Restaurant: Bouchon Beverly Hills [1, 2, 3]
Location: 235 NORTH CANON DRIVE | BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90210 | 310.271.9910
Date: March 4, 2013
Cuisine: French Bistro
Rating: Good, but expensive
Through my recent Burgundy aficionado dinners I was hooked up with a series of winemaker dinners that Wally’s Wine and Spirits throws. These seem to be at Bouchon and feature great wines from a particular winemaker as well as an intimate opportunity to meet the winemaker himself.
This particular dinner features Jadot, which is a solid traditionalist B+ Burgundy house that I buy very frequently as they offer a wide range of wines from all over Burgundy (150 in total) and very good value. In general, their reds are better than their whites.
With regard to Bouchon. In the last three-four years there’s been a bit of a French Food revival in Southern California, but the emphasis has been on Bistro fare. Of course this is consistent with the post-recession trend toward less formal restaurants anyway. Bouchon is the small-chain spawn for Thomas Keller, the highly acclaimed chef of The French Laundry.
The Beverly Hills space is very pretty. Check out the bar (both raw and booze). Lobsters oversee the diners.
The elegant dining room has a very spacious, even Parisian feel.
For the special wine dinner tonight we have the private room.
And a special (i.e. limited) menu.
The non-vintage Brut Reserve offers orange, sweet spice, and yeast aromas. Light to medium-bodied and delicate, this refined wine has floral flavors intermingled with touches of citrus.
Little puff pastries filled with Gruyère cheese.
Flight 1: Whites
The only non-Jadot wine of the evening. The 2007 Mugnier Nuits St. Georges “Clos de la Maréchale” 1er. Burghound 89, “An expressive nose of green apple, white flower and lemon zest aromas trimmed in a deft touch of wood merges into rich, clean and beautifully detailed middle weight flavors that possess a fine sense of underlying tension and punch on the layered and very dry finish that lingers nicely. Lovely and balanced.”
1999 Jadot Meursault Les Genevrieres. Burghound 91, “This just oozes minerality and spice from an expressive, forward nose offering fresh herbs and citrus that continues on to the rich, nicely powerful and generous medium weight flavors and long, intense and detailed finish. While this remains entirely primary, it is sufficiently forward to suggest that it will not need much more time to approach peak drinkability.”
The 1990 Jadot Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres.
2007 Jadot Corton-Charlemagne. Burghound 94, “A strikingly complex nose that possess excellent breadth to the ripe, pure and airy aromas of white flower, spice, green apple and subtle pear aromas that complement to perfection the big-bodied, rich and mouth coating flavors built on a base of fine minerality, all wrapped in a sappy and mouth coating finish that oozes dry extract. This is really a lovely effort with a chiseled and driving finale of superb persistence though note that while patience will be required, there is sufficient mid-palate sap that the finishing austerity is not forbidding. A “wow” wine.”
And the same wine, but 1997 Jadot Corton-Charlemagne. Burghound 90, “Very expressive, broad and rich aromas of minerals and green apples followed by rich, full, medium weight flavors and excellent acidity in the context of the vintage. This is brighter and more vibrant than most ’97s and though the flavors are quite forward, this should age gracefully for some years to come.”
Truth is, this was younger, fresher, and better than the 2007. Probably the magnum helped.
2002 Jadot Batard-Montrachet. Burghound 93, “This is a huge wine with full-on, expressive aromas of white flowers and fresh citrus extract followed by huge, oily, almost viscous broad and deep flavors that display extremely impressive and fine acid/fruit balance and length that is hard to believe. This is a powerful, precise, almost painfully intense Bâtard that is altogether imposing in its sheer size and power yet it never lapses into heaviness. A genuinely great effort.”
The have good bread here.
Frisée aux Lardons et Oeuf Poché. Frisée lettuce, lardons, poached Jidori egg with bacon vinaigrette & toasted brioche.
Confit de Canard. Duck leg confit, French green lentils, a matignon of root vegetables & red wine vinegar duck jus.
