Château Angélus and Daugay over a lovely dinner at Black Salt
January 16, 2013
I had a wonderful dinner this past Monday evening (14 January) at one of Washington D.C. finest restaurants, Black Salt, to co-host Château Daugay and Château Angélus on behalf of MacArthur Beverages.
Many interesting people took part, including the brother of Alex Gambal, who makes fine wines in Burgundy, as well as fine wine lovers based in the Washington D.C. area. It was great to see fellow blogger Christian Schiller there as well. I also met a couple of people in the wine investment business. Not unexpected given the still ultra high prices for premium Bordeaux wines like Angélus.
One of the most challenging parts of the dinner was tasting the wine beforehand and deciding on how best to match the foods. It was a six-course meal, and we had six wines to match: Château Daugay 2009, 2008, 2006 and 2005 and Château Angélus 2008 and 2005.
No cork issues. One bottle of Angélus 2005 seemed tighter than the other two and one bottle of Daugay 2006 seemed to have “dustier” tannins than the others (we had four bottles of each vintage and 34 participants).
Because Château Daugay 2008 was so smooth and even somewhat light, while the 2009 more voluminous and tannic (ripe tannins), I decided to reverse the order and have the 2008 go first with the delectable wood grilled prosciutto wrapped figs.
This was then followed by the richer 2009, to better match the second plate of Hudson Valley Foie Gras with pan seared sea scallop in a port reduction sauce with poached pear.
Another reversal. Instead of the Daugay 2006 preceding 2005, I opted to serve the 2005, whose tannins and structure were far more imposing, for the third course of pepper-crusted bigeye tuna (albeit the strong pepper notes, balanced by the strong tannin of the 2005, seemed a touch obtrusive).
The fourth course of wood-grilled prawns and Duroc pork belly served over a bed of white beans (not unlike a Cassoulet) proved a fine match for the plump and friendly 2006 Daugay.
The last two courses were reserved of course for the main attraction: Château Angélus, which was recently promoted to Premier Grand Cru Classé A in Saint Emilion: one of now only four châteaux to enjoy that status. Up until last year, only Cheval Blanc and Ausone enjoyed that honor. The fourth château to obtain this hallowed status is Château Pavie.
A fine veal short rib ragout with fava beans and potato puree proved a delectable match to the rich and aromatic Angelus 2008, while the more impressive (deeper and longer) 2005 was left as the “saving-the-best-for-last” wine. The cheeses were hardly necessary – especially a blue cheese that was out of place – but it was a fine way to end the evening.
Many thanks to MacArthur Beverages for asking me to co-host, to Jean-Bernard Grenié, co-owner of Châteaux Angélus and Daugay, and to Black Salt for providing superb cuisine and service for what proved to be a very memorable evening. And special thanks to executive chef Thomas Leonard who did a fantastic job with the food!