Saturday, October 27, 2012

Domaine Marie-Christine & Vincent Perrin dinner, 17th Oct

Last Wednesday I attended this dinner held at the Perseverance just off Lisson Grove, held under the auspices of the Burgundy Portfolio. Also there were my brother and sister-in-law, G, Baron McG and a number of other familiar faces. ACC was our host and Vincent Perrin himself was there to talk about the wines.

I've visited this domaine twice, in January 2010 (notes here) and in January 2011 (notes here) and have always liked the house style which is elegant and allows the terroir to express itself.

We started with a glass of the white Saint-Romain "Combe Bazin" from 2010 which was very enjoyable and still had that floral quality which I liked about the 2008.

Some gougeres appeared but didn't hang around for long. Top marks to my sister-in-law for comparing them unfavourably with mine, admittedly mainly on grounds of size.

Then we sat down and got on with the main business of the evening. With a starter of wood pigeon and chicken liver terrine, we had two village Volnays - the 2010 Cuvee Marie and the 1999.

There was a clear colour differentiation - assuming I had my glasses the right way round, the 2010 is on the left and the 1999 on the right. I found the 2010 hard to judge at this stage as it's still very young. The 1999 had, as you'd expect, much softer tannins, a velvety textrure and a hint of tinned strawberries. The second bottle of it (there were 14 of us so two bottles of each wine were consumed) seemed to have dried figs and raisins on the nose and was very ripe, suggesting a certain amount of bottle variation.

The next pair of wines, drunk with the main course, were this 2008 Volnay 1er cru La Carelle Sous la Chapelle and a 1998 Volnay 1er cru Les Gigottes, which is a monopole ("not to be confused with a monopoly" said ACC) and therefore of great interest from the perspective of the Premier Cru Project.

The Carelle was very smooth and those at my end of the table detected redcurrants. But for me, the Gigottes was the winner of this bout with its cedary nose and black fruit flavours that reminded me of the kind of claret I love - hopefully I won't be excommunicated from future Burgundy Portfolio events for saying that. I succumbed to temptation and ordered some the next day.

Notice also the change in label style. 1445 refers to the date when the Perrin family began making wine in Volnay. Vincent is clearly a moderniser with his new bold typeface.

I really do enjoy the food at the Perseverance and this evening was no exception - the main course was roast venison with red cabbage, parsnips, port and juniper.

Finally, with the cheese course, we compared a 1999 Volnay 1er Cru les Gigottes (monopole) with a 1999 Pommard "Chanlains". I found this Gigottes quite intense and brooding and on balance felt that I preferred the 1998. The Pommard had notes of liquorice, dried currants and fruit cake. G really liked it and went for some, while I already have some of the 2010 tucked away so it will be interesting to compare them in due course.

The cheese course consisted of an extraordinary chunk of ripe Stinking Bishop servied with oatcakes and chutney. Baron McG, connoisseur du fromage, commented that Stinking Bishop must be "twinned with Epoisses". There was certainly quite a resemblance, no bad thing.

All in all, a good time was had and it was fascinating to compare the young and the old and drink them as they're intended to be drunk, i.e. with robust food. Thanks to ACC for organising and to Vincent Perrin for making these lovely wines.

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