A Holiday Lunch

December 2008

Sometimes simpler is better, as was the case with this holiday lunch. The 2000 Dom Pérignon was absolutely delicious as it hovered on the palate in fresh, sensual style. Everything was in the right place in this elegant, refined and exceptionally well-balanced Dom Pérignon. The NV Brut Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru Les Crayères (disgorged July 2008) from Egly-Ouriet was even better. A kaleidoscopic, multi-dimensional wine, the Crayères blossomed on the palate in stunning style as endless layers of perfumed fruit wafted from the glass. This was a spectacular bottle, and the wine showed even better than when I reviewed it previously. I have been fortunate to enjoy several bottles of Dauvissat’s 2006 Chablis Les Clos and they have all been gorgeous. This firm, taut Chablis was packed with perfumed, mineral-laced fruit. Although the wine will be even better with a few more years in the cellar it is pretty impressive even at this early stage. These three wines paired beautifully with a heap of the freshest jumbo Florida stone crabs, which seemed to disappear in an instant. What a treat, as the crabs were spectacular.

For our main course I thought it would be fun to check in on a couple of wines from Piedmont’s 2000 vintage. Bruno Giacosa’s Barbaresco Asili Riserva was initially quite reticent, but then opened up nicely in the glass to reveal the full breadth of its inner perfume. Unfortunately this wasn’t the finest example of this wine I have ever had, but it was still outstanding. Roberto Voerzio's 2000 Barolo Cerequio was extraordinary. I remember tasting the wine from barrel back in 2002. It was great then, and it was just as great today. To be honest, 2000 is not my absolute favorite vintage of this Barolo, as the wine has never shown the level of definition and clarity of cooler and better-balanced years. Still, this was an extremely beautiful, fresh Cerequio with tons of fruit. The oak had integrated and the wine was simply stunning. Everyone at the table loved this bottle, even those with a decided preference for more traditional wines. Fortunately I think I have a few of these left! Veal is one of my favorite foods for pairing with Barolo and Barbaresco as the meat can be very flavorful but also have a certain transparency that allows it to marry nicely with Nebbiolo. Both wines were delicous with these sublime grilled veal t-bones, but I found myself coming back often to the Voerzio, which was simply monumental. 


Florida Stone Crabs

Grilled Veal with Roasted Potatoes and Salad



Möet e Chandon Dom Pérignon



Egly-Ouriet Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru Les Crayères



Dauvissat Chablis Les Clos



Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Riserva Asili



Roberto Voerzio Barolo Cerequio


--Antonio Galloni