The 2005 Grand Cru Corton Collection
You'd have to be confined to a soundproof cave to not know 2005 is one of Burgundy's best vintages in the past 50 years. The demand for the vintage is creating a wine collector stampede, sending prices for these rare wines through the roof. Every village of the Cote d'Or benefited from the great year but the Hill of Corton, with its precious Grand Crus, has produced some of the best wines to ever come from the region. In an effort to offer a glimpse of the vintage's perfection, we've worked directly with negociant house Jean Gagnerot to assemble a collection of their top Grand Cru Cortons.
Jean Gagnerot export manager Neil Ruane came to San Francisco for the release of these amazing wines at top French restaurant Jeanty at Jacks. Neil lit up the room with his passion for Burgundy and extensive discussion about Corton's intricate terroir. Jeanty at Jacks was perfect to get to know the wines. This San Francisco institution is known for some of the city's top French cuisine made by acclaimed chef Philippe Jeanty. The James Beard award winner, born in Champagne and known for his delectable "French soul food", was entrusted with the responsibility of creating a menu to complement the wines.
The evening began with fresh Oysters with a Champagne-Ginger mignonette followed by Foie Blond Pate, each accompanied by a palate-priming bubbly. The first wine tasted was the silky Corton Chaumes, accompanied by sweetbreads Vol-au-Vent in a sweet garlic cream sauce. Next came the Corton Hautes Mourottes; structure galore, full of violets and licorice. The pairing of Monkfish Bouillabaisse with fennel, zucchini, clams and aioli was sublime. The Corton Renardes was next to follow; a dark, seductive Pinot sinfully paired with the main course of Boeuf Bourgogne with pearl onions, mushrooms, lardoons, and carrots. The collection and meal ended brilliantly with the bold Corton Clos du Roi, an intense, terroir-driven wine enhanced by the pairing of Epoisses de Bourgogne with poached seckel pear.
The mark of a great wine dinner is a forgotten dessert. The sweetly decadent Apple galette with rum-raisin gelato was sacrificed at the altar of Grand Cru Corton; we simply couldn't divert our attention from this spectacular quartet of wines. In all it was four great hours with four gorgeous wines, each serving notice in their own unique way that 2005 Burgundies will be wines to cherish for a long time to come.