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Dec 18, 2006 08:58 PM

Is this Burgandy splurge-worthy?

I'm excited about dining at L'Etoile in Madison, Wi this coming Sat. night. Having already purused the menus on line, I am contemplating making what is for me a wine splurge.

Bouchard Pere et Fil "la vigne l'enfant Jesus" 2001. $88 What do you think? I know "worth it" is a vague and almost unanswerable question, but I hope someone will try.

I expect to eat tenderloin carpaccio and radish salad followed by Walleye w/ parsnip gnocchi, straveccio, and white wine sauce. Of course, the menu (or my mind) could change.

Further, my husband will only drink 1/2 glass, so I will being taking some home. (I contacted the restaurant and apparently WI allows that if recorked to the point that it cannot be opened w/out a corkscrew.) So if this wine will not be special, I'll get a 1/2 bottle of bubbles instead.


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  1. If you do order the '01 Pere et Fils, it absolutely must be decanted before drinking (at least an hour, if not two). It is way too tight to be drinking right now straight from the bottle. Going rate retail is $42.00 so at $88.00, the price point is the regular mark-up.

    If you enjoy Burgundy, I think you'll enjoy it, but it will be very, very young. You may want to go with a split of bubbly instead.

    Hope that helps!

    1. I haven't had that wine.

      I'd be careful with any reds from the Cotes de Beaune in '01. IIRC, there were problems due to hail. Of course, there are always exceptions, but the vast majority were lean and mean. No such problems in the Cotes de Nuits.

      1. 2001 was a mediocre year for Red Burgundy, right there I'd back away from it.

        Further, there's nothing about this meal that in any way points to pinot noir...

        As for the main dish of walleye with stravecchio gnocchi in a WHITE WINE SAUCE, about the last thing I want is a red wine. At first read chardonnay seems like the most reasonable matchup here... it's a fine match with Walleye and hits the stravecchio well also. Second choice might be a Soave Classico Superior. Third, riesling. Because of the stravecchio I'm drawn back to chardonnay on this one but I think the others would work also.

        As for the tenderloin carpaccio... again, I don't see this as a Pinot Noir dish. I'd probably try a glass of cabernet and/or merlot here.

        Save your money and the burgundy for a nice pork, duck, turkey, or quail dish.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chicago Mike

          Thanks all. I'm backing away. Sounds like it's not worth the trouble.

          Five,six years ago, we were having our last pre-Christmas dinner together before the in-laws onslaught, when the couple at the table next to us left and gave us about a half bottle of Bouchard Pere et Fils "Chateau de Beaune", some vintage in the 90's , I forget. It was fantastic. I don't usually care that much for Pinot Noir (at least the relatively inexpensive CA ones I've had) so I was surprised at how much I liked it. Even my wine-disinterested husband liked it.

          So that, plus the Christmas theme of "L'Enfant Jesus", made me key in on this particular wine. Oh well.

          Thanks for your help, forgive the mispellings. I can't figure out how to edit my OP.

        2. But leave us not forget that, often, wines from "lesser" years show quite well for a while, and usually earlier. Which can be a good thing. Ten years might be just the trick. Hail is the sort of thing that can hurt some, but not others. Unlike temperature or even rain, it really says very little about any particular vineyard.

          But this just highlights that any bottle of wine is a bit of a crapshoot - never less true than for Burgundy. If $88 of disappointing wine would be a real downer, you're probably better off with something more consistent, and a good NV Champagne certainly fits that description. If it were me, I'd probably stick with the bubbly and try the Burg as a $45 wine at home if I felt so moved.;)