Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lamb Noodles and Mature Burgundy...Who Knew?

One of the things that I love about my old friend Deetrane is that he never stands on ceremony regarding wine. If he has a special bottle that he wants to share with some one, he finds a way to do that, even if the setting is not one that would typically call for a special bottle.

The other day Deetrane and I went to Flushing's Chinatown for lunch. We went to this lamb noodles place that I love. Even within the realm of rickety Chinatown noodle parlors, this place is not fancy. It's way at the back of the narrow Golden Mall on Main Street. Here is a link to an interactive feature from the NY Times that shows the area along with a few great eating options. The Golden Mall is on the map, but not for lamb noodles. Honestly, go for the lamb noodles.

We sat down with our wine-scented shredded potato salad and steaming bowls of long-simmered milky lamb broth and hand pulled broad noodles topped with chunks of lamb and fresh herbs. I like a little Chinkiang vinegar and roasted red chili paste in there, but just a bit. I was just digging in when Deetrane said "Do you have a wine key?" I did, in fact. Who goes anywhere without a wine key?

Deetrane recently bought a bottle of 1995 Domaine Forey Nuits-St-George 1er Cru Les Perrières, Rosenthal Wine Imports, and he wanted to drink it with me. Lucky me! "Really, out of styrofoam cups with spicy lamb noodles," I said. "I would be tempted to build a dinner around that wine." Deetrane is less concerned about how the wine is enjoyed than he is about with whom it is enjoyed. "I want to drink this with you," he said, "and here we are."

So we drank it and it was great, really great. Les Perrières is a 1er Cru just north of the Les Saint-Georges/Les Vaucrains/Les Cailles cluster in the southern part of the Nuits-St-Georges. The wine was very savory with an almost brothy sense (or was that from the soup?) to the red and orange fruit, which felt fully resolved, and showed a bit of earthy rusticity on the finish that reminded me of where this wine is from. Still good structure and good acidity, very well balanced. The perfume was really lovely, with a smoky and earthy nuance that lingered on the finish. Forey's style might be thought of as opposite to something like Fourrier's, in that Forey racks his wines several times during elevage, perhaps even stirs the lees a bit. I'm not sure if this was part of the program back in 1995, but based on the richer texture and character of the wine, I'm guessing it was. It was delicious wine, from what I would call an under appreciated vintage.

And it really goes to show that styrofoam cups, spicy food, cramped quarters, ...none of these things can begin to dim the pleasure of sharing a great bottle with a good friend.


Pinot041 said...

Isn't that a coincidence !!??
A couple of months ago I served to a couple of wino friends of mine
a 1993 Corton Renardes ( Dennis Philibert)It was old in colour but smoky & still with refreshing acidity, & we agreed it would go very well with lamb!

Clotpoll said...

Forey's wines always show incredible polish, while at the same time not sacrificing the rustic, sauvage qualities of the vineyards he works.

I prefer his Vosne-Romanees (even the villages wine) to the Nuits-Perrieres, but the Perrieres is no slouch.

deetrane said...

In all seriousness, though, I do think this proves that styrofoam is underrated.

Henri Vasnier said...

Within the past 10 days, we had a rather Italian preparation of egg pasta, pancetta, ground lamb, red (sweet) peppers, white wine, olive oil, basil, holy trinity soffrito, which was a fabulous match with 2004 Dominique Laurent Nuits St Georges 1er Cru (tout court, no single specific vineyard named). Taken together with Brooklyn Guy's report, I'm totally satisfied that pasta, lamb, and Nuits St Georges are a match made in heaven, regardless of the geographic and/or ethnic derivation of the cuisine involved.

Several (but not that many) years ago my wife and I found ourselves in a motel 400 miles from home having Wendy's chicken sandwiches and fries with 1988 Pol Roger out of paper cups. It ain't about the glass (or plastic or styrofoam) ware, it's about the company and the occasion.