A lightning weekend visit to the Normandy riviera, specifically Deauville and Trouville, to celebrate Pierre Boinet’s fifty years on this earth.
Alas, the sun has stopped shining, and as in Eire, it was pretty much a soft day. As I drove through the Pays d’Auge the cows at least looked happy, munching on grass, preparing the matière première for Pont l’Eveque.
For dinner on Friday a veritable feast of fishy, fruits de mer goodness. Langoustines, pinces de crabe, whelks, perriwinkles, oysters and prawns. The oysters were a bit milky for my taste, but the whelks were the freshest and finest I have ever had. De-licous.
To wake up the taste buds, a glass of Romain Guiberteau’s 2014 Saumur. At first a little woody, but the wood showed purpose: as the wine warmed , it gave definition and direction. It was woody harmony, rather than domination, integrating perfectly with an elegant rendition of Chenin’s foursquare figure. Even better the next day at lunch before a bottle of Jean Foillard’s 2010 Morgon 3,14.
But with the fish? A fine bottle of 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc from Chateau Rayas. Sometimes Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc leaves me a little underwhelmed, slightly cheated and short changed as it can appear a little short, with just a slightly bitter finish as a full stop. But not this. Honey and white flowers on the nose, ample depth and as it warmed great length. As it opened there was also a tightening of the girth and a move towards more minerality. It’s a great bottle of wine, and liquid proof that the Langoustines had not been boiled in vain. It has the stuffing to go on and on; you just have to love Roussane.
For the birthday itself, Domaine Huet’s 2010 Vouvray pétillant and 2012 Guigal Côtes du Rhone; admirable and dependable respectively. A great live band too.
But I didn’t drink a drop of Calvados.