Château du Clos de Vougeot
Green asparagus gourmandise with wild salmon and
Roasted filet of lamb; duck foie gras sauce, summer
Selected cheeses from Burgundy
Chocolate and white peach Vougeot cake
Musique & Vin Au Clos Vougeot festival takes place in Burgundy each year
towards the end of June. I have always wanted to go, but have never been able
to pry myself away from the cellars and vineyards. This year, I was determined
to carve out a few hours to attend one of the concerts and the charity dinner
that followed. My first career was in music. At a certain point, I had to face
the simple reality that my talent was not sufficient enough to support a
full-time professional career, but I have never lost my passion for music as a
performing art that is best experienced live.
June 29 was not a happy day in Burgundy. The day before, a hailstorm of
unprecedented proportions ripped through a swath of vineyards, causing widespread
damage, especially in the Côte de Beaune. The Sunday afternoon concert that was
to conclude the festival was moved from Clos Vougeot to the church in Nuits St.
Georges. As I arrived, I saw a who’s who of Burgundy society taking their
seats. The mood was quite a bit brighter than I had expected. The concert
featured Emmanuel Pahud, principal flautist of the Berlin Philharmonic and an
orchestra assembled for the occasion led by David Chan, concertmaster for the
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and an avid lover of all things Burgundy.
asparagus gourmandise with wild salmon and caviar
evening fell over the sun-drenched vineyards, we moved to Clos Vougeot. The
centerpiece of the gala dinner was a charity auction to support the festival’s
young artists program. Anthony Hanson of Christie’s ran the auction, with an
occasional musical intermezzo to keep things lively. It was a great night that
once again reminded me of the power of wine to bring people together, even
under difficult circumstances.
dinner itself was quite good; especially considering the room was jam-packed
with about 400 people. Serving wines of this quality for such a large group was
also no small feat.
thought the 2009 Corton-Charlemagne
from Bonneau du Martray was simply brilliant. Perhaps it was the magnum format,
but the 2009 was fabulous, with all of the signature mineral, slate and citrus
notes given a little extra richness by the warmth of the year. What a gorgeous
wine. The 2011 St. Aubin En Remilly
from the Château de Puligny-Montrachet was at a severe disadvantage on this
night, as it simply was not of the same level of the other wines.
filet of lamb; duck foie gras sauce, summer vegetables
was totally taken with Tollot-Beaut’s 2009 Beaune Clos du Roi and its lifted,
impeccable personality. Although quite open and totally racy, I found it a
pretty laid-back, almost weightless wine for the year. The same was not true of
Domaine de La Romanée-Conti’s 2009
Vosne-Romanée Cuvée Duvault-Blochet, a wine that captured the essence of
this precocious vintage to the fullest. Ripe, voluptuous and totally thrilling,
the 2009 Cuvée Duvault-Blochet was in exceptionally fine form. Faiveley’s 2009 Mazis-Chambertin took things to
another level with its exquisite perfume, silky personality and alluring
personality. Ample and resonant, the 2009 Mazis was magnificent. I admit, I had
a second glass. What a wine!
auction ran into the early hours of Monday morning, but by that time I was home
and fast asleep, as a busy day of tasting awaited. Wine and music are two of
life’s most rewarding passions. When they are combined, especially in a
suggestive setting, as they are at Musique & Vin, the results are
unforgettable. Music fans who also love Burgundy should make a point of
attending at least once. I know I will be back.
-- Antonio Galloni