Now to share with you one taster’s fascination of experience, his infectious enthusiasm and his awe in the presence of greatness.
by featured writer Jascha Baraness
Last week, I was fortunate enough to get invited to an epic BYOW Burgundy
dinner in the wine cellar at Barberian’s Steakhouse
. First we sipped Champagne
, paired with oysters and shrimp so big they would make lobsters blush. Everyone mingled until the bubbles had dissipated. The host then led the way further down into the main cellar, set with a long table for the party. Here we were all able to look at what our dining partners had chosen to bring. This two tiered room is a glorious cathedral of wine, with every last square inch of wall space adorned with cubbies filled to the brim with the world’s greatest titles. If you’ve never seen it, it’s definitely worth the visit on your next trip to the Toronto institution.
The wines came out in flights each with great contrast of styles and age.
Whites came first and through all the flights the highlight was the ’96 1er cru Butteaux from the master of Chablis, Francois Raveneau
. He makes wines that are so focused you feel like you’re walking on a tightrope negotiating this searing acidity on one side, and pure, concentrated Chardonnay tree fruit and citrus on the other – phenomenal. Comte Lafon’s
’06 Meursault Clos de la Barre shone, showing restrained power backed by just the right amount of oak. Also to be noted was the Tawse-Marchand
’09 Corton showing wisdom beyond it’s youth – will be a gem a few years down the road.
There were too many reds to recount, but as always in Burgundy the cream rises to the top. In order of consumption; a ’95 Volnay Taillpieds from Marquis D’Angerville
still youthful. A ’90 Chateau de La Tour
Clos de Vougeot still caressing through flexed muscles. The ’89 DRC
Romanee St. Vivant with the ethereal quality that the legendary house is famous for. Two Ruchottes Chambertin from Leroy
, the ’85 and ’05 respectively, giving insight into a glorious vineyard a generation apart. A close friend of mine and I measure wine by the ‘magic’ content in bottles from the Cote D’or
which on this particular evening earned it’s name.
Our hosts were kind enough to provide us with a magnum of Hermitage from Chave
to wash it all down with as well as an ’83 d’Yquem
with cheese that made me close my eyes hope that the moment would never end. It was an evening of palette pampering that I won’t soon forget. JB
Wines in each flight are listed in order of favourites.
- Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Rosé NV
- Charlie Burger Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Classé Champagne NV
- François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux 1996
- Domaine Servin Les Clos, Chablis Grand Cru 2002
- Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2005
- Vincent Girardin Bâtard-Montrachet 1999 Grand Cru (oxidized)
- Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault Clos de la Barre 2006
- Domaine Matrot Meursault-Blagny 1er Cru 2007
- Domaine Roulot Meursault “Les Luchets” 2002
- Domaine Latour-Giraud Les Genevrieres, Meursault Premier Cru 2007
- Marc Colin et Fils Corton-Charlemagne 2005
- Marchand-Tawse Corton Grand Gru 2009
- Domaine Dublere Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2007
- Domaine Marquis d’Angerville Taille Pieds, Volnay Premier Cru 1995
- Alain Hudelot-Noellat Chambolle-Musigny 2002
- Château de la Tour Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 1990
- Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2006
- Mommessin Clos de Tart Grand Cru Monopole 2001
- Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée Saint-Vivant Grand Cru 1989
- Domaine George Roumier Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru 2000
- Merry Edwards Pinot Noir ’30’ Russian River Valley 2003
- Domaine Rene Engel Grands-Echezeaux Grand Cru 1999 (corked)
- Domaine Arlaud Aux Combottes, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 1999
- Remoissenet Père et Fils, Gevrey-Chambertin Cazetiers 1er Cru 2007
- Domaine Leroy Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru 1985
- Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Ruchottes-Chambertin Clos des Ruchottes Grand Cru 2005
- Domaine Ponsot Charmes-Chambertin Cuvee des Merles Grand Cru 1996
- Champy Hospices de Beaune Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru 2007
- Faiveley Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru 1996
- Domaine Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Mouchère Premier Cru 2007
- Peter Michael Chardonnay Point Rouge 2008
- Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge (Magnum) 2000
- Château d’Yquem 1983
Good to go!