Coq d’Argent – Now enomatically enhanced (and Roederer Wine List of the Year, 2011)

Dec 12, 11 Coq d’Argent – Now enomatically enhanced (and Roederer Wine List of the Year, 2011)

Posted by in Food and Wine, restaurants

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...

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The Gherkin and Cristal 2004

The space at the very top of London’s iconic Gherkin is really quite small. I was expecting a much bigger room. It was quite a surprise to be so high up but in such small surroundings. It did, however, make for a more comforting experience. I find when I’m at the top of big buildings, all that space scares me.  It also helped that it was evening and the night closed in around us atop our Gherkin capsule with only the lights of London twinkling below. It also helped that I was calming my would-be vertigo with copious amounts of the latest vintage of Louis Roederer’s Cristal, the 2004. It was all part of the Louis Roederer 2010 International Wine Writer’s Awards ceremony. We were there to honor the winners and for the launch of Cristal’s latest vintage, the ’04. The awards were presented by Charles Metcalfe and Frederic Rouzaud, CEO of Champagne Louis Roederer. The awards are fairly new having only been in existence since 2008 but as Frederic said, “we decided to start giving out awards since we weren’t winning any.” Ah, the pragmatism of the Champenois. The awards ceremony itself was mercifully short, only 10  awards handed out so we were able to concentrate on the ’04, a blend of 55% pinot noir and 45% chardonnay.  I quite enjoyed the latest vintage although it’s not a patch on the ’02. The ’04 is probably still too young, an appealing champagne nonetheless, I found plenty of vibrancy and freshness in it with a wonderful streak of minerality running through it. The most striking thing to me though were the bubbles, they all emanated from one spot directly in the centre of the glass. How did they do that? Canapes and chocolates were also served with the Ch. de Pez 2005 and Ramos Pinto 20 yr old Tawny (and you all know how much I love tawny) with Charbonnel & Walker chocolate truffles. All too soon, the “carriages” arrived, as they so politely...

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