Famous may not be the correct term… 15 seconds of fame is more like it.
Catey Thomas a wine & food lover and the other half of Saber the Good Times, was photographed at last weeks’ Burdigala. Focused while tasting, you can see she was hard at work; after all she did make it into the New York Times.
The inaugural Burdigala occurred on Friday, February 22, 2013 at the famous St. Bartholomew’s Chuch on Park Avenue, a location synonymous with exclusivity. It is not shocking that the church has only been rented once before for a private event. The evening was essentially the fanciest BYOB dinner party imaginable. Unless of course your typical Friday night is spent black tie clad, dinning at a Byzantine church and bringing your 1992 Smith Haut Lafitte. For the rest of us, it’s just a dream. The event celebrated the terrior, history, collectors and of course the wines of Bordeaux.
Burdigala began with an afternoon Grand Tasting that brought together twelve of Bordeaux’s finest producers to showcase three of their vintages: two of their choice and their 2010 vintage. It is always interesting to experience the producers’ vintages consecutively, as one could image how the younger wines might age based on the older vintages.
The wines were poured by New York’s top sommeliers, while under the watchful guidance of the producers. The wines were simply incredible and it was quite a “tour de force” to get all these Chateaux rivals in one room at the same time. The second feat: the producers actually enjoyed themselves and each other’s wines.
With so much wine, there must be food and Burdigala did not disappoint when it came to the tasting snacks. D’Artagnan and Artisanal provided delicious hors d’oeuvres: my favorite, D’Artagnan’s Duck Rillettes. They were literally small dollops of fatty goodness, served on sliced baguettes that just melted in your mouth. Mademoiselle de Margaux chocolates were placed near the door to entice guests to eventually leave. The tea infused chocolate was incredible and full of distinctive flavours, similar to complexities found in wine. While I wouldn’t say we were full from the snacks, we were definitely satisfied. Did I mention the Duck Rillettes?
Mass consumption did not stop at the tasting. The evening continued with a grand Gala reception and dinner. During the cocktail hour Billecart–Salmon and Lillet were served and perfectly paired with canapés prepared by Alain Ducasse’s Benoit. The dinner consisted of six Benoit Bordeaux inspired courses. The braised short ribs were perfection and the gougeres: difficult to quit!
While the portions were small, there was certainly no shortage of wines. The twelve chateaux brought magnums of their exceptional vintage while guests were invited to “BYO” and dust off their Bordeaux gems to enjoy and impress. Led by Bernie Sun of Jean-Georges and Andre Compeyre of Benoit, the sommeliers were there to guide us throughout the meal.
The conception of the day was to celebrate and enjoy all that Bordeaux has to offer. The organizers did their homeland proud.
You may be searching for the tasting notes… Let’s just say they were all pretty impressive; too impressive to choose one. Standouts include: d’Issan 2006, Ducru – Beaucaillou 2003 & 2000, Cos d’Estournel 2000 & 2010, Palmer 1990, Gruaud Larosse 2004, & 1992 Smith Haut Lafitte.
A New Role for Bordeaux