Very tasty. All that duck fat had saturated into the lentils and made them delicious.
Flight 2: Reds
1990 Jadot Corton-Pougets. Burghound 92, “A ripe and now mostly secondary nose of earth, spice, leather and hints of animale lead to rich yet elegant flavors underpinned by still noticeable but not hard tannins and a mineral-infused finish that offers admirable length and depth. This is aging beautifully and while ripe, the balance is such that the wine should continue to hold at this level for years though I don’t forsee much if any additional improvement from here. In short, a very successful ’90.”
2000 Jadot Corton-Pougets. Burgound 88-91, “Stylistically closer to the Grèves with even better richness and power though it is not quite as complex and does not deliver the same level of finesse. Somewhat animale in character though not at all rustic. Very fine and quite long and not quite as structured as the other two Corton grands crus.”
2005 Jadot Clos Vougeot. Burghound 92-94, “A reserved and notably ripe earth-infused nose of red and dark berry fruit that possess a subtlesauvage character leads to Cistercian caliber youthfully austere flavors that are big, structured, well muscled and powerful and while not raw, it’s clear that this will need time to settle down and find their center. This is not an elegant wine but the potential is considerable and I especially like the bold character. A wine that will last 3 to 4 decades.”
This was from my cellar, but unfortunately it was way too young. It should be great wine in 10+ years :-).
ad hoc Fried Chicken. Wedge salad with roasted cauliflower & biscuits with gravy.
The best fried chicken I’ve had in years. Really really good! Not exactly light though.
The “light” salad that comes with the chicken.
Steak Frites. Herb roasted, caramelized shallots, maître d’hôtel butter or sauce Béarnaise served with French fries.
Flight 3: Reds
1989 Jadot Vosne-Romanee Les Suchots. Very nice, but I couldn’t find any reviews.
And the wine of the evening: the 1990 Jadot Chambertin Clos de Beze.
Parker 96, “It will be interesting to follow the evolution of the 1990 Bonnes Mares, Chambertin-Clos de Beze, and Chambertin. All are magnificent examples of not only the heights red burgundy can achieve, but also of the thrilling quality of the 1990 vintage. The Chambertin-Clos de Beze gets my nod as the wine in the Jadot portfolio that should hit the highest peak in quality and pleasure. It needs at least 5-7 years in the cellar, and has the potential to last for 25 or more years. The color is a saturated dark ruby/purple, and the closed nose offers sweet, jammy aromas framed by noticeable smoky new oak. The magnificent richness, highly structured and delineated style, as well as the explosively rich finish, all make for a show-stopping impression.”
Burghound 91, “From a bottle in the big Chambertin and Clos de Bèze tasting: Somewhat stewed, roasted fruit nose cut with very ripe earth and pungent, very ripe plum/prune notes. The flavors are big, very structured and intense but without sufficient mid-palate sap to completely buffer than and thus this finishes with an edgy, dry, slightly astringent quality. Perfectly good but not better and I found this wine a bit perplexing because the 1990 Clos St. Jacques is a really beautiful effort. 88/2005-12 Note: from a bottle tasted in October of ’04 – While the aromatics are certainly quite ripe, indeed even slightly roasted, this bottle delivered much more youthful, balanced, intense and savory flavors that displayed only a touch of the finishing astringency of the above example. While not destined to be a genuinely great wine, it’s certainly a fine effort.”
Really drinking great tonight (me says).
Selection de Fromages Artisanaux. Selection of artisanal cheeses with honeycomb, candied nuts, cranberry currant campagne & walnut bread.
The bread part.
A very fun evening. I was surprised how good the food was. Not modern or innovative per se (haha) but really very tasty. And there were some great wines plus the interesting opportunity to meet the winemaker and hear his perspective. He was very nice and extremely gracious.
For more LA dining reviews click here.
The tallest and Gaulist gentleman is the new Jadot winemaker!