I'd like to thank the Maker that we accidentally had cheese with dinner. Can you imagine the humiliation if we didn't?
It was even more nice that we had a cheese we love, Delice de Bourgogne, with chicken we love and white Burgundy, which rounds out a true (and easy) favorite over the last couple of years.
Our white Burgundy collection isn't anything deep or broad, but we usually have a few on hand, nothing radically profound, but a couple that are age-worthy.
That became a problem couple of weeks ago when we read this from Matt Kramer at Wine Spectator:
"Starting with the 1995 vintage, that "better tomorrow" often didn't arrive. White Burgundies that should have been gloriously fresh-tasting, vibrant and dimensional five or seven years after the vintage proved to be nothing of the sort. In fact, they were dead, victims of what has come to be called premature oxidation. Affected wines have a dark yellow hue (where they should be a vibrant lemon-yellow); the scent is oxidized, almost Sherry-like; and the flavor is flat, devoid of fruitiness, essentially shot. This for wines that should just be beginning to become mature."Premox. We had no idea. Might explain this. White Burgundy for us has been a recent dalliance but that's a big blind spot. Places like Burgundy and Barolo are regions put on the back burner due to the price, making for big holes in our knowledge of those places and, apparently, a large thing like this evaded our wine news radar.
Don't think we would have dropped the bucks on this bottle had we known. But we did and got lucky.
Food: Michael Symon chicken with delice de Bourgogne, baguette and arugula salad
Go here to see the prep. Lemon peel and bay leaves shoved under the skin (with that, garlic and onions put up its rump) has made for a better whole roasted chicken experience. Juicy thigh, delicious salty, lemony skin, bay leaf flavor flyin' everywhere, drier breast than last time but good, all-around tasty chicken.
Delice de Bourgogne with baguette. Cheese two weeks past expiration. Good place. Touch more funk would have been nice but great creaminess with spring grass and mud hits.
Arugula salad with pomegranate and white balsamic to finish.
Every time we have this meal, we're shocked how good it is.
Pretty wine to boot.
Wine: 2005 François & Antoine Jobard Meursault-Blagny 1er Cru ($120 - Kermit Lynch)
The Meursault AOC is a large (for Burgundy) area that produces chardonnay and covers 400 hectares (which you can drive "on a single tank of kerosene") of vineyard surface. Blagny, comparatively, is tiny (5 hectares) and produces pinot noir. If a winemaker produces chardonnay in Blagny, it must be called Meursault-Blagny, hence the name.
Jobard is in the process of ripping out his pinot noir vines in Blagny in order to replant with chardonnay. He puts his wines through extended exposure to yeasts, sur lie, making his wines one of the last to be released and he was one of the first producers Kermit Lynch imported in the 70's.
Knowledge. That's what I've learned about François & Antoine Jobard this morning.
Lemons, wet white flowers, cinnamon, vanilla, herbs that came off like rosemary and parsley had a baby, touch of large sauna-like and smoky river rocks, decent acidity and overall very pretty.
Pretty to drink and pretty to look at in the glass. Shimmering yellow-gold. But while it was pretty, we missed a bit of the transitions white Burgundy in our experience has shown. A two-act play here. Entry had a swirling of prettiness but that shot to the long, pretty finish rather quick-like. Not enough mystery. Not enough intrigue. Not enough misdirection. Not enough pace to the let the mind wander.
This was the sturdy uncle at the family reunion, the guy you can predict the conversation you're going to have with him before you even show up at the party, but every time it's a conversation most welcome and fun.
After reading about premox, we're popping our white Burgundy. $120 is steep for what this offers but, in the end, we didn't feel ripped off. We didn't feel great about the initial purchase but the relief that it didn't drink like sherry mitigated the steep price tag to the point of more enjoyment for what it was in an odd way.
Pairing: 88 Right smack in the middle of the white Burgundy-roasted chicken spectrum
I got a bit of wood kicking up with the cheese but Mrs. Ney didn't. Other than that, admirable interplay with virtually everything, even the arugula, which turned the wine in a nicely vegetal direction.
We liked this. We didn't $120 like it but it never felt like a stupid wine purchase, which was our best hope when we opened it.