Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pissaladière With 2007 Didier Dagueneau Silex

My favorite wine?


I know you didn't ask.

It is, though.

Not necessarily this vintage, just this wine. It's magic. Pure magic.

2007 was the last vintage Didier Dagueneau took to the end. He died in a small plane crash in September of 2008. His son, Louis-Benjamin, took over and, at only 34 years old, the domaine seems to be in great hands for a long, long time. The 2009 was more magic at Etxebarri a couple of years ago.

Rustic French pissaladière and arugula-tomato salad to pair with the 2007, we felt, would have garnered a nod of approval from Didier. The result was stunning deliciousness overall and a wine that simply couldn't be summed up with a few descriptors.

Pissaladière of a bucket of onions cooked in Muscadet, garlic, olive oil, lemon thyme and white pepper, then mixed with anchovies and black olives and thrown on top of Syrian sesame bread. It's a house favorite and every time we've had it, we wonder why the hell we aren't eating this twice a month (and how the hell I never did a full write-up on it stumps me).

Silex is the benchmark of sauvignon blanc, yet it's unlike any sauvignon blanc on the planet. And the 2007 Didier Dagueneau Silex Pouilly-Fumé ($140 - Flickinger) is still pumping along, showing zero gray hairs, drinking so utterly sparkly and beautiful we could barely stand it. Some descriptors, I guess, though it won't tell the story: gooseberries, dark-dark-dark minerals (so much liquid rock it made my mouth sweat), garden notes (like sucking on tomato vines), creamy slate, more dark minerals, teeny-tiny citrus perk here and there, maybe asparagus, explosive but focused, never heavy but good heft, clean, beautifully meandering, gave about 12 different flavors with each sip, in different orders, each with such precision, purity and unique angles that, once again, it jettisoned itself to the top of the list of the best wines we've had this year, with the nod going to the 2004 Two Hands Beautiful Stranger for Mrs. Ney and this Silex for me.

It was a pairing we couldn't have been more happy with. Nothing diminished in the least in the glass or with the pissaladìere. Both the food and the wine remained themselves perfectly, with enough interweaving to bring a boatload of pairing enjoyment.

Hot damn! This is a stunning wine!

Silex, Mas de Maha and Arnot-Roberts Trousseau. Geesh! Good wine week.

We're not counting Monday's dinner of (weird) shrimp escabèche and (delicious) Peruvian potato salad with a grilled stone fruit and lavender liqueur sparkling sangria that tasted as strange as it sounds.

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