La Cabotte [Nuits-St-Georges]
I have a reasonably good memory for faces and a great memory for wines drunk. So when we entered La Cabotte and I was introduced to the sommelier (“Le Docteur”) by Jean-Claude Boisset winemaker Gregory Patriat I said, you used to work at Le Chassagne, to which the doctor replied, ‘yes five years ago’. I went on to recall the very wine he served us then, a 2000 Ramonet Bâtard-Montrachet. I think he thought I was some ****ing weirdo stalker and he kept a healthy distance between himself and me during luncheon service.
La Cabotte has been a bit of a favourite of ours over the years and even with a change of ownership it still turns out wonderful food with its roots in the region but with a few modern twists. The wine list has grown and it is well balanced and reasonably priced. We kept the drinking ‘in house’ and started with a Jean-Claude Boisset Fixin, a dry white sealed under screwcap. It was still very fresh with notes of ripe peach and lemon curd. The addition of around 20% Pinot Blanc to the wine gave some exotic notes and it finished energetic and lively with good acidity.
The 28 Euro luncheon menu here is an absolute bargain, starting with an amuse of prawn sashimi with quinoa. For entrée, Jambon Persille is given a makeover and the heart is hollowed out and filled with pate de foies gras, I didn’t think this classical Burgundian dish could be improved, it can! The accompanying cold lentil salad and dollop of moutarde married well with the rich slab of protein on our plate. We poured out a glass of 2009 Jean-Claude Boisset Clos de la Roche Grand Cru to have with our main course of duck with mashed potato. It was rich and dense with blackberry and blood plum fruits and a delightful thread of spice running through it. For all of its weight and intensity it still maintains great freshness, weighing in at just 12.6% alcohol. It was perfect with the duck breast, which was just pink with a crisp skin.
You can’t go wrong wedging in a small selection of perfectly ripe cheeses from Alain Hess and we still had some of our wonderful bread roll of the house to liberally slather with epoisses. Dessert was fresh strawberries with mint in orange juice with a quenelle of sensational vanilla ice cream.
We had a serviceable coffee with some decadently rich chocolate mousse served as a kind of petite four and departed. I hope Le Docteur didn’t see us taking a photo of Gregory next to a mannequin at a nearby motorbike shop or I may never be granted entry to La Cabotte again.
Disclaimer: I import the wines of Jean-Claude Boisset into Australia.