Match of the week
Langoustine cannellonis and citrus with Pacherenc de Vic Bilh
It's always a challenge to pick a single wine with an elaborate tasting menu but the Jardins de Bouscassé 2008 Pacherenc du Vic Bilh sec from Alain Brumont we ordered with our meal at La Renaissance in Argentan last week hit the spot with almost every dish.
My favourite match by a whisker was an intricate dish of 'cannelloni' formed from pieces of squid, wrapped round some beautifully fresh langoustines and served with an intense seafood broth flavoured with pomelo and dots of mandarin and basil (I think) pure. I'm not normally that keen on the French obsession with 'sucré-salé' but the combination of fish and citrus worked perfectly with the light, lush, tropical fruit-scented wine. (There was also a hint of Sichuan pepper in the dish.)
It also went brilliantly well with the next course of John Dory with small, sweet crevettes grises (shrimps) and carpaccio of pigs trotter, an extraordinarily intense surf'n'turf combination.
I'll be writing a bit more about the restaurant in due course but it was an outstanding meal. Bizarrely it doesn't have a Michelin star.
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