The Burgundy Diaries: 9/5/04 Le Montrachet, Beef Fondue, and Lafarge

Posted on: October 20th, 2004 by

Drinking a 92 Grand Cru Chablis as I write this. Yesterday started tasting in St. Aubin, which is a very large appelation and very beautiful. Got a tour and went into the Le Montrachet vineyard, which is the most expensive Chardonnay in the world. We hopped a beautiful stone wall into a part of the vineyard owned by Bouchard. I ate a grape, thus ensuring a smaller supply and higher price for the 2004 vintage. Sorry. Then tasted in St. Aubin at Hubert Lamy. Nicholas Potel was with us and from there we went to a small producer in Mersault and barrel tasted tons of wine; they were excellent. Super tannic, but I am starting to enjoy barrel tasting. Bought a Savigny les Beaune bottle (2), one for here one for America (97 Ecard 1er Cru Les Serpentier). I much prefer buying wine directly from a small producer than from some goddamn touristy wine shop. After that had an obscene lunch in beautiful Volnay with Justin, Joseph, and Nicholas. We had beef fondue. Cooked a huge plate o’ beef in oil and had three mayo-based sauces: beet, parsley, and caper. Ate it with potatoes swimming in oil and butter. No concern of cross-contamination; we loaded up our plates with raw meat and ate the cooked off the same plates. Had a Chassagne-Montrachet and a Volnay. After visited Lafarge, a famous producer. Stood amidst three winemakers and the son of a winemaker who were speaking exclusively in French. We were in a very cramped labryinth of a cellar, and barrel-tasted 15 or so 2003s. then he pulled out a 78 Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chenes. Lafarge was a guy about 60, wearing shorts and black socks. But he is one of the most famous producers in all of Volnay. It was really a treat. Then had dinner in Beaune (still explosively full) and had an exquisite gazpacho. It was pureed, but you could taste all the elements—especially the cucumber and a perfect hint of heat. In fact, hours later, while drinking bierre blanche de Borgogne (love it! Like Hoegarden.) I belched and it tasted like cucumber.

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