So on Saturday night my father took Elodie out to dinner at La Maison des Cariatides, in le Quartier des Antiquaires, the oldest and most beautiful part of late renaissance Dijon. where I made three discoveries:
1. A cariatide is an architectural motif, of classical Greek origin using busts of classical ladies to support a cornice.
2. Thevenet in the Maconnais makes extremely rich, singular wines which frankly “vaut le détour“.
3. If you want to drink Bordeaux in Burgundy you are buggered.
The restaurant has been in place for a couple of years now, but this was my first visit. They do a superb value lunch at 25 euros for three courses, and 18 for two. Considering the quality of what we ate on Saturday that must be Dijon’s best bargain. In the evening there is a fixed eight course Menu de Dégustation at 52 euros. What was really great is you inevitably fear an eight course meal (and in Burgundy they like their plates full. But this was light, superbly weighted and I left satisfied but not sated. Nuance.
Now wherefore the broken promises? Well, just about every year I take January off the booze and I was runninfg along nicely. Not for me a lunch time Leffe or an evening Gin & French or Negroni. Self-satisfied and self righteous, or what?
Anyway I was looking down the list and we were predominantly looking for a white and I stumbled upon their last bottle of 2005 Macon Viré Clessé from Jean Thevenet’s Domaine de Bougran in Quintaine. Now I had never actually tasted his wine but I remember a whiff of scandal before the turn of the millenium because his confrères in the appellations of Macon attempted to have him thrown out the appellation. Not because he had done anything wrong, but simply because his wines were so good they put everyone to schame.
It didn’t work, and he has continued his singular style of full blown, rich, sur mature Chardoonays. He has even made wines victimes of Botrytis or Noble Rot. This 2005 from a vintage that I really rate in Burgundy was delicious.
The wine has a rich burnt honey nose, veering to quince and really very enticing. In the mouth, the grapes were clearly very mature. -There is a spelendid unctousness to the wine but without being cloying. At eight years old there is not the slightest hint of oxidization and its weight and mass were easily able to stand up to the truffles, fish, guinea fowl and cheese. The bottle was emptied just as the desserts arrived.
So why the broken promises? Well, I drank half a glass not least as recognition of my father’s kind generosity. So I broke ùy engagement to stay dry for 31 days,bu I hope my liver will continue to regenerate to its pre-pubescant state (I read once it takes a month of abstenance to achieve this.)
And so my half glass of wine was just a small digression,, I suppose like almost being a virgin.