Margaret and the kids are moving back to the US and Kevin, my Italian wine "Sifu", will be spending less time here so we got together for a farewell dinner and, as Kevin is in inventory-reduction mode, he generously brought two beautiful and rare wines.
Aperitif & with appetiser of Beetroot Jelly & Salmon Rilette
This was a stunning appetiser: the Salmon Rilette is a classic Chez Patrick dish that we all know and love....but the Beetroot Jelly served in a small martini glass was new and divine: the Beetroot was so fruity and the fresh Parsley really brought out the "rootiness" of the Beetroot.
- N.V. Penet-Chardonnet Champagne Grand Cru Grande Reserve Brut Nature - France, Champagne, Verzenay, Champagne
Lively white mousse. Light lemon gold colour. Nose is lemon curd and very dry white chalk with nuances of honeyed brioche in the background. Palate is bone dry, like Fino sherry, with hints of dried star anise on the mid palate and a bone dry finish like Tio Pepe sherry. Overall, austere and steely but but very elegant in a lean-boned way. The "no-dosage" dryness is probably too much to be appealing as an aperitif for most people: it needed the oiliness of the Salmon Rilette starter to really bring it out. (90 pts.)
Tartare of Magret de Canard
Wow...another new Chef Patrick creation: almost sweet. Rich, moist and delicious succulent meat....the sweetness was enhanced by the fresh figs and confit prunes.....beautiful. A perfect match with the Cabernet Sauvignon-driven wine.
- 1998 Castello dei Rampolla Sammarco Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
Very vibrant jewelled ruby red translucent colour. Nose is very alluring: soft velvety, violets, gamey in a great way and the epitome of "dusky"....like old lofts and Poinsettia petals. Palate is nicely acidic in cut seamlessly integrated with velvety resolved tannins and still a lot of fruit.....strawberries and redberries. Plush and sensual and overlaid all evening with a wonderful dusky scent whenever you raised the glass towards you. With extended time it opened up a lot to coffee aromas and milk coffee richness but still maintained a balance with lovely acidic cut. Moderate length, which was its only shortcoming. This paired beautifully with the Magret Duck Tartare. 91+ (91 pts.)
Fresh Breast of Wild French Pigeon
A succulent, moist and tender interpretation of wild Pigeon that was not "gamey" and therefore matched really well with the elegance and high-toned finesse of the Barolo.
- 1997 Paolo Scavino Barolo Bric dėl Fiasc - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Still a dark and totally opaque black cherry colour but just gaining some transparency at the edges. Nose is "elegance" personified: refined, pencil lead and pencil shavings, a touch of nail varnish remover, a lot of high tones but in an intensely restrained and elegant poise. This is a 95-point nose if you like that elegance thing the Ch. Lafite does....this is similar. Palate is gosh!....elegant, finesse, high-toned, poised....poised, sharp perfect red and black cherry and minerals.....mainly red cherry on the back end. Good length but it promises a lot more for the future with more time in the cellar (5 years?). Dries out a bit on the finale, which again signals the need for more cellar time. An absolute pleasure. 93+ (93 pts.)
Guys, we're going to really miss you....... and great job to all the team at Chez Patrick restaurant, the food was exquisite.