Annual Faiveley Lunch at The Square, 29th May 2012
29th May 2012
One of the benefits of shipping wines from the superb Domaine Faiveley in Burgundy is that one gets invited to an annual lunch at The Square just off Bond Street.
I find long eulogistic food and wine blogs either absurd or irritating - absurd if too rhapsodic, or irritating if well written as one can't share the experience but jealousy is aroused. So, to make it short, four delectable white Burgundies were poured, matched with crab, lobster and cheese. Two standouts were (as last year, when the 2009 vintage shone) the 2010 Mercurey Blanc Clos Rochette, all creamy oak and tangerine (I am so glad we are about to ship lots of this well-priced charmer); and - no surprises here - the 2009 Bienvenues Batard Montrachet, which opened dramatically over lunch. Initially delivering orange peel and floral character on the nose, highly energetic, with a ridiculously long, mildly honeyed finish, by the end of the meal it was showing the true exoticism of wines from this site, with nuances of pineapple and mango. Erwan Faiveley, our host, drily commented that as they only made 3000 bottles of this we were working our way through a decent proportion of it.
The reds accompanied peasanty, earthy and fungal food: snails with morels; pigeon; and aged Montgomery cheddar and Reblochon. 2008 Nuits-St-Georges, 1er Cru Les Saints-Georges (from a vineyard the owners of which are pushing the INAO to upgrade to Grand Cru status) was still showing primary red cherries and great purity - along with acidity which now looks on the crisp side, but may soften over a decade. Last was the 1999 Mazis Chambertin: mid tone; textbook farmyardy aromas along with a nicotine hint; a still youthful and fleshy palate of black cherries, very savoury, and with liquorice on the finish. Interestingly, the pungent, salty cheddar, which I feared would strip the wine, actually made it appear fruitier and more vital.
This was a tough day, but someone (actually Gordon and I) had to do it....