This past week was a busy one at work and at play, going through, among others, various anti-double taxation treaties and contracts (aside from meetings), weekday dinners for my brother-in-law and niece who are in town from Indiana (my sis didn't come along as she is busy tending to her recently opened allergy clinic there). There was also Bobby Paradies' rainy mid-week birthday golf tournament and a nice Friday night of craft beers & pizza with the Alabang group (more on those in separate posts).
Last night, Saturday the 11th June 2011, though, was dinner back at Champêtre with Catha, 2 of our sons (the eldest was at his freshman orientation) and a niece and nephew. Marc Aubry had sent me a text announcing Moules du Bouchot and fresh chanterelles from France starting that day, so we simply had to go to catch both ingredients as fresh as possible.
Moules du Bouchot served with Frites (2 orders). I can never resist these.
Of course, for our other starters, we had the usual Terrine of Foie Gras (2 orders), Escargots à la Bourguignonne (3 orders) and an order each of Onion Tart (no photos as the kids attacked them too quickly) and...
...Portobellos w/ Oeuf Cocotte. With all these, a bottle of...
2008 Királyudvar Tokaji Demi Sec - Very pure, well-focused, well-defined flavors of cold stoney, slightly off-dry/lightly honeyed pear, peach, with whispers of flowers and banana. Super clean, excellent freshness, crisp acidity and over-all balance. Excellent wine crafting here; so refreshing and food friendly.
Even the kids liked this and the bottle was quickly emptied. Wonderful with the terrine of foie gras and pretty good with the moules and escargots. This is readily available at Premium Wine Exchange for a mere P1700/bottle. You simply must.
Catha, Joaqi & Michael
Nicole & Lorenzo
My main course was Grilled Lamb Chops with Fresh Chanterelles, Risotto & Asparagus. This was a night's special, but with lamb loin instead of chops. I requested for chops instead as this was a dish Marc used to serve us in Je Suis Gourmand (Rene reminded me about it - he had it there the night before). Renzo had the same main course as I, Michael had the night's special as-is with lamb loin, Catha had the Boeuf Onglet again, Nicole had the night's special of Salmon & Scallops, Joaqi had the Grilled Scallops.
Joaqi's Grilled Scallops.
My Grilled Lamb Chops with Fresh Chanterelles, Risotto & Asparagus.
1990 Château Ducru Beaucaillou - A few quick initial sniffs upon opening revealed clean (no hint of being corked) but relatively reticent aromas considering its vintage. I then decanted it and let air for around 30-45 minutes, then poured as the main courses hit the table. The aeration did it good. Although the bouquet was still a bit reserved (not a bad thing for me), in the mouth, it was well-fleshed out.
With a definitive strike, proper mid-mouth breadth and weight and a moderately long finish, this showed off its pedigree in its slightly minty, anise, cedar/violets-infused black fruit and underlying tar/black gravel/asphalt. A notch or two under full-bodiedness, this exuded good, depth, complex layering, precise reserve and good balance. With a bit more time in the glass, dark/bitter chocolate emerged to join the tar and anise notes.
After around an hour more, the wine began to lose its body, sharpen its flavors and the anise and acidity started getting a bit obtrusive. Maybe I should have put it back in bottle after its aeration in the decanter. I think it can't take extended exposure in a decanter. I'll do that next time and see if that extends its performance. It was beautiful while it lasted though.
Desserts followed, we each got our own except for Catha who went straight to her coffee.
Joaqi with his Gateau au Chocolat.
The very berry Champêtre Soufflé.
This was my Home-Made Chocolate Ice Cream. Renzo got the Strawberry. Marc joined us at the table near the end of service with a beer and a glass or two of wine. It was another busy night for him with a packed house with some good turn-overs. For us, it was yet another of many excellent meals by Marc; and it goes without saying that we all look forward to the next.