Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dinner at ACC Towers

Last night we went round to ACC's for dinner. I took two bottles of Ladoix, a red and a white, both from Capitain-Gagnerot, which I brought back from Burgundy in January. Ladoix is one of those Burgundies you don't see much of in the UK, which may well be due to pronunciation problems - not many restaurants are going to risk putting it on their list. But Ladoix is the next village along from Aloxe-Corton, and white Ladoix in particular can be very refined and something of a little secret to those in the know.

ACC did the honours with the corkscrew and noted the interesting cork substitute, a strange plastic number. Apparently Olivier Leflaive use something similar. I brought them both home to take a photo. I love the fact that they use different colours for the red and the white!

We kicked off with the white, a premier cru Les Hautes Mourottes 2005. There wasn't much happening on the nose and on the palate it was quite full with some honey and nuttiness, but after that I struggled to find anything much to say about it. G thought it was lacking in acidity. All in all, somewhat disappointing at 27 euros. We gave it a 7 in the end.

Next up was the red, 1er cru Bois Roussot 2006. This had what ACC described as a "rustic" nose, and he was quite correct - it had cheerful red fruits but not a great deal of subtlety. The same went for the palate. I rather liked it, and thought it went well with the coarse pate and brioche we had as a starter, but it was simply not the quality you'd expect from premier cru Burgundy, and again at 27 euros deeply disappointing. Another 7. Still it was good to get a couple of obscure vineyards ticked off and I'll be deeply suspicious of that particular shop in future.

ACC then produced a village Mercurey 1988 from Jean Henry. It's always very exciting to drink something this old, and it was lovely, mature, raisiny burgundy. We suspected that some gamay might have joined the pinot noir in the mix, purely by accident of course. Henry makes some beaujolais too so it's easy to see how this could happen, yes. It accompanied a slow-cooked beef and portobello mushroom dish which was very fine indeed, as were the roast potatoes and garlic, and broccoli with toasted almonds. Blogtastic indeed!

With pudding, which was pears in amaretto and ice cream, we had a Coteaux du Layon 2003. This did not smell particularly sweet on the nose, and on the palate was very well-balanced with good acidity. It was an excellent combination.

In the middle of proceedings we pored over the latest copy of Bourgogne Aujourdhui which ACC had brought back from his most recent trip, and in particular a map of the vineyard Clos de Vougeot showing who owns which vines. Fascinating stuff and a reminder of the size of the Burgundian holdings - in some cases the map literally showed someone owning a single row of vines - compared to the way thing work in Bordeaux. Give me the peasant farmer over the international multi-conglomerate any day.

Finally, the long-anticipated "green stuff" we had been promised, which turned out to be this remarkable bottle of something called Genepi des Alpes. We think it dated back to the 60s, with a terrible label depicting a quaint mountain scene. The contents were very sweet and herbaceous and reminiscent of yellow chartreuse. This isn't normally my kind of thing, but even I was able to enjoy it. We discussed the father of a friend who has a "Licence to Distill" and apparently makes wine out of edelweiss flowers. I'd like to try that some time. It also emerged that Anne Parent makes a marc de bourgogne so this is something we must definitely get hold of!

On the way home, what appeared to be a Bananarama tribute band got on our bus, but it may just have been a hallucination resulting from the liqueur. Fab evening, ACC.

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