Pot d'Etain, Burgundy
The large gougeres at Pot d'Etain are that big, that if it happened to rain in the pretty courtyard in which we were dining we could climb inside to seek shelter, we couldn't really but they are big.
You would not drive an hour and a half from Beaune (half an hour from Chablis) just for the food at Pot d'Etain. You would however drive five hours for the wine list at Pot d'Etain, it is remarkable. It is one of the great wine lists in the world, with still sensible pricing and a selection that has not been completely picked over. There's not much really old wine here but excellent depth back to the late 90's and you can drink the likes of 1999 Rouget Vosne-Romanee for around 60 euros, Dauvissat and Raveneau Grand Crus with a bit of age on them for well under 100 euros, 1er Crus for 40-60, Coche Dury Corton-Charlemagne for under 400 euros'you get my drift.
We chose to start with the 2007 Coche-Dury Meursault 'Perrieres'. A wine that was initially reticent, emitting a faint struck match whiff but bloomed in the glass. There were notes of white peach, honeysuckle and flint. It had great shape in the mouth with strict 'Perrieres' line and finished with chewy, dry extract. We also ordered a 2002 Emmanuel Rouget Echezeaux that showed a lot of camphor and cedar oak notes to begin with. It certainly breathed up and there were intense red and dark fruits and an engaging thread of spice. It was full, plush and rich in the mouth with great density and extraordinary length.
Amuse of frothy asparagus soup was bright, flavoursome and quite serviceable. To follow we both had Rabbit torte with goat's cheese. It was an earthy dish with an 'animale' smell, not everyone's cup of tea I suspect. For main course confit of duck leg with accompanied by a piece of roasted breast and fabulously silky mashed potato.
The cheese offering was strong, with a good selection of local cheeses. For dessert I opted for the house made ice creams and Heidi had an enormous, rich, heavy macaroon that should the local sports carnival be without a discus for their field events this could make a pretty handy substitute.
Over coffee I spied a sign indicating that they sold wine to takeaway and my mind went into over-drive, planning a serious raid on the list and working out how to get the bounty back into Australia. But my dreams were thwarted when we were shown the selection of wines available for takeaway. It was basically a lot of the entry level wines that the proprietor would have had to have purchased to procure the big name stuff. There was an audible sigh of relief emanating from the credit card in my wallet.
Good call Jeremy, this place is only 40 minutes from my house in France (currently alternating between france and uk.) Saw your write ups on the Wine Forum where i normally lurk, it sounds as though your Burgundy trip was outstanding.
I'll be giving Pot d'Etain a go next month. 2400 wines available and reasonably priced to boot.