A long week, so Damon and I decided to unwind with some good wine at Vin Rouge. I had a hankering for steak frites, or rather onglet frites. We started off with some awesome calfs brains, really decadent, prepared in a brown butter caper sauce. I had a glass of 2007 Gilbert Picq Chablis, which was an excellent accompaniment. Picq is a producer I like very much and used to buy, but don’t tend to cellar. Probably a mistake.
1995 Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard
Still has a nice deep black-ish red color. Fantastic nose of a meaty leather, but not the full on smoky bacon that is probably a yeast strain, but a kind of wild animal quality with good dark fruits underneath. The tannins build sneakily as the wine opens. It is in a very good window now, the tannins never get big, but they are enough for balance. What is amazing about Allemand wines is how they manage to impart the wild, coarse qualities of Cornas without being wild and coarse, but being really sophisticated and assured. It is quite the balancing act.
1998 Roagna Barbaresco Crichet Pajé
This showed initial promise, but never really went anywhere. I found the fruit got a bit on the roasted side and the tannins became unyielding. Given my past experience, and the pedigree of this wine, I suspect that it will be fine in 10-15 years. I expected a 1998 to be opening up now, I really was wrong about this one.