Tuesday, February 8, 2011

#161 - TK Chicken And DdB Cheese With Two Chardonnays

More of the same cuz we capital-L Love it.

TK chicken with white Burgundy and a cheap American chardonnay to round out the drinking.

We're no experts on white Burgundy as we've only been focussing on it for about eight months now, but certain dimensions are starting to come into view.

Without the wallet to jump into Meursault and the like, two AOCs in Burgundy have stood out in our very small sample size so far: Auxey Duresses and Viré Clessé.

Auxey Duresses last night and something to compare with the Jean-Phillipe Fichets from before.

Food: Thomas Keller chicken with Delice de Bourgogne cheese, baguette and mâche and pomegranate seed salad

Typical TK chicken. Great skin, delicious and juicy leg and thigh, breast meat slightly dry, though. White pepper, salt and thyme crust.

Delice de Bourgogne cheese a month past its expiration date, putting it in a great place, right on the edge of too funky but still showing great brightness and depth.

Mâche and pomegranate seed salad. More pomegranate because the season is nearly over. And they're delicious.

A standard in the Ney house because it's always something we crave, never get sick of and is freakin' fantastic, easy to make and cheap. This one was no different.

Wine: 2007 Benjamin Leroux Auxey Duresses ($35 - Fine Wine Brokers) & 2009 Trader Joe's Petit Reserve Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands ($7)

Not the best but certainly in the upper tier of the white Burgundies we've had recently, the 2007 Benjamin Leroux is the first vintage released under the winemaker's own name and is culled from three different vineyards in Auxey Duresses.

Slight pineapple rind and honey on the nose with a lime salt hit right away that settled down as it came closer to room temperature, becoming more nuanced and lovely with each rising degree. Medium to light weight overall. Creamy, slightly smoky lemon took over with background tropical fruits and apple coming into play. A mineral core that wasn't particularly distinctive or mouth-watering but still quite pleasant. Enough acidity to keep everything chugging along nicely and finishing with a touch of honey and creamy vanilla. Just a little touch, which was nice. A well put-together wine with no complaints in the least.

The Trader Joe's chardonnay brought to mind Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls." Thin upfront, barely anything in the middle and an explosion of heaviness after. Bottom-heavy jumble of mixed, undistinguished tropical fruit with a heavy-ish vanilla hand blended with some cream and minerals. Meh. Better on its own as it came up to room temperature but the best that can be said is what seems to be the overall trend with cheaper American chardonnay lately. Absence of overpowering oak and the mere presence of some minerals. Respectable effort but nothing too much to recommend. If you only drink chardonnay, for $7, you could do worse, I guess. So far, in the cheap American chardonnay world in our tastings, there's the Francis Ford Coppola Votre Santé and there's everything else.

Pairing: 87 Fine and Good

It's TK chicken. It's what we like. And we love it with white Burgundy. Same result here.

The Benjamin Leroux fit entirely well. Great with the cheese but probably best with the bread that was under the chicken during the roasting process. Big piles of crusty, chicken juice-laden and charred bread. With the wine, little pops of spice in the wine popped out that accented the chicken juiciness infused in the bread.

The Trader Joe's chardonnay was almost serviceable with the chicken but fell flat with everything else.

Again, a solid white Burgundy ruled the night with a favorite meal and it wasn't even close.

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