Coq d’Argent – Now enomatically enhanced (and Roederer Wine List of the Year, 2011)
When food and wine matching are done right, there’s nothing better. Although I am the Winesleuth, I find that wine with food is almost always better and I relish the opportunity when such occasions present themselves. Recently, I found myself a guest of The Winechap at Coq d’Argent in the City to not only sample the cuisine but also the award winning wine list along with a handful of wine cognescenti. Coq d’Argent was awarded the Louis Roederer Wine List of the Year 2011 not long ago and they have installed enomatic machines so even if you can’t afford a whole bottle of 1996 Ch. Montrose, it is available for you to sample. There are four reds and four whites available in 25ml (perfect for a tasting sample), 100ml, 125ml and 175ml.
Speaking of the 1996 St. Estephe Ch. Montrose (£32/125ml), it was paired with a fillet of beef with sauteed mushrooms, truffle and pan fried foie gras. I love foie gras, even though I know those geese suffer, I can’t help myself. The Montrose was a beautiful wine, soft and velvety, drinking very well at the moment and but a quick survey around the table and we found the St. Emilion Troplong Mondon Grand Cru 1995 (£30/125m), which was also served with the beef, was a better match, having tannins that were a bit more pronounced, leather, graphite and cigar box, fabulous with the strong flavours of the dish.
Domaine Weinbach was one of the first Alsatian wines I ever tried and loved and the the 2009 Cuvee Laurence pinot gris (£14/125 ml) was a pleasure to drink, an expressive wine with a rush of acidity, round and full in the mouth. Paired with the starter of foie gras, it was a fantastic match, which was a bit surprising as I would have expected a Sauternes with foie but the pinot gris was very good indeed.
A Puligny-Montrachet 1er cru Clavoillon Domaine Leflaive 2008 (£20/125ml) served alongside almond crusted rainbow trout fillets was an understated wine, enhancing the nutty notes of the dish, soft and subtle it was classic Puligny.
Coq au vin with a Gevery Chambertin, Mes 5 Terroirs Denis Mortet 2004 (£14/125ml) – can I just swoon now? I fell in love with this red Burdundy. Opaque and hugely aromatic, silky on the palate, savoury spicy and earthy with juicy fruit on the back end- fantastic match to the chicken, mushrooms and bacon, a serious wine you can sink your teeth into. The only bad thing about this wine? Denis has discontinued making it as he thinks it’s not quite up to his standards, mores the pity but based on this example, I would really like to try his other wines.
Venison tartare as the 4th course was divine inspiration, the cold dish a surprise but extremely flavourful, a perfect tartare and delicious with the Chateauneuf-du-Pape Ch. La Nerthe cuvee de Cadettes 2004 (£22.50/125ml). A substantial wine, rich and spicy, going down a treat with the venison.
Vouvray Moelleux is not one that springs to mind immediately when I think of dessert wine but I really should rectify that mistake. Chenin makes such a great sweetie. The 1989 reserve Clos Naudin Philllipe Foreau (£32.50/125ml) paired with a light apple tart thin laced with roquefort was a stroke of genius. The wine with the cheese and apple – salty and sweet, very morish, the wine giving earthy, lemon and toffee flavours, bringing out citrus on the finish.
The menu was not complicated but full of classic dishes that were done just right. Executive Chef Mickael Weiss has been at Coq d’Argent since 2000 and his cooking reflects his time at La Gavroche, The Connaught and The Walnut Tree Inn among others.
After this dinner, I could appreciate why Coq was awarded best wine list in the City, it may not appear cheap but the opportunity to try such great wines with a fantastically prepared meal cannot be ignored. And of course, the company was great as well. A big thanks to The Wine Chap and sommelier Olivier Marie for putting together such a wonderful menu with their exquisite wines.
No.1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ
020 7395 5000