Seasonal wine pairings for Domaine de l’Arlot burgundy
Lucy Bridgers reports on an elegant dinner matching different vintages of Domaine de l’Arlot burgundy with a seasonal spring menu
Lucy writes: "After a tortuously long winter it seems a particular treat to enjoy the effect of the change of season on our eating and drinking.
This was especially so at a recent dinner at Lutyens organised by AXA Millésimes to showcase their Prémeaux based Burgundy outpost Domaine de l’Arlot. Dishes were carefully chosen to complement the estate’s graceful, pure tasting wines; Arlot’s sappy mineral whites and lean, supple reds proved to be ideal with spring food.
We started with a crab salad with pea mousse and crab foam served with Nuits St Georges Clos de l’Arlot blanc 2005 and 1999. These whites from a red-dominated commune have an unexpectedly exotic quality, almost Viognier-like at times, were it not for the firm acidity and minerality. The more vigorous younger wine was fresh and lively with the seafood, although the more richly-textured 1999 sat luxuriantly alongside the creamy mousse and foam. Some tiny croutons in the salad highlighted the subtle toasted notes of the finely integrated oak.
The main course was rack of lamb with thyme, yellow broccoli, Anna potatoes and hollandaise sauce seasoned with cayenne pepper. Two vintages of the Nuits St Georges Clos de l’Arlot rouge were served with this, 2006 and 1999.
Both worked very well with the dish, although at a push I preferred the more evolved flavours of the 1999 as I’ve got a real weakness for mature burgundy (and I’m probably not alone). However the more youthful structure of the 2006 deftly cut a swathe through the fatty meat and crispy skin.
A selection of British and Irish cheeses (Innes Log, Montgomery Cheddar, Ardrahan and Colston Bassett Stilton) came with two vintages of the domaine’s other Nuits St Georges: Clos des Forêts 2002 and 1999. This site produces more tightly structured wines with, appropriately, darker brambly fruit, whereas the Clos de l’Arlot has a juicier red berry profile.
Of the two vintages, the 2002 was showing beautifully, its fresh acidity making it a great foil for the cheeses, although the expressive and harmonious 1999 was great with the earthy Ardrahan. It was also useful having the whites from earlier handy, as the two pairs of wine demonstrated how versatile burgundy can be with cheese.
Dessert was bitter chocolate tart with hazelnut ice cream and chocolate soil served with the domaine’s Vieille Fine 1990 eau de vie (aged for 11 years in cask and bottled in 2003) – decadently rich and warming.
Spring may have sprung, but there was still quite a nip in the air, so this was a fittingly fortifying end to the evening.
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