Today was a tale of two Burgundies at Koffmann's in the Berkeley Hotel. It was great chance to have a long overdue catch up one of my oldest and best mates in the trade (a clue? He shares his name with a character in some TV show called "The Simpsons" apparently). But also to try Koffmann's which I have heard good things about and been recommended on a few occasions. The service was good, attentive but relaxed and friendly with out being OTT.
Boringly, or sensibly, as it turned out we both went for the very same food Squid Bolognese - where every bit of the dish is made from the squid so what looks like pasta ribbons is not - and Goose...these were both excellent and went well with the two bottles we had. We had agreed I would do red and he would do white.
So white first Corton Charlemagne 2002 from Henri Boillot, I know Corton-Charlemagne well under the guise of Bonneau du Matray but do not know Boillot well. This was slightly how I would imagine a top Meursault producer making Corton would see things (and lets face it Mr Coche Dury does that just a bit well). The bottle was a good one with poise but also richness...very enjoyable and looking good when we revisited it with cheese at the end.
The red I took was Clos de Tart 2001, always nice to have two Grand Crus on a wednesday I find(!!). I have a real soft spot for this wine (and will admit professional bias too) as I think it is a marker for the return of the Domaine to its rightful quality level. Sylvain Pitiot took over running the Domain in 1996 and upped everything immediately but I feel the 2001 is from where you can really see the lift. I also love red 2001 Burgundies generally, they are so "Pinot", so fine and so fragrant and also so wonderfully different from the 2002's, which are more masculine, savoury and animal. This was really singing and all the better for being nicely cool. I am a big fan of Anthony Hanson's (MW) 20 minute Burgundy rule - reds in the fridge for 20 mins and whites come out for 20 mins...makes a great difference to getting everything out of the wine...
Anyway this wasn't meant to be a long post...if you get the chance go to Koffmann's (corkage £22 a bottle)...and I recommend both those wines!