Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Domaine des Croix, Beaune

I would be shocked if David Croix is even 35 years old, but he is the accomplished wine maker at the esteemed Maison Camille Giroud, and now also for the Domaine that bears his name, Domaine des Croix. David says that things happened very quickly - the old Domaine Duchet in Beaune was up for sale, he mentioned this to investors he knew via Camille Giroud, they looked at the plots together and made an offer the following day.

These are good plots in quality Beaune vineyards, such as Bressandes, Greves, Pertuisots, and Cent Vignes, and there are holdings in Pommard as well. There is one white wine, a Corton-Charlemagne. The first vintage at the Domaine was 2005 and the wines were well received by Allen Meadows at Burghound, most of them scoring in the high 80's to low 90's. I drank the 2005 Bourgogne twice in early 2008 and thought it was excellent. The wines are affordable and of high quality - this is a Domaine to watch.

David des Croix's girlfriend Mary is a friend of Peter, the guy who writes the excellent food blog called Cookblog. Peter and I had dinner together once when he came through Brooklyn and have a bit of a bloggespondance (my term for bloggers who email regularly). He told Mary that I would be in Burgundy and boom - we had an invite to Domaine des Croix for dinner. Isn't this whole internet thing awesome?

We arrived at their house and David first took us to the cellar to taste his wines. The 07's had just been racked and were not available for tasting, but we sampled some of the 2008's. These wines had just been pressed and were closer to grape juice than wine, but this was fascinating nonetheless. I've never tasted wine that young before. The dark brooding fruit and mineral essence really showed through in both the Beaune Bressandes and the Grèves, even at only a few months old.

David Croix thinking things over in the cellar.

We then tasted a few 2006's:

2006 Domaine des Croix Bourgogne - made from declassified grapes from Pommard, Beaune, and Savigny-Les-Beaune. There is a pleasantly gamy nose of rich dark fruit and violets, and a nicely textured palate with ripe fruit and good acidity. This is classy wine.

2006 Domaine des Croix Beaune 1er Cru Grèves - the nose is a bit more refined, the fruit deeper, the flowers a bit more delicate, the wood a bit more noticeable. The palate is full of sweet and intense fruit, creamy, and with nice underlying minerality.

Mary prepared a lovely and interesting dinner that featured something I have never before had - a boudin noir pie. That's right, a pie stuffed with blood sausage. She threw in some red cabbage and sunchokes (I think) for good measure. Perhaps a strange way to eat boudin noir, but the sausages were delicious and I loved it.

Mary works with Thoreau Wine Society, an independent service that selects quality French wines and offers them for sale to members. I was excited to see what she would serve with dinner, and indeed we drank very well. She served an excellent 2007 Albert Mann Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru with a lively green salad, and a dark and stormy, and still probably too young, but layered and delicious 1999 Alain Graillot Hermitage with the boudin noir pie. That should be the name of a band - Boudin Noir Pie.
David and Mary in their kitchen.

We had dessert, many laughs, more wine, but it was the end of my first day and I had been awake for at least 24 hours by the end of the evening, so details are elusive. But this was a perfect way to spend an evening in Burgundy - in a warm home with friends, and great food and wine. Thank you again David and Mary!


peter said...

Hey Neil-

Sorry it didn't work out this week, but wwhen I come back I'll give you more notice. Also, I think David is not yet 30, if that helps make you feel worse.

I'm glad you guys were able to hook up; it's always nice when the internets do their job. Next time we'll all go together, with kids and everything...

Brooklynguy said...

i do, now, feel worse. thank you.

Anonymous said...

Very cool! David is doing some amazing work in Burgundy. Looks like a bunch of fun at dinner.