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1995 Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche

February 12, 2012

I returned, after a considerable period of absence, to Les Amis with Ben and some folks from Societe-Generale, 10 Feb 2012. Timothy sat us down at our usual Chef’s Table and got us started with a bottle of Bruno Paillard NV. I have immense respect for this estate, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Very, very lovely from the first pour, open with an abundance of roasted cashews, toasty oak, pine, malt and yeast, beautifully balanced and alluring with fine acidity, a case in point where the bubbles add further to the complexity of the wine rather than detract from it, the complex minerality leaving a lasting impression. Highly sophisticated, quite the perfect counterpoint to the generous portion of duck foie gras. Excellent.

For the red, I decided to pair the wagyu beef with a 1995 Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, the only bottle remaining in the cellar. This showed an evolved pinot tint with lifted aromas of roses, red cherries, fig and lacquer, still displaying good saturation and concentration in spite of its years, obviously having mellowed with time, displaying great purity of fruit, layered with a substantial mid-body (not so much of oiliness nor salty minerality), highly elegant with understated power. A wine at its peak, and will continue to hold for years to come. We were all impressed. Glorious.

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