Saturday, August 31, 2013

Famed Burgundy Winemaker Christian Clerget Visits Asheville

Christian & Isabelle Clerget with Chef Joe Scully and myelf
Christian and Isabelle Clerget arrive in North Carolina for their first ever visit together.  With a multitude of tastings in the region, the only dinner that was arranged with the wine making duo was at Chestnut in Asheville, North Carolina.  Chef Joe Scully create an Escoffier masterpiece menu to pair with the acclaimed wines from Clerget making it a French night to remember for all who took part.

Chef Joe showing Christian & Isabelle the kitchen.
Christian was named ‘Producer of the Year’ in 2006 by the well-known Burgundy trade journal, Bourgogne Aujord’hui, stating “One knows how the domaine has invested in the pursuit of quality over the last year, but it was a matter of climbing the step that still separated the best; now this is done.  As for the recipe, Christian proclaims nothing revolutionary; “natural” viticulture, low yields, sorting table, and very careful vinification and elevage … that’s it!”

Isabelle Clerget & Susi Gott Seguret making a toast.
The Clerget domaine has been celebrated as one of the best Burgundy has to offer.  Allen Meadows of Burghound claims, “I have said this before but it bears repeating:  Clerget seems to get better and better with each vintage…”  Christian and Isabelle Clerget personify traditional Burgundy. Their secret is simply that they are blessed with some of the finest plots of land in Burgundy and they have learned to personally work this land so that it produces the absolute best fruit possible for making wine. Christian says that “the quality of the wine is determined in the vineyards.”

Chef Joe's Escoffier book
And with this kind of praise it was no wonder that when the e-blast from importer Steve Pignatiello went out the dinner sold out within two days!  The dinner was remarkable and I wanted to share it with you…

Isabelle and Susi reviewing Chef Joe's Escoffier book
Clerget Burgundy Dinner at Chestnut
(Chef Joe Scully has paired each of the Burgundy wines with a corresponding recipe indicated by number from Escoffier.)

Hors d'Oeuvres
Alumettes aux Anchois (917)
Blinis aux Caviar (1106)
Concombre Farci (965)
Duchesse Nantua (971)
Jean-Luc Joillot Crémant de Bourgogne

Filet de Sole Grand Duc
Filet de Sole Grand Duc (1962)
Local "Sole" poached with Truffles and Asparagus Tips
The sole was actually local flounder paired with Australian truffles (which are in season currently – and they were huge slices!).  Finished off with crawfish, asparagus tips and a beautiful white wine sauce.
Christian Clerget Morey-Saint Denis Les Crais 2010 (Blanc)
Fruity and elegant on the nose. Robust, structured, and rich on the palate. A finish that is fine and persistent. This wine has something for everyone. Extremely limited production. A real treat!

Atterau au Parmesan
Atterau au Parmesan (1082)
Polenta and Gruyere on Skewer over Bitter Greens
Fried cubes of polenta and gruyere skewered and resting on bitter greens.
Christian Clerget Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2011
This is a wonderful Pinot that shows great balance between the fruit and the terroir. No wonder since it comes from 35-year-old vines. Good extraction, nice depth of flavors, and modest tannins all contribute to a wine that drinks well in its youth, but will cellar for a few years. Only 200 cases made each year

Aiguilletes de Canteon aux Chambolle-Musigny
Aiguilletes de Canteon aux Chambolle-Musigny (3472-ish)
Sliced Duck Breat with Mushroom and Noodles
This dish was an “-ish” because Escoffier recommended Gevrey-Chambertin with it but the pairing with the Chambolle-Musigny was fantastic.  Chef Joe used some of the Chambolle-Musigny to cook the mushrooms (some of the best I’ve ever had).  He also made the noodles from scratch earlier that day.  Loved this dish!
Christian Clerget Chambolle-Musigny 2009

Christian calls this a “dream wine”. It is complex, rich in sensations, and shows great balance between the fruit and the terroir. He uses 20% new oak to round out the dark berry flavors. Good extraction, nice depth of flavors, and modest tannins all contribute to a wine that drinks well in its youth, but will cellar for years. Only 200 cases made each year.

Selle d'Agneau St. Germain
Selle d'Agneau St. Germain
Roast Saddle of Lamb with St. Germain garnish and Natural Jus
The St. Germain garnish is pea puree with butter, cream, eggs and sugar mixed and poached in small dariole molds, small fondante potatoes, pieces of glazed carrots.  Some of the Echezeaux was used to cook the lamb and made a delicious natural jus.
Christian Clerget Echezeaux Grand Cru 2009
Simply put, this is one of the best wines in all of Burgundy. It is a masculine wine with black 
fruit flavors and a hint of mocha. Layers of flavor give this wine wonderful complexity. When young, decanting is suggested. Once it reaches 10-15 years of age, it becomes sublime. Christian only makes about 250 cases of this wine per year.

Coffee and Chocolates from French Broad Chocolates

An assortment of chocolates from Asheville’s favorite chocolate maker – French Broad Chocolates, a nice finish to an amazing meal.

For more information on the wines from Veraison Wine Brokers, click here.

Chestnut Contact Information
(828) 575-2667
48 Biltmore Ave.
Asheville, North Carolina 28801

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