clay and iron and even a raisiny edge come out, but the raisin never tastes roasted or flat. Over the course of an hour, it begins to fade a little in the mid-palate, but the finish is still building. Nice long finish highlighted by iron, earth and textural muscley strength. After even more time, the tiny last bit in the glass gives a haunting aroma of dark-roasted coffee beans. Another underrated vintage that I love.

Continuing with the mains

  • 1990 Henri Jayer Vosne-Romanée - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée
    Very young looking with beautifully deep red color. Redolent of clove and cinnamon spice, immediately recognizable as Vosne Romanée (but not as a simple village wine!). Vibrant red fruit – cherry, deep raspberry – and sweeter black fruit – blackberry. A sweetness underlying the nose that just screams of perfect ripeness, not a hint of the roasting that some ‘90s can show – incredibly fresh. On the palate, moves into lovely sour cherry, a note of framboise but without any heat, stunning depth and complexity with earth and more spice coming out on the finish. If I had tasted this blind, I never would have pegged it as a village wine. Matt Kramer describes Romanée Conti as a perfect sphere. That’s the image that sticks with me for this wine – all elements in perfect balance with not a pimple or bump. Fresh, long, complex, fruity, spicy, sauve – all in balance. Perhaps the most fitting tribute to a great man was to drink one of his more humble wines and have it steal the evening. Thanks Steve.
  • 1990 Emmanuel Rouget Vosne-Romanée Cros Parantoux 1er Cru - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée
    Less redolent of spice than the Jayer, but it is still there. Beautiful but simpler, with darker fruit on the nose and palate. A little more of the vintage character, with just a hint of roasting to the fruit. Great depth in the middle and bottom of the mouth – filling and expanding. Rich, ripe, beautiful dark cherry and plum sweetness, especially on the finish. With time in glass, this tires a bit faster than the Jayer. Enlightening, but a bit unfair to Rouget to flight these together. This is a damn good wine that was put in the shadows my its more humbley titled uncle.

With assorted cheeses

  • 1988 Domaine Chandon de Briailles Corton-Bressandes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Aloxe-Corton
    Very young looking deep reddish purple. Olive and Christmas plum and pepper lead off on the nose, which settles down into a little earth and some cherry. Foursquare and solid on the palate with rich cherry, some more earth, and good solid fruit sweetness – still very young. Good body and intensity, solid depth throughout the palate, just enough acid brightness to keep it fresh. Tannin is noticeable but tame. A very pure and pleasing representation of Corton.
  • 1983 Domaine Joseph Voillot Pommard Les Rugiens 1er Cru - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pommard
    Good depth of color in the maturing red range. Earthy but clean nose with dark berry and cherry fruit, some damp leaves and hardwood sap. On the palate, sweet ripe bulky cherry-berry fruit and a pleasing meatiness that is reminiscent of shiitake mushrooms. Lingering sweet finish that packs a little hidden muscle along with nice ripe grape savour. May be ready, but needs significant airtime to open up. Was just starting to show a little more earthy depth when we had to head home.

Great night, great and very generous friends. Thanks.

Posted from CellarTracker

Jim Jones

London, England

Never teach a pig to sing. It only wastes your time and frustrates the pig.

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