So we had some friends for dinner, and when we have friends over, we try to have some good wine. This time was a bit special as specifically one of the guests is very good at wine, with Bordeaux as speciality. More about that later.
We started with a champagne. This wine was from the small producer Michel Lenique in Pierry. What was special about this champagne is that it is a Blanc de Noirs, and not only that. Out of the three allowed grapes in Champagne (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Petit Meunier) this champagne is made out of 100% Petit Meunier.
Together with the champagne we had some small bites of bread with salmon and whitefish roe.
After the champagne, we tested three reds. The first was Cuvée ? by Domaine Roger Perrin in Châteauneuf-de-Pape. This wine is not a normal Châteauneuf-de-Pape wine, as it does not follow the regulation of the AOC, so it is sold as a Vins de Pays. Instead, it for example contains 60-65% Merlot. Young, but definitely not bad. Price performance was definitely good. Some people around the table thought it was a Bordeaux, but, it was still a bit confusing. Which of course was the idea.
The largest surprise of the evening was the 2nd wine we tasted. Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve, 1996. From Beringer as the name discloses. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine was absolutely amazing! If you find some, get it and drink it now. The friend that is a specialist on Bordeaux, and almost refuses to drink wine from the New World said that he after being a serious wine taster for 35 years, he now changed his mind, specifically on where good Cabernet wine is produced. I.e. they can make excellent Cabernet outside of Bordeaux.
The 3rd wine was one that we knew was good. A red 1998 Château de Beaucastel. 1998 was one of the best vintages in Châteauneuf-de-Pape, and Beaucastel being one of the best wineries there, well, the combination is hard to beat. The wine itself was definitely excellent as we thought. Clearly among the best Châteauneuf-de-Pape I have had, but, this wine can stay longer. Much longer. 10 more years?
After the three reds, we served the main course. Duck breast accompanied with potato purée mixed with parsley root, wrapped in spinach, with a sauce made of red wine, balsamic vinegar and arabica coffee beans, and a mix of savoy cabbage, fried bacon and thyme.
With the dessert, a Sauternes. This from the small winery Château Haut-Bergeron. Very nice balance, definitely drinkable already today. We served it a bit too warm unfortunately, but the fault was mine as I did not want to risk serving an excellent wine like this too cold. Sauternes is a sweet wine, where the water is removed with the help of Botrytis. In other parts of the world, other methods are used, but the end result is the same. Less wine, more sugar.
With this wine we had crème brûlée, with a few raspberries in the bottom. I often mix up crème brûlée with crème caramel, as the burned sugar (on top of the crème brûlée) in Swedish can be called karamell. Very confusing, for me at least. Unfortunately something chemical must have happened because the egg/cream mixture turned completely liquid when I burned the sugar in the oven. I think I must buy myself a food torch.