Restaurant: NoMad Mezzanine
Location: 11712 San Vicente Blvd.Brentwood, CA 90049 310.826.9222
Date: May 5, 2018
Cuisine: Modern American
Rating: Solid, but Champagne pairings made it tricky
It was just then days ago that we had the last Sage Society Champagne dinner and here we are at the next one for a combined Vilmart / Pierre Péters dinner! With Rodolphe Péters from Pierre Péters.
The location is the Nomad Mezzanine at the brand (newly renovated) Nomad hotel in DTLA.
The lobby is gorgeous (and expensive). The building was built in the 1920s.
But has been entirely renovated.
And the fancier sit down restaurant upstairs (the Mezzanine).
We had the private room up there.
And this is just a few of our stems.
NV Pierre Péters Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut Cuvée de Réserve. BH 91. A discreet nose is almost mute and it requires a certain amount of concentration to discern the cool, airy and ultra-elegant wisps of grapefruit, green apple, yeast and hints of brioche. The clean and sleek flavors are supported by an impressively refined effervescence that adds considerably to the sense of elegance on the agreeably dry but not austere finish. As much as I like the style this is not especially complex (though it’s by no means simple) though it would appear to have the ability to age and thus for those who have the patience, this may be more interesting after a few years of cellar time.
NV Vilmart & Cie Champagne Grand Cellier Brut. BH 91. The current release of Grand Cellier from Vilmart et Cie is comprised of a blend of seventy percent chardonnay and thirty percent pinot noir and is from the base year of 2010, with wines from 2009 and 2008 blended in as reserves. The vins clairs here do not go through malo and the wine spends ten months aging in barrel prior to bottling for extended aging on its lees, which was two and a half years prior to this disgorgement. The wine offers up a superb and very refined nose of apple, white peach, a fine base of soil, gentle smokiness, pastry and a touch of fresh almond in the upper register. On the palate the wine is far less polite than the nose suggests today, with its full-bodied format still a bit youthfully brusque with bracing acids and a bit of non-integrated oak elements, but with a good core and impressive length and grip. The mousse here is very elegant and this wine could seemingly come together seamlessly on the palate with some bottle age, in which case the enormous promise of the nose will be realized on the palate. On the other hand, it has a way to go right now and it is no certainty that the palate will eventually catch up with the superb bouquet. Faith is required, as well as bottle age. This wine has a 93 point nose- let’s hope the palate can play catch up with bottle age!
Our special menu for the evening.
Liz Lee gives the introductions…
2013 Pierre Péters Champagne Grand Cru l’Esprit.
2012 Pierre Péters Champagne Grand Cru l’Esprit. VM 92. The 2012 Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Lâ’Esprit is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. Creamy, ample and expressive on the palate, the 2012 possesses notable breath and immediacy. Hazelnut, dried fruit, spice and toasty notes add to the wineâ’s considerable appeal. The Esprit is a terrific example of the vintage. Dosage is 4 grams per liter. Disgorged December 2016.
2010 Pierre Péters Champagne Grand Cru l’Esprit. VM 91. The 2010 Brut Millésime L’Esprit emerges from parcels Le Mesnil sur Oger, Avize and Cramant. A wine of real depth and density, the 2010 is endowed with explosive energy. The purity and tension of Cotes des Blancs Chardonnay comes through loud and clear. Dosage is 4.2 grams per liter.
Trout with celtuce and lemon vinaigrette. Is that Celtic lettuce? or a hybrid of celery and lettuce? Either way, the smoked trout was great.
2013 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Grand Cellier d’Or. 93 points. White stone fruit, citrus fruit, green apple, almonds, brioche, crushed stones. Well structured and precise on the palate, mineral, vibrant, with good richness of fruit and excellent length.
2012 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Grand Cellier d’Or. VM 91+. Vilmartâ’s 2012 Grand Cellier d’Or is bold, racy and seductive, with all of the radiance of the vintage very much in evidence. Lemon confit, jasmine, vanillin, herbs and dried flowers are all pushed forward. Expressive and inviting, the 2012 will drink well with minimal cellaring. Even so, my impression is that the 2012 will be a bit more giving with further time in bottle. Dosage is 8 grams per liter.
2011 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Grand Cellier d’Or. BH 93. A strikingly elegant and pure if restrained nose combines high-toned wisps of yeast, plenty of citrus elements, green apple and a touch of brioche. The elegance of the nose continues on the beautifully refined flavors that possess a lilting mouth feel thanks to the super-fine mousse, all wrapped in an impressively complex, balanced and harmonious finale that is notably dry but not austere. If your taste runs to sophisticated Champagnes, this would make an excellent choice though I do underscore that this could use a few more years of bottle age.
Foie Gras Terrine. Torchon with strawberry & mustard. Very pretty. The strawberry sauce was maybe a bit tart (IMHO) as a pairing with the ultra-smooth foie.
Great brioche, we have some toast.
2011 Pierre Péters Champagne Grand Cru Cuvée Speciale Blanc de Blancs Les Chetillons.
2010 Pierre Péters Champagne Grand Cru Cuvée Speciale Blanc de Blancs Les Chetillons. VM 93. 2010 Brut Cuvée Spéciale Les Chétillons looks to be a relatively easygoing, approachable version of this reference-point Mesnil Champagne. There is good depth and purity to the flavors, but the 2010 is decidedly delicate and airy in the glass, with mid-weight structure and more openness than is typically the case. Scents of yellow orchard fruit, honey, chamomile and white flowers open up nicely. I donâ’t find the dimension or energy of the finest years. In exchange, though, the 2010 should drink well with minimal cellaring.
