My lovely wife and I took a brief trip this weekend to the northwest corner of our beautiful state to see some friends in Whitefish, MT. My good friend Chef Krezowski is a classically trained French chef who dabbles in cardiology on the side. We always have a great time and given the fact that our families will be joining on a trip to Burgundy this fall, we elected to taste some excellent wines from that region alongside one famous Italian wine. The chef prepared a beautiful appetizer of bruschetta from homegrown tomatoes and basil with a fabulous olive oil from the Basilicata region of Italy. This was excellent alongside a 2008 J. Schram from Schramsberg. This bubbly has always been a favorite of mine and vies with the J. Schram Rosé as my favorite domestic sparkler. This vintage was no let down with a lovely nose of green apple dipped in fresh honey, early morning bakery, and honeysuckle. The palate has a fabulous richness from the prolonged aging on the lees, yet still feels vibrant and is simply delicious. A great way to start the evening!
For dinner we had a leg of lamb braised in a red wine sauce with herbs and onions alongside smashed, herbed new potatoes. If it sounds mouthwateringly good, it was better. The lamb was braised to perfect tenderness and served over the potatoes it was basically like heaven on a spoon. I probably ate 2.5 pounds of it because it tasted so damn good… to pair with this fabulous dinner we broke out some excellent wines. A 2007 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er cru Les Cazetiers from Armand Rousseau was excellent. From a vintage that has been mostly looked over, this showed a classic Gevrey nose with savory, sanguine notes alongside black cherry and raspberry, hints of spice, and dried lilac. This was elegant and beautifully balanced on the palate with a lovely finish. Next was a 2008 Pommard 1er cru Clos des Epeneaux from Comte Armand. This was my first bottle of this storied wine, and while it was good, it didn’t quite have what I was hoping for from a terroir that is reportedly excellent. The nose was mineral driven with hints of spice and some underlying red fruit. The palate had crunchy, bright red fruit with spice, but seemed a touch thin and the finish was short. I’ll be interested to try this again as this was a good, but not great showing. The final Burgundy was a 2012 Vosne-Romanée 1er cru Les Chaumes from Domaine d’Ardhuy. A domaine run by 7 sisters, this was fabulous. The nose exuded the classic Vosne spice with beautiful red fruits underlying, hints of damp earth and lily, and just a touch of sauvage. The palate was classic Vosne with a lovely suavity that just caressed the palate. This was the favorite wine of the night by the table vote. Finally, we broke the Burgundy monopoly with a classic Italian wine from Montevertine. The 2009 Le Pergole Torte was also excellent and for me personally was equal to the d’Ardhuy. The nose was closed initially, but after decanting for about 45 minutes revealed beautiful red fruits, sandalwood, anise, fennel, dusty earth, rosehips, mint, and tobacco. The palate was rich and full and my only nit was that it lacked a touch of energy and lift. Overall however, this was delicious. Still young and on the upswing, this should peak in 4-5 years.
What a great evening in the company of great friends, great food, and great wine. Looking forward to the next dinner from Chef Krezowski!