by featured writer Jascha Baraness
Dinner at Crush Wine Bar
455 King Street West, Toronto, (416) 977-1234
Executive Chef: Trista Sheen
It had been many months since my last ‘producer specific’ wine dinner, so I took it upon myself to organize a sequel. Focused around the wines of the two great Chablis producers Francois Raveneau and Vincent Dauvissat; we called it the Ravissat dinner.
There was a second theme for the evening too, much less specific however, Red Burgundy.
We started the evening with one of the world’s most misunderstood wines, a Chateau Chalon’s Vin Jaune, which paired perfectly with a decadent charcuterie board.
Dinner itself was of a slightly modified menu prepared for a Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin by Chef Sheen. Given our white and red themes for the evening, chef’s creations were extremely appropriate.
2009 Domaine Adhémar et Francis Boudin Chablis 1er Cru L’Homme Mort
2006 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume
2008 Vincent Dauvissat (René & Vincent) Chablis 1er Cru La Forest (flawed)
2004 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons
2003 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux (corked)
2004 François Raveneau Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux
2005 Simonnet-Febvre Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses
It was nice to have such a range of different styles from the same region. Equally impressive were the Ravissat wines (at least those that were sound). They’re made to such a high standard that tasted blind, their 1er cru wines could easily be mistaken for Grand cru. With tremendous fruit density, complexity and incredibly low yields usually reserved for the Grand cru vineyards, these wines showed poise and finesse that other producers just can’t match.
In my humble opinion, best in show was the 2004 Butteaux from Raveneau which made me want to kick everyone out of the restaurant so that I could be alone with the wine. Breathtaking.
The reds followed:
2006 Domaine de Montille Beaune 1er Cru Les Perrières
2004 Domaine de Courcel Pommard 1er Cru Grand Clos des Épenots
2004 Bouchard Père et Fils Volnay 1er Cru Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot
2002 Domaine Ghislaine Barthod / Barthod-Noëllat Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Cras
2002 Louis Latour Corton-Grancey
1996 Domaine Bruno Clavelier Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts Vieilles (corked)
1999 Domaine Humbert Frères Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Craipillot
All wines showed exceptionally well. The Clavelier being the most anticipated and the biggest letdown (corked). Once again, in my humble opinion the best red in show was the Barthod, Les Cras (which was my red contribution to the evening – and a little redemption since my Dauvissat had been flawed).
We finished the evening with a lovely sweet one.
1994 Dr. Fischer Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Beerenauslese (Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer)
The wine wasn’t quite showing the vibrancy that we had expected, but then again it may have been palate fatigue.
All in all, a lovely dinner with great friends and a great lesson in the importance of buying producer specific wines in Chablis and Burgundy.