2008 Pierre Péters Champagne Grand Cru Cuvée Speciale Blanc de Blancs Les Chetillons. VM 95. The 2008 Les Chétillons seems to slowly be coming out of a period during which is has not been very expressive at all. In the last few months however, the 2008 is showing like it did about two years ago, when it positively sizzled with vintage 2008 cut and tension. Citrus, floral and mineral-drenched notes abound in this captivating Champagne endowed with real Mesnil character.
2006 Pierre Péters Champagne Grand Cru Cuvée Speciale Blanc de Blancs Les Chetillons. VM 95. The 2006 Brut Cuvée Spéciale Les Chétillons wraps around the palate and never lets up. Apricot, peaches, wild flowers, butter and spices all flesh out in a dramatic, structured Champagne endowed with tons of pure energy and volume. Stylistically the 2006 brings together the opulence of the 2002 with the minerality and cut of 2004, a great combination in my book. This bottle was disgorged in March 2013. Dosage was 4.7 grams/liter.
NV Pierre Péters Champagne Grand Cru L’Etonnant Monsieur Victor.
Carrot roasted with wheat-berries. Excellent for carrot. Not the most exciting dish ever created.
2010 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Coeur de Cuvée. 93 points. A little more generous and rounder in comparison, still great structure and freshness. Lots of minerality on nose and palate. The finish is outstanding, very intense and persistent.
2009 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Coeur de Cuvée. VM 94. A racy, exuberant wine, the 2009 Coeur de Cuvée offers up a super-appealing mélange of apricot, butter, baked apple tart and vanillin. The combination of the ripe, warm vintage along with fermentation and aging in small French oak barrels yielded an especially opulent Coeur de Cuvée with plenty of exotic and tropical overtones. The 2009 will be ready to drink with minimal cellaring. Disgorged March 2016. Dosage is 8 grams per liter.
2008 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Coeur de Cuvée. VM 95. A wine of crystalline energy and tension, the 2008 Brut Coeur de Cuvée is utterly captivating from the first taste. The flavors are bright, lifted and finely sculpted throughout. White peach, mint, flowers and white pepper add intriguing aromatic top notes, but it is the wine’s salivating focus and cut that elevate it. The Brut Coeur de Cuvée emerges from old vines in the Blanches Voies Hautes lieu-dit in Rilly-la-Montagne. The 2008 is going to need at least a few years to come into its own, but it is a real beauty, even at this early stage. Dosage is 8 grams per liter.
2007 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Coeur de Cuvée. VM 95. Interestingly, the 2007 Coeur de Cuvée comes across as a bit more youthful than the 2008 tasted alongside it. Another year in bottle seems to have only brought out the wine’s freshness and energy. Freshly cut flowers, pears, mint and almonds are some of the signatures, but it is the wine’s vivacity that I find most striking today. The 2007 is a bit less creamy and multi-dimensional than the 2008, but it is impressive just the same.
Seared Striped bass with hen of the woods, amaranth & sorrel. Interesting sauce flavor but very nice piece of fish.
2002 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Coeur de Cuvée. VM 94. The exuberance of the year comes through in the 2002 Brut Premier Cru Coeur de Cuvee. Explosive and gloriously ripe, the 2002 walks the razors edge of power and subtlety with a level of grace that is utterly remarkable. At the same time, the style is unmistakably Vilmart.
1998 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Premier Cru Coeur de Cuvée. VM 93. Vivid gold. Exotic, intensely perfumed scents of peach, mirabelle, magnolia and cinnamon, with a smoky minerality that gains strength with aeration. The smokiness carries onto the palate, which features gently sweet pit fruit flavors and firm mineral backbone. Very rich but surprisingly weightless, finishing with good snap and spicy persistence.
1995 Pierre Péters Champagne Grand Cru Cuvée Reserve Familiale Blanc de Blancs Les Chetillons — so rare you can’t even find anything about it online!
1985 Pierre Péters Champagne Blanc de Blancs Reserve Familiale — you don’t see this every day!
Seared Poularde with turnips & sesame. This was the best dish (or maybe the trout), a very nice chicken.
NV Pierre Péters Champagne Brut Rosé for Albane. VM 92. The 2014 Rosé Albane is a big step up from the 2013 in terms of richness and overall intensity. There is a real sense of breath to the 2014, and yet the wine has plenty of brightness and tension as well. This is the first vintage made with the addition of saignée of Meunier vinified by Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy.
2011 Vilmart & Cie Champagne Grand Cellier Rubis. 91 points.
Cheese. Moser screamer, cinderella, & pecorino (with more brioche). Very nice hunks of cheese.
Have a few champs. I think a bottle or 2 even got left out!
I wasn’t blown away by the Nomad Mezzanine food at this meal. It’s tricky, because they were struggling to find the intersection between their menu and the all Champagne pairing — leaving the “proteins” a bit bland. I’ll have to try the normal menu.
The wine was awesome, of course. I actually found that I liked the Vilmart slightly better (not that the Pierre Péters wasn’t fabulous also). But the Pierre Péters is all Chardonnay and very linear — which I normally like. But my taste buds were in a weird spot due to allergies and I liked the broader Chardonnay / Pinot blend of the Vilmarts.
The organization, service, company and all that for the evening was spectacular. Liz always throws an amazing event and this was no exception. There were all sorts of interesting technical tidbits from the winemaker and other professionals in the house. Great fun.